How do you write a public entry in which you admit your own failure? Why am I writing this at all? I can answer the second question; catharsis to remind myself of the facts. Fact #1 – I was very ill this term, fact #2 – I didn’t fail anything. Unfortunately neither of those facts helped me to feel better.
I guess the best place to start is with my actual grades: C1 for Comparative Literature, C1 for English Literature, D1 for English Language. The English Language is actually ok; I dislike C’s and D’s but I just needed a pass in a subject I was forced to take and hated every minute of it. English language is just not my subject. It’s the C1 for English Literature that is the big thorn in my side. To get into English Honours a B grade is required in term 1 and term 2, I got a B1 for term 1 and term 2 is the C1. On average I have a B3, but they do not accept the average and I thus have to achieve a B grade for term 2 to be accepted into honours. I went through the appeal process and today I found out that I’ve been given permission to resit the exam and resubmit the essay.
On the one hand I’m glad that my health problems were taken into account, that the appeals committee did agree that there were adverse medical conditions and that I deserve the chance to prove myself. I had been worried that because my main issue was depression and anxiety, that it would not be taken seriously. I am very grateful that my university continues to be supportive of all health problems. Now I just need to focus and prove to myself that I am capable of reaching the required grade. I have everyone around telling me I can; that doesn’t magically stop me worrying because I’m not that sort of person. I’ll only be happy when I actually achieve what’s required of me and that is a B. I’d already started planning some of my resit studying, and have library books ready for me. I’ve also formulated a plan of attack, so to speak, aka what texts and what essay question I’m planning to do. The essay questions are the same ones, which isn’t great, but it does give me an opportunity to write a feminist based approach which I feel will provide a stronger essay.
The exam is what worries me the most. I felt like I hadn’t done badly in that exam, or maybe I was just glad it was over with or didn’t want to recognise how bad the questions were. This was our first glimpse of the new questions, and despite being told that we’d be fine looking at the previous papers, I did feel like I’d been thrown through a loop when I first saw the exam paper. This time I have a copy of that exam paper – thank heavens it is already on the library website – so I have something concrete to work from. Hindsight also means I can change the texts around as well. I can do whatever I want provided I don’t redo topics I have already done, so changing texts makes sense.
I have a month basically; until 6th August which is when the exam is held. I had hoped for a nice relaxing summer, one without resits, but I need to remember one important thing – I am only resitting one subject, not 3 like last summer. There is a lot more weighing on this one subject, but I only need to remember one set of texts, one type of exam themes rather than everything I had to cram into my brain in April/May. During July I have a holiday with my parents and Chris which I’m really looking forward to, and I hope I’m able to enjoy it without overly stressing too much about the exam and essay.