I sat down in my regular spot. My instructor handed me the final exam and said we could begin. I started to read the first question, but I just couldn’t make sense of the words. I could see them, but I couldn’t stay focused long enough for them to mean anything. You know how that goes when you are reading and you realize you’ve read an entire page, but remember nothing? That’s how the exam questions were. When she said the hour was up and it was time to turn in the exams, I looked down at my scantron and I’d only answered 3 questions.
Quickly, I did the math in my brain. (How I could do the math to calculate my score, but not answer any test questions, I have no idea.) I’d pull a 71% average if I got 6% on my final (assuming I’d gotten those three questions right–which was unlikely.) Seventy-eight percent is needed to pass.
So I went up to the front of the room to beg for mercy. I’ve done well so far. Maybe I could convince her I had a TIA during the exam. She opened her grade book (circa 1984) and looked at my scores. Yes, I’d done well on the three previous exams, but I’d gotten big red D’s on every other quiz or presentation this quarter. “Sorry girl. It looks like you flunked out of nursing school.”
Just then my dog barked and I opened my eyes. My bed sheets were twisted and drenched with sweat. It took a few minutes to convince myself I had not actually failed my 2nd quarter of nursing school.
Finals are a week from today.