I will never forget my first graduate school class…
Finally, I am in graduate school and going to earn a Master’s Degree. I feel great, I am excited, and I just completed my first post on the discussion board. We are reading a challenging book, “The Archeology of Knowledge”, by Michel Foucault; it is difficult for me to grasp the meaning of the assigned chapter but I work hard and come up with something I feel is insightful and thought provoking. My assignment completed for the day, I head off to bed feeling good about my achievement. The next day, I am anxious as I log on to Blackboard to read my fellow student’s responses and retrieve my instructor’s feedback. In my mind, the rest of my graduate school career hinges on this first assignment – if I can do this, I can accomplish anything! I click on the link to my grades and my world comes crashing down – 4 out of 10 points.
Walking from the room where I do my schoolwork, I pass through the living room and without even a glance at my boyfriend I say, “I am too dumb for graduate school” and continue on to the bedroom to wallow in self-pity and doubt.
I let myself have one night of “giving up” but then I got determined! I am not dumb. I am going to show that professor and that stupid Michel Foucault that I can figure this out (even though I am convinced some of the sentences are just random words strung together with a period at the end). I keep the Spark Notes and my dictionary handy while I read the chapter at least two times and read the professor’s notes before and after reading the chapter. I think the highest I ever scored on discussion points was an 8 but I got an A in the class and proved to everyone (mostly myself) that I am not too dumb for graduate school.
So what’s the take away (other than, I may have overreacted and I’m a little hard on myself)? I can think of several clichés that would be appropriate but cliché or not, from great challenges rise great triumphs.
I still have that book proudly displayed in my home office because I read it and I did an “A” job pretending I understood it!