Welcome to self-flagellation with Kathleen…

I had a test this morning.

A wonderful test for which I was beautifully prepared, had read all seven hundred pages of both textbooks, could recite names, dates, and percentages. Hitler himself would have been pleased by the way I could chronicle his demise.

I even called every single essay question. At the beginning of the semester the professor said that once we’d taken a test or two from him, we’d not only have the form down but even be able to figure out what the essays were going to be on. And I thought, “Pssh, that’s stupid. We talk about tons of stuff, and there are only three questions on the test. How the hell could we ever guess that?” But I was wrong, because I knew that there were going to be little questions on the suffragette movement and the art and literature of Victorian England, and I was damn sure that WWII was going to be the big essay. And it totally was.

So I wrote two beautiful essays on art and literature and the suffragette movement that would have made Emily Davison feel as though she died for something important. Emily Bronte would have cried. Things were good.

And then…I ran out of time. I left myself FORTY MINUTES for the final essay, because I knew that I didn’t want to rush. And I don’t know what happened, but at 9:07 (class ended at 9:15), I was only on 1941, and Hitler hadn’t even invaded Russia yet. And then I flipped out and said a really bad word in my head the rest of my essay? Was total crap. Hasty sentences, scrawled penmanship, the part about the book that I totally read this time was like six words, D-Day was reduced to a footnote, and the Holocaust? Quite possibly the most disgusting prolonged incident in human history in which a megalomaniac wiped out two out of every three Jews in Europe for no reason at all? Was a sentence.

And it’s not that I’m that upset about the grade, because I’ve gotten A’s on the other tests and could pretty much not show up for this one, the first part of the test and the first half of my final essay were wicked good so I know I’ll get most of those points, and anyone could tell that I, and most of the other students, were running out of time.

It’s more that I’m frustrated at myself, because I’m so much smarter than that last essay makes me seem! I know everything about WWII. I know numbers, I know percentages, I know how many freaking units the Germans had at Normandy as opposed to the Americans. I have quotes (“Never before have so many owed so much to so few,” Churchill, about the RAF pilots during the Battle of Britain). I know that if I had had an extra twenty minutes, that would have been one of the better essays I’ve ever written, and it wasn’t, and that pisses me off.

And while I’m not expecting anything horrible like a B, but unless the professor is drunk or something while grading it, I’m not getting another 100. Which sucks.



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