Friday, September 30, 2011

The Dead Weeks

(The third day after the end of Fall Semester, 2010)

Unexpected news

I pack few clothes and put inside my big, purple luggage bag. I cannot wait to go to Houston, meeting my Facebook friends there. Suddenly, I hear knocking on my apartment door. Who is might be? I open my door, and I see Qing. She smiles at me, and I let her in. Then, she says to me that she is going to move into my apartment next week and stay temporarily until she can move to her own apartment next month. I am so surprised to hear that news, as she will move out from her current apartment by the end of December. I know that she has a problem with her landlord. She tells me that her landlord already found someone to take over her room. I am pity with her, and I make a decision let her move in next week. She is so happy and hugs me for helping her. She mentions that the second fantastic news she received today. I wonder what is the first news, and I ask her to tell me.

“Dency, I got all As for this semester. How about you? Did you check your result?” Qing wants to know my exam results.

“No, not yet. I’m not ready to see my results.”

I am afraid to know my results. I choose to check my results, after my trip to Houston. However, Qing persuades me as she wants to know my results. I open my student account and click the link where I can check my result. I am speechless for a moment. I see As for all my courses. I shouted happily and jumping around in my bedroom. Qing smiles at me. Both of us cannot believe we manage to survive the population genetic course. Many students in Department of Biological Science know that the course is the hardest course to get an A. We express our happiness, we chat for almost an hour. Then, she excuses herself, as she needs to call her boyfriend in Nebraska. I send her to the door and then continue with my packing. While sorting my winter clothes, I refresh back my mind remembering the three weeks of suffer finishing all my assignments and studying for two exams.

Weeks of suffer

I started my assignments for the population genetic course beginning of the semester. Qing’s friend, Josh did advise both of us earlier to try to finish our assignments before the end of the semester. He was right as I managed to cover all assignments and finish by early of November. It was not the ending of my torture. I needed to finish two genetic projects that would be presented on the first week of December. I used several programs that I have learned from the course for the two projects. I worked day and night nonstop in order to finish everything before the December 2. I finished all on the last day before the presentation. A bit tired, but I must go on. On the presentation day, I presented my first project for the population genetic course. Everything went well, and I was happy. I did not receive so many questions from my Prof and students. There was certain part I needed to adjust. After the class, I continued with my last presentation for the systematic class. My second presentation I did not present exceptionally well. I had to talk fast as each student was allotted with 10 minutes presentation. I just went ahead and finished all. By 6 pm, the last student finished presenting her project. I was a bit relief, but it was not the end of my struggles. I needed to work on with software demo presentation that would be presented on the next day. Preparing the presentation was quite easy, and again I knew how to use the program before. On the afternoon of the next day, I geared up all my efforts to demo to all students in the population genetic class. Even thought there was a technical problem while demonstrating the software, I was happy to execute my work well.

God help me

The sufferings were not over yet. I needed to study for my two exams. My first exam would be the final exam for the population genetic class and the other exam for the curatorship course. Both exams were held on two consecutive days; on Tuesday and Wednesday. Which subject did I want to study first? I chose to study and read one inch-notes of population genetic course, and after the first exam I would start studying the notes for the curatorship course. I non-stop studied all my notes until morning on the exam day. I sat for the population genetic exam and finished answering all four essay questions within two hours. It was a hard exam for me. After the first exam, I continued on revising notes for my second exam. The problem arose at midnight. After reading the whole notes, I tried to recall all the things that I have memorized. However, I could not make it. I did not want to admit that I had a panic attack, and I tried to read the whole notes repeatedly until 3 am. However, none of my efforts worked well. I started to burst out. Suddenly, I imagined that I failed, and my sponsor pulled my scholarship away from me. I remembered what my mom said to me. There was a person that I could ask for help. He was my God. I started to pray, and talked asking help from Him.

While praying, my instinct kept telling me to ask my Prof who taught curatorship course to let me sit the exam on another day, but I was afraid to do that. Twenty minutes thinking, I decided to try asking an exemption for not taking the final exam in the morning, but to do it on Friday instead. I opened my email and started writing an email to him.

Dear Prof.,

I am so tired pushing myself to finish all my assignments and study hard for my first exam that held yesterday evening. I studied all notes for your exam till late night. However, I could not recall what I already read. I am afraid I got a panic attack. I don’t want to take your exam when I am not ready mentally and physically. I don’t want to jeopardize my scholarship. I hope you can consider me to let me sit the exam on another day, probably this Friday. Help me, please.



After sending the email, I prayed to God that I would receive a satisfactory answer from my Prof. The time was 4 am. I brought myself to my bed and set my hand phone timer to 7.30 am. The exam would start at 8.30 am. I just got ready for anything. At 7.30 am, I woke up and took a bath. I reached at my office by 8.05 am, and I opened my email. My Prof replied my email, and I read his email to me.

Dear Dency,

Don’t stress yourself. I understand your condition. You can take the exam on another day with the other student. He is away in London now. Once he comes back here, both of you can take the exam. Take a rest OK.



Suddenly there was a teardrop flowing on my check. I happily cried. Without further ado, I packed my bag and went back to my apartment. I slept the whole morning and woke up in the afternoon to attend the skin preparation exam. On Monday, I sat for the curatorial exam together with my colleague, Cabel. I answered all the questions except the last question, which asked me to name the founder of the LSU museum. It did not matter to me as I confidently answered the other questions. I sent my exam sheet to Prof. JV, and said sorry for not answering the last question. He said not to worry so much for the last question.

Looking back at that time and the fantastic news I received just now, have made me realize that I shall let my Professors or my close friends know and help to lessen my problems. I love my University and the people in the museum. It is not an easy to be a student in a foreign country, but I am quite happy that many people help me to achieve my aim to get a scroll of PhD and bring all new knowledge to my back beloved country.


AmirFX said...

Nasib ktk dapat duduk balit exam ya.. Nway, wish u all the best...

Anonymous said...

Congrats Denc..passed ur test in flying colours! u go girl..make us bidayuh proud!! keep up the good work!!

Coffee Girl said...

Syabas Dayung!

are Msian profs/PhD supervisors as lenient or as understanding as their foreign counterparts?

Mel said...

Congrats Dency on getting all the A's...!