"There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage."
--Martin Luther

Monday, 13 May 2013

Thoughts on a (Probably) Failed Exam

In high school, I dated a guy who had an amusing quirk.  If he wrote an exam and found it not very difficult, he would say, "It was so easy, I felt sorry for the test."  Remember that huge Mandarin exam I was studying for?  I did not feel sorry for it.  If the exam had emotions, I think it would feel sorry for me.  In fact, I'm fairly sure that I failed.

You may hate me for this, but I have never failed an exam before.  I was that person who felt like any grade less than an A was a failure.  I might have failed a quiz once, but that's about it, so staring at an exam paper and knowing it's not going well is a new experience for me.  That said, it's a pretty huge blessing to know that my first failed exam is one taken voluntarily which has no bearing on my future.  I can study and take it again in the fall, when my Mandarin levels should be higher.

I took some time yesterday to think over what I could have done differently, and besides studying hours and hours more each day for a few months, I don't know.   I have to work and my marriage is important to me, so I'm not willing to structure my entire life around language learning.  My main issue is reading speed, so if I'd spent more time reading and less time cramming vocabulary, perhaps that could have helped, but even then I may have been out of my league.  I'm trying to remember that my recent intensive studying was not in vain:  I learned so much new vocabulary over the past few months which will help me in my Mandarin progression, and now if I choose to take the exam again, I already have the flashcards and practice exams so I can jump right in.  加油!

Readers, how do you react when you fail?  Have you had the experience of cramming for something important and then seeing your efforts fall flat?  How do you keep from feeling disheartened when you don't make the grade?

Today because my studying is OVER(!!), I treated myself to a sorely-needed haircut and a visit to my favourite local library today.

New-ish hair.  It looks a lot like my old hairstyle, just shorter.


  1. Reading this reminded me that one has to try new and hard things to experience failure. But what is truly a failure is never attempting something in the first place. I think you are on the right track. All we can do is our best and something learned is never lost regardless of what a test might say. Best of luck on your studies I applaud you for taking on a difficult language!