The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Hell Week

For some, the process of school in general, and finals week in particular, goes something like this:

1. Study
2. Take test
3. Get grade
4. Go on with life.

In truth, this is probably the way for normal people everywhere. You may suspect that it is not so for Ms. Knitingale, and you would be right. I am writing this tonight from a place of great gobsmackedness, which will all become clear momentarily. See, my finals week went more like this:
1. Study
2. Find out that the school has suddenly changed yet ANOTHER policy, thus requiring that all Biology 212 courses include a final that covers Biology 211 AND Biology 212. This, in spite of the fact that there are at least four different teachers for these two classes and most people will not get the same teacher for both. (You may have already guessed that Ms. Knitingale is one of those who did not.)
3. Swear
4. Lose sleep
5. Ask in class for a general idea of what might be covered from 211; find out in horror that 211 teacher completely left out sections that will be on test given by 212 teacher.
6. Panic
7. Consider career as Sherpa
8. Reject Sherpa idea, as have sensitive feet and so cannot go barefoot in the mountains
9. Attempt to cram two quarters of studying into less than one week, while also studying for Chemistry, doing a 5 page chemistry assignment on titration that is so difficult that brains begin running out of ears, and running around in panicked circles.
10. Search for cups to place under ears to catch brains from above, since obviously cannot spare any.
11. Inexplicably, begin to knit sock, as though knitting will somehow help with learning process.
12. Return, somewhat shamefacedly, to studying.
13. Consider joining the circus
14. Remember fear of heights, fire, and most sharp things, as well as tragic inability to juggle. Realize circus career options may be quite severely limited. Wonder how many more tattoos would need in order to be one of the freaks.
15. Stare blankly at 70 pages of Biology notes and realize that there is absolutely NO WAY to get all the information packed into tiny brain.
16. Drive husband totally nuts.
17. Whimper pitifully.
18. Ask husband if he would be ashamed of wife with career in panhandling.
19. Apologize for driving husband nuts. Again.
20. Take test.
21. Read first question on test; realize that this test will be hell of a whole new sort. Panic further.
22. Complete all 160 questions of test with growing sense of disaster and doom.
23. Consider that flipping coin in front of teacher might look bad; realize could do no worse than am doing anyway.
24. Realize do not have coin.
25. Whimper softly, so as not to disturb other whimpering students.
26. Turn in test while telling teacher in strained whisper that "It's funny--you don't LOOK evil" (I really did that...he said he wasn't TRYING to be evil, but I'm not buying it). Resist urge to suggest that he probably eats his young.
27. Calculate in head that the possibility of having passed test is slightly worse than the possibility of having lottery winnings in the amount of 800 million dollars delivered to door by hardbody hunk wearing a g-string, a bow tie, and a rose between his teeth. (It is worth noting here that I do not play lottery, and it is clearly too cold for a g-string....and the chances of this happening still seemed significantly better).
28. Cry
29. Torment self over studying that should have been done differently.
30. Call husband, cry some more
31. Begin polishing up resume (a grade of less than 3.0 in that class would disqualify me from even applying to the nursing program...failing the 160 question final would probably drop it a bit below that crucial watermark)
32. Cry more
33. Ask self repeatedly who in HELL could possibly know whether there are two sodiums on the ouside of a sodium channel and 3 potassiums inside or 3 sodiums outside and 2 potassiums inside or 3 sodiums inside and 2 potassiums outside or 2 sodiums inside and 3 potassiums outside. Decide that teacher really is some sort of strange and cruel demon.
34. Begin searching for jobs on-line.
35. Buy yarn do not actually need (some things don't change, even when my immediate world appears to be ending)
36. Realize that teacher will not have grades until Friday
37. Tell husband about number 35; attempt to convince him not to move out until then.
38. Realize that am no happier about being stuck with me this week than he is.
39. Spend day with friend today; drive her crazy as well.
40. Knit on sock with dire certainty that this will probably also be completely screwed up.
41. Say good bye to friend, come to check e-mail. Find e-mail from Biology teacher. Read the following: "Ms. Knitingale, I just thought you'd like to know that I finished calculating your grade for the quarter. You got a 4.0. Congratulations--you did excellent work"
42. Stare blankly at computer.
43. Stare blankly at computer some more.
44. Call husband (who is thrilled that it is safe to come home)
45. Check online gradebook to see if this is all a sick joke
46. Stare blankly again.

Now, lest you are harboring the notion that I was merely being silly or self-deprecating or something, allow me to say: I have never in my life taken such a difficult test, and I have never in my life been so convinced that I could not possibly have passed a test. Dudes, it was unreal. There were questions on there that I swear I had never heard anything about in my entire life. Hell. It was hell. And, in fact, I did not score perfectly on the test. I missed quite a few. But there was extra credit on it, and I had a perfect score plus some extra credit going into it, and...

Sorry. I was staring blankly again. For the record, the sock is turning out better than I thought it would, too:

The yarn is Fleece Artist in the Sangria colorway, and it is much richer in person, much deeper. I am quite pleased with it, and not just because I'm pleased with pretty much everything at this moment.

Did I mention that I somehow pulled a 4.0 out of my ass in biology 212? Yeah. It's good.


  • At 9:25 PM, Anonymous MonicaPDX said…


    Break out the champagne, hull them strawberries, get a truckload of chocolate sauce for the hot tub! Done did it! Congrats! ::major hugs:: May your brain always be so smaht, even if you doubt it will be. (And dear god, let this sort of thing never happen again.)

    Good going, Flo, we're proud of ya! Even if you did pull it out of your ass. The point is, you did!

    And you're right - the sock looks gorgeous, too. ;) (Can anyone lead a chorus of We Shall Overcome?)

  • At 1:18 AM, Anonymous angie Cox said…

    Florence you did brilliantly , I am not that much older than you but have trouble even learning new patterns. I think taking an Open University degree might keep the old grey cells as active as yours . I love that sock but have to get back to no5 mitred square as am now an addict.

  • At 5:00 AM, Blogger Marianne said…

    You know exactly how I feel about this whole 'event', like some kind of proud mama proud...what a relief for you! Cabin knittin'!

  • At 6:20 AM, Blogger ccr in MA said…

    Fantabulous! You can just tell that Mercury is out of retrograde, can't you? Good for you, and what a great end to that story. I'm so happy for you -- and for your husband, who must be quite relieved too. Celebrate, Mr and Ms K!

  • At 7:16 AM, Anonymous marti said…

    oh ye of little faith. how is the sock flag working?

  • At 7:33 AM, Anonymous Gretch said…

    How weird is this???? I'm listening to Bruce Springsteen, right at this second, and he's singing "We Shall Overcome" right in my ears. Freaky.

    Anyway, Congratulations Ms. K. Another step conquered. Don't you think you owe yourself some knitting time?

  • At 7:51 AM, Blogger Kitty Mommy said…

    woot! Happy dance on your behalf!

    For future reference, next time you get a list like that going, please woman, for the love of wool, put "breathe" on it once an a while. Hyperventilating will not change the outcome of a test that has already been taken!!!

  • At 9:00 AM, Blogger beckie said…

    Congrats Flo! I am so proud of you! Now rock out on that sock!

  • At 10:50 AM, Blogger knottykitty said…

    Just let me say....OHMYGOD I SOOOO TOLD YOU SO! Now that I got that out of the way, CONGRATULATIONS! I'm so proud of you! I KNEW you couldn't possibly have done even near as badly as you thought!

    Now, maybe you can believe in yourself a little more, for gosh sakes! It is certainly a sign that you should apply for nursing school for sure! Hope this success has helped to clarify your path a little.....:)

    And on other subject....the sock is looking gorgeous. I think you have a winner!

    your favorite yarn-shopping enabler, the other Ms. K! :)

  • At 10:59 AM, Anonymous Paula in Iowa said…


    And the sock is beautiful, too! I love those colors.

  • At 1:24 PM, Anonymous Em said…

    Congratulations, Ms.Flo. You did it, and now you deserve a rest. And chocolate. And more yarn!

    I'm sure that there are a lot of us out here in the blogosphere that are rooting for your success in your nursing application! I'll keep my fingers (needles?) crossed for you.

    P.S. Great Sock! I *heart* Fleece Artist.

  • At 3:51 PM, Blogger Jo said…

    See I always new you had a great ass! You pulled a 4.0 out of it, didn't you, you can't argue with that, beautiful sock by the way, lovely colours x

  • At 11:08 PM, Blogger Denise said…

    Congratulations! It sounds like there was an awful lot of hard work and preparation behind that good luck.

  • At 2:02 PM, Blogger Dianne said…

    My sincerest congrats to you on your achievement! Regardless of the path this leads, please never stop providing us with your contributions to Blogsville..Happy Knitting~~


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