Thursday, May 17, 2012

I'd Really Rather Not Talk About It

If you're wondering, yeah, I did take my Canterbury Tales final tonight.

And if you're wondering how it went:

If you're one of those people who "doesn't sweat the small stuff", just stop reading now, okay?

So, I get in there, and Nicola, my professor, reads the instructions.  Identify ten (and only ten) of the twelve passages.  Identify the speaker, contextualize them, and then comment on the passage.

So, I start.  I choose six off the bat that I know I know.  I'm plowing through, I choose two more, and then do one I'm almost certain is the Wife of Bath.  I'm at nine, and scouring the remaining three for something familiar.  I'm starting to realize how tenuous my hold is on a lot of the information I've studied, and force myself to trust my gut.

I find it, it's the Franklin's Tale.  Of course it is, anyone could see that.  That weirdo made the rocks disappear by magic, and boy, is Dorigen ever surprised.

So, I'm done.  It's 7:30ish.  I look over my answers, and check the instructions again.


Which I haven't been doing.  I mean, I haven't not been doing it, I just got confused, and thought he didn't want too much context, so I've been skimping.  I read through my answers, starting to feel a little nervous.  I can feel my eyes start to burn with a certain crazed light.  I don't know what it is; I get in that room with that blue book and suddenly, I lose all sense of proportion.  I flip through to see if I have room to add a few more descriptive sentences about Allison's husband, the carpenter, who serves as an example of the cuckold.

I don't have room.

So, I start to write them all over.  I grab another blue book, and start to copy them all over again, adding an additional sentence here and there.  At this point, people are packing up.  I mean, I was done too. An hour is a normal amount of time to do this assignment.  Once.

So, people are leaving, and I'm starting to sweat.  And my hand is cramping.  And it is starting to occur to me what a huge mistake I've made, but, again, no proportion, and there's no going back.  Everyone is leaving.  It's 8:15.  I think I have one more left, but I don't, I have two.  And now it's just me and this older student with quite bad eyesight who has to hold his paper really close to his face, and my hand has become sort of claw-like and I'm just scribbling at this point.

I finally finish the Franklin's Tale, and I walk out, clammy with sweat like I've just been cross examined by Jack McCoy.  And I have my first blue book shoved into my bag and I walk into the hall and kind of close my eyes until I find myself standing in line with a bag of Ruffles at the bodega near the subway.

And, that's how it went.


  1. I totally thought you were going to say that you walked out with what you thought was the first blue book but upon closer inspection, you discovered it was the second.....are you sure it wasn't the second????

  2. I have anxiety from just reading about your final. In this and every case of anxiety potato chips are a girl's best friend.

  3. I didn't realize how much smarter than me you really are until this moment. I always thought it was the "Cadbury Tales." You know, bunny stories. And then you get chocolate at the end as a prize. The Canterbury Tales sounds WAY more difficult. Sounds like you did really well. Hopefully you still had chocolate at the end.

  4. Shiloh, I am sure. Don't you think I thought about that before-hand. I had a plan. I put the old blue book in my bag before I wrote my name on the new blue book.
    Did I want to check to make sure before I threw the old blue book away? Of course. But, I didn't. Because that way lies madness.

    G-town, there have been many potato chips in my life this week.

    GK, thanks. You are, too.

    Michelle, it was originally "Cadbury", and told the story about chocolate exutives traveling to a marketing seminar in Wilkinenshire, or someplace England-y. They all take turns telling stories about how H.R. has really helped them. Over time, however, the original stories have been corrupted.