Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Failure and Learning

This semester, it was so nice to be signing up for Intercultural Communication over College Writing and gen ed classes. So I was excited for the prospect of more classes dealing with my major and more classes that I was interested in. And the class I was least excited about (Philosophy) is now my favorite, so it's all good.

Except that I'm failing Linguistics.

I just don't get it. My mind comprehends the lecture. I get what the book is saying. I could tell you about it. I know random facts about linguistics. I think it's neat. I'd like to know more.
Yet I'm super frustrated with the fact that even though I study 800 hours per week (give or take), my average grade is, at best, a C.

We had a big exam in class today. I studied so late for it last night [note: this was a bad idea] that I got only 4 hours of sleep and fell asleep on my textbook while studying before class this afternoon.
How discouraging it was to flip over the test and realize that virtually nothing looked familiar. I ended up filling in the answers I knew (there weren't many), guessing on a couple of questions, and leaving the rest blank. I dread the result of the exam because I fear that it will be my lowest score yet.

The reason I don't like doing sports in front of people, speaking in front of people, opening up in front of people, and failing exams is because I'm a big comparer. "What do YOU think about that?" is a common response to any kind of question. Failure is not my friend.

However, it seems to be my shadow. The quickest way to make me humble is for God to knock the wind out of me and touch my pride.

I was reading John 17 this morning in my quiet time. It's Jesus' prayer to the Father before His crucifixion, for those that don't have a Bible open in front of them. I was looking at it and was a little astounded by the humility expressed in Jesus.

Of course He's humble - He's GOD! We say.
Yes, but think about it. The humility He expressed was nothing like the way we would express humility. That's because we are humble before God because He is over us, He knows more than we do, and He's, um, God.

Jesus humbled Himself before God as a human. He was God but also human and gave His humanness over to God for Him to do whatever He liked through the life of Christ. And then Jesus asked that in whatever God chose to do, that He would glorify Himself.

It's hard, but I guess I can learn a thing or two from failure.

Update on this class: I didn't end up failing, which truly surprised me. I got a C, and it's the only C I've ever been happy about because I worked SO HARD, thought I was going to be stuck re-taking and re-taking this class forever and, well, it wasn't as bad as it should have been. I now hate linguistics though, which I'm pretty sure was not an intention of my professor. Maybe it will make sense when I take part two in a year or so?

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