Saturday, July 09, 2005

More Results...

More Results...

For the first time in a few days I thought to check my university email account. Given that the only things that are popping through it at the moment are random newsletters and adverts from the Oxford Playhouse I've not been checking it every day. Mistake it would seem. Because since Thursday my exam results break down has been nestling there.

And I knew what would happen when I saw my exam results break down. I'd start thinking 'what if'. Getting the 2:1 letter, after all, doesn't require too much thought. A 2:1 is anything from 59%-67.9%. That's a lot of ground and speculation to cover even for me. But actual results. Yes, they're a whole other ball game.

Were I to bring out a white board and some markers to analyse the results (like Carol Vorderman but with better clothing) I would note the following:

1. I did less well in my two pieces of coursework (Ginny Woolf and British Modern Drama) than I'd expected. Not that I did badly (65 and 66, respectively) but I suspected that I'd get a first or pretty close to it.

2. Statistically I did better in my pre-Paddy Marber exams. As I suspected there was no middle ground on my language paper - I got a 70. I also managed a 70 in middle english commentary. Which would be shocking given the middle english element were it not for the fact that I got a first on my mods commentary paper as well. Which pleases me because you can't really revise entirely for commentary, you've got to be able to think on your feet. It also scares me as it's another indication why I may one day have to face the fact that I am a better editor than I am writer. My other good result in this block was a 68 in Shakespeare. On face value not too much of a surprise - I certainly know more Shakespeare than any other other author I wrote about. In reality, however, the paper was the worst of the batch. Predominantly because they changed the format without telling us. When I read the questions I honestly didn't think there was three that I'd be able to answer. I had to fight my way through that exam, harder than I fought for any of the others. So I'm quietly pleased. My Middle English paper is the, somewhat expected, pre-Paddy aberration. 64. And I suspect I may have the Mystery Plays to thank for that after a waffly Chaucer essay.

3. My renaissance paper worked out exactly as I'd suspected it would - 64. I suspect in that I got one 2:2, one middling 2:1 and one borderline 1 so they evened out. I got slightly less than my mock paper six - 66.

4. My worst result came in my final exam - 62. Bloody Byron.

And still swirling my pen around on the white board I can conclude:

1. When you are given 3 1/2 weeks to write an extended essay do not i) Spend a week and a half either stalking Fox at your local theatre, fliering in York and Boro for Griffin or rushing down to see Riccardi play in a battle of the bands competition. or ii) Lose a week to the premiere of your first play.

2. Inconclusive here. Could be i)go in to exam with only three topics you can talk about or ii)go in to exam being able to speak about 25 differnt Shakespeare plays. Equally inconclusive as to whether the timing lesson is i)don't see Paddy Marber during finals, you'll only get distracted or ii)accept that when you have so many exams together you are going to lose the will to live half way through so the earlier ones will naturally be better.

3. Middling papers will always be middling papers.

4. When you are tired do not write about something you love. You will waffle.

So I do think I've learnt things, albeit when these lesson are far too late. I've also learnt that whilst I couldn't possibly have worked any harder for the majority of my final two terms, prior to that...A bit more middle english, a bit more renaissance poetry. But they are all 'what ifs' and ones that are pointless to entertain. And I was rather touched that my tutor commented in the email that she was "delighted" with my performance given my rather interrupted degree. And I think a couple of years ago I'd have definitely taken a 65.875% 2:1.

I just won't be reading any Byron for a little bit.


Val said...

Well I think you did bloody brilliantly! Well done!

gayle said...

Me too. Ten years on (eek) I can still rant about the fact that my 59.7 per cent 2:2 wasn't rounded up as per normal because they already had a lot of 2:1s this year thank you very much. Not bitter.