I am in an unpleasant mood, Blog, and I will tell you why: GROUP PROJECTS ARE THE BANE OF MY EXISTENCE.
This quarter, I've stupidly found myself enrolled in a class whose entire grade, unbeknownst to me, consists of five ten-page papers, to be completed with the "help" of several other group members. I volunteered to compile and edit four of the five projects, less out of the kindness of my heart than out of my need to be in control of my own grade, and have therefore spent at least two weeks out of every month this quarter stressing myself to the point of near combustion over a class I don't even care about.
I like all the people I'm assigned to work with, but only two of them have consistently put in their share of time and effort, leaving me and one other girl (Brittany; she's adorable) to write several supplementary pages at the last minute, every time. As a group, we've scheduled a few meeting times every week, and me, Brittany, and one other guy have spent the majority of these meetings shaking our heads and laughing about the fact that we are always the only ones to even show up. On top of that, out of the people who have sent me their work on time each week, the vast majority of emails I receive are written on about a third grade level. At the beginning, I chalked this up to the fact that I'm too harsh a critic, and I devoted a few hours to correcting their mistakes without mentioning it. But it came to the point in my editing process this weekend that I actually called my parents to read them excerpts from the drafts I had to work with. My dad couldn't speak through his laughter. My point is, if these guys were just horrible writers, that would be one thing. But they must be taking advantage of the extra editing time I put in, because if they turned in papers like that to teachers, they would be failing out of school. Either that, or I'm setting the standards for myself way too high and should stop working so hard for my grades, since writing like that can pass a class.
Meanwhile, everything I do in my French class comes out to a C, even when I trick myself into thinking I'm improving. My high school French teacher was this little quirky, lovable, crazy ball of hyperactivity, and while she had enough enthusiasm to be heard around the school building, I definitely did not learn enough to prepare myself for the level of course I'm taking now. The problem is, my college has three ten-week trimesters rather than two semesters, so by the time we stopped reviewing and launched into the new material, it was too late for me to drop the class and rework my whole schedule. And even if I could have switched to a lower level, I'd already spent over 200 freaking dollars on textbooks that were shrink-wrapped, so they can't be sold back to the bookstore once they've been opened. I had no other option but to stick with it, so I've been raking in the C's and crossing my fingers for my upcoming exams.
Tomorrow morning, I have to go into a room alone with my professor and hold a five-minute conversation with her, entirely in French, about a random question. She emailed us some examples, and these aren't questions like "Tell me about your family." A few of the options include "Do you believe celebrities deserve to be harassed by the paparazzi because they chose to be famous?" and "Do you believe in predestination?" These are things I'd have a hard time talking about in English for five minutes, and I still stumble when answering some yes-or-no questions in class. A few days ago, I wrote a paragraph in response to each of her examples, and I've spent the weekend going over them and practicing reading them aloud. I don't know how else to study, since I don't have any idea which vocabulary I'll need, and it's the grammar that confuses me. This exam accounts for 10% of my final grade, and I have one more written test next week worth 15%. It really stresses me out knowing that I'm currently resting at a C, and that a whole 25% of my grade is still up in the air. I don't know how I'm supposed to not freak out about this.
Meanwhile, it's November, and my cursed competitive nature would not allow me to make the mature decision to not sign up for this year's NaNoWriMo. It's an added stress to know that my novel's just a click away, itching to be written, but that I have to ignore it. It's more important to pass French than it is to maintain an impressive word count, and Nano will still be going on in two weeks when I'm home from school with nothing to do... but I still don't like this. I started off really strong this year, and I'm worried I'm wasting all my first-week energy by taking such an early break. Gaaah.
Also, to make matters more fun, the stress of school combined with Daylight Savings to throw me off my regular medication schedule, and I missed a headache pill today, which has resulted in one of the worst and longest I've ever had. It's 7:15 now, and I've had strong pain in my neck, face, and the right side of my brain since 3:30 this afternoon. I also had to turn down an offer from my friend Carina to go see Ben Folds tonight-- for free, since they had an extra ticket-- because of my need to study French and my unreliable group for that other class. It doesn't help that Ben Folds has been tweeting pictures all evening of a city right nearby, just to rub in my face that I can't be there. Lame.
Anyway, I appreciate you being here for me to complain to, guys. I needed this little break from squeezing my head between my hands and throwing my French book across the room. I can't predict when you'll be seeing me here again this month, because I don't know when everything's going to calm down, but I promise I haven't forgotten you. I hope you're all having an easier week than I am. :)
Chipotle burritos this year: 30
Nail color: I've been bare for a couple weeks, just for lack of time.