This past week and until 7 November my life has been and will be dominated by Psychology theories and learning skills for Law students.
As I prepare for and write exams, every waking moment has been and will be dominated by theories of Freud, Maslow, Bandura, Skinner, Watson and others. There are basic assumptions, personality structures, development, motivation and psychological adjustments which I need to know (and must know) for Psychology. From the legal side there is a combination of study skills, numeric, communication, research and reading skills which are important for those in the legal field.
The culmination of all this learning comes to a head when I have to sit for those final exams for the year which will tell me whether I qualify to move on to my second year of study or not.
Writing exams (whether mid term or final) has always been a huge challenge for me. It’s not that I don’t know how to study and therefore don’t know the work. I know the material (content) – I’m just never sure exactly what the examiner is asking and therefore never know whether I’ve answered the questions correctly and/or adequately to warrant a successful outcome. I fret and stress, don’t sleep or eat properly and all for a silly piece of paper to prove that I know what I know (or don’t).
Then again, I would much rather write a two or three hour paper than to stand in front of someone to do an oral presentation. I have hated oral presentations since junior school days – all those eyes fixed on your every move and every word just waiting for you to mess up. I think an oral exam would be a lot worse, having one person glare at you the entire time, probing and questioning you. No, I’d much prefer the written examination though I sometimes have trouble verbalising and expressing my thoughts and feelings – and knowledge.
Knowledge is power! It is the kind of power I long to have. Expert knowledge, to be a specialist in a particular field – to be able to offer a comment or an opinion because you have earned the right to – now that is the power I seek. To be able to use the knowledge wisely to make a difference in the community and ultimately in the world. To change the world one person at a time.
I once had a manager at work who lived by the principle of “each one, teach one” – reaching the world one person at a time. I think of this person often – she has become my invisible mentor who now lives very far away. She always supported my desire for knowledge and my “need to know”. Actually, even though she is now living overseas, she still supports and encourages me via e-mail and the poems she writes and shares with me. Technology enables us to keep in touch in this way.
Is it not wonderful to have certain special people in your life who are there to mentor and support you? The world is a much better place when you know you have “someone in your corner” who loves and supports you and what you do. Over the past few years, I have tried to leave some (people) and cleave to others. To leave those who always only take from you, zapping all your strength and energy and I have chosen to cleave to those who love, support and enrich my life. I’m glad they came along and loved me enough to stay.
Those who have left or whom I’ve chosen to leave – I don’t regret the time we’ve spent together because you still formed part of shaping me to being the person I am today. I’m also glad you came along but sorry you could not stay.
Life is a strange mixture of good and bad and it takes a combination of the good, the bad and the ugly to turn us into beautiful swans.
In the words of the songwriter Carole King:
My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue
An everlasting vision of the ever changing view.
A wondrous woven magic in bits of blue and gold
A tapestry to feel and see, impossible to hold.