Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Grace needed.

I can't sleep until I get it out.I'm almost failing Hebrew and I have an exam tomorrow. A professor told me today that one of my biggest problems is that I went into Hebrew thinking I am bad at languages and so my failure is inpart due to self fulfilling prophecy. What he said has bothered me all day for a few reasons.

To begin with, I don't think I came in thinking that I suck at languages. But I was very aware of the fact that Ancient Hebrew looks nothing like any western language or Latin language I've ever seen. Secondly, I'm not the only one consistently failing/doing poorly on these exams. This is like Organic Chemistry for Religion students. It's hard even when the professor is easy. Thirdly, I do think that our professor has been difficult, and I think he'd admit to it. I think he is finally realizing that if the class average is 70% out of 100,that he needs to make changes- he's giving us the full two hours of class -instead of one hour for the exam followed by lecture. Which is good because I am also not the only one who runs out of time and ends up leaving things blank.
And finally, I speak English and Spanish fluently, I can read Spanish at the top highschool level at least, and I can write at beginning highschool level in Spanish. I took Spanish as an elective in undergrad -almost a minor degree! I have nothing against languages. I know I went into these dead language courses with a positive outlook and I think that I should certainly accept responsibility for probably not studying harder. But getting F's on exams regularly and feeling just clueless, definitely does not help my morale. I have said that I just want to get these courses out of the way- something that the professor who I talked to reminded me of. I think that in saying this, maybe I don't communicate interest. Certainly, it must be annoying for a professor of languages to hear that- it's probably like how math teachers feel. And yet, I wonder how many pre-medical majors actually anticipate taking a year of Organic Chemistry? I can see what the professor is saying and it's probably partly true- I'm sure that I now am more mentally prepared for failure and that means I'm psyching myself out.

So I am praying to pass. And I'm praying to be more graceful toward my Hebrew professor and the Hebrew language, because Hebrew is hard for a reason. And I'm praying that I don't depress myself about my grades- an F is not an excuse to overendulge in sleep or food or antisocial behavior.

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