Curiously blank.

Writing the last line of the last essay question in my closed book exam I felt immense relief as I put the last period. Lifting my head up for the first time in about an hour, I noticed my entire class was head bent furiously writing. I felt bewildered. Did I answer all my questions? Turning the pages front to back and back to front, I duly noted everything was filled in. All objective type, all essay questions complete, replete with graphs and equations.

This could not be true. I gathered my stuff and made as silent an exit possible. Handing in my paper, I murmured “It was a pleasure working with you.” and smiled back as eyes twinkled behind his glasses. Throwing away my water cup, I walked unharried towards the front entrance. I was torn between waiting for my classmates to be done to discuss the paper and a fear that if I waited, I would know what a terrible sham I was.

It was one of those papers I wrote non stop. I had no idea if I was spewing rubbish or actually making sense. Concepts got intertwined and mixed up as my pen scratched the paper surface. No longer sure if the graph had to move left or right, if the axes were labelled correctly, I emptied everything in my mind on paper.

Driving back home, I realized my shoulders and earlobes were still tense. I had to relax. Breathing deeply, I realized this was the point of no return. I cannot undo anything in the paper. I just need to be patient and wait for the scores. I have no idea if I did badly, OK or well. I will not know either.

The feelings of anxiety and nervousness were reminiscent of a time when I walked out of exam halls picking up my bag, lounging by the water cooler, waiting for friends to trickle out one by one. The looks on their faces would give away how they felt. As we trudged home, we would exchange notes on questions as we remembered each one. Either giggles of joy or painful sighs would interject our conversation. Beyond that the exam would be forgotten in the anxiety about the next one.

Years later, nothing has changed. I feel as anxious as ever and strangely very blank. I can’t remember the questions or have the inclination to open the book to see if what I wrote was right or wrong.

As I unwind and try to put the exam behind me, I realize the task I have set for myself is rather arduous. The excitement of starting school is slowly wearing away and the burden of studying in addition to working is showing. The end seems far, far away!

19 thoughts on “Curiously blank.

  1. You can do it Laksh! You have so many people rooting for you now šŸ™‚ – sometimes I feel you’re living a part of my dream šŸ™‚
    The end may seem much further as it is in reality – but when you get there, it will be worth every ounce of your effort. Proud of you Laksh šŸ™‚

  2. AS much as you are good on typing away, one need to be good with pen and paper too for mBA studies? good to know that Laksh.

    End is so close by laksh, I can almost see your office with ‘blast of a view’. I am so proud of you; thank you for sharing your journey with us..i am taking it all in.God bless you

  3. In a matter of time 2 quarters went by and I am sure the others shall pass faster. And the end will appear, the blanket of fog that seems to hide the destination will fade away.

    As you mentioned the Spring is here. Same holds true with your studies, the dreary winter is gone and Spring is here bringing in new hope. Enjoy your short break.

    You are an inspiration for me. Truly!!

  4. Even though you think that the end might be far away, I’m really glad and also want to appreciate that you started the journey. That by itself is a big deal Laksh. So don’t worry, relax and you are going to be fine.

  5. Don’t think too much, just keep doing what’s expected of yourself from you. Rest will fall into place.

    If my sister can manage work, 2 kids under 5, and complete MBA this summer, with managing the home(as husband travels a lot), it’s just determination. We all occasionally feel the burden, but the thought to remember is that it’s fleeting, and the accomplishment we feel at the end is worth it all. I know! šŸ˜‰

  6. Hi Laksh
    End is pretty close by and you will be reaching it pretty soon. These days wont come back again.
    Dont worry…count the milestones you have crossed already.

    All the very best and enjoy your Spring.

  7. Oh.. dont worry. I’ve completed 2 yrs and cant believe how it flew by. I am infact getting more excited when I think of the electives. Its a journey that you reminisce later and enjoy.

  8. Don’t worry.You would have done well.Two terms have already gone.The rest will go fast.I know it’s tiring,but the end will be worth it.

  9. Why to worry so much? We are sure you will come up with flying colors:) Relax and have fun in the short break. The days will fly fast and one day you will blog I am a business management professional now šŸ™‚

  10. Loved reading your lines on exam days of college/school days! You reminded me of those days and you summarized them so accurately in your words. And don’t worry – u will be fine! It is a big step to make the start..and that itself needs appreciation. Hang in there!

  11. You are doing great! And, what fun are exams, if they don’t have all the stress accompanying it? šŸ˜‰ … I can imagine the ‘working and studying’ part… but don’t worry! It will all fall into the groove …
    and soon enough, it will be done!

    It is such a pleasure to see you enjoying the course so much!

    Good luck! and relax and the enjoy the weekend after the exam!

    Spring is almost here, isn’t it?:)

  12. Gosh…are you back in your teenage shoes? Well, for the starters, I’d like to say that you are doing a great job! You are an inspiration for me! I always crib about how every time exams are going on and i have to study and there is no time for anything else. But, you manage studies with your work and at the sometime manage your house as well. Come to think of it, you are already a great manager! You are already there.
    So just sip that cup of kaapi and chillax! šŸ˜‰

  13. HI Laksh. You have been doing well! Hang in there… Studying and working was never going to be easy. (I know first hand, as I have done it as well,.. and with 2 toddlers too!). Hubby was the same,.. he started his professional papers when the boys were babies. I still clearly remember how hubby used to have J’s hammock next to him at his study table, one hand on the hammock.. swinging it, and the other with a pen writing away vigourously. What was I doing? Finally getting OUT of my pyjama at 8pm! My point is… you will look back one day and be proud of yourself. Success is sweetest when you have put in everything you have and come out winning… šŸ™‚

  14. You will come out of this soon enough and feel great relief, life is always hard when we are going through the tough times, but there is always a sliver lining over that cloud. I am sure you will be fine and have a good score. In the mean time go away for a short break or have a small pampering treatment, or even a candle lit bubble bath šŸ™‚ Relax it will all be fine in the end, hang in there you are doing a great job.

  15. Relax Laksh!!! You are absolutely doing a great job, and the end is not just far far away, you almost passed half way through. Its just matter of time you know… Its just the excitement of the unknown result. Have fun, relax and focus again. There you go Laksh!!!

  16. @Bavani: Yes I can.;) I think I felt overwhelmed that day. Back to my bouncy self today.
    @Nandini: You spoke for me. I feel the exact same way.
    @Shy: Very true. I actually prepared to write with pen and paper by taking notes when I prepared for the exam. My hands were rusty and I had trouble writing!
    @Akay: Sept ’10 here I come šŸ™‚
    @Manchus: Your comment is so poetic! You have to update you blog sometime ma’am! Been too long a break.
    @Madhuram: True. One step at a time. One term at a time.
    @rads: now I feel pathetic! šŸ˜‰
    @Hema: Just the feeling of spring is enough to lift my spirits.
    @Deepa: Gotta talk to you. I am quite enjoying this journey.
    @Anila: You aught to know. I feel pathetic complaining when you did it too with work, kid and home in addition to studies.
    @Abi: Dunno about the management professional but I sure am able to understand the world I live in a little better now.
    @Anamika: I had fun thinking of the old exam times too.
    @JS: Yes it is! End of term, spring in the air… what more can I ask?
    @Shalu: Thank you. I was beginning to feel pathetic thinking people with work, kids, home are managing it and here I am cribbing. šŸ™‚
    @Spillay: Hats off to you and hubby! Now, that is something I could not have managed.
    @Kiran: Your idea of a break sounds soooooooo tempting. Now, I gotta bug K to make it happen.
    @Deepa: Yes. Am already looking forward to my next term.

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