I have twenty-nine days left in this Assessment Processes course I am taking. It is a core course and a prerequisite for my practicum. And it is brutal.
In that 29 days, I have three assignments due, which will comprise 75% of my course mark in total. The first of these three is due in just eight days. It is worth 30%. And it has been (so far) the most difficult because it requires me to analyze the real-life results of personality and aptitude testing, integrate those results into a cohesive description, and synthesize recommendations on someone’s suitability for graduate school. That someone is me.
The process reminds me of an experience I had about 11 years ago. I had injured my left shoulder, and I was scheduled for an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan. This diagnostic procedure required me to be inserted into this tube that looked like a giant doughnut (or donut, depending on where you are from). I had to take off everything metal, put on this johnny shirt, lie on the table, and stay completely still in spite of the noise they told me not to pay attention to. The noise was LOUD! They offered me earphones to play music and drown out the sound, but nothing would drown out that sound. Buzzzzzz, click-click-click, buzzzzzzz, … it was not what I would call pleasant. I turned down their offer of the headphones.
However, the strongest sensation from that experience was not the sound. It was that the donut was so narrow and I was so … not narrow. They had to put me into it head-first, and I was in there down to my elbows. I felt like the last pickle wedged into the pickle jar! And I knew that I had to lie perfectly still so the imaging equipment could get a good picture of the inside of my shoulder (which it did). I found myself humming songs I liked to pass the time. Each song would take five minutes, so it was a way to mark the time for me – so that kept me from panicking. The feeling of not being able to move – of not having the option to even twitch – and the pressure of the sides of that apparatus on both shoulders and arms was quite unnerving.
But it needed to be done. I was confident that this procedure was necessary to show my specialist what was wrong with my shoulder. (I had a torn labrum, by the way, and it needed surgery – which was entirely successful.) Was my time in the donut pleasant? No, not really. It was just something that I had to endure to get to the place where I needed to be. And I did. I endured it, and it ended, and it served its purpose.
Just like this course. Not pleasant, to be sure. Necessary, yes. Difficult, most definitely! But I am enduring it. It will end. And it will have served its purpose (when I pass the course) in being the last prerequisite for my practicum.
I am fortunate to have had the support of my employer and my doctor in taking some time off so as to devote more time to this course, which I believe I said (in my previous post) is three times the work / reading / assignment time of any other course in this program so far. But it has to be done. All I have to do is to submit to the procedure and commit to it. I am sure it will involve some singing to calm my fears and to pass the time.
And in 29 days, I will be able to get out of this donut.
I think I had better go now, and get this next assignment done.
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