Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The trials before and during comps week

I appreciate all the well-wishing and votes of confidence offered by everyone, but especially those offerings of prayers and benedictions. In a week that one would expect to go according to plan, all sort of incidents and story-worthy events began to happen.

The week before comps exam, 4 of us in the family got sick with the flu. (Makes me regret not going for those flu shots, as this is the second time for the winter that we are down with it). To make matters even more interesting, the Friday morning, I lost my dear Jamaican tam (on Jamaica day too). Finally, I had to forgo grocery shopping that same day. With all these events going into the weekend, I just knew that this was the fiery testing before my comps, and I was determined not to let them distract me from my preparations. I switched into spiritual war mode, wondering if this was my 'Job' testing by the enemy.

On comps week, I went to school to print and begin responding to my exam questions. When I printed the paper and looked at it, I almost panicked after seeing the first question, which was a bit longer than I expected. I wasn't expecting to see a paragraph before me, providing context in which I had to carefully underline the questions being asked of me.

However, after a time, my exam taking experience returned and calm was restored. I then did what I used to do as a student when faced with a problematic first exam question: turn to the back of the paper, in hope to work my way back to the front. There I found the more straight forward one sentence questions that I expected, some of which I already knew 2/3rds of the answers. So I began the journey putting down an outline for each question and some of what I already knew.

When I took a lunch break from the process, I browsed the Web and by accident went to my blog statistics. I then noticed a new trackback to one of my professional and scholarly blog from a science blog. Hence I checked out the science blog and found that the blog had linked to the post I had made. The next day, another blog directly quoted me, a first time for me in my recollection. To make it equally surprising was that I was cited along with another well-known personality in LIS. Interestingly, also I also gained a lot gained several Twitter followers that week, moving from 80-something to 91, though this may just be coincidence.

As if to humble me and keep my ego and sense of achievement from being too much, that night, 2 of my daughters health seemed to take a nose dive. One developed a sore throat, after improving over the weekend, and the other also had incessant coughing for what seemed like almost half-an-hour, after improving in comparison to the day before.

Not to forget that on the Saturday night before comps week, my wife and I smelled a cigarette-like fume in our basement but with no smoke that apparently went away on its own. I now in retrospect wonder if there was some escape of gas from the furnace into our house, causing the affliction this second time around. Is there any possible connection?

Anyway, it is Wednesday morning, the beginning of the middle o the week, and I am awaiting the trial and story-worthy incidents to come to a conclusion. I am also thanking God that he did not let last night's trial take any of my family members to the hospital.

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