Monday, January 31, 2011

One mark

One mark. That's all I'm waiting on. One mark. But that one mark, it could change the rest of my life.

I finished my honours coursework late last year, and now I'm waiting on my mark for that. If I get the mark I need I'll be starting a PhD in four weeks' time. I've already been accepted which in itself is a huge honour, but acceptance is conditional upon that one mark. If I get it, it could mean a whole new life for me, in a whole new world. I'll be moving interstate, have a chance to work with other academics and become a part of an academic community. It's everything I've ever dreamed of and more. Plus there's a substantial scholarship. It'll mean financial security for the first time in my life. That, to me, is huge.

But what if I don't get the mark? What then? I don't really know. I'll kind of have to take it as it comes, and that really really frightens me.

And as I write this... the email arrives that gives me the mark. 83% - Second Class Division One. It's the second highest possible mark, after First Class. First Class is what I needed. After a phone call to the uni I'm now waiting on a call to find out whether or not I'm still eligible for candidature and scholarship... if there is something I can do to 'tip me over the edge' or if it's automatic exclusion. So now it's not one mark that I'm waiting on to determine my future, it's one phone call.

There are only two people who understand what that mark means, and who have any understanding of what it means for me and how disappointed I am in myself. I feel like I'm a total failure. The first person who understands is my research supervisor. He's the one who helped me to get to where I am. I emailed him, telling him my mark. He gave a very neutral response, simply saying that he'd be interested to see the markers' comments. The second person is my one and only close friend. I've emailed her but had to keep it short and not make it all about me... because she has had a huge day herself today and has so much going on in her life... I can't burden her with my problems right now. I feel so alone right now. As lame as this sounds I just really need one of those two people to tell me that's it's ok, it's still a good mark, and to tell me that I'm not a total failure. But that isn't going to happen. I'm on my own with this one. Completely on my own. And it feels lousy.

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