This one time, in university, I had to take a science course.
By this point, I’m sure it’s clear I’m not a very science-oriented gal. In high school, the only science I really “got” was Biology. I loved Biology. I could connect it directly to real life. My grades in Biology were always between 80-85%. Math and Chemistry, on the other hand, I either failed or nearly failed. And I didn’t even attempt Physics.
So, when it came time to fulfill my required science credits, I went straight to my program advisor to find out what the hell to do.
“Just take Statistics 101,” she said to me, “that’s what all the Arts students do.”
“Uh, yeah, about that…” I stammered, “the prereq. is Pure Math 30…which I don’t have…”
“Oh dear. I guess taking a basic Math course is out of the question, too.”
[Insert a list of courses my advisor asked me about that I didn’t have the high school prereqs for…]
“Wow,” my advisor said, wiping sweat from her brow, “You’re kind of screwed.”
Just when we were about to give up on my BA, my advisor practically shouted, “EARTH AND ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES!”
It turns out I (miraculously) had the prerequisites to get into a class called “Dinosaurs and Mass Extinctions.”
Here’s something you may not know about me: I LOVE DINOSAURS.
I have seen Jurassic Park an unhealthy number of times, and I still watch it on TV every single time it’s on. I’m like, little-kid-excited for the 3D release in cinemas. I might see it more than once.
So I rocked the first half of the course, which was all about memorizing the names of the dinosaurs and knowing about how they evolved, etc., etc.
Then halfway through, the course changed from being about dinosaurs to being about mass extinctions. We started having to know radiation theory and how to calculate extinction rates and a whole lot of other stuff that made absolutely no sense to me.
And that was my – you guessed it – “Oh shit” moment.
I should have known.
I tried. I tried so hard to get it.
I didn’t. I didn’t get it at all.
And then the day of my final exam came along.
I had to work that morning, and then I decided it was in my best interests to get a coffee before the exam. Because guys, I was stressed. I did not have my shit together. I had NO IDEA WHAT WAS GOING ON is more like it. So I figured a fancy drink from Starbucks would help calm me (see: get me all shaky and weird and do me no good whatsoever). I ordered my coffee and paid for it, and of course, because I was in a major hurry, it took way too long to get my drink. I was officially running very late for my EAS final. Not good.
I drove as fast as I could to campus, which wasn’t as fast as I would have liked because it was winter* and the roads were icy. Then I couldn’t find a parking metre. I wasn’t cool enough to just park on the sidewalk yet, so I drove back and forth until – thank goodness – I found an empty metre. I parked, grabbed my bag and my coffee, and made a run for it toward my building.
Remember when I mentioned it was icy?
Yeah, this is the part in the story where I slip and fall on my ass, movie-style. It wasn’t graceful. It was an I-went-flying-through-the-air fall. And not only did I fall – into a pile of snow, obvs – but I threw my coffee into the air and it came crashing back down – ALL OVER ME. I was on my ass in a pile of snow covered in coffee.
But wait! There’s more!
About a week earlier, a dear friend of mine had given me one of his rings. Just a token of friendship-love. And I adored that ring. I treasured it. But my friend is like, two feet taller than me (Hi Brian! Remember that ring?), so his ring was a bit big on my finger. As I slipped and fell, the ring flew off my finger and into the street.
BUT WAIT. THERE’S MORE.
As the ring landed on the street, a car drove by. It drove by so PERFECTLY that it CRUSHED my ring. I sat there and stared, dumbfounded for a moment, then jumped up and into the street to “save” my ring.
It was flattened into the road.
I started to cry a little, and then I remembered that I WAS LATE FOR MY FINAL EXAM.
I grabbed my bag and continued my run for the EAS building.
Needless to say, when I jogged into that giant, full lecture hall to write my exam, I got about 200 weird looks. And they were all 100% justified. Firstly, I was panting like Darth Vader in a silent room. Secondly, I was soaked in snow and coffee. Thirdly, I was crying. It was a stellar combination. My prof. looked me up and down with mild-to-medium disgust and handed me an exam booklet.
I remember sitting down and cringing at my sore tailbone and my wet jeans.
I remember writing the words, “I’m so sorry, but I have NO idea.” on a blank page meant for a response worth 30% of the exam grade.
I do not remember anything else about the exam.
Thank goodness for the grading curve, y’all.
(That’s the only time I’ll ever really say that.)
I somehow – SOMEHOW – managed to get a C- in that fucking course.
Lesson learned: That gut instinct that tells you something isn’t meant to be? You should trust it, because it’s right.
Andrea + Science Requirements ≠ Success.