The college and career group my wife and I serve is made up of 18-25 year olds. Some are students, some are working, some doing both. In this group there is a student who has a 4.0 GPA, excels in her assignments and is on her way to a fulfilling future as a teacher and world changer. However, in her teaching certification exams she struggled. Curious, I asked her “why?”. “Test anxiety”, she responded.
I get that. While I was a student I also suffered from test anxiety. Mine however was caused by not being prepared for the test thus causing the anxiety. I often asked God right before a test for a miraculous retaining of information that I had not obtained but I was sure rested in the unused parts of the my brain. (Didn’t you see the movie, Limitless? Never was able to find nor unlock the hidden door to this part of my brain.
However, I have always had a sympathetic leaning toward students and people in general who are gifted and intelligent but yet are challenged to communicate back what they in fact have learned. In discussion, yes, in life application, yes, on paper, often not. So, in reading a book called Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier they used a quote which I will end this post. It rang true to me and I am sure will to many others as well. Life is about learning, about growing, about being stretched, seeking knowledge of God and those around us…life is the ultimate classroom.
How are we graded? Only one, the One, got a 4.0 in this school. So fret not, when the 99 in your brain comes back as a 65 on paper, the experience of learning is still there. You didn’t fail. Actually you succeeded. You gained 65% more new information than you had before the test.
Here is the quote as referenced earlier.
“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.” Mark Twain
And as my good friend Drew, (his real name), from Samford University, (his real school), posted on Facebook earlier today, “DTF – Don’t Take Finals”. Attaboy Drew. Mom and Dad will be proud.