Friday, September 16, 2011

Off My Game

I'm still waiting for the release of The Secret World
This week has not been one of my better experiences. And, as I've mentioned previously, this semester isn't exactly shaping up to be one of my more crowning achievements, either!

Aside from being low on sleep for most of the week, I got grades back on two tests which were not very good, at all. To be fair, the 80 (B-) I got on the Finite Math test wasn't as horrible as it could have been. I wasn't as confident in my math skills as I perhaps should have been. I made a minor stupid error that cost me 5 points right off the bat when I got confused and thought that the slope of a line is the negative of the slope of its corresponding perpendicular line, when it is actually the negative inverse of the slope of its corresponding perpendicular line! Oh well... I've never claimed that math was a strong point of mine.

The harder hit for me came just today when I received my grade on my first test in Cognitive Psychology. I knew I wasn't going to make an A, since some of the test focused on brain anatomy, which has always been a difficult concept for me in regard to psychological study. I try to memorize the parts of the brain and their primary functions in cognitive processing, but every time that I do I get this dizzy feeling upon realizing that my brain is reading about my brain and how it actually functions. It sort of reminds me of the movie Inception, in that some mysteries are just better left unanswered. At any rate, after making a fool of myself on several questions that, again, I should have known the answers to, I ended up with an agonizingly painful 76 (C) on the test! My only refuge is that we still have two more tests, a final exam, and a paper due in that class. Since I usually do well on papers, I am hoping that I will be able to pull out at least a B+ in Cognitive Psych.

The hardest part about being off my game is that I get caught in this deer-in-the-headlights type feeling where I can't decide if I should jump out of the road to avoid getting hit, or if I should just stand there and hope the car will swerve around me. Of course, with my future riding on every decision I make, I can't easily abort the course and jump ship. Even though I fear that I may be on a sinking boat, I have to stay on board and continuing playing like the orchestra on the Titanic. That isn't an easy thing for me to do, either, since my instinct is always to run.

I have often had a recurring nightmare over the years in which it is almost sundown, and I'm in the middle of downtown Raleigh. The geography of the city is all wrong in the dream, but I know it is Raleigh, and I know where everything is, even though nothing is where it should be in reality. There is almost no one to be seen on the streets, and there are no cars except for a sparse few parked along the streets. I feel an intense fear radiate out from my spine and I know I must run! I never look back, I never see what is following me, but I know that I cannot stop running! Even though I'm not in the best of shape, in the dream I never give out of breath. My heart pounds, my blood races through my head so that I can hear my own pulse as I keep running. I will see a random person and I will order them to run, but they do not. Instead, they look at me as though I were speaking in an unknown language. Maybe this thing behind me isn't after them, but I can't stop to help them further if I'm wrong.

I run into a building where I see more people gathered. I try desperately to warn them of the danger that is right at my heels, but again they ignore me. I beg and plead, as much for my own safety as theirs. But I have to move on! Out the building, and on down the streets. There MUST be a place to hide. There's always a place to hide, if I can just get there before it sees me! I try to snake my way between buildings, hoping to get a little distance between me and it before running into another building.

Maybe it is a school, perhaps a restaurant. The hiding place is always different, but there is often one lone person inside. I don't even try to help them, anymore. If it comes for them, it will give me a few seconds longer to hide. A darkened bathroom, a walk-in freezer, a utility closet will, in one way or another, become the final location of this escape from terror. Suddenly, I can now hear my own breathing! My heart feels like it is going to explode, and I know that this monster, this demon, this hunter will surely find me if I don't stop gasping for air! All I can do is silently beg for the dark menace not to stop, but continue on its path without me.

After a time, exhausted by all that I have gone through, I realize that I am safe, and I get up and walk back out of the darkness to continue my life.

Keep living life... Or some approximation thereof.

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