You LOSE! Good Day Sir!

I have been going to school since 1979 when my mom took me to kindergarten. I spent all those years in elementary school, junior high, high school, then four years of Bible college, three years of seminary, then I took a few classes each semester because I was having difficulty finding a church so that I could start working on pre-med. While I was doing that, I found a church to pastor, so I switched over to nursing school, which I would use to supplement my pastoral salary. I graduated from nursing school in 2005, and had a three year hiatus where I was not taking any classes at all. Then I started taking classes to finish out my BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing), which I finished in 2012. Then my MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) program began the very next month. I have been in that program ever since. All of this means that aside from the three years after I became an RN, I have been constantly enrolled for the past 35 years.

Suffice it to say I am sick of school.

I have really looking forward to finishing this MSN program. I have told people, “As soon as I finish this program, I am never going back to school again!” My instructors have tried to get me interested in getting my doctorate (either a DNP “Doctor of Nursing Practice” or a Ph.D), but up to this point I remain firm that this degree will be my last. I will walk across the stage wearing that stupid square hat one more time, and one more time alone.

I told someone last month that I was glad it was getting cold, because that meant that the next time it gets warm (next spring), I will be almost ready to graduate for the last time.

God works in mysterious ways.

Isaiah 55:8-9 says

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

All that to say that I received notice on Saturday that I did not pass my class this semester. I was shocked, because I knew that before the final exam my grade in the class was 93%. I studied as much as I could given my busy schedule (working and doing clinical hours) for 60 hours a week for the past two months, and when the time came, I took the final exam. I knew I did not do well on the exam, and my final grade on the exam was 74%. That’s a C, people. But in graduate school, anything less than a B is failing. So I “failed” the final exam.

This is a summary of the phone call Saturday night.

But, I factored the test in with the rest of my grades and found that it only brought my average down to 91%, which is an A minus. But that’s not the end of the story.

Evidently this semester my school instituted a policy that states if a student does not get an 84% average in their test and quiz score for the class, then the rest of the stuff they did for the class isn’t counted, and their test/quiz average is their final grade. It doesn’t make any sense to me, but there it is. So my 74% on the final exam made my test/quiz average….83.4%.

Yes, that’s right folks. If I had another 0.6% I would have passed. That means if I had just gotten ONE MORE TEST QUESTION correct, I would have had an 84% average on the test/quiz grade, and I would have had that A minus.

My reaction when told I didn't pass.

My reaction when told I didn’t pass.

But I didn’t. And so now I have to come to terms with the fact that, for the first time in my life, I have failed a class. The fact that my overall grade in this “failed class” is 91% does not make me feel better, because I still have to sit out of school for the next eight months, waiting for the next opportunity to take this class, which starts September 2015. This pushes my graduation date back to May 7, 2016.

I was ready to be done with school. Now I am more ready than ever, but unable to stop any time soon. I will simply keep trusting in God that He knows what is best for me, and push forward in faith.

I plan to study my textbooks from the past several classes to make sure that I know this stuff forwards and backwards. Maybe this is God’s way of helping me pass my board exam the first time, and making me a better nurse practitioner in the long run. In any case, I bow to His wisdom and will continue to trust in Him to guide and direct my steps.

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About Steve Picray

I have been many things, but right now I am a registered nurse attempting to pay off my debt so that, God willing, I can be a pastor again someday. I have a wife and three kids. I am a conservative Christian (of the Baptist variety). This blog is about me: the things that happen to me, the things that interest me, and the things that bother me. If you have a question, just e-mail me at spicray AT gmail DOT com. God Bless!
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