The Midterm

Prior to last weeks strike, students were filling classrooms preparing for midterms at Bloomsburg University. The stress, the knowledge, and the books were all just memories until this morning when it was time to return to class again. As 8 o’clock approached, I prepared myself (mentally) to go over the midterm our class had taken before the strike.

In 50 minutes (really about 45 though), I completed my Bible as Literature midterm. During the midterm, I recalled what it meant to be temporarily faithful, as I begged God to help me get through the short answers and the essay.

The test was broken down into four parts: Multiple Choice, Identification, Short Answer, and The Essay.

On the day of the test I quickly breezed through the multiple choice questions due to the anxiety of the looming essay. Today during class we went over the exam and I was beside myself. All of the answers I had gotten wrong, I knew the correct answers to. In my opinion, my grade was a direct reflection of the lack of time allotted to take the midterm. I understandably got majority of the questions wrong on the test, as I did not have time to go back and fix my work as I normally would do at the end of taking an exam. The content was there, however my nerves screwed me up, once again and I was unable to regurgitate the necessary information in the given amount of time. Today during class, Dr. Martin stated that the test scores reflected the our studying (or lack there of.) This caused a knot to grow in my stomach because his generalization of my class not reviewing the material was unfair.

Prior to taking the exam, I set aside two hours every day for one week to study the content. I had kept up with the class readings and also regularly attended class to follow the discussion and gather important notes. I created a study guide based on the outline Dr. Martin had provided the class and pre-wrote my essay as he had suggested. Unfortunately, the only issue I had with the exam, was the time allotted. I understand this is not decided upon by my professor, however he had stated that we as students would certainly cut it close do to the work needed for each section. He also clarified that he too had taken exams like this while he was in college, so an exam like this would be a breeze for him. With these two facts in mind, I felt as though I had been set up to fail. I hadn’t attended college with my professor, so the fact that he could breeze through these exams (after taking them numerous times in his life) meant nothing to me. Sure, it gave me hope; if he could do it, maybe I could do it. Boy, was I wrong. No amount of studying would have prepared me for those 50 minutes (but really 45 minutes) of chaos surrounding the thirty-five questions (plus essay) midterm.

Recalling his words as we went over the exam, I had felt as though I had been set up to fail. I knew the content and I was prepared, however the grade illustrates that I was unprepared and almost completely uneducated in regards to the course content.

(College exams teach you that life is not fair. Had I had this exam on a Tuesday or Thursday and had an hour and fifteen minutes to work on it, I would have had the time to go back and fix my mistakes. But I didn’t, and my grade was a clear reflection of that.)

Unfortunately, it is very easy for me as a student to quickly find something to blame other than myself. However, after considering the amount of time I spent preparing for this midterm, I stand by my opinion.

Fortunately, my pre-written essay earned my 24 out of 30 points, which greatly aided my D grade. I would like to think the essay was chosen with me in mind, due to its topic:

“Throughout the semester both in lecture and in the reading, you have been exposed to a number of different genres of literature. An overriding theme from the outset of the semester is that the Bible is a love story between the creator and the creature. In your essay write a well developed and thoughtfully considered essay illustrating how this statement is evident in three genres of Old Testament literature” – Dr. Martin

I will always remember, on September 9th, 2016, when Dr. Martin said to my class, “The Bible is a love story between the creator and all things created.” I had never considered the correlation before, but to me, that is the most beautiful way to look at the Bible.

In my essay I used poetry, Psalm, and narrative as my three genres to illustrate the quote above. I found passages in each genre and described how they illustrated not only from creator to creature but also from creature to creator.  One example of this is Psalm 136. In my essay, I wrote:

“The second passage that demonstrates the love from creature to creator is Psalm 139. Although not stated directly, this Psalm is a list of thanks for all that God ( creator) does for his people ( creature). This shows their love and gratitude for their creator. The Psalm repeats the phrase “for his steadfast love endures forever.” To the reader, this illustrates the writer acknowledging all the way God shows his love. This passage refers to when God saved the Hebrews and parted the Red Sea, which saved the people from Egypt’s harshness. God saving the Hebrews illustrates his love for his people.”

Can you think of a passage in the Bible that illustrates the love story between creator and creature? Feel free to leave your Bible verse down below!

Until next time,

xo Bri

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