Stressful Week

How’s your week been? I hope your week’s been better than mine!

Personally I’m really glad this week is finally over, as it’s been a very very long and very tiring week. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know I have been find things quite tough physically and emotionally for a while.

So this last week at work I’ve been on a training course with a number of my colleagues. The week comprised of two combined courses – the first 3 days long with a one hour “closed-book” exam at the end of the third day, and the second part of the course on the remaining two days with a two and a half hour “open-book” exam yesterday afternoon (which we were only allowed to sit if we passed Wednesday afternoon’s exam).

As I’m sure you can tell just from this, it was a fairly intensive course with a lot of theory. The fact that there were two exams during the week, just put added pressure on us.

It gets worse though…when I was originally asked if I wanted to go on the course I was given the outline of the course subject which easily sold the course to me as one I wanted to attend. Then a week before the course our training packs arrived – I opened mine, had a brief read of the covering letter which indicated there was a bit of pre-course reading to do, but due to all the things going on outside of work did no more with this until last weekend…that was when I discovered that there was estimated to be about 16 hours of pre-course reading to do before Monday! Needless to say there was no way I managed to do all this reading, I managed only about half (but I wasn’t the only one).

On Monday morning the course started, and as the day progressed it became apparent that we were going to be given homework to do every night of the course…I started to panic at this point as I know all the things I have to deal with outside of work each day and how exhausted I usually am when I get in from work…this week was going to be a struggle.

My predictions were accurate, it was a struggle this week as we ended up with about 3 hours of homework every night, so not only was I physically exhausted every day, but my brain hurt! By Tuesday afternoon I felt as though I was not absorbing any information as my brain had had enough by then. So as you can possibly imagine, I got myself into a bit of a state this week about how I felt I was doing on the course and the pressure to pass the exams.

Hubby was good though as he was the sensible person (just for a change, but don’t tell him I said that!), reminding me that even if I did fail the exams what difference would it make as I couldn’t be sacked just for failing an exam. Yes he was being the voice of reason, but to be honest it didn’t really stop me from getting very stressed about the course and the exams.

When Wednesday afternoon’s exam arrived I was very nervous, and was simply looking to pass the exam and didn’t really care what score I got. Much to my delight I passed the exam with a better score than I thought I would get…and everyone else passed too!

That made me feel a little more confident on Thursday however by the end of Thursday that optimism was gone, as during Thursday we did some past exam questions and I didn’t do well enough to pass some of the questions so would have struggled over all to gain enough marks to pass the final exam.

When Friday arrived I was stressed and just to make my day even more difficult I was in a lot of pain (my usual pain) and despite taking my painkillers since Thursday evening, they hadn’t made any impression on my pain…it was going to be a long and difficult last day on the course…my one consolation during the week has been that I’ve not been the only one who has felt as though they are struggling, although I’m not sure anyone else had been quite as stressed out about it as me, but I may be wrong.

So yesterday afternoon at 1pm, we sat down to sit our final exam. Two and a half hours late I finished answering the final question on the paper, and then about 30 seconds later time was called on the exam. It had been hard work trying to get through all the questions in the allocated time (again I wasn’t the only one who struggled time wise). The first few questions in the paper were ok however the further through the paper I got, the more difficult I found it, but maybe that was more down to the time pressure than the actual questions, I’m not sure.

At the end of the exam, not only did we have to hand in our answer paper, we also had to hand in the question papers too. In some ways this is good as it’s meant I’ve not been able to re-read some of the questions and then fret over potential wrong answers, as I now can’t remember any of the questions!

It will apparently be about two weeks before we get our exam results, so the worrying starts now!

I wonder how long I’ll have my results letter before I open it!

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