Going into today, I was pretty unsure what to expect. I’d spent the past week working on a case presentation with my group in UGBA 106, and we had to present it today, right after the midterm.
Double whammy. Let’s just say I slept a total of twelve hours the past three days.
So how did it begin? Well, a week ago, I had chosen a group of kids to work with for the case comp. Since we had three Cal students in the group, Robinson told us that one of us had to split off. Apparently, I am no good at rock-paper-scissors.
I was thrown into a random group of international students who were also split off their groups. We also drew the case that was on the same day as our midterm. Setbacks for sure, but hey, these things happen, right? I was going to make the best of it.
We met that Saturday. I spent the whole session explaining the case to them. This was definitely going to take longer than I had hoped.
The next session, however, went much more smoothly. Our group – Chloe, Shan Shan, and Justin – was bright, and they came with ideas and really helped set up the backbone of our argument.
We left feeling much better, and by the next session, we were well into the specifics of the case. I’d started on the PowerPoint, and everyone had high hopes that we were going to pull through.
The office hour with Robinson was just as encouraging. Robinson liked our ideas, made some suggestions, and told us that we had good material and a potentially strong case.
Then last night. We met at six to practice our case. I’d forgotten that I was working with a group whose first language wasn’t English. To put it mildly, the first run-through was bad. I didn’t want to panic, so we kept at it.
By the fourth run-through, everyone, myself included, had improved quite a bit. I didn’t feel that it was presentation-ready yet, but it was something to work with. Oh, and thanks again to James for the critique.
After we finished, I looked at the clock, and five hours had gone by. That’s right…it was eleven, and I still needed to study for my eight chapter midterm. I took a nap, woke up around midnight, and studied until 3:30.
Today was the big day. I woke up at 7, arrived at class at 8, and started the midterm. It was surprisingly easier than I had expected. Feeling pretty confident, I left for break to prepare for the case.
As the clock ticked down to 9:25, we got ready, encouraged each other to give it our all, and hoped for the best.
To quote Radiohead, it was like a jigsaw falling into place. My teammates started off strong. I was shocked. This was leaps and bounds better than I remembered. Everyone in class was visibly impressed. Even Robinson was impressed.
We relaxed and just let the words come. By the end of the case, during the Q&A session (one of the toughest parts), Robinson was actually on our side whenever students questioned us about the legitimacy and alternatives.
It was great. We finished up, and Robinson called us up to give us our score. 100 PERCENT. We were ecstatic. He told us that we had a very strong case, that we covered all aspects, and that we had a great presentation overall.
That made my day, possibly my whole summer. Here I was, the night before, suffering and forcing myself to go on. The amazing results reminded me that as long as I give it my best shot, good things will happen.
Our group left, promised to have a dinner celebration next week, and I biked home and immediately fell asleep. It was one of the most restful sleeps I’ve had in a long time.
The midterm turned out great, too. Things don’t always seem to go your way, but often, they’ll turn out so much better than you expect. Again, I just want to say great job to Chloe, Shan Shan, and Justin. You guys were amazing and really pulled through.
UGBA 106 at randomtidbitsofthought.wordpress.com.