Today I got the lowest grade that I have ever earned on a test. It made me feel like crap. Because of this, I may or may not get the grade for the course that I need in order for this course to "count". Everyone keeps telling me not to worry, and that it will work out, and that grades don't matter in grad school, but none of that really helps much. I have decided to work my butt off in this last section of the course, so that (for the first time all semester) I really feel like I understand the material. There is one more test left, and if I do well everything will be ok. I am not exactly sure how "well" I have to do to make everything ok, but hopefully I can do it.
I really don't care about the grade itself. This is a very challenging class, and I have some issues with the way it was organized, and I now realize it was not a good choice for an intro course in my new field. I am, however, stubborn, and in possession of a decent sized ego (fine, I admit it). So, this somewhat arbitrary grade that I need to earn is a matter of pride as well as practicality. Things will get complicated (in terms of requirements and such) if this course does not "count".
If it doesn't work out there is always plan B. In Plan B I go back to teaching middle school science. Plan B has started to look pretty appealing lately. If it weren't for that pesky feeling like a failure for the rest of my life thing, I might seriously consider it. Now its time to stop blogging and go type up my notes from class, actually do the readings (I should probably even take notes on them), and throughout all this I need to write down questions to ask the TA about everything I don't understand. Interestingly, this is more or less the advice I gave my students when they were struggling in a class.