Why does this feel easier than real school?

I’m writing a final today, for a Petroleum Geology course I’m taking at SAIT towards my Upstream Petroleum Industry Certificate.  Now, it’s rocks for jocks, basically. Which I took in university many years ago.  But I didn’t have grades like this.  Now, I’ll be the first to admit that this in an online course with open book tests (except for the final).  And it’s stuff I already partially know, either from university, or work, or listening to my mother’s lectures on plate tectonics in childhood.  The course came with a rock kit that was exactly the kind of thing I would have adored as a kid.  So it’s really, all in all, not a surprising that I’ve done well in this course.

But on the other hand, it’s strange.  I am the classic B student.  My whole life, I’ve achieved Bs.  Hard earned, gruelingly prepared for Bs in say, calculus, and easy Bs in world geography.  The amount of work rarely seemed to change the outcome.  (I went through school at an era where things were curved for a 70something average.  I swear my sister, 5 grades below, had everything curved for an 80something average.  She went through school in the Self Esteem Matters years…)   For the first time, doing the work seems to be followed through by good grades, and I find that very interesting.  Also, the work is so much easier.  Rattling off some facts about seismic surveys, or metamorphic rocks, or contour lines is pretty easy.  especially compared to writing a 20 page essay on the failure of military intelligence in the Falklands War, which is the stuff I used to do in school. 

Though, I should probably mention that I found 3 errors on the tests.  Two straight up incorrect answers.  (A seismic vibrosis truck is not an explosive!  Shale is a clastic rock!  How am I the first person to notice this??)   And I didn’t get all the answers right on assignment 1 right, but I’d written out my explanation of the reasons I wanted to drill in spot B, and she liked it and gave me the full marks.  (Drilling at the bottom of a creek bed that floods every year still doesn’t sound like a good answer to me.) 

Whatever.  I got a final to write, and as David points out, I basically only need 10% to pass the course. I think I should probably be fine…  🙂


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