I find myself once again looking at MW assignment results. This is a part of the program that did not exist when I started back in the 2008-2009 academic year. Back then you had to pay a single MW to grade a set number of theory papers and you received somewhat cryptic guidance back. I remember vividly an early theory essay where I received a “D” and there was the comment “It is unclear if the author is a native English speaker.” Having graduated from Cornell only a few years before, that one stung quite a bit. Now the process is far more formalized and is included in the yearly tuition. It covers all aspects of the exam from Theory to Practical and also begins the process of the Research Paper. This year I have submitted one of all three parts and received my feed back on all of them. Funny enough I seem to have reverted to the dreaded “C” grade on my theory essays. For those who have followed this blog for a while you’ll know that “C” is the grade I absolutely despise. A “B” is a passing grade so a “C” is a thanks for sending something and you didn’t make a total fool of yourself grade but not good enough to pass. My practical paper, which is the part of the exam that I got hung up on after I passed theory and the entire reason I’m doing all of this over again, was a passing paper. The Research Paper feed back was positive overall with a few minor comments to some additions I could make. Which brings me back to the theory section.
When I passed theory back in 2012, I was all over it. I had it down to a science. It would seem now that I have forgotten what it was that got me over the line based on the single essay that I’ve had graded. It makes sense though if one thinks that holistically, I studied for the practical far longer than I did the theory so one could assume that it would be harder to get back in the saddle on that one than the practical portion of the exam. However, the theory is the one section I did actually pass so I have to believe that somewhere in my brain is the key to unlocking the theory mystery again. In January, I go back to San Francisco, to attend the North American course days once again. I hope by the time I get there I will have figured out once again how to write a stellar theory essay and can continue my good trend with the practical exam.
If nothing else, this program is humbling. One can be an expert in one small facet of the industry but a baby in others and the MW is designed to be the great equalizer in those aspects. It is the sand storm that wears down the fluff knowledge to the hard core foundation then rebuilds that knowledge slowly, brick by brick, until your understanding is unshakeable and your entire way of thinking has been altered to always ask “Why?” “How?” and “What is that used for?”, never to assume you know the answer. My aim this year, as it has been all the other years I have prepped for the exam, is to pass. This year, however, I am relaxed about it because I’ve already failed it more times than most people attempt it so there is really nothing left to worry about that I haven’t already experienced. As always, I’ll keep my readers posted as I go through the year culminating with my results notice next September. Wish me luck!