As I'm sure you've all noted in your Knickers Maloney Stalker Journals, I'm in the last semester of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. This morning, I had one of my final pieces of assessment - a medical calculations exam - which was one of those lovely get-100%-or-get-out jobbies; you fail and have to repeat the semester, do not pass go, do not collect your degree on the way out.

So. We had an hour to do this bad boy, then if we didn't get it there was a resit about an hour later (last chance saloon). Only basic calculators, a pencil and scribble paper allowed. It was on in the computer lab, because it is a computer generated thing where you pick the subjects and then go through yadda yadda till you get to the end and can generate a certificate of completion.

Thing is, if you get one wrong, you have to exit the program and start again from scratch. The tutors don't care how many times you do this, as long as you get that certificate at the end of your attempts.

There were about ... 30 of us in there, and some people were raising their hands to be signed off as competent with their certificates after about half an hour. Then by about 45 minutes in, maybe half the people were done. By the end of the hour, half a dozen were left, and were told to stop and come back for the second attempt.

I was one of those six people.

Beforehand, I really thought I'd be one of those vaulted few leaving early. I'm good at maths! I know my numbers and how to make them dance for me. I have enough common sense to realise and correct myself if it works out that I'm giving someone 45kg of morphine (FYI, it should never be more than a kilo at a time).

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I sped through the first half, then ran smack into trouble. Over and over. Because it was the part where you are titrating a drip to give X drips per minute according to the patient's weight, the rate the medication has to go, what it's in etc. If you've ever seen an IV drip, you've seen that little rectangle with a wheel in it on the drip line. That little thing adjusts how fast the medication drips through to the vein.

Because this was a computer-generated exam, and, I don't know, because flashy illustrations are flashy, this part isn't just 'put in the dpm rate'. Ohhhhhh no, you have to move the little pretend wheel so the pretend drips are dripping at the correct rate on the screen.

Can you move your cursor via mouse exactly where you need it to be every time on a table? Because I can't. It jerks slightly, no matter what I do, from too high to too low and never the sweet spot in between. My rate needed to be in that little bit of the screen exactly, roughly the size of this "I" and the FUCKER WOULDN'T. It just jumped from that top serif to that bottom one. Or from 10 dpm to 13.

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Okay, so maybe the program accounts for the inexact nature of the required action. Maybe that is close enough.

Does it fuck. Incorrect. Start again.

Incorrect. Start again.

About five times. Finally, I called over the tutor and explained what was going on. My rate was right, I just can't make that wheel stop where I want it to! Look - And the wheel stops right where I need it to. Tutor looks at me like I'm a dog trying to get through a doorway with a broom in my mouth.

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"Just have faith in yourself!" She chirped.

Incorrect. Start again.

And again.

Time's up.

I logged out, and went to the toilet. That's not an important part of this story, but hey, that's what I did. Deal with my truthiness y'all.

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On my second attempt hour - the last attempt hour - that was all that stood between me and graduation in June, I was so fast at the first half I was doing that shit in my head. One tablet! 2.3mls! 35 mls per hour! Half a tablet and a saucy wink!

Little fucking wheel.

Incorrect. Start again.

And again.

Finally - FINALLY - I got that little bastard to obey me, and with 20 minutes to go started on the next one.

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And didn't check the drop rate had changed from 60 per min to 20, so all my calcs were off.

Incorrect. Start again.

With five minutes to spare, and only one other person - an ESL student - in the room still going, I got my certificate, and to breathe out.

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I have never felt so stupid in my life. Other people get close to failing for normal things, like not understanding, or making mistakes, or buses exploding on their way to a test. Me? Nearly foiled by my inability to move a stupid little picture of a wheel so that the stupid pictures of drops fell in the right tempo. How lame does that sound as a reason? This trumps the time last semester that I got 4% on an assignment because my computer didn't open the examples properly and I went about creating the poster completely wrong.

Shudder.