Tuesday afternoon we started doing graded faults. I did pretty good on the first one, and then a silly mistake on the second one cost me a lot. Yesterday afternoon, the third graded fault, was a horror show. It was an extremely tough fault, and nobody did very well on it, but my partner and I were within three points of failing. Yes, I, who had a 3.81 GPA prior to this troubleshooting, nearly failed an evolution. Fortunately, this morning's final fault was a breeze, and four of the six groups got a perfect score. I was in one of those groups. That made me very happy.
So there's just one final evolution left. The comprehensive exam. Monday morning. Two hundred seventy six points; four hours allotted for completion. Realistically, I'm expecting at least a 3.7. The weekend will be saturated with review of material, and not just because I have to spend three hours each night (even Friday night) studying.
I've often thought to myself that NFAS, at least for EM's and ET's, is structured a lot like a Tour de France, with each exam like a stage. (There are usually 21 Tour stages, including the prologue; there are, for us, 19 exams.) We start with the first math exam, a small point value test which sets the initial order. Then we have Basic Electricity, much like a Tour's earlier flat stages. Electronic Fundamentals is akin to the first mountain section (the Pyrénées or the Alps). Then is DMP, like the brief respite between the two mountain passes, followed by the last course (I&CE or Equip), the other mountain set. Comp is, or at least should be, the icing on the cake, the victory lap around the Champs-Elysées. Both NFAS and the Tour are long and arduous, and many question the motivations for undertaking either. But once you're done, you have an unparalleled sense of accomplishment, and that can't ever be taken away.
I have not given a lot of thought to what I'm going to do over the two weeks I'll be back in New York. I might, and I emphasize might, take a weekend and go up to either Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun, the two Indian casino/hotel complexes in eastern Connecticut. I know I'd like to be more active than I was over Christmas standdown, but I don't know what I want to do. Definitely also spend some of that Wal-Mart gift card. This is something I'll flesh out more after Monday.