I had a quiz last week in my difficult class. It was meant to be a way to weed out the people who weren’t supposed to be in the class (i.e., don’t have the prerequisites). I felt fairly comfortable with the course material up until that point (I even explained the class notes to my study group), but I still failed the quiz. It was pretty demoralizing.
Fortunately, failure is relative. I earned about 56% on the quiz, but a 50% was considered an A. My professor seemed to think that I did a “superb” job. He even said he was impressed by me.
I’ve talked to my professor outside of class a few times, so he knows how hard I work. He’s seen me helping another student too. He clearly has a good impression of me, because he’s mentioned (on more than one occasion) that he might have a research project for me to work on that would count towards my master’s degree! I’ve only been in his class for less than four weeks!
I actually have a small fear of doing academic research. Because of my experiences in math graduate school, I don’t have much confidence in my research abilities. I’m very afraid of not meeting my professor’s expectations. On the other hand, working with my professor would be a great opportunity. I wonder if doing research would be different this time around?