Assess Without Stress

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We had part one of the Mongol trial today (along with a science quiz and English presentation of a play) and I was really nervous for it. I’m really glad I do drama because it helps prepare me for events like this so much! However, improv has never been one of my best skills and trials involve a lot of improv.

Since the trial isn’t over, I’m having a hard time judging where we are at right now because all we have done are the opening statements and a few witnesses from the prosecution have been examined and cross-examined. When we were initially done with the class I was still just full of adrenaline and excited to be done for the day, and a little happy with how people were scared of me as a lawyer do to my seriousness (acting skills for the win!) (I even got permission for all AP World History students to wear costumes for the trial all day, even though really only a few did. I was one of them and I actually wore the suit jacket I wore in a play last year as a lawyer which was awesome.)

After a little though I started to get paranoid. One of the jurors had said that he thought I spoke to fast in my opening, and used too many leading questions. Other people said my opening was great, (in fact they said the attorney for the prosecution was too slow), and I know the leading questions was a problem even if they didn’t object, but the jurors are the ones that A) make the final ruling and B) help determine our grade.

As far as the trial goes, I’m not sure who I would say is a head right now, but I know their witnesses had practically no evidence and my captain should have objected more; we know that. However, looking back, I think my immediate concern was for the grade. The attorney gets graded the most in the team portion because that is the person who speaks the most; I was worried more about bringing down the team grade then the actual trial–why?

Has school really just made me this paranoid? I was texting a few people on my team to ask them how they think it went and at one point I just said, “I know I shouldn’t be paranoid, but I can’t help it, after years of people comparing their grades to mine it causes a mental problem which I hate and can’t get rid of.” And it’s true, people compare themselves to me at school a lot. While I’m proud of when I get a good grade, I really hate getting compared to because then there is an expectation. If I even do something little wrong, then it has to be talked about how” so and so did better than πnya”.

This may even be why I hate grades the most; I get stressed over what will happen after we are given the grades back.

How would this trial be different if there was no grade taken for it? I know I would work just as hard because when I was preparing I wasn’t concerned with the grade, it was always about winning the trial. This is the most formal mock trial I’ve done, so I’ve been trying to get lots of feedback, but with the grade portion, I feel like I can’t have the option to “fail-up”. It needs to be good now even with no previous experience because it will impact our grade as the last one before finals in a big section.

I don’t like grades, but I try really hard to make good ones, and now it has almost become a cure in its own because I stress over them. HMW assess without the stress?

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