Saturday, 11 October 2014

Exams and Half Term = Curse!

If one single word could define me as a person right now, tired would certainly fit the bill. An word that precisely expresses my early-rising tendencies, hard-working attitude and deep-in-the-gut feeling, tired is perhaps the only word that truly describes me at this very moment because it is unlike any other.

A week of full attendance at a school that I make no secret of disliking (though I rarely, if never declare it in writing) is the ultimate brain-drainer, which burns the energy I gradually regain throughout the weekend within an hour of returning to lessons. 

After ages of sticking my head into workbooks that are occasionally marked by my teachers, an end - or a temporary one, at least - is nearly in sight. That end is the week (with the addition of the Friday and weekend before, of course) that I'll have off from full-blown drama towards the end of October, which I've been anticipating literally from the moment that the term commenced in the first week of September. 

Half-term will be my short-term saviour from the classrooms piled with people who, despite now putting a name to the face, remain as alien and unknown as they were when I first encountered them. They might seem to know everything about me - for people talk, though I'm often the last person to find out - but do I even know where to start with their background and who they truly are behind their rolled-up blazers?

On the other hand, at least I will also be granted ten days of lie-ins as late as I want which, if the entire week could be remodelled on a Saturday morning, would last until the early afternoon! My heart reaches its peak of happiness each Saturday because it is the day that I always wait for, getting even giddier than a little girl counting the days down to Christmas (who, upon thinking about it, was probably me). 

Life would certainly be as easy as tucking into cake (preferably of a calorie-free variety) if it could be altered to suit our tastes, but sadly some of our desires might be pushed aside at times - as much as it might pain us. And yes, a wave of desperation hits me at thought of not getting my man-sized slice of cake. Including, dare I say it, the calorific kind. 

However, my mind hasn't just leapt to thoughts of school-free days as yet because, during next week, I'll be facing an enemy for whom I reserve the sincerest feelings of hatred. If you assumed that pieces of paper beholding your idea of hell were restrained until the end of the year, how I begrudge letting you in on a secret: you're wrong! 

From English to the mother of all horrors, Maths, I shall be sitting assessments in various subjects next week, as a means of finding out how I'm getting on with my work, the thought of which sends shivers down my spine. Although these tests are minor and a hundred times less scary than the exams (including several actual GCSEs) that I will sit next summer, I still detest these tests because they are attached with unnecessary stress - how is it fair that I revise stuff that has barely been explored by the teacher, who is mainly responsible for instilling their lessons into our brains?

Leaping from one subject to another is exactly like leapfrog; we never stay in one place for enough time. And, at this point of the year, our brains are still adjusting to the new subjects that we are studying, especially the ones that we chose as GCSE options and were previously not on the curriculum. Therefore, is it any wonder that Maths is my biggest bugbear of all?

In fact, Maths has been winding me up from day one some of it does not make sense: whenever my teacher is describing it, I struggle to translate the words into English or, at a push, French. Not only am I half-bored to death, but two-thirds of my Maths lessons are held in the final period of the day, so my mind is mainly focused on getting home - and as far away from the insane world of equations as possible.

You see. the subjects I automatically toss into the oh-so-boring category - Maths, Physics (which is unfortunately among my tests next week) and, if I've found myself lost in translation, occasionally Biology - neither strike me as entertaining nor will be influential on my future career as a journalist. The teachers might sometimes put their chairs on top of the desk to explain why the colour red looks like red, but I forget all about it as soon as I walk out the classroom, my life not magnificently changed by what I've been 'taught'.

It saddens me that, while I'm so far away from sitting the majority of my GCSEs in Year 11, I'm already starting to feel like a guinea pig, whose only worth is take tests that are hardly meaningful and waste valuable time that could be dedicated to having a proper lesson.

Despite sharing the emotions of a rodent, please be assured that I'm not freaking out about English which, compared to my other tests, is the very least of my worries. In fact, I'm rather looking forward to letting rip whilst writing my rant - the theme of the assessment - next Thursday because the words have been burning inside of me for weeks, the flames getting hotter and hotter as the momentum has increased. And the theme? Discrimination against the home-schooled. As it is a subject that I feel very strongly about, you can merely imagine how I will tore into those who have discriminated against me - and hopefully gain a good grade by not holding back!

And, believe it or not, I'm quite annoyed that I will probably not be sitting a test in French which is my second-favourite subject after English, or my two GCSE options, Catering and Media. Saying that, I doubt that you can be tested on an episode of Sherlock (which I watched and fell in love with in Media) in an actual exam, though I would always prefer to discuss Benedict Cumberbatch's dashing looks than the reasons linked with battered fish evaporating in a cardboard box in Physics. Besides, most of my classmates in top-set French are predicted a C - the minimum pass grade - so it might look a bit embarrassing if they failed a test, though I would happily sit it for fun!

What I really dislike about exams is the anticipation that grows stronger than the most stubborn weed, which is almost as nerve-wracking as the actual exam itself. Luckily, I partly killed some anticipation yesterday by sitting a History test which, thanks to revising with my dad the night before (who absorbs historical facts like football scores), greatly relieved my nerves. As I swapped Geography for History almost halfway through the term, I hope that my grade won't be too heavily affected, yet I feel much more enthusiastic about the history of medicine rather than the functioning of rivers.

If I truly had the courage to do it, I wouldn't put it pass myself to talk about exams, half-term and curses all day, but a packet of Strepsils would be needed to relieve a sore throat. Although I'm still fighting the remains of an ugly cold, I soldiered on through the sniffles and cravings to sip my way through a bottle of Calpol - and got some important work done.

As much as I enjoy having the occasional day off, my mind wanders to what I'm missing out on, which possibly makes me sound like the most boring person in the world. On the whole, I'm a working person: doing very little or nothing simply isn't for me. But having that option taken away from you? Illness, including minor colds and tickly throats, can create more bother than necessary, but I got through the worst of it.

While part of myself freaks out big-time at the prospect of tests next week, I hope to bear in mind that, in less than a fortnight, half-term will have arrived. Lie-ins, days out and even Halloween (whose spooky-themed sweets I no longer enjoy, but get a kick out of gazing at) are no longer too far away, instead on the nearing horizon.

In the meantime, I shall be battling the curse of termly tests and all that is entailed with them!

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