A Trip Down Memory Lane (Episode 3)

It’s June 2020, and I am tired of the year already. I love my work, but lately, I have had these headaches. As a result, I am struggling at work.

Well, I finally know what’s up, Malaria and typhoid.

****

Mock exams and Final exams In June

Twenty years ago, I was 16 going on 17. I had just come through what I thought was the most stressful time of my life. The mock exams a month prior had been horrible. We wrote 25 papers in one week, and I also had my French and Religious Studies Finals.

I remember being out of breath, literally. My nose is running, hey, it was already winter. It was a chilly morning as I walked to Mrs. S’s house to go and record my French Orals. I was so nervous; I was wound up like a clock.

Photo by Retha Ferguson on Pexels.com

French was not an easy subject for me, especially the listening and speaking part. I was often caught stumbling and stammering when called upon to speak in class. Yet I kept at it, determined to become better. It helped that my teacher was encouraging and gave me the tools I needed.

However, as I slowly made my way to her house that morning, the magnitude of what I was about to do, scared me. Then doubts began to plague me.

Was I ready? Did I study those picture cards enough?

A few days later, Mrs S approached me

Bethany, you know how you have be struggling with the listening portion of the exam. Well you have a choice to make, to sit for the regular exam with the others, or you take a different exam. However if you do so, you will not be able to get grades above C.

I looked at her, it seemed like eternity passed

Then her daughter who lived in the same wing of the hostel said,

Bethany, just write the exam with all of us, you never know on that day, you just might be blessed to hear quickly enough

I considered what she said, and found wisdom in it, and so I said,

I will sit for the listening exam like everyone.

***

Religious studies now that was a subject I could write in my dreams. Everyone knew it, and it was expected that I deliver an A. I remember at the end of Form 3 filling the form for deciding the classes you were going to take in Form 4 and 5. My Dad automatically said I was choosing Religious Studies.

The truth I was torn between two subjects Religious Studies and Art. Art was a subject I had loved ever since I learned to hold a pencil in my hand. As a child if I was not somewhere reading a book, I was most likely drawing. For a long time it was my way of expressing myself before I found writing at the age of 15.

However, I don’t think my My dad had any of that in mind, instead he was looking at the potential grades I would achieve. When I returned the document to Mr. S the Assistant Headmaster after the holidays, he was so relieved I had chosen religious studies. It was then I knew that there were expectations.

Two years later, it was time to fulfill those expectations. Thankfully I got through a rough patch in Form 4, where I struggled with the format of answering questions and had gotten some ”B’s” as a result.

I had learned the vital lesson that pride goes before the fall. I had worked hard to get those A’s again and determined not to rest on my laurels but to strive continuously.

Now the moment of truth had arrived. I had written and submitted my essays on Persecution and Racism. Now it was time to sit for two exam papers.

The first one was a breeze. The second one looked like it would be super easy. There were still about one hour left, and I was done. I was tempted to stand up and hand in my paper. After all, there were mock exams, and I had to study.

Instead, I decided to look over my answers again, and then I saw it. I had written a wrong answer to one question. In my excitement and the haste to start, I had misinterpreted the question.

I sat there in the examination room with my mouth wide opened. I quickly closed it and whispered a prayer of Thanksgiving and promptly canceled the wrong answer and began to write furiously.

Thirty-five minutes later, I was satisfied with my work. I glanced around, and everyone was still working. I looked down at my purple Cassio, and we still had 25 minutes on the clock.

I took one more look at my paper, and then I got up and walked to the invigilator and handed it over, and walked out of the room.

***

2 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing this with us. I can perfectly related with the anxiety one feels before an exam especially when it is a course you are struggling with. More grace dear.
    Happiest birthday too!

    Like

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