The Disasters Known As 'Exams'

by - 11:45 AM

My exam week is almost over. One more on Monday (German Literature) and then I'm done.
Exam week was nothing like I had imagined it.
Stressful? A little.
Scary? Only on day 1.
Frustrating? Totally.
After this week my brain feels like it's been stir fried or made into a pudding. You know I love reading, but over the last couple of days the only thing I seemed capable of was playing Lego Batman on my battered, old vintage Nintendo DS.
I know I actually should be revising for my German Literature exam, but my pudding-brain says NO every time I look at the book. So instead I'm going all out on everything that went wrong in my exam week - so far.

I already posted about my first exam, about the correctHuguenots. I thought things couldn't get more stupid than this. Later on, I found out it could. Keep reading, my friend, and you'll discover that Dutch exams can be so... moronic (hint: it's mostly English exams that are stupid).

If you've read this blog for a while, you know that I suck at Math. And even though E. had tutored me, I felt very incapable. At first I just sat there thinking about everything except Math.
When I finally started working, I discovered that I knew how to answer the first question, a small miracle.
But then I became hungry. We're allowed to have some food with us, so I had this brownie on my table yelling: 'Eat me, eat me! I know you want to!'
And my belly was like: 'You know he's right. Eat him.'
So the brownie, which was in a wrapper, had to be unwrapped, otherwise it would be distracting me during the rest of the exam (which was a full three hours). But as soon as I touched the wrapper it started crackling and making noises as if it were being killed. I swear to God, every sound seems loud in a quiet gymnasium, and this sounded as if World War Three had begun by bombing my school...
So I gave up on the brownie. And on the Math (until the last five minutes ofcourse, when I suddenly knew all the answers).

Now this was an exam I was actually looking forward to. It was a literature exam, for which we had to read George Orwell's 1984 (on which I'm going to do a post later on, because I wasn't allowed to have an opinion on it at school, so I'll do that here) and some short stories.
Our teacher had told us that themes and symbols would be an important part of the exam, so my friends and I spent two hours analyzing the stories. I even enjoyed it.
I was well prepared and when I sat down at my table, I thought: I'm gonna ace this test.
And then the test came.
Question 1: Goldstein is the ............. of Big Brother
Question 2: Mrs. Parsons is Winston's ..............
On the dots we had to fill in 'enemy' and 'neighbor'. This made me so frustrated. The whole exam was on a level of such utter stupidity that even in 8th grade I would've passed it.
But then there was the second part (the first part was all about 1984) which had questions such as: 'Jeb's mom did something. What did she do and why did this shock the MC?' When I looked up what Jeb's mom did (I only knew what she symbolized, not what she did), I found out that she actually did three different things, and all of these shocked the main character.
Oh, and last but not least, my favorite question on the exam:
Leo asks Toni if she's got the pink slip with her. Is the pink slip:

  • A) A piece of underwear
  • B) A parking ticket
  • C) The title-deed of the car
Well, seeing that these people are trying to sell their car, I think the correct answer must be A, a piece of Toni's underwear.

One word: disaster.
The sleeves of my hoodie got caught on a splinter that stuck out of the ancient wooden tables and the exam itself looked more like chemistry (I class I dropped way back in 9th grade because I didn't understand it and I always set everything on fire).
Moving on.

This exam was the highlight of my week. Well, not the exam itself, but what happened between Biology and Latin (these two were on the same day, but with four full hours of nothingness inbetween them). I went home with M. and we were going to revise for this exam. We ended up playing with her cat and watching Top Gear.
When we had to go back to school for our exam, we encountered a little problem... You see, my school is located in my hometown, which is separated from M.'s hometown by a river. There's one way to get to the other side: This bridge
Bridge! Why u no stay closed?!
And then, just as we wanted to cross the bridge, it opened. For a cargo ship. And we couldn't get to the other side anymore...
I panicked. Because at first, I thought we were going to make it, since they have traffic lights flashing and we could have slipped past them if we'd been a little quicker. But by the time we were on the bridge, the bars had come down and we were stuck on the wrong side of the river. I started dropping F-bombs.
We made it in time though, mostly because of the adrenaline rush. The same adrenaline rush that caused hyperactivity on my part during the exam. I just couldn't sit still. Which meant bad luck for the people around me, because this time I was assigned the dreaded Squeaky Chair. If my brownie during Math sounded like the beginning of WW III, then this was the gunfire that followed.

Dutch felt like a little break. We had to make a summary of a text, which is something you can get better at by practicing it, but revising doesn't help. Preparing is useless.
I went in, sat down, fell almost asleep even before the exam was handed out, then took a look at the exam and almost had a giggling fit. Why? I'll explain.
The day before, as I told you, M. and I watched an episode of Top Gear on which they built their own electrical car. They called it Geoff.
Meet Geoff, the ugliest 'car' ever
M. and I laughed so hard and so long. We couldn't stop anymore. This was definitely one of my favorite Top Gear episodes. And even though Geoff was ugly, we loved him. He's basically the reason why we stood for an open bridge, because we just had to see the end of the episode.
Anyway, I read the first two words of the exam. It was about electrical cars. For the rest of the exam I could only think of Geoff the electrical car.
Not that distraction mattered, because I had two full hours to finish the exam and the concentration span of a dead fruit fly, so after about 15 seconds I was working not-so-happily away on my summary. 
I finished it in 50 minutes, then left, went home and played Lego Batman for two hours instead of revising Social Science.

Social Science
This was another disaster. Not because I hadn't studied for it, but because once again, I had to sit on the Squeaky Chair. Oh, and I let two representatives of the Dutch Parliament disappear. I had to calculate the number of representatives per party in the Dutch equivalent of the House of Commons, and no matter what I did, I came two short. In the end I left it that way. I have decided that from now on our House of Commons only has 148 members. Who needs those extra two anyway?

Weekend isn't an exam. But if it was, at least I'd pass it. Because this weekend I'm doing absolutely nothing, just like it's meant to be :)

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