Thursday, 20 December 2012

Happy Holidays!

The holidays have long settled in, and Christmas is around the corner. Surely, we'd be doing a lot of things, such as travel, read, bake, hike and so much more. As 2012 draws to a close, perhaps we should reflect of what we've done this year. In the Library, many things have been done and achieved. A notable zenith is being recognised as the best Library in the Petaling Utama district. As we ponder, we should look ahead, and see where we're headed off, make new resolutions and just hope for the best. With that, I'd like to wish everyone a happy holiday and a blessed new year.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Penilaian Menegah Rendah 2012

Initially, I wanted to make this a four-part post, I've decided that four parts is a bit too long. This is so as I keep delaying it and I'm in a holiday mood.

Anyways, there is nothing much to write about the examinations itself. The entire examination period can be summarised in five words: rise, revise, discuss, do and be relieved  (maybe panic for some people). However, this is a blog post and everyone expects a story of some sort so that what I am going to do. This is all based on what I have experienced. Any relation to persons living or dead is purely coincidental. I've always wanted to write that. Okay, moving on.

I would wake up every morning hoping that the exams would be what I've prepared myself for. I would have a healthy breakfast, have my mother wish me luck from the door, have my transporter remind me in case I've forgotten to take my examination slip or identification card, then I'm off to school. I would usually take a nap in the car because I would wake up at half-past five every morning as my transporter would arrive at my house at ten past six. Once I reached school, I would go to the canteen to see if any of my friends were there. If they are, I would join them for revision. We would ask questions about certain topics or about anything we were not sure of. We would also help each other by telling each other extra facts.

At twenty past seven, the teacher-in-charge will call the students to gather at the assembly area to check attendance and in case any students forgot to bring their slips or identification cards. Once that is out of the way, according to the subjects tested for the day, the teachers of those respective subjects would give us some advice on answering questions, some tips and a little pep talk so we all wouldn't be so nervous. The microphone would then be passed back to the teacher-in-charge, and she would give us a few words of encouragement and we were allowed to go to the washrooms before the examination starts.

There was a total of 16 classrooms used for the  examinations. The first classroom has 20 students, while the rest has 25 students each. I was in the third classroom. We were all arranged according to the numbers on our examination slips. I was lucky enough to have a seat underneath the ceiling fan as I wouldn't be sweating as much. On the down side, my seat is in the middle of the entire room. During the examinations, we would encounter certain questions that seem tricky to us, and also the ones that we have been aiming to ace and the question is exactly like how you predicted it to be. For the hard questions, I would leave them unanswered first so I can focus on other questionsl. There were a few questions that I predicted and actually came out in the examinations. I was trying to resist the urge to feel euphoric, but obviously I can't just yell out loud during the examinations because we have to remain silent at all times. I still wanted to do it so I did it in a whisper. Maybe a whisper for me wasn't so much of a whisper as the invigilator looked my way. I had to pretend that it wasn't me. Awkward....

Speaking of invigilators, they were not as strict as I thought they would be. For years, our teachers have been telling us 'In school, you know your teachers but in the real examinations, the invigilators come from another school. They will not give you any chances.' They made it sound as if dropping your pencill will unleash all the wrath of hell on earth. I have to say, some of the invigilators even shared their experiences of them taking the examination back in the day; making us feel slightly less stressed and nervous, which is a good thing. There was also an invigilator who vented out his hatred for History. However, there were some invigilators who just look plain mean, and they were. I remember that, while I was standing at the hallway talking to my friends from the second class, I guess I was blocking an invigilator's way, so she used her purse and 'whacked' from behind. I had to squeeze behind a classroom door so she could walk through the sea of students. At that moment, I thought, what happened to 'Excuse me, you're blocking my way. Can you please move aside?'. I was just like 'Oh, no you didn't' in that ghetto voice.

As the days pass and more papers were done and over with, freedom crept closer. Everyday when I get home, my Twitter timeline was filled with complaints about the examinations, friends mentioning each other and also, links to answers for the papers of the day. Some people, who I assumed to have already marked their papers to check their possibility in getting an A, were like 'there goes my chance of getting an A' and "No! Just. One. More. Question D: ' or something along those lines. I prefer not checking my answers as that would ruin my mood as I know I would rather maintain my 'yearn for freedom and not know, than to know and feel depressed.

Overall, the four days went quite well. Those two weeks of tuition every day did pay off. It was tiring, but it paid off. It was hard to say goodbye to my tuition teachers who've helped me throughout the year. They spent so many hours of extra classes to give us maximum preparation for the examination. Also the teachers in school who taught us for three years and the teachers who taught us in the intensive revision classes in school. I still remember, two weeks before the examinations, when our timetables were rearranged completely, my class had four periods of History back-to-back. It was sheer horror.

Now, back to the time when we were studying every day and doing every exercise ever created to prepare ourselves. When the exams ended, there was that empty feeling. We spent so much time studying that once the examinations were over, it was like there is nothing we can do anymore. Despite that, the feeling of getting rid of your old books is pure bliss. I'm giving them to my cousin. I've also realised that all the exercises the teachers have been giving us throughout the past three years can be piled up and be as tall as my living room sofa!The recycling guy would be delighted at the sight of it, that's for sure.

I guess this will be the end of my post which I have been delaying for a very long time. Forgive me.....

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