Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Gone but not forgotten.

Well, here I am - exams finished for the day and somehow still alive. I do have more to say about the past few days, which I will write tomorrow perhaps on my day of self-indulgence, without any revision.

When I was in school I have up to 8 classes of 45 minutes a day and I often spent my free periods catching up on work and then went home and did a bit more work before I went to bed, but since university my body seems to go into shock when I put it through any academic strain. Like I said before exams take so much energy out of me so my 6 hours of exam today means that in my mind I have been up for over 24 hours! I mean...a fair few of these hours are figurative and invented, but god they feel awful. I did have a brief nap of about 40 minutes, but I woke up kind of feeling like I had been hit by a bus and like I wanted to vomit which was pretty unpleasant. But a slice of pizza and a package from Grainne (thank youuuuuuu) later and I found enough energy to at least amble on over towards the Field House (once again) and put my self through another gruelling three hour exam extravaganza. I can only assume I have brain damage because I swear my mind did not used to go as blank and confluffled as it has done during exams here.

I also realise that I am talking about my second exam as if I had also talked about the first one, but I realised that I only wrote a blog about that in my head. My blogs are much better in my head. Once it comes to writing them down it all becomes a bit messy and I forget everything that I have ever learned. Pretty similar to my exam technique I suppose.

My morning exam was ok. I was towards the back of the hall and either the acoustics were terrible or my mind was distorting all sounds as it was trying to atune itself to being awake pre-10am, but everything the man said over the microphone just sounded like background announcement sounds in the train station. I am pretty sure he didn't say anything too important though and I heard most of it again in the evening exam. I'm pretty sure this invigilators get some weird sort of power rush in the exam situation.
"Do not speak to anyone.
Do not listen to anyone.
Do not look at anyone.
These are exam conditions."
Right. Number 1 seems fair enough...but don't listen or look at anyone. Well, given you have put me in a room with hundreds and hundreds of people I am going to find not looking at anyone pretty bloody difficult. Why even say that?! and how exactly is me looking at someone, before the exam papers have even been distributed cheating or disruptive. I mean yes, I have established some cord of morse code style winking system with someone else in the room, but to be honest with all the effort that would take I think it would be easier for me to do the revision myself.
I also didn't appreciate the exam nazis who prowled the rows and told 90% of people that there phones were in slightly the wrong position. I also saw him angrily take one boys pocketless jumper to the front of the hall. The boy had come in wearing the jumper and at this point it was not an illegal item, but the moment he removed it and hung it over the back of his chair it immediately became a contraband item which had to be removed from the exam area in case it suddenly contained all the answers to all the maths questions.

The American Lit exam was as I expected. People started saying their farewells to the Field House about an hour and a half in when I was on the intro of my 1st essay (after text identification) and I sat there shaking my head and wondering how this was humanly possible, but luckily this semester I was prepared for the shock of it so there were no tears, just black oppression and overindulgent Americans. On the whole I think the exam went "meh. Yeah ok. Maybe. Or maybe bad. I don't know." I know I identified all the texts correctly, but I also know that in the essay section I decided to change the questions to the essays that I wanted to write which I am pretty sure will go down a treat. I also started to panic in my 2nd essay that I wouldn't finished so I think by the end of the exam my sentences abided to no grammar laws on this earth. But you know, he says grammar doesn't matter so I was just calling his bluff I suppose. I am pretty sure at one point I called Langston Hughes a 'she', but Nancy says that he was a secret homosexual and perhaps he wouldn't mind so much that he was confused about his gender role in my essay.

The French exam was along the same "meh, Yeah, Ok" lines. I am 100% sure that I changed the questions in that exam. On my second essay there was a bit which he wrote which told you to make make sure that you took into account that the text was from 1982 and therefore a long time after the tranquil...something. I didn't know what he was on about so I did the mature thing and crossed out that line of the question as if I had never seen it and continued on with my essay. My 1st essay was substantially more coherent, but that isn't saying much. The question was about the relationship between the two main people, and my essay was about how there was no relationship so I'm sure that will go down like un ballon de plomb, mais potate. I didn't have too much planning time for my 2nd essay and by this point all my energy sources were depleted so I decided the best thing to do was to wing it and make up the plan as I went along. I'm still not sure what I wrote, or how the essay came to be, but I managed to cobble together 4 pages of almost entirely disconnected paragraphs which I'm sure my prof will thoroughly enjoy ploughing through. There was a sad moment where I looked back at my paragraph and realised that at one point I had started writing in English. I just shook my head and tutted at my own plebness. Luckily I had my super pen with a rubber on the end and all was not lost! I mean..obviously I have lost loads of marks from writing shoddy essay, but not ALL the marks so that's nice. French was one of the few modules that I was still doing consistently well in, but you know...as the ole saying goes - it's always best to go out on a horrible, harrowing, heart-breaking low point.

By the time the exam was over I was pretty much a zombie. I could feel my limbs losing their energy and I felt like drooping my arms and walking out of the room like a shaved Gorilla, but I was carrying too many books so sadly that idea never came into being. I did, however, walk for some of the way with my eyes closed in a attempt to somehow powernap my way out of the exam, but my plan was foiled as I walked into one of the desk with some vigour. Some people gave me a funny luck, but you know I only have 2 weeks left at Carleton. I will walk into all the tables I want to over the next few weeks. It's my year abroad and I'm going to do what I want dammit.

Yes. Well I think I have rambled on MORE than enough today so I'm going to indulge in some Lindtt balls and slip into a waking coma before I go to bed without having to set an alarm. Bliss.

(Also, like I said. 2 weeks left. LOVE ME.)

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