Sunday, March 15, 2009

Exam fever

Yesterday was Andre's theory exam and I'd been quite at ease as I knew he was prepared for it. His music teacher is quite ingenious - he came up with funny phrases to help Andre remember the corresponding major and minor keys, eg.

G major + E minor = Giant Elephants
F major + D minor = Fat Donkey

And Andre's personal favourite:

C major + A minor = Crazy Andre

Despite knowing that Andre was ready, in the morning before the exam, I suddenly experienced an irrational attack of exam anxiety and felt the urgent need to bombard him with instructions.

"Read the questions carefully."
"Check properly whether it says 'with key signature' or 'without key signature'."
"Do you have enough pencils?" (I hastily packed two extra ones, in addition to the two mechanical pencils already in his pencil case).
"Make sure you write dark enough."
"But don't keep going over the notes until they're messy!"
"If you erase your work, make sure you rub it away completely."
"Take a packet of tissue in case you need to blow your nose."
"Don't draw your notes too closely until they're joined together like Siamese twins."
"Don't draw your flat so round like a 'b'."
"What is con moto??"

This barrage continued unabated all the way to the exam centre, right to the door of the exam room.

"Remember to paste your name label on the paper."
"If you finish early, you can come out."
"But don't rush to come out! Take your time!"
"Wait for me at the corridor if I'm not here."
"If it's cold, wear your jacket."
"Do you need to go to the toilet?"
"Check your work properly!"

I was not the only restless parent. A few, after watching their kids find their seats through a small glass panel on the back door, proceeded to tap on the panel to get their kids' attention and mime last-minute instructions. It's a marvel our kids are able to retain anything - I'm sure after a while, they learn to tune our voices out like white noise.

I proceeded to the kopitiam to have my teh while waiting for Andre to finish his exam. And there, on a nearby chair, I saw this vision of jaunty carefreeness and total serenity.

It was mocking me: "Relak lah!"


Lilian said...

Yes yes, must learn to be a cool cat. Especially this year!

Anonymous said... amusing...

Mon, everything you wrote echoed my thoughts but on that morning, my TOP 5 below inched out most of the things from my brain and overruled before the exam and came back only after the exam...LOL...

1. Brand's essence of chicken! MUST DRINK!
2. Zoomed there early cos CARPARK was perennial nightmare at exam centre. Lucky early cos also made wrong turn...and went another round to get there.... Phew!
Got best car park lot and another early mummy saw me and beamed happily at me cos she was also early bird and there was only 1 other lot left. Really didn't know where else others could park.
3. Made a dash for the ancient lift which took forever to transport up and down. Last trip there we had to take the stairs up and I was in heels! :(
4. Toilet clean as possible so no emergency situation during exam... LOL
5. Last go at the 3 alien languages 3 pages long...but she zoomed into German for some strange reason. Quite a rare category.

After exam: Huh? So fast? Are you sure you check? How many times? Any questions left undone? Read all instructions clearly? Sure or not? See....I got my anxiety sequence all wrong. LOL...

Outcome: Only one thing I am sure...2 German terms came out on her paper and that was all on terms! And these 2 terms had never come out the verdict is learning all the 3 pages of terms is still essential afterall. But I am strangely puzzled by her "telepathy" of German terms coming she only zoomed straight into German terms during revision that eventful morning. It must be God watching over her... TQ


monlim said...

QX: Well done to your dd! I tell you, there's nothing more satisfying that answering a question that you had stayed up to learn! After suffering so much with all the German and French terms, L-A came out of her gd 5 exam last year all indignant and disgusted: "Adagio!! I studied all like mad and they gave me Adagio!!" LOL

Anonymous said...

ROTFL....that sounded really hilarious..

Never thought of it that way...but how true... In any case, she was merely lucky to focus on that at the 11th hr again. First thing she came out, she flipped her book to confirm her answers. I was like...??? why look at the theory book after exam? Now I crossed my fingers that all other sections were properly done!!! *scream* The stress does not seem stop here..... LOL...


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