Friday, June 11, 2010

Fatal Mistake That Did Not Turn Out That Fatal After All

My heart is thumping in my ears, hard. I can hear it in my head - dup, dup, dup.

It's strange that the beating of your heart can be so distracting.

I think of something. Thumping again. I lose my train of thought.

I ball my fists tight in frustration. I squeeze my eyes shut, rock myself back and forth, as if the rhythm would somehow bring inspiration.

Come on, come on !!!

I scribble furiously, my right hand flying across the paper, left to right, left to right.
My handwriting has turned from acceptable to hardly legible.
Even I had trouble deciphering my own handwriting. But I could not afford to bother about that now.

Every few minutes I glance up in front of me.

The large silver clock looked ominous, intimidating, with its second hand ticking diligently, indifferent to my suffering.
It taunted me, You are running out of time ! You'll never make it !

My hand starts shivering. My writing goes out of alignment. But I do not care. My urgent aim is to write as much as possible, whatever comes to mind.

There is still much to go. So much more to write.

I glance up at the clock again. My heart sinks.

I'm not going to make it.

The realization is harsh.

My lip quivers. I feel a strange, and sudden urge to go pee.

I bite my quivering lip and take a deep breath. I can feel the tears coming.

It's too late, a voice whispers in my head. It's too late.

I remove my glasses and rub my eyes furiously. This it not the time to give up. I have to keep writing. Just write as much as I can. Stop looking at the clock !

I continue writing, but the amazing thing was, I didn't know what I was writing at all. My thoughts were not even coherent anymore. I knew, deep down, there was no point.

It's no use.

"Masa peperiksaan telah tamat. Pelajar dikehendaki berhenti menulis."

Crap. I missed out a few things ! And these were vital parts of the format of a lesson plan ! The moral values and critical/creative thinking aspects ! I'd left them out !

I scribble furiously once more, keeping an eye out for any invigilator heading my way.

Oh, no. I have to leave the hall now.

I took my time getting up from my chair, still writing in what seemed to be ancient Egyptian crypts. I had given up on writing neatly. I pray my lecturer has the super-ability to decipher ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs.

I tried to write more as I packed my writing stationery and matric card with my left hand, being absently clumsy.

"Miss !"

I continued writing.

"Miss !" Louder this time.

I look up. Everyone was staring curiously at me, including a woman in a vest (one of the invigilators) who was staring at me rather angrily, actually.

"Please stop writing. Are you going to hand that up, or will I hand that up for you?"

Gosh. How embarrassing.

I nodded, not daring to say a word, just in case I let out a sob.

I walk miserably to the front of the hall to hand in my answer sheets.

I was angry with myself. Disappointed. Typical fatal examination mistake - I had spent too much time on the first few sections of the paper and left not much for the final section, which required me to come up with a lesson plan on the spot with the given material and information. Understandably, that needed more time than I had for it. What an idiot I am.

As I reach the basket to slip my answer sheet into, I caught my lecturer's eye.

Dr. Hamidah was smiling, oblivious to the excruciating torture we had just gone through for her paper.

"So, how was it?" she asked, rather enthusiastically. And had I done better than I did, I would have responded in a more civil manner.

Instead, I opened my mouth. Nothing came out.

Finally, I blurted out, "I'm so sorry, Dr. !" and I ran past my course mates, past the swarm of other students taking other papers (some looking rather happy with themselves - how I hated them !), up the short flight of stairs and burst out of one of the exits, panting heavily.

"So how was it?"
"How did you do?"
"Eh, what did you answer for question 1 part B?"
"Did you finish your lesson plan?"
"What activities did you put in?"

I turned away from them. I didn't want to hear about the paper anymore. Much less talk about how I did. I knew I messed up. My format was incomplete, and I barely finished 50% of the lesson plan - the section that had the heaviest weightage.

I could possibly fail this paper.

"So, Lisa, how was it?"

I looked up at those kind eyes, and I could not speak.

"I have to go back to my room now. I really need to cry."

I left my friend staring bewildered at me as I just turned and left the hall compounds.

I ran up the four flights of stairs, ran back to my hostel block, down the dingy gloomy corridor until I saw that familiar patch of floor. I could not turn the keys in the lock fast enough.

I burst into the room to see my roomie, facing her laptop in darkness. She whirls around and goes, "So. How did it go?"

I sit at the edge of my bed, gingerly, almost falling off.
And then I cry.
Silently at first, and then great racking sobs.

I had never felt worse, never felt that hopeless, never felt that scared before in my entire life.

And I am grateful to my roomie who let me sit and cry for a good, solid ten minutes.

I needed that.

This was how my first paper of the final examinations for last semester went. It goes without saying that I was horribly depressed for the rest of my papers and try as I might, I could NOT shake that terrible feeling off. Although most people have experienced this before, but for me, believe me when I tell you I have never felt that hopeless before. That I was racing against time, and was losing. I had never felt that scared, not shook that much during an exam. I had never done a worse paper. It was utter horror. Terrible handwriting, illogical ideas. I do not know what nonsense I made my poor lecturer read ! But by the grace of God (and I suspect, by my lecturer's pure graciousness) I did not just NOT fail the paper - I got an A. Not an A-, but an A. I will never forget this feeling. How I wish I could, though. >.<


May Lee said...

hey sweetie! so glad to hear that you did well! hehehe. sometimes just when we think we effed up real good; we, well, DON'T. isn't it an awesome feeling? =D

iwan said...

methods in TESL

remember the crappy Microteaching?
and I have the same problem as you for the lesson plan part, i only manage to write 1 development and then skip to the closure

I was almost certain that I'll fail the paper

but, somehow, i get an A-
maybe Dr Hamidah hadn't been so strict with her marking

anyhow, hoorah for you

Liz ^^, said...

It's great. I had conveniently forgotten all about it till results-Day. Ahaha. Thank God weiiiii :)))

Yeah. I have a feeling that Dr. H was waaayyy too lenient. With me at least. Cos I knew I did terrible. Seriously, I think I did up to 2nd development. But in one sentence descriptions. You know, teacher introduces. Teacher hands out worksheet. Students participate. Students discuss. Didn't even do closure. I really couldn't read my writing. I actually felt EMBARRASSED to hand it in ! =.=
A- also good for you ! :)))

iwan said...

oh, don't worry with your handwriting lah

my handwriting had always been terrible in my exam, yet it still works fine with me, some how...

Liz ^^, said...

Not baddd !! haha I've never written that horribly before in my life ! Thank Godddd still okay :) *phew*

Anonymous said...

you‘ve got a great personality!............................................................

hannah khaw said...

Hey! Awesome you got an A for that. :)
I got myself into a similar situation this term [but not as bad lah]. Econs paper. My handwriting was like... a taugeh farm. :P Haha! I suppose most people will get into problems like this at once in their lifetime. So it's not that bad!

Liz ^^, said...

Yeah, I guess it's supposed to be normal. But never felt that way before. First-time experience. It was horrible ! =.=