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Effort, Exams and the Future

Effort, Exams and the Future

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This is just a "blog" on my leaving school, my GCSE exams, and what I plan to do for the future.

Hope you enjoy reading it!
This is just a "blog" on my leaving school, my GCSE exams, and what I plan to do for the future.

Hope you enjoy reading it!

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Published by: Thomas David Luke Wheeler on Jun 23, 2010
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06/23/2010

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Leaving School, Exams and the Future.The Following Takes Place Between 12:33pm (22
nd
June 2010)and 4:17pm (23
rd
June 2010). 
So, our last, official, day of being students of St. Illtyd's High School was May 14
th
, 2010 –the same day (for the UK at least) that season four of Chuck was commissioned (so, onesentence, the first, into this post before I mentioned Chuck). So, as you would expect, itwas an emotional day for everyone in the school – us Year 11's, the students below us andeven the teachers, which I find unbelievable, if I may say so myself. Tears of sorrow, of pain, of “betrayal” - the “heads”, the role models, of the school, were leaving, “once and for all”. Tears of joy, of apprehension, of finality – Chuck was coming back in just four, maybefive, months.Except that it wasn't our last day, it wasn't “once and for all”. Not for yet another full month,at least. We'd be coming in to most days for either exams, and after beingactively/continually encouraged to come in for the revision sessions, taking place at andconsisting of what our normal lessons would, those too.We weren't going anywhere – at the very, extreme, most, we were “stuck” in 'limbo',between this life (school), and the next (college/work/drug-fuelled life of “benefits” - ok, ok,I admit, that's not moving on for some of them!).Going back to our final day for a while, as with our Y11 Prom, back at the end of January(29th), 2010 – actually the same day that Mass Effect 2 was released = I was “forced” (inhindsight, I knew I could (/should... … …?) have resisted much more – forcibly, even!)along, away from my brand new, precious, ME2, and had to “mingle” with the “stinkingchavy despots”, those boys and girls that had done nothing but pester and try to bully mefor the last five years, and, for some of them, seven years before that!The “only” difference now was that they actually wanted something from me – effort!Physical effort!They wanted me to sign their shirts, saying, “Goodbye”, “Good luck”, “I love you”, and “I'mgonna miss you loads, babes”, in their cute little “notepads” that they'd brought in for thelast week or two. Even worse – they wanted me to (remember that physical effort?)attempt to pretend to convey some sort of emotion/look on my face that even ever-so-slightly resembled the “fact” that I was, ever, gonna miss them AND their, to name but afew, namecalling, tennis ball-stealing/”losing”, and just the ordinary, general, belittlingattempts.My class”mates” (that must be in the Oxford dictionary soon!) - for the last five years thatI'd know them all, all they've done is (brace yourselves) bitch about each other behind theothers' backs, before “rotating positions”, then repeating the process for their high school“career”... Now, all of a sudden, just because everyone is “leaving”, and everyone wantseveryone else's “mark” on their school clothes/notepads (that'll probably just go in the skipthe next week along with the rest of the rubbish they've swallowed and “passed through”),they're best friends with everyone. Even with me. Those evil little pesterers, those onesthat constantly attempted to bring me down to their level, now are being the nicest peoplethat they know how (apparently Kanye West at some VMA awards or something?), just sothey can add me to their... “collection” - another “notch on the bedpost”. But, watch just
 
how quickly they turn, they return, when you clearly, plainly, and unemotionally (well,despite that sly smile you've been trying to contain/restrain to yourself all morning), tellthem that you will not be “illustrating” their shirts, or taking your much-valued, and better-spent, time to write, “Goodbye”, “Good luck”, “I love you”, and “I'm gonna miss you loads,babes”, in their cute little “notepads”. Watch... How... They... Turn!Oh, how I'll miss them!------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Before I go into the exams themselves, I should give you some, short, insight into my past“mock” exams and my “relationship” with my school subjects over the last two yearsespecially.Firstly, at least for the GCSE level syllabus (the last two years), I've been pretty rubbish atScience (which I also took as an option, meaning I have an extra four hours a week and anextra, separate, exam) and Maths. Welsh (being in Wales, a core, “necessary” subject),I've always been terrible at, but, as with Science, both for reasons beyond myunderstanding and belief, I took the additional, “full” Welsh course. Subjects I enjoy(ed)and, if I may say so myself, am/was pretty good at are/were History (well, as enjoyable aslearning about a load of foreign affairs can be), Religious Studies, and English. However,being, if I may say so myself, pretty good at those subjects, and enjoying them in the firstplace (enthusiastic), I can write quite a lot during my answers, sometimes even going off topic a little. As such, when it came to practising my mocks, I was never able to comeclose to finishing my papers. My most embarrassing “experience” was during our Christmas (2008/2009) Year 10 English “Fiction Paper” mocks, when, in the two hours Ihad, I'd only answered the first two questions (10 marks each), and only a few lines intomy third. That was less than half way through the exam, and definitely less than half thepossible marks (literally a few marks over a quarter) – when we had our grades back, I hadone of the lowest grades in the class – an F, and that was not that great, to say the least!Even with that in mind, though there are many reasons for it, some of which include themultitude/majority that we'd already practised in school, a want to test my actual ability,and the fact that I wouldn't be in test conditions all my life, especially not in anyprofessions that I plan for myself, I didn't/haven't actually revised very much at all (prettymuch nothing at all except for a quick, five minute tops, check of some dates for myHistory exams). So, as such, you might think that I was worried about passing my exams,but perhaps not as much as I should... Yes, I would like to succeed, but revision seriouslydoesn't help me as much as it seems to help others/the teachers say, and I've seen manypeople, most of whom are awesome, very interesting, people do terrible in any exam or other test they've took, and are either/both very successful now or/and happy. And that'swhat I want to be – happy. I've done exams before, they don't make me happy, and theycertainly don't mean success. Personally, I don't need money, a high-paying job, or evenmuch respect/admiration from others to be happy. Growing up as an “outcast” - a ginger nerd that has absolutely no interest in messing around in class or sports – I've been prettyexperienced in what it can feel like to be “alone” (a.k.a. “less 'together' than others”), and itdoesn't bother me not nearly enough than it should, but that's ok for me. I have my videogames, I have Chuck, and I have music and, what with today's “database” on “chores”, Icould probably quite easily/quickly learn to survive quite “humanely”, as such... So, to putthat very simply, as far as I'm concerned, for many reasons, exams aren't that important inthe grand, or less grand, scheme of things. In short, “so long as I'm happy”.So, with that in mind, my exams started on Monday 24
th
May, 2010, just ten days after we
 
officially left the school, and, my exams, also the last one for anyone, I'm pretty sure,finishes on Monday 28
th
June, 2010 (next Monday), though most people finished yesterday(22
nd
June 2010). This is my time-table of exams.1.Monday 24/05/10 – 9:00am – 105 minutes – Religious Studies: C (Catholicism).2.Tuesday 25/05/10 – 9:00am – 150 minutes – English: Literacy (Of Mice & Men,Blood Brothers, and one poem - “One Summers Day”).3.Wednesday 26/05/10 – 9:00am – 45 minutes – Chemistry: Unit 2 (AdditionalScience).4.Monday 07/06/10 – 1:10pm – 70 minutes – Maths: Non-Calculator.5.Tuesday 08/06/10 – 9:00am – 120 minutes – English: Paper 1 (Fiction).6.Wednesday 09/06/10 – 9:00am – 120 minutes – History: South Africa and Germany(1919 – 1945) [60 minutes each – actually separate exams].7.Thursday 10/06/10 – 1:10pm – 120 minutes – English: Paper 2 (Non-Fiction).8.Friday 11/06/10 – 9:00am – 70 minutes – Maths: Calculator.9.Tuesday 15/06/10 – 9:00am – 105 minutes – Religious Studies: Paper C(Christianity).10.Tuesday 15/06/10 – 1:10pm – 80 minutes – History: USA (1929 - 1990)11.Wednesday 16/06/10 – 9:00am – 45 minutes – Chemistry: Unit 1 (Science).12.Friday 18/06/10 – 9:00am – 120 minutes – Welsh (Full Course): Reading andWriting13.Monday 21/06/10 – 9:00am – 90 minutes – IT: Paper 1.14.Tuesday 22/06/10 – 1:10pm (well, turned out to be more like 2:20pm) – 45 minutes – Welsh (Full-Course): Listening.15.Friday 25/06/10 – 9:00am – 150 minutes – Media Studies: i.e. make up loads of ****.16.Monday 28/06/10 – 1:10pm – 90 minutes – IT: Paper 2.So, that's my exams, and just those last two left for myself now...Right, before I go into the exams themselves, I'll tell you a bit about my “preparationprocess” leading up to the very start of the exams. Both the morning and afternoonprocesses are usually the same, but with time differences (usually the things I do after amorning exam, I'll do before an afternoon one), although I'll be going into that a little morenow, starting with the morning process.So, if the exam starts at 9am, we have be in the school cafeteria, under heavy guard, by8:30am, the normal school start time. As such, my mornings start the same way as theynormally would - I usually wake up at about 7am, get changed, have breakfast, and leave(sometimes quickly checking email or some other internet-based activity), usually about7:40am, getting to school at about 7:55am. People who know me will be well aware that Ido like to get places early – I once, were it not for Laura Fiteni “saving” us, almost hadAron Nelson and myself leaving for town one Saturday at about 8:00am, purely as Iwanted to get their early, and my mum would give us a lift in, saving on spending more onbuses. Anyway, since I'm almost always one of the first people in school, I decided to takeit upon myself to take down the seat numbers (and ID “codes”) for a few of my friends –the initial six or so turning into more like twenty now – then going to my usual spot for waiting for friends, where we'll sit, “chat” (well, no one is really that interested in Fable III or many other similar interests of mine), and I'll “hand out” their numbers for the day, until8:30am when we go to the cafeteria. We are then escorted to the Sports Hall for our actualexam, under exam conditions, mostly involving no talking and no looking – no nothing(double negative, I know) unless it's an exam.

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