I have spent the morning in an exam, don’t ask what on, I won’t tell you (sorry, it’s half a story, I know)
It’s the first time I have ever sat down at a proper, grown up exam, that starts at the top of the page and goes on and on, until, you either run out of time, things to compare and contrast, apply theory to, or just waffle about.
Readers who have been calling here for a while, will know, that I don’t like writing without the comfort blanket of Microsoft Office and the F7 button, I’ll stand up and talk to and for England; but ask me to put pen to paper, it brings up all sorts of demons. So you can imagine I wasn’t looking forward to the exam; now that my dyslexia has a piece of paper to prove it’s existence (and we could debate that topic ’till the cows come home, but please not now) I have an entitlement to some extra time in exams, to check my work. I must admit I was glad of it and used every second.
I wasn’t alone, another candidate was in the same situation and we placed ourselves at the front of the examination room as far away as possible from the door, so that when everyone else left, it would be less distracting for us. So when the time came and the invigilator said ‘ Everyone, put down your pens, except the two candidates with additional time.’ And everyone else filed quietly out of the room, before bursting into relieved and excited chatter as they dispersed down the corridor, I was transported back to being a child again, its a beautiful summers day, I am still inside the classroom redoing my work, my classmates are out in the sunshine, playing.
I hate my hand writing, its not good at the best of times, but under pressure, like this morning I like it even less, and whilst I’ve got used to writing essays, assignments and reports over the last few years, and goodness, I’ve even been known to enjoy it, but it’s only because I can ‘cut and paste’, edit and generally tidy things up; but no matter how hard I try, I remain convinced my messy writing and poor spelling, will have antagonized the examiner and the outcome will come back to not what I have written but how I’ve written it.
Rereading my work at the end of the exam, I discovered that my writing of the word ‘that’ looked like ‘t*at’ (for * insert ‘w’) and you can see this makes the word takes on an entirely different meaning (overseas readers, on a need to know basis, can read a definition of t*at here.) So it was not just the ‘I’s’ that needed dotting and the ‘T’s’ that need crossing, the ‘W’s needed a bit of remedial work too.
So back home, and not one, but two fried egg butties and two mugs of steaming hot tea later, I am both replete and exhausted, but I am still going out to play.