(this post, Pt. II; aims to expound the provocateur, motive and timing of culmination: Pt. I)
Now this comes just a couple of hours (at the time I begin writing this) following my Additional Mathematics (That’s the more challenging variant offered by my school, alongside Extended Mathematics) Semester-Assessment. Generally, when it’s an elegy/lament about anything education-related, it has something to do with maths xD
Well uh, to commence bluntly: That’s the worst test I’ve ever sat through.
I’ve gone through tests in which I had no clue what was going on, no answers on my paper, ran out of time on an answer I knew exactly how to go about and scored awfully low marks on a test I’d walked out of confidently. (I guess we all have, mm?)
And material-wise, this paper frankly didn’t droop to those levels; I’m still getting less than fifty-percent but the marks I’m going to be awarded are the least of my worries here.
In that case, why would I call this the worst? It’s not like I sat through it entirely in the dark or anything, right?
This semester, for the first time since I began IGCSE, I wasn’t completely lost and clueless in Additional Maths Class. And for an entire twelve months preceding that, it was exactly how I felt. Never scored above fifty-percent on my tests but that wasn’t the worst of it; I dreaded (Do note: I’m not using “dreaded” in some casual, conversational sense) that one hour of school each day; it further occupied my thoughts and worries during my already haunting nights (more on that soon enough) and every class, I knew nothing at all. I used to sit there, endeavour to keep my thoughts from straying in an attempt to salvage something from my decision to sit in that classroom because I had nothing else to do there. A classroom of the elite, that I’d managed to get myself into.
And this was a position I’d never been in before. I wouldn’t say I’m one of the smartest or elite of the class: It’s been a decade since then (Yes, I was quite the “nerd”, bottoms pulled up as far as they’d go, awry teeth, overwrought eyes, the lot xD). However, this one class killed it all for me last year. Let’s just say I wasn’t going through the best of times and I can take nothing that may have been of any help away from it.
Was I depressed because of this class or did I not see any light in this class because I was depressed?
(And do keep in mind, as I must’ve mentioned before; I don’t use words casually. Especially not words like depressed)
And we’ve heard people say they were clueless but I quite literally knew nothing. Every new day, bringing a swipe and replenish of the whiteboard felt like another crushing blow on the conveyor belt; I couldn’t even figure out what topics they were doing in class or worse; what was even in my syllabus.
My incapability, incompetence and shame was tested with each question until I was brought to a stage where I was no longer acknowledged in the classroom. Mixed feelings, really. I must’ve felt super relieved but in hindsight, that wasn’t helping me. I’ve never aimed to survive anything; always to succeed (what is success?I’ll explore this in a future post as well) or stand out in it. So the first time something made me feel this way, I felt defeated, or maybe even a failure.
(Again, very strong words I’ll delineate in another post)
Now back to this semester, following a couple of months of quite the constructive and countless hours at tuition, most of which counted up to twenty-eight hours a week, I was feeling really good about maths after quite some time. This coincided with the betterment of my emotional/mental state (interestingly). I’d reached the stage where I was a part of the class. I knew what was going on. I wasn’t completely clueless. I didn’t shy away or get awfully embarrassed at the mention of maths anymore.
Of course, it wasn’t like suddenly become some Math Whiz. Indubitably, I hadn’t become that good at Maths or anything. Sure, I’d gotten myself out of the fringes of the class but my confidence hadn’t shot up to a level where I was far less uncomfortable answering questions in class. However, I didn’t have to keep watching my mind from deviating anymore because I finally felt like a part of the class: A significant part. And none of this came easy; my unimpeachable work, all the time, at every hour of the day you can call out, I’ve most probably been deep working on maths tho get myself up to an acceptable mark; someone worthy of an A* (The highest that one can be graded in IGCSE).
All these nights, free hours and parties sacrificed. All these hour-long trips going to tuition and hour-long trips back.
Now, in addition, I’d spent the entire day before my Maths exam (well, from the morning till the evening) at the tuition centre, working my bloody arse off again. I saw this test as my first reasonable shot at an A*. Sure, these aren’t my final boards or even preliminary mocks but they mattered nonetheless. Not from a practical point of view, not for those who were sure they’ve done well. But for me because of all the weight I’d staked on this one test.
This was a matter of faith. A matter of belief, of toil and dividend. Of knowing where I stand.A matter of springboarding, of building upon this newfound drive to work.
And it all came crashing down.
Defeat, or perhaps even Failure.
I opened the question paper and half-an-hour later I’d already reached the end, having tried, attempted and failed to answer every question.
And yet, I didn’t give in just yet, racking my head for everything, anything, that might get me through another step of working or atleast give me some sort of clue.
I couldn’t fill up much more in the following hour-and-a-half.
The culmination: The final five minutes of the examination. For the first time, I willingly gave up. I just sat there, my hands refusing to write any further and my mind choosing to abandon it there, instead thinking about all the loss that had taken place here and all the repercussions to come.
To be blunt, by the time I realised I wasn’t going to ace this, I’d also figured out just how this culmination was going to roll out, and I should’ve seen it coming, over the last couple of days. (but that’s perhaps for another post)
I don’t know how it’s gonna go on from here. For all I know, it’s already affected the course of the remainder of my tests over the course of the next week or so. Maybe I should be studying rather than blogging here. I should be, shouldn’t I?
(For someone who isn’t exactly the biggest fan of sharing his worries or laments publicly, this is quite the event. I think the only thing I can take away from this is the fact that at the very least, I have a new post up. And guilt, and procrastination. Mostly guilt from all this procrastination)