When exams burn like salt on the toungue

I just ended my first week of mid-year exams. When I look back on all those stressed, last hours and minutes spent cramming all the information in could into my brain like a woman in a dress a size too small, waiting to get my exam paper with my stationery in front of me in the daunting school hall, more comparable to Carnegie Hall for ten thousand when you’re sitting in a chair in the corner of the venue then for the usual eight hundred, and having to strain and guess how much time is left…ah, yes! Like being re-united with old friends over a beer and some laughs. I’ve been through the, ”You may begin,” and ”Times up! Pens down!” routine more times over the last four years then Queen Elizabeth’s worn her crown and you know what? It’s never become gag gone sour. Time, pressure, time, pressure, you can’t control it.

To me, the mid-year reminds me of an NFL halftime show. You’ve allowed yourself to be carried through a useless commercial break and then at the very end a pompous group of analysts take center stage, breaking up the first two quarters and giving their verdict before play resumes. It’s the same in life. After a quiet first term, the second bites hard: projects, tests, sport, social commitments and finally, the exams. Once you get those results, file a half-year report because without a road map on how to improve or stay on the right course, the second half will be bleak.

This poem goes out to all my fellow pupils studying hard and making hard sacrifices for good grades.

A Study Season

School books and note books cover the floor, each stained with writing.

Eyes are red and hollow as a gaunt orphan; hands cramping from the hours of note taking and revision. The brain slumps, constipated by the massive intake of a year’s knowledge and graft.

A cranium of genuine foresight leaps forward from this quiet, isolated room, oh! — to packed exam venues, scribbling pens, concentrated faces, anxious hearts… The examiner’s cry, ” thirty minutes left!” A script of scattered answers unkindly laughing back…

To what?

Teachings of yesterday, some as clear as a filtered glass, others as confusing as a high academic’s jargon, gone with the wind to another time and place. Teachings lost but suddenly captured again in the moment.

In this season of discipline, this season of recall, this season… of hope.








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