If asked to rate the best year in school, I would say it was the 7th grade. But a student’s life is not so easy and it’s even harder when the student creates the problems himself, a self-goal in a way. Everything was going perfectly well in 7th grade and I had managed to get through the whole year without any mischief’s. No face-off between the Principal and my parents or anything of that sort. It was turning out to be a fantastic end to the year but wait! How could it be so smooth for the misfortune magnet? So, (obviously) there had to be a twist in the tale. Something was bound to happen. My brain at that point was supposed to tell me to be afraid, to tread carefully, to take each step with absolute diligence. What it actually told me – “screw the world as its your year from here on out”. That was the last time I ever had that feeling. The year was supposed to be remembered as the year in which I did not get into trouble. But it was remembered as the year in which I almost didn’t get into any trouble. “Almost” being the keyword.
Final exams were underway and going very well. This story is about the last two exams. This was a learning curve for me and a humorous curve for everyone else, but it sure as hell did not feel that way at that point in time. The two exams were “Social Studies” which included History, Civics and Geography and “Math” which included everything I ever despised. Both subjects didn’t fall under my area of expertise. Thankfully, we had a preparation gap of two days for both the subjects. I was glad that we had a gap because we had two and half days to prepare and there was this healthy competition prevalent amongst me and my friends as to who would do better. Social Studies was on Friday and Math was on Monday.
I preferred handwritten notes than textbooks till I reached 9th grade, but that’s a story for another day. So, I had finished the previous exam, reached home from school, had my lunch and started studying as I was the last-minute panic kind, so I hadn’t studied anything up until then. I didn’t have a schedule or any particular time to study. I just did it all day and took regular intervals for food, some play and sometimes just because doing nothing was better than studying. But somehow, I managed to finish it and also revised it once before the doomsday broadcast.
My mother, the hero of this story had accompanied us to school that day for an important task regarding my brother, which seemed very mediocre after the situation I put myself into. So, we were all there. My dad who dropped me to school every day, my mom who had come particularly on that day and rarely before that and my brother who has his final exams to worry about. So, the four of us parted ways in the assembly where we had our oath and national anthem every day.
That’s when I got to talking with my friend about how I studied everything and managed to revise all of it once. He asked me if I found algebra easy and I for a second gathered my thoughts and told him there was no lesson called algebra in Social studies and that he was talking about Math, I went on to tell him that we’ll worry about math on Monday. He was puzzled at first and then he was onto something. He suddenly said “you have been studying the wrong subject for the past two days”. I got annoyed and told him that he had studied the wrong subject and that I was right. He then confirmed with all our friends and guess what? He studied the right subject!
I didn’t panic, oh I wish I could say that. Panic had taken over me completely and I was trembling just like how people usually shiver when extremely cold water is poured on their spine. I didn’t know what I had to do. My friend went to one of the teachers and talked to them about my situation while I was standing there and looking at the sky.
The teacher didn’t scold me or judge me. She looked worried, not disappointed. She asked me not to worry. She then quickly said I had twenty minutes before the exam and that If I could manage to study everything important I could clear it. I didn’t think so. I was of the view that two full days wouldn’t be enough for Math, but I didn’t have the luxury to give up because the teacher was dragging me to the art room (Basically the only place where I could study peacefully). On the way to the art room, I found my mom. I was in a state of shock and she realised something was wrong. The teacher asked me to tell my mother everything while she rushed to find a math textbook for me. My mother was always very interactive about my studies, so she grasped the situation very quickly. She left whatever she was doing and came with me to the art room as she was also the one who trained me in math every year at home. So, the teacher arrived with the keys to unlock the doors and the textbook. The teacher had to rush back as she had invigilation duties. My love affair with handwritten notes was coming to an end and I didn’t have time to complain. My mother as fast as she could, covered as many lessons as she could.
This was new to me; I was in tears. I knew it wasn’t possible. How could it be? My mother was confident; the teacher was confident but not me. Fifteen minutes were up. My mother asked me to calm down and give it my best. I wiped my face and went to the hall where the exam was supposed to be conducted. Everybody were already in their respective places and when I entered there was this ominous silence and a stare that lasted for a minute, I looked down and went to my place. The exam started and my aim was to make sure I get 35 which was the passing mark. Three hours passed. The exam was over. I came out. My brother and my dad were waiting for me with a smile, like before. Nothing had changed. My dad had a big laugh and said don’t worry you will clear it and big whoop if you don’t.
I had a sigh of relief that my dad wasn’t disappointed. I was blessed to have a mother who helped me up, a father who supported me no matter what and the teachers who didn’t give up on me. And I was the luckiest unlucky person that day because I had my mother there to handle everything like a boss. How could I fail after I was surrounded by such positive people?
My friends found the funny aspect from all this as usual. One friend said I was lucky to have escaped studying Math for two consecutive days and another said I would be better prepared for Social Studies than anyone else since I would have at least 4 days of preparation time for it. He was so wrong, as socials did not go that great either.
After a few days, we had the parent’s-teachers meet and I had spent the holidays with the hope that I clear 7th grade. I scored 63 in Social Studies. less for a person bragging about revising it so many times and having twice the amount of time than others to prepare for it, but math was my only concern. I scored 45 in Math! I had cleared it thanks to the fifteen minutes’ crash course from mom.
Three important learning curves from this episode, one was you can pass if you study for fifteen minutes with an adrenaline rush (I wouldn’t advise this to anyone though). Two, was that studying for an exam is important but knowing which exam to study for is much more important. So always check your time table and three, don’t brag because no matter how much knowledge you think you have, it is always less.
I am still teased at for the blunder I made. But it was an educational lesson and now I am careful even though rarely does a student face such a situation, I probably needed to experience it for being so easy going. When I look back I can’t believe I had tears in my eyes or that I panicked the way I did but then, I guess anyone would.