Thursday, 5 May 2005

Exam fever

The wooden verandah creaked and groaned under the heavy weight of the stream of visitors, who seemed to be arriving by the dozen. My siblings and I, dragged along by Mak, took our place in the queue patiently, clutching bottles of air zamzam in tumblers and fruits bought at Pekan Rabu for the host. At this time of the year, Pak Haji Y’s place in Pendang was the place to go. Anxious parents dragged reluctant, protesting teenagers to what must seemed like a clinic of last resort to score those A’s or at the very least calm the nerves and open the hearts and minds. Our turn came after what must be like an hour long wait and within just three minutes, we were making tracks home, Mak’s nerves suitably calmed while ours, at the very least, reassured after hearing the wise dulcet tones of the Pak Haji.

If anyone was affected by exams, it must have been Mak. She did all the worrying. We were quite, er what’s the word? Cool! She arranged for tutors to come to the house, woke us up early in the mornings for at least two hours of revision while she prepared sandwiches, milo and constantly checked to see that we had not gone back to sleep. And of course, the compulsory visit to Pak Haji Y in Pendang, whose blessed water, we dutifully sipped every morning before going to school. Me suspect, Mak would sneak into our bedroom every night on the pretext of checking the mosquito coil. But was I dreaming, or was it Mak stroking my head and reading some ayats? The wet patch on the pillow and my damp patch of hair must surely be one of her efforts to make sure that whatever I read went straight to the head. Such was her dedication, (or was it lack of confidence in me?). Out of frustration, she’d mumble: Ish, kalau Mak boleh buat periksa, Mak dah buat dah periksa untuk anak-anak Mak.

Right now, I could do with Mak’s doa and support and that reassuring touch of her soft hands on my forehead. Cos right now, I am also worried about my children who are facing their own exams. And of course, Mama must also show that she can do it!

Who was it who told me that juggling work and study wasn't easy? Well, that person is $£"^! right and I am now kicking myself for believing I can do it.

Last year, at this time, I was a bundle of nerves as I prepared for my first ever exam in what must have been more than 20 years since I sat for my last paper. I nearly didn’t make it after staying up all night trying to absorb theories and facts that seemed to whizz past my head. But hubby persuaded me like he would a 9 nine year old and waved me off with some doa’s.

This time around its supposed to be better but its not. The revision class yesterday didn’t help much. Class swot lugged in a thick file of notes, complete with colour-coded stickers and impressed us with a list of questions (which seemed foreign to me) she predicted. For all I knew, they were discussing Greek literature. Rushed to the library and collected an armful of books and managed to concentrate for about an hour before my mind wondered to more pressing matters like what to cook for dinner. Note pad looked something like this:

Sidaoru’ang – born 1943 – from Phitsulanon District –left home at 12 to go to Bangkok- writings initially autobiographical – must buy chicken, toilet rolls, cat food, must update blog....

Never been much of a swot or the mugging type. Cant remember how I got through all those exams but I supposed the results were enough to see me through high school and college. The earliest and first important exams was the Lower Certicate of Examinations. And I remember it was the first time that objective tests were introduced. Multiple choice answers meant that some of us rolled up papers with A, B, C and D written on them and tossed them in the air and the one we picked would be the answer. Or play pin the donkey's tail on the alphabets with the 2B HP pencil.

And one solution to anxious moments outside the exam hall. A last minute tactic was to pick a book, close our eyes and open a page. And that page was meant to be the chapter to read. God help us all if questions from other chapters came out. (And God help me if my children were to read this! No, sayang mama, it was mama’s friends who did this!)

Finding time to study in between work can be quite a problem. I try reading in the bus, on the train, in the tube. I’ve tried the osmosis method for the brain to absorb whatever I am reading, as suggested by Pok Ku, but almost always ended up with bumps on the head and more damage to brain cells. I’ve yet to try burning the book and drink the ash mixed with water. I'll probably call Mak on the morning of my paper. I wanted so much to blog about her for Mother's Day, but that will have to wait and today 05 05 05 a special date for that special person in my life and I cant even do anything special.

But all things considered, I've made a start - I’ve now got myself lots of pens, pencils, erasers and notecards with colourful stickers. There’s a pile of books waiting to be devoured and digested in a very, very short period of time. So, now I need to get my priorities right and this means: Clean toilet, scrub the bathtub, rearrange the books, cook, make coffee...and more coffee.

So, think of me, dear friends, while I try to sort myself out. Will resurface for some fresh air when I can. And think of me in your doa’s for these tired old brain cells ain’t functioning well anymore!

37 comments:

narfnarf said...

Awww....*HUG* kak teh. Exams are AWFUL experiences, AWFUL. All ya can do is prepare, and pray hard hard, before, during and after. But I betcha you knew that already. :o) "just do your best and let God do the rest" is what my friend used to utter as a mantra during exams. When juniors come to me with exam fear/panic, I just tell 'em...stardee je...takyah takut, nanti bila dah mati bukannya Tuhan nak tanya F=ma tu apa. :o) It usually calms them down...*chuckle* (should write that down and direct it to myself next time around). GOOD LUCK, KAK TEH! May your nerves be calm and your writing hand steady, and your thoughts be sharp and flow freely.

ps Raisins and badam are food for the brain.

Susan Abraham said...

Kak Teh, I wish you every success in your coming exams.

Nadia said...

awwww kak teh..very endearing recounting of your childhood days. and humorous touch in your current situation....though i'm not laughing at your expense. May Allah make it easy for you Kak teh. As usualy, another brilliant post :)

hubby also depressed about his dissertation this morning.

Mutiara said...

Sure you can do it kak teh... I have great faith in U! Like i used to say to my friends (in school) Bismillah and just doit.
Isn't it strange that we all go through the same things? other things need to be taken care of instead of studying???
Good Luck

atenah said...

aaah u blogged abt sumthin that i dont even dare to blog. am facing the same thing. IF i pass this exam, it WILL be the last exam of my life. wonder if i will ever dare blog abt it

SC said...

adik2 kakteh semua mesti dan pasti doakan kakteh berjaya dgn warna-warna berterbangan.

5xmom ~chanlilian.net~ said...

Kak Teh, you are hilarious! I am sure that bubbly spirit is going to get you through, come what may.

*sigh* I wasn't built for exam 'cos I flopped badly. Never got further than SPM. So, I do have high respect for mothers like you who go for further studies. Really tabik hormat.

All the best and Happy Mother's Day to us all.

Anonymous said...

Kakteh, do resurface for Eastenders ok !! It'll do you good. All the best, goodluck, moga berjaya...etc. You can do it !!

its me lah

About Blogreader said...

Brrr... exams! Good luck, not that you need it, you A+ student, you.

Jade said...

awww.. kak teh.. all the best! you can do it! if get stucked, just say my name three times, and all will be well.. hehe.. you can do it!!

now.. what was it you said about chicken? nak masak ayam golek ka? nak skettttt...

atiza said...

baca doa penerang hati..

masuk exam hall dengan langkah kanan..

buka exam paper dengan BismillahitawakkaltuAlallah..

good luck :)

OOD said...

Kak Teh,
time SPM dulu, cikgu pesan, selagi penjaga exam tak kata 'sila berhenti menulis dan letak pensil anda' you can still make a difference. Sempat lagi nak score.

And once dah habis exam, dont worry at all about it sebab that time dah tiba turn examinor pulak tu worry.

Tambah the cikgu lagi, you just ingat to simpan all your books and notes properly, who knows next year kena repeat... haha, tak baik kan? Sob Sob!

Good luck Kak Teh.

~ Puh Kiri Puh Kanan,
berkat doa kawan-kawan ~

There, i dah jampi u.

anedra said...

dear kakteh!
haiyaa..trying to be modest aren't you? You'll do fine and we anak-anak menakan will berdoa sakan for you! Ok?

drbubbles said...

kakteh,

my prayers for you. agak-2 doa orang yang selalu teraniaya (orang yang selalu kena 'tembak' masa perang pantun, pasai mak mertua etc)boleh dimakbulkan kan?hehehehe.....

Captain Barbell said...

happy mother's day :)

Jane Johan said...

Kak Teh... yes scrubbing toilets will help the brain to absorb the studies. Tried and tested. :)

All the BEST! Yes you CAN do it !!!

lacrema said...

Hi Kakteh,

I wish you good luck for your exams. When is your first and last exams? Mine will start next week Friday (Traditional Malay Literature) and last one will be 3rd June. Take care and keep in touch.

Lacrema

SC said...

kakteh, jgn lupa gingko biloba and b complex.

it's my ubat "pandai".kalau tak makan, lembeps macam kongkangs otaks sayas nis....

shidah said...

kak teh:
me- no exam guru
me- have worst experience on exam
me- no comment on exam
*hugs*happy mother's day-pls surface for air soon!

Lollies said...

Your mum has done a good job.

Good luck Kak Teh

anasalwa said...

kakteh,
selamat maju jaya.

Ms.B said...

First and MORE importantly, Happy Sayang Mama's Day!! And don't worry, am sure your mama knows you are thinking of her and you wishing that she was there with you to grasp your hand that last time before you enter the exam hall! And she IS grasping your hand, ALWAYS!! *smiles*

Secondly, but more pressingly, all the very best for your examinations, you've done your level best so now hold your head up high, take a deep breath and surrender to HIM. Insya'Allah, all will be fine!!

Ms.B said...

And Narfnarf is right - go stuff yourself with them raisins!! I used to pop them like crazy during exam study week!!

CK said...

Happy Mother's Day!

All the best for your exams, Kak Teh, insyaAllah, you'll do very well, Aminnn....

Mobilemom said...

Happy Mommy's Day Kak Teh.

All the best of luck in your coming exams!! Ohh..I just hate exams!! I remember going blank after 3 jugs of coffee, 2 sleepless nights and when I see text, I'd go nauseaous!! Isshh serik last minute study!! ;) heh heh heh..

Lesson learned: Exam = TORTURE!! :P

Kak Teh said...

thank you, thank you and thank you for your wishes and doas. And thank you too for the confidence that you have in moi, and i wish I can say the same. I'd be lying if I say I have not resurfaced at all...had to surf lah, if not i go crazy. Yes, been trying to revise but am also having terrible, terrbile hayfever and antihistamine actually made me groggy for a bit.
AND Thank you for the Mother;s day Wishes - in the blog and via my email box - am so touched.
it's 0115 london time...am going back to the books. and keep the doa's coming!destination...exam hall VG10, London!

CikNi said...

all the best to you kak teh

"kak teh boleh!"

ondeonde said...

dah kebah ke exam fever, kak teh?

AuntyN said...

Kak Teh, I am sure you are going to do well in the Exam. You have too for all of us. Tak nanti tak kan nak diam je bila orang tanya Kak Teh, how did you do in your exam? Hehehe, sorry if I am putting more pressure on you. Anyway, Best of Luck and Happy Mother's day from one Mom to the other.

d'arkampo said...

Kak Teh!

All the best to you!

Happy Mother's Day and make the father happy..he he he (I know he is).

Do u know that scrubbing the toilet with a bottle of coca-cola could make the tiles shines and bright?

So, next time before entering the exam hall, try a bottle of coke.

Anonymous said...

Kak Teh,
Unfortunate for you the Pak Haji I believed passed away. So this time, be on your own.

Arena said...

All the best Kak Teh, ramai dah orang doa-doa ni. Sure OK punyalah.. Tenang2 ya..

Kak Teh said...

more thank you, thank you - and yes anon, I realised that he's gone and I am on my own. But bertakwa dan berserah pada yang Satu. Insyaallah.
Demam belum kebah. One final look at the books and then.......watch this space.
THANKS FOR ENCOURAGEMENT AND DOA'S

SC said...

kakteh's big exam begins today...let's all pray she comes out of the exam hall smiling.

Ya Allah, bukakan hijab ilham bagi mencapai satu anjakan dalam jihad fisabilillah (mencari ilmu) yang diusahakan hambamu yang ini.Amin

budakkampong said...

wah kak teh Pak Haji Y is around for a long time already huh???

OOD said...

Bila Kak Teh nak habis exam ni..

Kak Teh said...

SC - am touched!!
budakkampong: entah ada ke tak dak lagi wallahualam.
OOD - its over!!! and can now bloghop and hop and hop.