Posted by Mister JTA on January 16th, 2006 | 9 comments
Tomorrow, at 0930h, I have an exam. And I know for a fact I’m going to fail it, because – as a result of the Famous Housing Crisis of 2005, I was too busy stressing, hiding from bastardy housemates, looking for a new place to live and moving boxes to go to any of the lectures or seminars I had in the November-onwards part of last term.
All things considered, that’s still pretty much my fault; if I’d had the guts to actually put aside the rest of the trouble I was in at that time, and make it to the lectures, then I’d not be in the fix I am now. But I didn’t, so here I am, less than 24-hours to go, and I know that I will not be able to answer any question on the paper in anything looking like a meaningful way.
Strictly speaking, therefore, the proper course of action for me to be taking is the one in which I panic, and try to cram furiously.
Can I work up enough enthusiasm to do that effectively? Can I bollocks. Hell, I know I’m going to fail pretty much whatever happens; there’s no way I can get up to speed in time. So why stress about it?
If I were, for example, Sundeep, and had got myself into this situation, then I’m pretty sure I’d be staying up all night getting as much reading as possible done before it’s absolutely too late. Probably, that’s what I ought to be doing myself, but I’m just feeling no motivation whatsoever now.
Thing is, I cannot get nervous about exams. Despite the fact that, in the rest of my life, I’m a total wuss, and I stress about Ruth going off to work in case she’s knocked down by a lorry and killed, I can’t make myself get interested by exams.
Partly, I think, that’s because I cannot revise. Name a method of revision, and I’m betting you that I’ve tried it, and got nothing out of it. Re-reading? No use. Making lots of notes and condensing and condensing them until I’ve killed off a whole Big Mac’s worth of Amazonian rainforest? I should be so lucky. Making crackly tapes of things I need to learn and playing them in my sleep? I slept really badly, butI didn’t learn a bean.
There’s precisely one exam I ever got nervous about in my entire life, and that was the 11-plus I did to get into AGS. And mostly I was nervous about that because I was taking it at the school (I ended up in S7, actually) and I’d never been there before, which was unnerving.
That’s it. GCSEs? Yeah, I did ‘em. But I was never worried about doing them. I wasn’t even worried afterwards, because, once you’ve done the exam, the result you get is what you get. It’s even less use stressing over that than it is stressing over the exam in the first place.
A-levels… Just didn’t bother me. Even Biology which I knew I was going to make a mess of, because Coff and Ben Michael lured me away from the lessons, I wasn’t really bothered.
O, sure, sometimes, up to a fortnight or so before the actual exam, I’ll worry that I’ll make a mess of it, but never for long enough to make me actually do anything about it. And in this case, not even that, really.
I know that I will never pass this exam. In the summer, I will have to re-sit it, and that will be a phenomenal pain in the arse, and will probably be both costly and a logistical nightmare. Tomorrow, I’m going to go and sit in the Great Hall, make a total cock-up of the whole thing, and go back to Hafan and have a cup of tea, because, really, what else is there to do?
Nothing can change the fact that at the point last term went down the tubes, I stopped going to lectures. As a result, I just don’t have the base of information on which to construct a realistic argument, even under the lack-of-critics-happy friendly environment of a closed-book exam.
But I just can’t work up any real interest in it. I’m going to fail, which is a fact. If I don’t, then it’s a bloody miracle, but it won’t be down to a late surge on my part, because, firstly, my brain doesn’t work like that, and rejects and attempt at self-induced knowledge in favour of someone better qualified telling me and me scribbling it down furiously in A12, and, secondly, I have not got, and possibly never have had, the sort of personality that allows me to get excited about exams, or deadlines, or work in general.
It’s a major, major failing. Most people who know me fairly well are probably aware that I’m capable of pouring as much energy and effort as I can muster into something just as long as it’s something that’s either captured my interest or which I’ve reason to care about, and that, I think, is probably a good quality.
Where it goes arse-over-tit, however, is when I try to make myself have an interest in something – like, say, doing an essay. My brain’s not that stupid, it can tell when I’m trying to put one over on it, and I just get dispirited with the whole thing and lose the will to do anything at all. That is most certainly a very bad quality…
…But it doesn’t appear to be one I can do anything about, and I don’t know why. I’m just not built right. Ruth, somehow, is not only able of getting involved with pretty much any bit of work she’s got to do, but feels bad about it if she hands it in and feels she’s not put as much effort into doing it as she could have. I don’t know how she does it, but I wish I was able to do it as well.
I am, basically, an incredibly lazy person, and tomorrow I will fail an exam, and will that teach me a lesson about doing more work in future, and always going to lectures regardless of other issues?
Don’t be so naive. I wish it would, but it won’t. I’m lazy and pretty much usless when it comes to work, and for all my life would be much easier if I only had a bloody work ethic, I haven’t got one, and I don’t know where to get one. Bollocks.
Still… I wonder if hypnotherapy could fix me up?