Lessons after my exams-A A +A
Saturday, March 2, 2013
LET me just say that I haven’t taken any exam, verbal or nonverbal, for so many, MANY years. And yet, how can it be any different from the exams that I have taken in the past? I was pretty confident that I would do okay, I was thinking, “How can an entrance exam be hard?”
Oh boy. Was I in for a surprise.
February 28, 2013.
The day had finally come for me to take an entrance exam for my planned Master’s Degree. It has been scheduled and rescheduled so many times that I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it happens again.
Well, it pushed through and I suddenly find myself meandering through a maze of hallways and busy young college kids as I try to find the Guidance Office in Wieman Hall. I had been optimistic and happy waking up that morning that I was brave enough to wear my three-inch wedge sandals that day.
Big mistake. Grrrr.
Walking like I’m on stilts, I finally gave up trying to find the Office by myself so I asked a student where it was, he gladly obliged to show me exactly where to find it which was great because I have come to realize how I am not as good with directions as I was back in the day! Hahaha.
What a relief to be able to finally ease my aching feet as I sat in my sister’s office (yup, guidance counselor at the University). Still, I had my spirits up. Yes! This is it! Twenty years of waiting for a chance to take my Master’s and now I am about to take the first step! I was so pumped up that I couldn’t help but feel extra cheery about the whole thing.
Exam proper. Three of us plus the examiner. First exam. I was okay the first few minutes, actually enjoying answering the questions. Just like the old days, I tell myself. Then suddenly the examiner announces: “Time is up!”
Whaaattttt? I still had quite a lot of questions to cover! Where’d the time go? I sat there mortified and staring at my incompletely answered test paper. Waaaa! This. Is. DEFINITELY. NOT. Like. The. Old. Days. I just feel, uh, OLD.
Second exam. Nonverbal. Oh hell, I never liked this exam! It seemed like a repeat of the first exam only in figures! But surprise of surprises! I actually enjoyed it! More importantly, I finished it! I would (operant word in this sentence) like to also think that I did quite okay. I am quite amazed at how I sort of had a change of heart concerning nonverbal tests. Even now, I am wondering: “What happened to me?” I guess we do get better with age. In some areas. Hehe.
Third exam came and went. Unfinished. Oh well. By this time, I have come to accept my faults and failures. No use stressing over things, I figured. I did my best. It wasn’t good enough to get everything done BUT I did my best. People sometimes overlook the fact that doing your best in everything can put any future regrets at bay. Yes, it does. Anything beyond our best efforts is otherwise known as a miracle and let us be real about this, although miracles happen every day, they don’t happen to the same person every day. So let’s just get over the hurdle and move on!
Last exam. I would like to think that it is an exam that plays at your comprehension and reasoning abilities. It made me realize that sometimes I read but I don’t really comprehend much. It is hardly because I don’t understand it but because, I find myself thinking of other things while reading; mental multitasking, if I may say so. I found myself re-reading the first three statements thereby wasting precious time. Ugh. That’s how it is these days, we are often thrown into the need of doing as many things at the same time to save time. Most days, we do good or manage to get by, right? But we cannot discount the fact that there are crucial moments and events that require UNDIVIDED attention. These are the ones that can spell major changes in life so we need to pay attention or run the risk of making half-hearted attempts which we might bemoan later.
Needless to say, I finished the four-hour exam feeling spent and mentally zonked. I could hardly walk in a straight line and my sister’s office couch seemed like a perfect place to catch some needed ZZZZZZZ’s. I was that tired. I even had to beg off having coffee with Mabelle who unlike me, had so much energy left to do other worthwhile things after the exam while I, chose to wallow in my inabilities and err, age.
Not to feel totally defeated, I did learn two major things from this experience.
I know I’ve said this a million of times but it is really true and somehow, it keeps proving its point. We cannot be forever young but that’s okay as long as we always find new things that can inspire us to continue learning and exploring new avenues to enhance our lives and personalities. Time teaches us that there are some general truths that can be changed, too. Whether it is major like personal principles or mundane as how you want your eggs cooked, experiences in life play a big role in how we perceive all things that we see, feel and encounter.
Example is the best teacher.
During the exams, I found myself looking back and paying attention to the examples that were given. It made things easier for me! Examples provide clarity to an otherwise murky detail that can adversely affect any outcome. I really didn’t have to read the examples but it was really helpful! If you really want to matter in this world, be a good example to the people around you whose lives come in touch with yours. Sometimes we go about doing unacceptable things just because we think that nobody is looking. Just because no one is looking doesn’t mean we should do things haphazardly or half-heartedly. Best efforts for best results. And besides, are you sure that no one is really watching? Hmmm.
The results will be out next week. God help me.
Have a Happy Sunday! :)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 03, 2013.