Barrelled Thoughts #19

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The new year started with a bang. And a big one at that. From the off we were told to prepare ourselves for the biggest year of our lives. What a treacherous time in our lives….sigh
No one can ever prepare us fully for the challenges ahead, only we can, and we’ll have to change, adapt, fit-in, if you will. This year is, so they say, “When we separate the men from the boys.”

I think it’s fair to say that our morale was crippled by the first set of prelims. They came like a force-ten tropical cyclone which was only supposed to be a light afternoon shower. “It’s not going to matter that much! Relax! Just go about these exams the same way you would any other block test or exam.” Yeah, right.
If the anticipation didn’t kill us off, then the exam certainly did. With each exam longer than the last, we were really in for a treat.

During the week we were scheduled to have prelims, most of us were already trying to mentally prepare ourselves for what was coming, but honestly, we all did a pretty shabby job.
About a week before, I spoke to one of the graduates from our school. He told me about the games they played during the prelims, where everyone would race to see who could guess all the answers first and hand in their answer sheet. I’ll be completely honest when I say, that didn’t help with the confidence issue at all, ha ha. Thanks, though, I know we should try and make light of every situation. Sometimes I think a little bit of seriousness and some stress could do you wonders in a high pressure situation.

A few days ago, Katherine was reading an article about stress, and how it may be beneficial toward our lives. I personally think a right amount of stress is required for us to move on in our lives. Without stress, would man have found an alternative to fire? Without stress, would the Portuguese have found a new route around Africa to get the Asia, thus discovering South Africa? Probably not. But like many things in life, too much stress could potentially be life-threatening, ha ha.
Even the peaceful warrior, Nelson Mandela ended his marriage because of stress-related marital issues — which Chris Rock very appropriately describes as, “I can’t take this shit no more!”
Back to the old adage: “Too much of anything ruins everything.”

After the prelim results were announced, our teachers really brought the hammer down on us.
“Let’s go people,” our chinese teacher would say, heaping work onto us almost immediately. Revision, revision, revision: breakfast, lunch and dinner. My Facebook status would read, “John really misses South Africa.” But then again, what use is there in missing the past while I’m trying to pave my future?

The first round of college entrance exams arrives in approximately 138 days. D-day, as I like to call it. This is when the shit hits the fan. Of course, before the exams in January, we still have two sets of prelims and three block tests to deal with. For most of us, we’ll be hoping that we will be prepared by then, but for the rest of the students in my class, it’s just another stage in their lives which they have to overcome until their social lives really begin. Wherever we may be, come July of 2010, I just hope we will all still be with each other at heart, and, of course, as they all say, “High school friends are your friends for life.” I really hope that turns out to be the case with many of them.

It’s so hard to envision life in Taiwan in the future. When I was back in South Africa, every matric’s life was about pub-golf and a tiny 1.6 litre City Golf. But in Taiwan, I find it very hard to tell the difference between a junior-high school student and a high school student. In junior high, you’re preparing for those stressful high school entrance exams, and in high school you’re studying for those stressful college entrance exams, just so you can heap more pressure on yourself in college! Please, Taiwan, enlighten me.

“Oh, I can’t wait to be done with primary school so I can go to junior high!”
“Oh, I can’t wait to be done with junior high so I can go to high school!”
“Oh, I can’t wait to be done with high school so I can to go college!”
“Oh, I can’t wait to be done with college so I can go to grad school!”
“Oh, I can’t wait to be done with grad school so I can get on with life!”

Education does enlighten me, yes. Now I’ve finally realised that I should’ve been born a cow. I love grazing. JSF.


Come on, Bokke! South Africa wins the tri-nations in style!

Moooooooo... How peaceful the life of a cow.

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