Exams are my recurring nightmare
I woke up with a start. Yet again I had dreamt of being unprepared for an exam and panicking when the question paper was distributed. As the fogginess dispersed, I sighed with relief. I had no reason to write exams. I was no longer a student.
The relief was short-lived. I remembered that exams were looming in fact; may be not for me, but for the children, which is equivalent to my exams, because I end up studying the maximum.
I screamed, “Wake up. Time to study.” But it was of no avail. The three men in the household slept soundly, not concerned that exams were an animal that needed to be conquered early in the morning, right through the day and the darkest of nights. Hard work, I always said, works best, especially when the year has been spent in procrastinating on homework, note taking and mugging up of concepts and definitions.
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So what’s in the portion?
“Let us look at the portion,” I tried again after breakfast. However, the children seemed unconcerned.
“We know what we have to study.”
“How about Computer Science? Are you thorough with the concepts, programming aspects and binary problems?”
“Not really. We must revise them.”
I gave up. I was ready to do every other subject but not computer science. That was the husband’s domain and he ought to take an interest in that one subject at least.
“Huh.” The husband responded when goaded. “I have no problem. In fact, I can even cover more subjects. Maybe History and Civics.”
Much as I wanted to, I resisted the urge to look a gift horse in the mouth and delegated the envious tasks to him, glad that I was two subjects down at least. I even pushed him to start teaching them the same morning, considering it was a holiday and he would have ample time to spare.
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I did try to chill
As the men in my life conferred on the subjects on hand, and decided on the topic, I tried hard to not overhear, because it was my time to chill, but failed.
“How do you start an algorithm?” Asked the husband.
“With an A,” replied the children, giggling at their answer. I clenched my fist, refusing to take the bait. The husband looked at me with delight. However, my stony expression caused him to school his features into seriousness.
When it comes to studying for exams, I go for the jugular. I focus on the portions and do not worry about the chapters bygone. My husband, much to my chagrin, likes to begin at the beginning, despite it being out of portion.
Thus, I screamed before he could start, “Start them on Binary arithmetic. They are weak in that.”
The husband gave a confused look. Yet to his credit, he complied.
“Do these sums,” Presently, he ordered the children. I tapped them on their backs. “Get your notebook. Get your pen. Do you need a special invitation to start studying?” This dialogue never gets old, I thought to myself, as I mouthed like many mothers before me.
I tried to practise self-control instead of my usual practice of control-freakiness. Yet again, I failed. “Do the bigger problems. No need to do the simpler ones. You already know them.” I barked, as the husband lounged while the children breezed through the simple problems.
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What do you mean, the textbook doesn’t have the solution?
After trying hard to busy myself with other stuff unconnected to studying, I could no longer control myself. I came back to the study room and looked over the children’s shoulders. They were stuck at one problem and were leafing through their notebooks in the hope of finding answers there. The husband looked equally puzzled as he turned the pages of the book. “It is not here. How is this supposed to be done?”
I sighed and threatened in the same breath. “I better not find it here.”
To the husband’s relief, I could not find the answers either.
I thought of my parents and sent a mental salute their way for parenting before Google era as I turned to Google ji for answers. I became so deeply engrossed in binary arithmetic that I did not notice that the men of the house had faded away from the scene. When I finally looked up and around, I found the man of the house languishing on the sofa watching TV and the children, those critters, playing football.
“But Mamma, you were solving the problem. We didn’t want to disturb you.” said the three men in unison as I battled the mixed feelings of happiness at discovering the methodology and annoyance at being foiled by them yet again in studying for the exams.
No wonder I get these bad dreams still.