Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Exam Lagi

So PMR is here again.

I guess good luck for those taking the exam. Akmal is one of them. My niece Mariam is another. My fellow friends of Coolbatch would have many, so would friends of KB76ers, and many others.

I don't remember any specific of my taking SRP in 1978. I do remember the weeks leading to SRP with our daily tests conducted by our teachers - Bp Mappa, CG Ghazali and Shaari etc etc. I remember better the aftermath of SRP of course since MRSM simply could not let us go home; so they arranged for trip to Bukit Bakar and that army camp (Kem Kijang ke?).

Post SRP at home I remember it too well too. I spent the whole month afterwards kat rumah Aulong sleeping, up to the extent that Mum was wondering what was wrong with her son. Tido memanjang.

Bukan aper, qadha tidor.

SPM I don't remember nothing.

As Streisand has said in her The Way We Were classic:

What was too painful to remember
We simply choose to forget.

Hihihi..great mind that God gives us all!

I guess many of us would have consigned the nightmare of exams to the backwater of our mind. One could consider that as the back of our sofa - best left forgotten. From time to time, I do dream taking exams.

Or rather in my nightmare.

Don't get me wrong; I don't mind taking exams, but I worry too much getting the results. Especially if your school or uni was like mine at Monash. They would simply post the results at the Union for everybody to see. Any Tom Dick and Harry would see your results.

With no exception.

Memang tension pepagi result nak kluar. Typically in late Nov or early Dec.

Worst exam for me would be my first year chemistry at (Sir) Robert Blackwood Hall. It was 8.40 am and I had not even taken my breakfast since I have a 2 pm exam. Suddenly my housemate rushed out murmuring about him being late. I said, "Sle, relax lah, mu dok rushing nak buat gapo dia?" Sle is a Kelantanese, ex MCKK guy but by the time I finished my sentence, he was gone. So I took a glance at the exam schedule pasted in my room to find what subject he was taking that would have an exam in the morning (we were taking engineering and there is no way he would be taking a subject that was different that what I was taking) and what I saw made me shriek.

The chemistry exam was to begin at 9 am! The paper I was supposed to sit for.

(Caption: Robert Blackwood Hall at Monash where the Chemistry exam was supposed to be held that morning. It has the best acoustic on this side of the City.)

My heart raced, I packed all my stationeries and my text book (it was an open book exam), get dressed and practically ran my way to the Hall. Usain Bolt would have been proud of me that day; I am sure I would have beaten Dollah and Lokman in the sprint. Within 10 mins I was there, in time for the exam. I still manage to meet up with Sle and reprimand him for not telling me about the exam time. But really it was my fault for not correctly reading the timetable.

Well, I passed my first year exams - barely though and Sle unfortunately had to continue his studies at the then Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Had I failed to sit for the exam, I would have to repeat the whole year again the next year. They would not have accepted my excuse of misreading the timetable.

That was in 1982.

Another bad moment for me would be my final year in 1985. I was fully prepared for the exam, but while we were having dinner at home, a senior Adib dropped by and he asked us if we had heard the news.

"What news?" I asked him.

Apparently, someone has just killed himself in the morning by jumping off (Sir) Robert Menzies Building. The Menzies Building is a 12-storey bulding housing the Humanities Faculty, Social Sciences, Economics etc and we engineering students seldom would venture there. Here was the place if you want to see the prettier students! Tempat cuci mata. You may have read about my activities at the Humanity Library in What's New entry earlier.

Caption: The Menzies Building in the background. The round building is the Religious Centre, with church in the middle and other religions' prayers rooms surrounding it including a room for us Muslims. Here is where we have our Friday prayer. On second thought, is that the Rotunda Building. Now I am getting confused as both are of similar architecture.

Sorry I digress again.

He said he was walking and suddenly he heard a loud thud. He turned around and there it was. Splat, with blood and bodily fluid splattered all over the pavement. It was gory.

I think many were lucky he didn't fell on anyone of them. They could be dead themselves!

In his exam hall later, many girls were crying (out of shock and trauma I guess), and they later announced that if you want to skip the exam, they would allow you to resit the supplementary paper later in the year.

Adib's description that night was so graphic that I myself could not study afterwards and keep on thinking about the suicide. Aiyah, do you have to come and tell us, eh Adib? ;-) Actually suicide was not too rare at Monash during those days. Must be the pressure of exams, I guess.

But I do remember getting my SRP results. I told my parents, I am not going to be bothered to find out and I would wait for the postman to deliver the results, and not call personally. After a classmate Soraya Merican (Aya) came to Aulong with her dad to inquire, I simply could not resist trying to get mine. So I called Kota Bharu from the phone booth in front of the Balai Polis Aulong and the person who picked up the phone was simply no other than Pengetua Nik Mat.

So I had no choice but to ask him. Aah, it was the nicest that the Pengetua had spoken to me in my 3 years there, dengan segala pujian meleleh.

Hihihi..lepas tu berlari balik rumah and terlompat-lompat lah kiter practically screaming "I am the **** ******!" Mak was there too; so it the best hug I ever got from her.

Eh, aku termimpi lagi!


People said there are two certainty in life - death and taxes.

I think they are wrong. Exam is another.

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