Posted by: coolerbecky | October 23, 2011

Quick! Answer the Question!

Comic Courtesy of Mac Hall

That Wacky Freud 2000-2007 © Ian McConville & Matt Boyd

The Machall comic here1 pretty much sums up my attitude towards my University course and its impending final examinations. No, I sincerely doubt that it means that I have an Oedipus Complex, that allegation is just plain disturbing2.

I’d be lying if I said that I don’t often get nightmares about exams. Long after I left University and started working as a publicist, I would get the occasional nightmare about taking programming exams in Chinese. Since I’ve gone back to University to pursue accounting, I’ve been more stressed than I’ve ever been about examinations despite only doing courses part-time. Just last night, I had a dream in which the Cost of Goods Sold on a spreadsheet had to be determined before five minutes were up or my best friends would be dumped into a laser shark pit by a cackling gentleman who bore more than a passing resemblance to my accounting lecturer3.

I’ve always hated sitting for tests. My mind has an awful tendency to draw blanks at crucial points in the exam, only to pick them up about two seconds after I step out the door. Even after the exam is over, there’s always that harrowing waiting time for the results, where your brain keeps manually checking and rechecking your responses to see if you’ve made mistakes, and an ever-present niggling worry about failure.

The last examination I had was an exercise in how poorly I could function under the worst possible exam conditions as well as how many stupid mistakes I could make in the course of one and a half hours. The examination room was a large one, but furnished entirely with uncomfortable flipchairs with those tiny flipside tables.

Anyone familiar with flipside tables would probably notice that such tables are perfectly sized for writing notes in lectures, for they are the size of a small notebook or lecture pad. These tables were much smaller, so that the examination papers, when opened, flopped over the sides of the tables. They also had a tendency to fall down with the gentlest of nudges. Half an hour after the exam started, the unfortunate soul in front of me had his table collapse from underneath the pressure of his pen, sending his calculator, examination paper and assorted stationery skittering to the four corners of the room. He was given no extra time for the exam and spent the next hour weeping pitifully as he continued to answer questions, knowing full well that he couldn’t finish the exam on time.

As for myself, I had managed to slice my hand open on the first page of the exam, so that my paper was sprinkled liberally with my own blood, alongside my answers. Never let it be said that I didn’t bleed for my diploma. I didn’t finish the paper either.

This means, of course, that there’s extra pressure for me to actually get extremely good marks in the finals.

Which means more dreams about exams.

Boo hoo hoo.

1Although Machall was completed in 2007, I believe that the creators of the comic, are currently drawing a periodic sequel called Three Panel Soul, which is accessible at
2Spiky hair guy in the comic has a point, though, Freud did have an unhealthy obsession with sex.
3I knew I should have borrowed Q’s automatic COGS calculator device before attempting this mission!

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