Nightmares- Ducks, Cars and Exams

I’m generally not a restless sleeper. When I wake up, I find my bed almost done and I can hardly remember what I dreamt about the night before. I tried keeping a dream journal once but that didn’t work out because I wouldn’t have anything to jot down. Dreams are said to have signs and hidden meanings but I just think that they are whatever you are thinking about whilst you are asleep. We never truly have a moment’s rest and our minds can not be expected to switch off for eight hours a night. We might forget how to think in that lapse of time and wake up dumber than when we went to bed.

 

Lately, my dreams have been worrying. Some our self-explanatory. I have my GCSE exam results coming up in a few weeks so it’s natural that I should have nightmares about them. I dreamt that my statement of results was given to me in Arabic and so I couldn’t understand it, even though I can actually read Arabic, and that our form tutor went through the humiliating, old-fashioned process of reading out everybody’s results. That kind of dreaming is normal and expected. I don’t dream of failing exams, I just dream of getting lower grades than I would have liked and receiving them in Arabic.

 

Some dreams are just bizarre. How would you explain being surrounded by ducks with nowhere to escape? I tried to cross the bridge but it became submerged in water and a duck blocked my way. I turned to the left. Duck. I frantically turned to the right. Quack. Then, I woke up, shaken and confused to find that what I thought was a feathered wing was actually a fold in my flowery pink duvet. What does such a dream say about my state of mind? Does it say anything about my personality? How about my future? I think not, but I could be wrong.

 

Another strange dream found me defending my mother’s incorrectly parked vehicle from a large woman by biting her hand as she pointed her keys at me as if they were a gun. This resulted in me locking the door and windows before peddling all the way home. The only possible message here is that I was born to be the hero, to cycle, or to clean up my mother’s mistakes.

So, what do you think? Do dreams always have a point or are you sometimes so tired that you start thinking gibberish in your sleep? Has anyone had any weird dreams lately? Leave a comment if you would like me to have a go at interpreting it for you. Although, don’t put too much faith in whatever I come up with.

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Going through exams…

My life is currently full of exams; hence, my (hopefully noted) absence on the blogging scene. It’s not for lack of time as ‘study leave’ leaves me with more hours than I need, but it is because I fear I will use up all my words and creativity on a blog post and then during the exam I will be all dried out. That would be a problem.

I take a very relaxed approach to my exams, or at least I think I do as I have no one to compare myself against, unless I include the brief conversations I have with other students who seem frazzled, are running on energy drinks or coffee and are lost if it is not on their revision notes. I revise but at a slow pace. Too little revision will make me feel unprepared and lacking in confidence and familiarity with the exam material, whilst too much revision will make me feel anxious. I hope I’ve got the balance right and that I get the results I’m hoping for.

It helps to remember that exams are not the whole world, that if I fail it will not signal the commencement of the apocalypse and that I should try my best, but there is no real way to completely get rid of nerves. Strangely enough, I find that the only exams I get nervous before are the English papers, not science which I find harder or any other subject, only English. It is one of my favourite subjects and yet I feel most nervous when it comes to it. Maybe it’s because I truly want to do well and I have such high expectations of myself and so I feel more pressured. Maybe it’s because I always do well in English and as the questions can be slightly unpredictable, I fear that my passing streak will somehow fail at the crucial moment.

I had my English Literature paper this morning and I feel extremely positive about my performance. I wrote more than I usually do, I used ‘bigger words’ than I normally do and even had time to read over some of my work. In less humble words…I aced it!  I hope so anyway. Last night I could not sleep without thinking about To Kill a Mockingbird, zooming my unconscious state into non-existent extracts in the book. Within those tense hours of sleep, I was late for the exam, I ran out of time during the exam and I took the exam at home but was unable to concentrate because of my parents’ persistent shouting. Does this happen to anyone else or am I completely alone in these unusual nocturnal behaviours?

On Thursday, a poetry exam I will sit.

I really hope it will be easy.

Wednesday night, the anxiety will hit;

My stomach already feels a little queasy.

It’s an afternoon exam so I get to wake up late!

But that just means amongst the nervousness and apprehension, I will be stuck.

As you can probably tell, my ability to write poetry is not too great.

Fortunately, I am only analysing them, so, wish me luck!

GCSE Results Day 2011- Yikes!

6:00 A.M (results released)

5:30:

After waiting nervously for months, today is the day my results will be released on the Edexcel website. I’ll know if a whole year of revision and exams has paid off or if it was just a waste of adolescent time. It better not have been.

I’m not nervous, or so I keep telling myself. In actual fact, I am unusually calm; as if I were not about to discover the letters that could change my life forever! Well not forever; until I can go back to school and re-sit my exams but hopefully I won’t have to. Perhaps that’s why I’m not that nervous. Because I know that if I don’t get the results I want, I can always retake the exam or ask for a remark. Grumpy grownups (that probably failed their own GCSEs), complain that the government has made it all too easy for us and that is the reason for the improvement of student grades but have they ever just considered that students are just generally more able than they were a few years ago? Exam re-sits are not going to change the results of an entire nation. I just find that they give more confidence, a sense of security, something to fall back on. Nothing wrong with that. Is there?

5:45

The facebook countdown has commenced. All my classmates have woken up early, as have I, some not even bothering to go to bed whilst others are too apprehensive. Years from now when we’re all in university we’ll be laughing at our younger selves for making such a big deal out of it, but for now we are all happy to wake up at such an ungodly hour. Most of us, that is. There are those students that say that they are not pathetic enough to actually get up at 6.00 in the morning just to check their results that will be available all day but we all know they’ll be taking a peek. How could they resist?

5.55

Five minutes to go now. Maybe I feel slightly anxious but I’m more excited than anything. I’m glad for that. Excitement is a positive feeling. I hope I’m still feeling it in five minutes time. I don’t take failing very well.

5.58

Back from the toilet. My stomach feels queasy. I think I’m almost ready now. As soon as I press that button….

6.00

Time to face the music. I’m going for it. Hope I’m not disappointed.

6.03

What’s happening? My results account is taking too long to open. Are they intentionally trying to give me a heart attack? The tension is building up and literally killing me.

6.10

Yes!! I passed! I more than passed. I absolutely nailed it! I’m so glad I performed well in the exams I took this year. I have my final grades for  French, Arabic, economics and maths as well as some units of science, I.C.T, English and history. My excitement is however, overshadowed by the dread of the approaching new school year in which I will have to go through it all over again! I know I should just be grateful but I wish that this was finally over.

6.20

I am now off to my warm bed. I hope this was not all a dream but when I wake up and starting doubting myself, this blog post better be here to reassure me.

Good luck to everybody who is receiving their GCSE results today. Let’s show everybody how the youth of today are not the lazy, un-achievers we are sometimes portrayed to be.

Out from under the textbooks

Phew… my exams for this school year are finally over and now I can sigh a breath of relief. Well, kind of… I’m actually feeling quite bored now. I never realised how much of my time is actually spent buried under textbooks because now I have absolutely nothing to do. Not that I’m complaining or asking for more exams but when your school days are empty but you are still required to sit in a classroom and do nothing in order to try to save your abysmal attendance record, you can tend to get a bit irritated. Yesterday for example, I spent my day moaning about how bored I was to a very unsympathetic audience and making lists of countries beginning with “N” and animals beginning with “B”; not the most interesting game but at least it stimulated some brain activity.

All I can do now is wait, wait for the holidays and wait for my exam results that do not come out until sometime in August. The way it works is that we are given a card with a unique pin which we can use to find out our grades from the exam board’s website at around 6 O’clock in the morning. Personally, I find it both an exciting and nerve-wracking experience as you wake up extra early during your holiday (or don’t even bother going to bed), rip open the card with your pin, shakily type it in and then watch your grades pop up. It’s a great system apart from the fact that your grade is displayed in a bar marked from U to A* which is filled according to your level, allowing you to see how close or far you were from the previous or next grade. This is extremely useful and a great ego boost for some but when you were only a mark away from a higher grade it is painful. Just one mark! Did you have to tell me? I suppose it must be good for business as they charge £30 for a re-mark so many students will opt for that hoping that there must have been some sort of terrible mistake or that the examiner will  take pity and award an extra mark for good handwriting or even for correctly filling out their details at the front. (Anything really, just please can I have the extra mark?)

Another thing that I find quite irritating is talking about the exam paper once you have done it. However, every time I promise myself that I will not do it I simply cannot resist asking everybody else what they got for that last question that I found quite tricky. Because of this, I leave the exam hall confident and satisfied with my performance only to have my joy crushed by the different correct-sounding answers of my classmates. It is so depressing finding out about all the mistakes you have made right after the exam, especially when you see your teacher still has the papers and yet there is nothing you can do about it. (Nooo!! Let me change my answer…please.) My history exam is a prime example of this. I misread the question that asked me to describe the Yalta Conference of 1945 and instead wrote about an entirely different conference altogether (Potsdam Conference 1945) even though I looked over my paper twice. Its an easy mistake to make but I am still extremely annoyed. Not at myself of course, why would it be my fault that I could not properly read the difference between Potsdam and Yalta? If anything the examination board should be to blame! They should have underlined/emboldened/high-lighted/enlarged the word so that I would have noticed it.

Any way, what’s done is done. Done incorrectly because I could not read, but done nonetheless so there is no point dwelling on it or ranting about it online. Hopefully, despite the examination board and the universe’s combined efforts to sabotage my performance and consequently my future academic journey, career and life I will still come up on top.

Note: Dear reader please do take note of my complete seriousness and absolute lack of exaggeration. Melodramatic is not my style.