Exams have traditionally been something I have hated, yet for some reason done quite well in. I personally have no idea why that is. If I knew, I might be able to harness that power and create a car that runs on exam power, making oil irrelevant and becoming the saviour of the planet. Should this happen I would have to rename myself HRH Zaphod Beeblebrox, President of the Galaxy, The World and Everything in it apart from Vanuatu (because one person shouldn’t ever be in charge of everything). Sadly I still don’t know why I do well and still hate exams. The hope is that I will actually continue to do well with them. If I don’t I guess I will have even more reason to hate exams.
The first exams for my MSc were an interesting set of creatures. Being a Masters students means you have done it all before to some extent, unless you went to a liberal arts college, and I am fairly sure that you can’t do a Masters at ECS with a liberal arts degree though stranger things have happened. You find yourself getting into examination mode. Sort of like the same way Optimus Prime goes into truck mode, you transform into superrevisinglookingatpastpapersnotsleepingproperlynoteatingfromthefivefoodgroupsworryingaboutwhatisgoingtohappeninthefuture man (or woman). This transformation happens to different people in different ways. For me it generally means I start watching a lot of Japanese anime on my laptop, and my room descending into a nest like structure, with material and books scattered around my chair for easy access. For others they may become people of the library, or as they should from now be called libraryons. Of course some people are libraryons for completely different reasons, in face I heard a young lady telling her friend that the men on view in the library were extremely pleasing to the eye, I do hope she didn’t get too distracted.
Personally I am happy with the way my exams went, in structure, there was a lot more choice than I was used to, and I also found a few things about the exam hall itself different. Firstly I found that there really weren’t that many invigilators. At my last university invigilators were everywhere. They were like invigininjas, you think they’re not there and suddenly they’re right in front of you. This may be related to the fact that the majority of the invigilators were skint PhD students who were very appreciative of the money they could make invigilating. Thus they were very eager. This was not really the case here, where there were two to three invigilators for the entire exam room. Maybe the PhD students here are in good enough financial standing that they do not find the need to engage in this extra activity but it was different. Secondly, at my old university we were given receipts for exams so that if the exam paper was lost (which we prayed for year after year) you had proof that you did the exam and were given an A. This wasn’t the case here and I personally have no idea what happens to the yellow pieces of paper. Wherever they have gone however, I do wish them God speed and a safe journey to their final destination (slight movie reference there).
It is now, however, time to get ready for semester two and all of the joy and excitement that will bring. As we enter what I heard someone refer to today as the month of rain, I am hopeful for the future, both for myself and those I hold dear. As a group, the MSc students are now one step closer to completing their goals, and hopefully at some point in December next year I can wear a silly hat and gown and add some more letter to the end of my name.