The big irony in life for me is that I still have the occasional nightmare about exams. Missing an exam, turning the paper over at the end finding another question as the answers are being collected or even not being able to find the exam hall, I have had them all. It’s ironic because I’ve failed two exams in my life, my GCSE (extra curricular) Latin and my TC1 Tax paper (part of my ACA accountancy qualification). I’m usually pretty good at exams, and certainly have nothing to fear from them, so it is quite odd that I still get anxious over them while I’m asleep.
Fear of exams got elevated to a whole new level for me earlier this week though when I took our eldest to his first drumming exam over in Watford. When he started learning the drums about 18 months ago, neither of us expected him to be able to sit an exam because he doesn’t deal with strangers or new situations very well, so when his teacher talked him in to sitting it we were pleased. We also weren’t entirely confident that he would actually sit it but you never know…
Fast forward to this Wednesday just gone, and we’re sitting in the reception of the examination centre. It’s sweltering, and we’re just waiting for the practice room to become free so the lad can loosen up before his exam. It turns out we don’t have much loosening up, just a few tears of worry, and an examination of all the posters on the wall: Who are they? That’s the Who, the two on the left are dead; Who is that? That’s Kurt Cobain, he’s dead. Who’s that? Bob Marley, dead. Who are they? The Stereophonics. Are any of them dead? Not as far as I know.
Yes, it got a little bit morbid but soon enough the chap came through to take the lad through his paces. I had to wait outside and let me tell you, it was horrific. I can’t remember ever feeling so tense in my entire life. Doing exams, or the stress of waiting for the envelope to arrive with the results in, none of that held a candle to waiting outside while my offspring was doing his drumming exam. Goodness only knows how I’ll ever cope with GCSEs or anything. I’m still a wreck two days later.