Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Worth fighting for?

A case of personal internal conflict...

Perhaps no mature person finds this a foreign thought.

Here's the scenario: It's about 30 minutes before the public exam result is out. A promising student, just back from a 14-day camp, waits anxiously. He took up 11 disciplines, and has high hopes of scoring straight distinctions in all of them. He silently says his prayers (again). He greets his fellow schoolmates as they arrived in the building. Then a teacher - one of his closest - approached and asked, "Nervous?" With a wide grin, he replied "Yes, a little", but deep in his heart something unstable was definitely stirring. Not long after, a media reporter arrived, asking for him. He was surprised but nevertheless pleased; being sought by a reporter is history indeed!
The moment of truth came: He was listed in the state top 15, but it was more a heartbreak than happiness. He had one A2.

"He" happens to be me.

I immediately thought of re-marking my Moral Studies. Don't bother the fee! That morning itself, my mom and I went to Education Dept office. I filled the form for re-marking. The counter people looked puzzled...I was very likely the first student to do that for this session.

What an extent it is! Just for the sake of straight A1's! But honestly, I had hoped and prayed for perfect results since the beginning of that year. I treated myself as a perfect-scorer. And my biggest nightmare wasn't really not getting full A's, but rather a "so close, yet so far" situation with the most minor of flaws. Realistically speaking, what harm does an A2 for Moral actually do? (I couldn't get to swallow that rock-hard fact until about 3 days have passed.)

Are things worth fighting for?

My Sem 1 result was a 39/42. It must have been among the top 39 because I've got a 79% for Biology. Pn Asima clearly stated that she doesn't give free marks away. None. Zero. Zilch. My 2 days of begging ended with unchanged results.

In DotA, persistence wins in very-late-games. My roommate told me of a game nearly 120 minutes long, where finally their side won using hit-and-run tactics to push to the inner towers.

Earlier this year, my Taekwondo development was reaching its zenith (or a zenith). 1st Dan was within reach. It would be much more costly overseas - not to mention no student-coach bond - and I'm not likely to continue in KK. Doing 1st Dan meant sandwiching my studying/revising time, web-surfing time, entertainment time, cooling down time, and even sleeping time. More than once, I felt like fainting in the oxygen-deprived hall.

Worth fighting for?

Around March this year, I was already definitely Aussie-bound. The points requirements for Melbourne were as high as that of Cambridge's (except for the 7,7,7 HL's). My internal exam score was 39, 38, 38 (or was it 37?) - none even touched the cut-off. And what could I expect out of my last-minute big essays? I hoped for a 1 minimum bonus, and hoped my subjects score didn't fall below thirty-nine. The exam time itself was the real, dirty, fighting ground. It was definitely the most intense I've had in my lifetime. I stayed till about 3am for Chemistry. About 4am for Biology. And 5am for Malay. My sleeping schedule was an absolute mess. The caffeine I've had probably intoxicated me during the last days. I pushed to the limit for ITGS. No games, no sleep, no distraction till about 2am. It was the last paper, and I had to make up for the sleep debt. I thank God I had no headache or fever. It was quite a victorious ending.

Worth fighting for?


Patrick Leong said...

The 1 point you were fighting for isn't worth it, because you don't deserve it.

A 79's a 79. You should be mature enough to accept it unless if the teacher really made a mistake. Inflated and artificial results aren't important. The real deal means more.

The A1 in Moral you were fighting important. It's important in that stage of life you were in, simply because an A2 can cost you a whole freaking scholarship. So, don't feel silly or anything. In Malaysia, that grade is a necessity.

And lastly, pardon me for being honest again.

Creski said...

Yeah. Thankfully it's an A2 instead of a B3 eh. An unchanged B3 = byebye scholarship.

Sadly some things in life do not have the clearest of indicators - and I still can't tell how worthwhile is it to fight for...