Question of the day (25th August).

Hi guys. 🙂

I was feeling shitty all day yesterday so didn’t even write anything, so here’s the overdue question for you, another childhood related one.

Did you like school? Are there reasons that you liked/disliked it?

My answer:

Who likes school? Not me anyway. Okay, at the beginning of my education I liked school somewhat, just except having to stay at the boarding school and except all the stressful stuff. It was stressful and challenging but I guess I liked learning. But it didn’t last long. Things were becoming more and more stressful, and I realised that, at least most of the time, creativity isn’t very well seen, and that most of the time it’s just either boring or freakishly abstractive for my brain, and that it was becoming more and more rare that what I learned at school would be either interesting or significantly beneficial/useful to me and bring something new into my life. I much preferred to learn things myself, things that I found interesting, although that wasn’t always possible, or not to a big degree. I didn’t do socialising literally at all at the beginning, then with years I learned to engage with people a bit more but it was very superficial. At the beginning of primary I remember I loved learning Polish and especially English, with English I stopped loving it as a subject very quickly because we happened to have a teacher that no one of us really liked who wasn’t too approachable or likeable, and then for the next year or two we had in turn a very meek teacher who was a lovely person but couldn’t even have much control over the class, and wasn’t demanding at all so things were either boring or chaotic on her lessons. And most of the time I didn’t have luck with English teachers, no matter in which school I was, I had only a few pretty good ones, and I’ve had fair few of them haha. Polish I loved for longer, as long as I was allowed to write elaborate stuff on topics I liked or that I felt comfortable with and could read at least mostly what I liked or stuff that we were reading for school was interesting. I think I started to get seriously disheartened by Polish in 4th grade but still was fairly good at it, and still there were things I liked about it. But, as you hopefully know, at least if you’ve been here for a while, neither English or Polish as a subject has ever discouraged me from liking those languages as such, although it was very close to it with English at some point and I had to rediscover it for myself a bit and, in a way, relearn it in my own way. I never cared much for grades, neither good nor bad, and I was not a perfectionist at school matters whatsoever, though the bigger tests usually really scared me and with time I did started to feel slightly inferior because of my math dilemmas, but only a bit. I hated that they wanted me to be good at everything (thankfully my Mum didn’t and was pissed off with that approach when she found out there is such so I didn’t want to be good at everything either). I guess I must have some sort of ability to learn things reasonably quickly, which was a bit weird but which really saved me at school, because I didn’t like studying hard, I mean repeating what we had at school and just spending more time than necessary with school stuff, I only did homework and repeated things very superficially before tests if I felt like I could fail spectacularly or if I needed to do reasonably good. I just never like to spend too much time doing boring things that I don’t have much interest in. I had to change that approach when preparing to my finals and spend horrendous amounts of time preparing to my math exam, but, as it seems, even studying really hard can’t always save you. 😀 So, especially as time went by, there were less and less things I liked at school. I was constantly stressed and depressed, having trouble engaging with people and doing a lot of daily prosaic stuff because of various things that I was struggling with, I was awfully neurotic and just hated school with a passion. Somehow I guess though that most of the time I at least managed to keep the impression that I’m doing well, unless someone was a bit more perceptive but I didn’t want people to see, or see as little as possible. I’ve also always been scared of changes, and at school you get a whole lot of them sometimes.

When I was 17, I got out of the school for the blind permanently and for a year that I had left until starting college, or however else you’d call it in your country, I was having individual education at my local school, where my brother was going to. My dream was always to be homeschooled, but I knew that was hardly possible, so I was happy that the psychiatrist who saw me at the time agreed with my Mum and therapist and the headmaster of that school who felt I could benefit from doing that year in individual education. And my poor teachers would benefit too, they weren’t really prepared for me appearing suddenly and I know most of them were deadly scared of the prospect of teaching a blind student. So I think it was easier for them doing it just with me than in the class, if it felt so challenging for them. And that year was the best year at school for me. I am sure that had I been at that school all the time it wouldn’t be a good decision, but I sort of regretted I didn’t come there earlier. I discovered that – while I was reasonably good at most subjects before – I was doing much better when learning one to one, and also I liked that I could really get to know my teachers well and they could get to know me well. I had exams at the end of that year, before going to college, but I don’t remember being very stressed about them. I was, a bit, for sure, but not quite as much as I was before previous or later major exams. I only remember finishing the syllabus for most of the subjects ridiculously quickly and reading my Vreeswijk’s poems translations or my short stories to my Polish teacher during our lessons and such. They really liked me there and I liked them. Sometimes I came to Olek’s classroom and had had lessons with the class (we were in the same class even though he’s two years younger than me because I had two years delay) and I kinda got along with a few girls in there even though they didn’t even know where people speak Finnish but oh well, never mind. I had a whole big classroom just to myself where I had all the lessons, and I remember passionately reading “Outsider” by Colin Wilson during most breaks while listening to music on the headphones so, if you know me, you’d figure out I was pretty chilled there, as for my standards. 😀 So yeah, that school I did like.

Then I went to that weekend school for adults, which was just boring. I also found it hard to socialise with people, especially with most of the teachers, those who seemed to be plain scared of me or something like that. I was really struggling with math stuff, and the rest was usually quite boring. I had one good friend who was helping me with things like getting around which made it all much easier for me, and I had some other fun people in the class too though a lot of people were dropping out or coming as they pleased since it was a college for adults so no one could pressure them to do anything really, and many folks got some benefits at work or something like this when they were learning at the same time so they enrolled often just for the sake of it. It all felt a bit artificial for me but then school is generally one big faking in so many ways for me so I was just trying to get through that period as best I could. At some point my Mum got tired of driving me back and forth and I was tired of sitting in the class while they were looking at slideshows or doing something from a textbook that I didn’t have and we collaboratively decided to ask my teachers if I could do the learning at home and just come in for exams and such. They all agreed with great relief, and promised profusely to send me what they are doing in class and the topics of the assignments and dates of the exams, but then I had to send them countless emails asking for that and that was rather yucky and resulted in a couple situations where I knew just last minute that I had an exam coming up or wrote an assignment a day before the due date. I hated that and it annoyed me like shit but overall when I stopped having to go to school every weekend life became a bit easier practically, and even more so for my Mum.

So that’s it, my experience with school, quite eventful, but mostly miserable, and made me feel really spiteful towards the whole education system, so that if someone wants to rant about it, I am always open and happy to chime in, just for the sake of it. Though Mum claims I am intoxicating Zofijka with my spite when doing it with her. I’m not sure I even care, is that awful of me? Zofijka mostly thinks what I do anyway, and comes with her school troubles to me a lot of the time, and I have to get my shit out somewhere finally too.

How much did you hate school? 🙂

It’s over.

Yeah, can’t believe it! 😀 My shitty finals are OVER!!! And no matter what will be my results from the written ones, I am still proud of myself, because of the oral exams. And OMG I was so lucky yesterday.

Yeah, yesterday was my last exam, oral Polish exam. I won’t lie, I was pretty stressed before it. I am rather good at Polish as a school subject, I love Polish as a language and I guess I know a lot about it, but this whole list of obligatory readings we have is overwhelming at its best. I guess it’s not a thing in most countries, but here, no matter on which educational stage you are (well I don’t know how about uni, but below it for sure) you have a very speciffic list of books that are obligatory to read that your class has to do and there are speciffic books for all years of school. The original purpose of it is to promote readership, ’cause, you know, in other circumstances some people, particularly little children, would hardly read anything, I still know people who only read obligatories, or just their summaries, Zofijka would be the perfect example, although she’s still young so things will hopefully change. On the other hand these books are usually incredibly boring, well that’s my opinion, so I really don’t know how they can help in increasing general readership, but well, that’s not my problem and that’s not the purpose of this post to write about it in detail. There are a lot of them so it’s rarely manageable to do all of them during a school year unless discussing obligatory books would be the only thing you’d do during Polish, and some of these books are more optional than others, but still somehow you are expected to know them all perfectly for your finals, because you never know what question you may get on the exam, and most of the question evolve at least partly around these books. So I was kinda worried what if I’ll get a question about a book I know very poorly or don’t know at all. You know, if you know the topic at least superficially, you can always say something, but if you know barely anything, it’s hard to pretend it’s otherwise. So I was hoping for some possibly light and versatile question or a question about the book I know really well and which we’ve done in class.

Luckily I could get some more sleep yesterday because my exam was to start not earlier than at 10:30 AM so we left at 7 AM to get there. Zofijka wasn’t going with us this time. When we got to the school, I had just 15 minutes to my exam.

I came in and drew the question, got the sheet and other stuff and had max 30 minutes to prepare to the talking. Normally it’s 15 minutes, but when you’re disabled you always get those fucking 15 mins extra which I hate, because I am usually done with everything long before the standard time finishes no matter whether it’s easy or difficult and no matter whether I did it well or wrong, and then there’s lots of fuss about it that I finished so early, I think if all those experts are so nice to adjust exams to us, there are plenty more things to think of than this, I don’t think many people make use of soooo much time, not all disabled students are disabled because of learnign disabilities.

I looked at my question… and you know what? I actually started to laugh, because it was so damn easy! I did some very brief notes but I doubt it even took me five minutes. So of course the committee was very surprised.

The topic I had to talk about was to describe changes in modern Polish language. You know, stuff like what the fact that people communicate via Internet or texting has changed in the language, for example, or lots of new words, etc. I got a text about it to read and then discuss it, say something about my own experiences in communication and what changes in the language I personally have noticed, and also talk about one more work, either a book, or a film, or even a song, anything that could illustrate how the language has changed.

So, ahem… well, ain’t I lucky? 😀 I talked and talked and talked. I was so afraid of this monologue, but this was such a broad topic, and one that I could really talk about a lot, so it was very easy for me to talk about it for 10 minutes. I am a huge language freak and I always notice the slightest things about how people are talking, writing, when they say things wrong or write something incorrectly or slapdash, or ignore all the punctuation or diacritics or write slapdash, and it usually drives me crazy far more than it should, I guess, well unless someone does it on purpose, ironically or something, then it can be cool at times. I’m of course talking about Polish, not English or any other language, since I don’t feel like an expert in any other language, although I am also very attentive for details in other languages. 😀 SO it was a perfect topic for me and I was talking about it actually quite expressively, I think, and I made the committee interested, because when I finally got to the limit and didn’t have anything else to say and we got to the part in which they could ask me questions, they had a lot and we had quite a lively discussion hahaha.

I came out after like 15 minuteswhile there were 45 in total for me, 😀 and there were already all the other students that are graduating from that school and passing their finals sitting in the waiting room, also that girl whom I know from the integration school about whom I’ve written before. I’ve seen all of them on Tuesday and although felt very tongue-tied around them then, I now knew them a bit better and we smalltalked while waiting for the results and supported those who were still to have the exam. Smalltalk is certainly not my favourite activity and it’s absolutely draining, especially that there were lots of them (yes 9 people is a lot, if you didn’t know it before, in my classification it’s a crowd) and they all knew each other while I was new, but I felt like it would be even worse if I wouldn’t talk to them at all. But we waited for so long that finally me and my Mum decided to go out to the park and have ice cream and one of the guys there offered he’ll call us when they’ll be announcing results so we could go with no issues.

I told Dad how well my exam went and how it’s actually a miracle because I’ve heard from others there were tons of other absolutely stupid questions which other people got with which I wouldn’t manage even half as well as with that one and that was just something perfect for me. I was feeling very high, well it was such a moodswingy day for me. I felt like I love the whole world and all the people together and every single individual on its own, and I think my Dad felt quite the same. We just sat in the park with ice cream and were observing nursery kids, to which, particularly my Dad, wouldn’t turn even the slightest attention in other circumstances. But we were watching them quite amazed, my Dad even in a rather maudlin way, I’d say. 😀 How much one small success and a strong feeling of relief can change in people’s attitudes. 😀 Wonder how people act just after they get to know they’re millionaires. 😀 Maybe that’s why so many millionairies support charities or children. 😛 My Mum on the other hand was very happy that I cut that awful Maggie (the headmistress) down to size once again and was sure I’ll get 100% once again. I wasn’t as sure, but anyway, I was happy my exams are actually over and the last one went so well. I was rather stressed on the prospect of seeing her again to announce my result to me, was afraid she’ll manage to crack me up once again, but even though felt rather confident and really proud of myself, although Maggie (my inner critic) had still other things to complain about, but I didn’t listen to her, or pretended I don’t, even though she tried to scream as loud as she could.

Finally the break started so they had results for all of us who’ve already taken the exam. I came in and once again the headmistress asked me how much I think I got, this time there was max 40 points to get. Silently I hoped for 40, but just in case I said only 35. She said that the committee rated me much higher and I got 100%. I was slightly surprised this time, even though I really wanted it to happen and know I did the exam really well.

– 100%? Again?! –

The committee started to laugh, and the headmistress said, not without some bitterness, that it seems to be my manner and that it’s not much of a surprise for me. I laughed and said it starts to be a little boring. It was a surprise for me, but it wasn’t at the same time, I’d say, if it makes any sense for anyone else than me.

Luckily she didn’t say anything more at all. I only waited for that girl with whom I was going to the integration before and who was in the same class as Olek to hear her result which was also very good. Everyone congratulated me, my Mum almost cried, as always in similar situations.

I felt like all the stress from the whole past year is suddenly going out of me and it felt so good. Sure, I still don’t know what I will do with myself now, no idea at all, but it’s so good to feel that this stressful and boring at the same time, stage in my life is over and I can now finish my education if I want to, which I definitely want, or at least have a break from it for a while, I’m so indescribably fed up of our education system, I mean of any education system that could possibly exist, believe me. I don’t say I am completely breaking up with the education system, if I’ll pass that damn math, I would love to study Celtic studies online at University Of Wales Trinity Saint David, but I just don’t know how things will go, even if I pass.

The headmistress’ assistant came to my Mum and gave her the address of the website where I can check out my results before they’ll be sent out to the school. Mum asked her if I could maybe have my certificate sent home and not go all the way to school and back again in July and it turns out that no, but we can ask the district committee to not send it to the school and then we can take it from the district committee, since it’s closer, and less stressful for me for sure, I really don’t want to go to that school anymore again. I told Mum that anytime I’d been there, I felt like something horrible was about to happen. Hard to specify what or even what kind of thing, but just something horrible. Probably just because of all that horrific and I guess triggering stuff that happened to me when I came there for the first and second time. Mum asked me whether I could be afraid that she leaves me, and, although it sounds so irrational, I said that maybe yes, maybe that was it what I was afraid of happening, hard to say though.

On the way home Mum was calling all the family to tell them I passed both English and Polish oral exams for 100% and my Dad was doing the same but with his job colleagues, even if most of them didn’t really care and didn’t even know he had a daughter, but he also wanted to let it out somewhere.

It feels so good to be over it all. Dad asked me when I am making a party to celebrate it. I said that before we can have a party we need to know what my other results will be like. Of course we were joking and I am not planning on making any parties, we’ve all wasted too much energy and sleep already.

But I thought it could be nice to celebrate it in some other way, however don’t have any clever ideas yet.

Any suggestions, anyone? Or has anyone of you any ideas how we could celebrate it here in My Inner MishMash? 😉 My brain doesn’t seem to be very cooperative now, so, any suggestions/wishes/ideas are appreciated. 😀