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Why you shouldn't read Milton, and another rant



My first blog update of 2006 is going to be a bit of a rant. A bit? Quite a lot, in fact.


I'm currently in the middle of my revision period for two exams, one of which is English literature. Two things are bothering me about this exam; the first is a problem I have with all essay based exams (my other exam is multiple choice so it's not much of a problem) and the second is about a certain piece of literature.


Part one: the essay based exam.


I've taken a lot of exams since I started high school, I've written a lot of essays under pressure. The more that I did it, the easier you'd think it would get. It doesn't. If there's one thing I've noticed about this type of exam that has gone from an annoying niggle to a full scale pain in the backside that I feel the urge to rant about on the internet ( wink.gif ) it's this: why is it that these exams test how fast you can write instead of what you know? Write three essays in under two hours? *fruitcage* off. If you want me to tell you what I know (which can sometimes be a considerable amount) you're going to have to give me time to write about it.


I'm a slow writer, but I know what I'm talking about; just because I can't cover a whole side of A4 paper in 10 minutes doesn't mean I have to suffer because some *albatrosses* can. Since I've started university I've walked away from a lot of exams feeling terribly upset, and one of the reasons for that is the horribly disheartening feeling of looking at someone else turning over pages and pages of tiny writing while I'm only getting to the bottom of page two. If I wouldn't get thrown out for causing a disturbance, I'd scream, I really would.


I was in tears of frustration the other night about this, the fact that there's nothing I can do about it is the most upsetting thing. The university will offer help for anything that hinders your exam performance such as dyslexia, but unfortunately 'bad hand eye co-ordination leading to slow writing' isn't one of them. I can't appeal for them to change their exam method just because of me either.


I attended one of the exam briefings that was held before christmas and the lecturer was good enough to give us a much better picture of how to actually write an exam answer, ie. ignore introductions and conlusions and focus on answering the question. Thanks a lot, telling me that before my first year exams would have been helpful too dry.gif . I can't actually complain though, since now that I do know I'm feeling slightly better prepared, but I've still got this overwhelming feeling of dread.


Anyway, on with the next part of this giant frustrated ramble, which I can try and disguise as an actual literary review...


Part two: Paradise Lost.





Just, why?


If I wanted to read the bible, I'd have picked one up and read it. Why the pointless re-tread? 'Trying to explain the ways of God to men'? Did you b*llocks, mysoginistic w*nker that you are.


If only I could write the above as an exam answer, sigh.... rolleyes.gif To be honest, I can actually write a critical analysis from that viewpoint if the right kind of question comes along, you can tear any piece of literature to pieces as long as you can articulate the argument well enough.... *crosses fingers*


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just about what you've said about dyslexia hardcore have you ever been tested?


im dyslexic and it affects us all in different ways for instance spedz self confessed atrocious spelling is one way my absolute incompetance in get the ideas from my head to paper is another. i am also very very slow in exams and i get extra time for this (although next year i wont because of some buerucratic *beep* about my marks being too high) and alot of people who are of you generation (early to late 20's am i right?) were never tested so you might have a more mild form of well the disorder that could affect your writting speed and cordination (i cant throw anything and hit a target im usless) which could have slipped through the cracks.


if so then you might be entitaled so give it a whack

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Well, I've never shown any signs of any sorts of learning difficulties, the closest thing was I had problems concentrating when I was little but that was linked to a nutritional thing where I wasn't getting enough energy.


My spelling and grammar have always been excellent, the real problem is my handwriting and co-ordination. My handwriting isn't bad and can be quite tidy on occassion, but I just can't write fast enough. Also, with the bit about marks being too high: I don't know if they need to see a really bad performance before I'd be considered for that sort of help. Then again, it might be worth a try, I'll go see my advisors and see what I can get worked out smile.gif

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Full marks for writing another blog entry, I was starting to feel lonely up there wink.gif


I actually kind of know what you're feeling for 2 reasons, but one in a far less serious - and in instigation utterly different - kind of way: I can't write fast because I have chronic tendonitis and a quite severely damaged wrist (most amusing from other people's POV of course but I had a ton of bricks dropped on it wink.gif ) and its very annoying at work taking notes and that sort of thing. People get impatient so I slow it down a bit more rofl.gif


But the more relevant thing is my problem with state education, and I have taken serious issue with it in the past and also even now, despite my hatred of it and my continued absence from anywhere I might possibly be affected by it! In method it is devised by bean counters, and in practice it is administrated and moderated by employees at best, incompetant little-hitlers at worst. My father retired from his 40-year career as a headteacher last Christmas so I've seen it from all angles. I've been expelled form 2 schools and one college to boot so I have had my fair share of it's pifalls and practices.


I think you just inspired another entry for my blog actually, thanks again! (I'll leave it until tomorrow at least wink.gif )


The standard all-encompasing way, although sadly the only practical way with the state of society and the system right now, is ill thought-out to put it mildly, and as someone who also really can't keep up with something as fundamental as handwriting I can totally see why this infuriates you.


Best of luck meeting your advisors, hope they can see past the bean counting!

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Multiple choice exam is today, starting in a couple of hours. I'm actually feeling quite well prepared for it, and as soon as it's out of the way I can stay absolutely focused and hopefully feel a lot better about the essay exam. Wish me luck smile.gif

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