My first memorable torturous exam would without a doubt have been the final exams at high school (you know - the one's where teachers, principals, parents, neighbours, and relatives you never thought you had inform you of the "importance" of these exams).
Anyway, during this "important" examination period I was struck with the flu. Out of all the possible times the flu could have struck it HAD to be at the start of the final week of exams... not on the LAST day, but on the FIRST day.
And boy was it a shocker!
Even though I armed myself with what seemed like a mountain load that would surpass Mt Everest of tissues that day, it just wasn't enough to stop the flood of snot and other green goo that endlessly dribbled from my nose.
I laugh about it now as I picture the stares of shock horror from my friends as I pleaded them for a tissue, or, for some spare blank pages from their exam papers.
I remember motioning to Dave first and as I did he moved his index finger to his lips ready to "Shoosh" me but when his eyes connected to the green waterfall his finger went from the front of his lips to inside his mouth where he proceeded to bite heavily on it.
Then there was Marcel. After unsuccessfully getting a response from Dave I turned to the opposite side and with my hands made a motion of blowing my nose to Marcel. I tried my best at covering the "mess" that covered my face in my actions, but when he looked at me puzzled followed by a shrugging of his shoulders I had no choice but to reveal the problem and point to it.
I had never seen a 17-year old boy wet his pants... but that day I did. Poor Marcel.
I prodded him a few times, but the shock had numbed him, I resorted to slapping him but after once such loud slap the noise drew the attention of the teacher officiating the exam. She quietly stormed over to my desk, didn't bother asking what the problem was and proceeded to forcefully grab my exam papers from the desk.
Thankfully my snot was thick and strong. As the teacher wiggled and tugged at the papers, she gave up and grabbed my shoulder asking me what the problem was.
She wasn't my favourite teacher so I just turned to her and let it all hang - no censoring - just pure unadulterated green goo.
"No, everything's fine Miss," I replied trying to smile underneath my green moustache, but obviously my humour wasn't found.
She jumped back at the frightful sight, covered her mouth as she swallowed a scream and yanked me by the arm.
Next thing I remember I was in the staff toilet giving my nose everything I had at getting every last ounce of clag out.
After several rounds of dumping saturated snotful toilet paper into the bowl I pushed the button to flush my contents and that's where the next round of problems occurred... the toilet had difficulty swallowing.
I tried flushing again adding what seemed gasoline to a bonfire hoping that the fire would go out, but as the water level rose I did the next best "smartest" thing... sticking my foot into the bowl to help push the "contents" through.
As I found at quite soon... that wasn't the smartest thing to do.
As you can no doubt guess my size 13 school shoe decided to stay submerged - stuck at the base, and I had no idea how I got it into that position in the first place... all I did was try push the paper through!?
This is not good, I thought.
The excitement began producing more snot and I had an extremely difficult time maintaining balance, trying to pull my leg out of the toilet and cleaning my nose all at the same time!!!
(Who says guys can't do two things at once?!?)
I tried turning my body at all different angles to yank myself free but unbeknowst to me at the time some attempts saw me accidentally keep my left hand on top of the flush button again... and again... and again.
It wasn't until water was about an inch deep from the floor that I began to wonder where in the hell all this smelly water was coming from. When I saw my left hand on top of the flush button during another "position" that I felt my nuts and stomach speedily travel up towards my throat... this wasn't going to be good.
By now the teacher outside began heavily sighing and demanding that I'd "better be nearly done". Though I tried to reassure that her I'd "nearly finished" it didn't come across as intended (damn those women with that sixth sense). In a last minute ditch I fossicked for my laces with both hands in the bowl and undone my shoe. I popped my foot out just as she opened the door.
"What the %$#@%$ ^%$#@ are you %$#@$# doing? &^%$!," she screamed.
What would have been otherwise an expulsion of a student was now flowing freely from my teachers mouth.
I stood there with one perfectly fine wet shoe on, one wet grey sock, two drenched arms, a slightly wet school uniform and more green stuff crawling out from nose with the increase of excitement.
If the shock horror of my smile earlier didn't amuse my teacher... this took the cake!
Again my arm was yanked (the other one... so as to match the other dislocation) and the famous trip to the principals office was in order... again.
This time the school caretaker was called, the cleaner was called, and my parent's were called... as well as another box of tissues. And again the "heads" of the school weren't impressed and they particularly made sure my parents were given the "excessively" bad version of events that had unfolded during this "particularly stressful time".
Another year of grounding was obviously going to be meted out when I got home.
After everything had settled down to a dull roar I was dismissed back to my class where I finished up my exam... in another room (I think because of my smell and green gunk issue).
I ended up failing it... and so did Marcel... poor Marcel.
So ever since that fateful day I learnt a very important thing... don't get a cold prior to exam week. This means that whenever an exam approaches I take excessive doses in Vitamin C (practically OD'ing on the stuff!) and where possible I try to reduce the stress of my studies.
How do I do this?
Well, when I study I maintain a rigorous regime. Here's how it goes...
1. Open study books.
2. Study hard for 15 minutes.
4. Take a 1 hour break.
Seems to work well, I have maintained a consitent "C" grade for most of my assessments ("C" really stands for "Champ" - everybody knows that!) and with this week's exams I've remained snot and stress free.
Obviously more C's coming my way.
What a champ (or as some teachers would like to add a champanzee!),
12 hours ago