Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 2

To climb to the top of the hill of academia, there are many obstacles to deal with. These obstacles are not like awesome and cool characters like the dragons and vicious witches that you find in fairy-tales. The first obstacle for me to confront is called Tests, or to be more precise; The International English language Testing System. To be accepted at a Uk university, I must obtain an overall score of 6.5 out of 9.0, with a minimum of 6.0 in each component; reading, writing, listening and speaking. It doesn’t sound gentle like a gentle stroll in the forest, does it? And there will be no prince on a white horse come and rescue me from the coldhearted examiners. I won’t have any angels on my shoulder, either, to whisper all the answers into my ear.

The bitter reality is just page after page of a textbook to read and answer. The best resistance I can make is to glare at the textbook sitting on my desk in the corner of the kitchen, groaning, “How dare you TEST me, you bloody pieces of paper?” Pathetic indeed. And just imagining the depressingly tense and awkward air of the examination room and the nerve- wracking faces of the examiners drives my delusional mind crazy Don’t you wish they could be a little friendlier, and that air could be lighter? How can a human being with an average capacity of endurance confront such a massive stress?

Some IELTS candidates may believe “Practice makes perfect.” Some may hope for a supernatural power to save them. Some radical thinkers may opt for the superstitious belief that eating all the test pages will help to retain all the information on them. Well, I’m a romantic yet mediocre, everyday person, with faith in the good ol’ saying “A friend in need is a friend indeed.”
I don’t have an brilliant brain but I’ve got a brilliant team of cheerleaders on my side. They talk, walk and kick my butt on demand. They ain’t ordinary cheerleaders with microskirts and pompoms, though. Some have got big geeky glasses on. Some have the most sarcastic mouth on the planet. And the most enthusiastic one of all is my most intimidating critic, who gives me the best rolling eyes you could ever imagine. She is often called a daughter of mine. Yet both of us hardly believe the fact. We are the most role-reversed mom and daughter ever. I‘m often en-skewered by her sharp tongue than encouraged by it but she and all my other cheerleaders are on my side, always ready to get on the emotional rollercoaster with me.

In my cross-cultural communication class at university, the professor said, “The most valuable asset you can possibly have for your life is a friendship, that is non-judgmental to who you are, and that brings out the best of you. It is based on mutual respect and extreme enthusiasm to get to know each other. Such a friendship would last forever, enriching and fulfilling your precious life.” He was one of the coolest educators I have encountered. He was one of those little miracles that you sometimes have the good fortune to meet in the world of academia where power-hungry villains rule.

I used to hate those teachers, disguised behind their “ organically good man” masks and their biased moral speeches. I didn’t find any morality in mentally bruising children with their intentionally brutal comments like “I’m completely disappointed with your work. You are nothing but a trouble, aren’t you?” Oh, well, they may have tried to kill my curious nature in order to have a perfect and easy control of their classrooms, but they completely failed to achieve their goal. I’m still here, still climbing on the ladder of wisdom, still full of curiosity and I still have the deepest pity for them. I’ve realized that many teachers are also victims of a serious disease, called “Toxic Teacher Syndrome”.

I hope to show them how that little cheeky brat, who used to sit in the corner of their classroom with so much attitude has everything it takes to become a theoretical researcher in the academic field.

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