Friday, June 11, 2004

The Oral Exam Was A SHOCK!

My oral test was at 6, I did all my best to be there on time, and I was there at 5:50 :) I found my colleagues there talking about possibilities of the questions to be posed in the oral exam, then discussing what they’re planning to do in the holidays and stuff like that. The teacher called us to begin, and we had to wait along with other students of other levels. Imagine only 100 out of at least 300 students passed the written test. We waited all in the same room. There were 4 rooms, 2 teachers in each.2 students, one from the class of each teacher. Outside, where the 100 were waiting together. I hated the chaos. All students were talking so loudly, around 10 smoking in the small room, others talking on the mobile… etc, without respecting the teachers inside, nor the calm environment the students inside need. The second thing was the lack of order from the side of the teachers, they didn’t call out for names to come in, instead, they relied on the student’s fighting skills to be able to reach the door before others so that when the one inside gets out, the other would immediately force him/herself inside. If they had a list with names ordered according to alphabets then there wont be pushing or fighting on who’s turn is it. Anyway, I was so tired, didn’t prepare anything, unlike my other friends :( and I was like: ok, I know what I know, whether I wait or not, my performance in the exam will still be the same, so let me get over it as soon as I can. After 7 students, each staying around 20-30 minutes, I found myself inside the room. It turned out, I had to choose a peace of paper with around 5 lines explaining the subject to discuss. There were more than 100 pieces, and I had only 2 minutes to make a choice. Every time I pick one I return it immediately, either because it’s way too silly and wont give a good impression, or because I didn’t understand what the hell they’re talking about, or because I just didn’t think I’d be able to say something about the subject suggested. Anyway time was up, and I randomly picked a paper, which turned out to be about WAR!! I had 5-7 minutes to put something together and prepare for what I’d say. Meanwhile another student (who’s been through what I’ve been through) would be discussing his choice of the topic with the teachers in the same room. I must say it was the worst 7 minutes at all. I read the paper over and over again. The paper said, I had to show whether I’m with or against war, why’s that? And what are other solutions in case I was against war. I squeezed my brain to form a complete sentence, but I had nothing other than: “je suis contre la guerre” (I’m against war). Now why, and what other options there are to solve people’s problems, I had the ideas, but the words I’d say…NO DAMN IDEA!! So I lost hope in preparing for something to say and started praying to God! Anyway, it was my turn, my face was tomato-red, and all I did was smile. They were like: ok begin. I started by representing myself, and at that moment I don’t know what the hell has happened, I talked and talked and talked, my teacher was so proud yet SHOCKED, while the other teacher looked as if she was hypnotized, she was staring at me, with a big smile on her face. I don’t know how that happened, but I found myself talking with no problems (not without grammar mistakes :D) discussing the type of work I do, what I think of French, my problem in having no time to study at home, and then started talking about war, my opinion of it, my feelings towards it, the many disadvantages of it, listing the effects of war on economy, education, social and professional life, as well as the creativity and productivity of people, putting expressions I’ve never used here, adding some definitions I never expected to know there, discussing the failure of war in Palestine and Iraq, mentioning other ways to solve problems, and thanking my teacher for being patient with us, all this came out of my mouth while I had the most shocked face ever, because I really didn’t know how I managed! but I did it, all in 10 minutes, they did not ask a SINGLE question, they were both smiling and the hypnotized teacher was like: I don’t know, your words had me picturing war and feeling its destruction, but still your way of expressing yourself was so confident and simple that I really enjoyed your discussion! Thank you and come and get your result on Monday.
I came out and no one believed I was done in that short time! I gave them some helping tips ;) no that isn’t cheating :P and then got a cab home.
Hmmm, it felt great to have many things to say without the trouble of looking for words :) I don’t care about how good my result will be, what I did yesterday was enough for me to feel pleased with my French knowledge at this level :)