School


This week I have realised that it is time to get a move on with applying for a job for next year’s work experience. The job I want (at a newspaper company) requires that I submit my application an entire year prior to the work experience date. Now I realise I really should have tried harder this year to get some of those school awards I first thought were phony and useless (‘what use is $10 000 anyway?’ would have been the response of my naive self at the beginning of the year) but I had no idea how good they would look on my resumé. I am now left with an empty box for ‘awards’ and am wondering whether that Mc Donald’s trophy I won in primary school for being a ‘high achiever’ counts… I won a colouring competition when I was nine! Surely someone must be highly impressed with my ability to  ‘colour in one direction’ (Rule no. 1 in colouring in) and hire me for their graphic design company! I also won a donut-on-a-string eating competition at the peak of my performance. Will Krispy Kreme take me on? What about 3rd for orange eating on Annual? That must be one of the criteria required for a job at the Vic Market…

Or maybe I should just go for a job that doesnt require a resumé. I bet if I get a whole lot of piercings in a whole lot of awkward places, Off Ya Tree will hire me for sure. Or I could get really good wasting money and lying to people  and then join politics. I wonder how much people who get into the Guiness World Record books get for doing whatever extraordinary feat they do… What I could do is gain another 500 kg, become the world’s fattest woman and then sell millions of copies of my autobiography on what its like being the world’s fattest woman. Sounds like a plan.

I think it’s safe to say that I’ve narrowed it down to two choices:
1. Write a resumé
2. Gain 500 kg

I’m going to have to sleep on it.

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Dear Readers,

I know that I have not posted for quite some time, and I apologize.  I recently undertook a week long leadership course with one of Australia’s premier youth leadership organizations, which involved a week staying at not the arse end of the Earth, but pretty close to it.  I spent this week with some of our other contributors, and we all had differing experiences over the course.  If you look back to my last post or two, you will notice that I am rather cynical about the level of intelligence in the youth of the world, and Australia in particular. One thing I find is that the persecution of the intelligent seems to lessen in an environment such as the one I have spent my last week in.  People who are intelligent are respected for their abilities, their help is sought for problems, and their offerings of help are welcomed.  This is the attitude we should be looking to cultivate in ourselves.  Not quite a celebration, but rather an acceptance of the intelligencia, and perhaps, God forbid, respect that someone may know more than you on a particular subject.

So, people of the Interwebs, my message to you:

Next time that nerdy kid sticks his hand up in the front, or that workmate who has no life gets that pay rise, stop and think…. “Why don’t I know the answer?” “Why him not me?”

Here’s the answer:

“Switch on, the world respects intelligence and dedication to work, even if you don’t.”

Evening, comrades.

So, this morning I had the joy of completing the oral component of my VCE Chinese Unit 3/4 examination. I thought it was a rather interesting experience, so I’ll share it with you, although I realize the chances of anyone caring are low.

Upon arrival at the Northern Metropolitan Conference Centre in Coburg (ha), I immediately noticed that things were a bit strange. You know how they usually try to make it as comfortable and stress-free for the poor examinees, especially during an oral examination? Well, for my examination, they had the area sealed off by some big-ass fences and a rather mean-looking security guard standing beside a closed gate to the only entrance, who refused to let in any examinees until 10 minutes prior to their designated exam time. Beyond the gate was lifeless, with no signs of people or movement, only large, grey, desolate buildings. A large sign next to him read in big, bold letters: “No parents beyond this point”. A group of anxious and depressed looking examinees and parents stood around the gate, awaiting their moment upon which they will be subjected to the horrors behind the fence. As I joined the cold, huddling group, I noticed that this sight alone would have been enough to strike fear into the hearts of any examinee.

And then, my time came. The guard signalled to me, and opened the gate, ushering me in and instructing me to follow a path marked by signs that read “VCE Chinese oral examination”, or something along those lines. Expecting the exam to have taken place in the large grey building directly behind the guard, I was mistaken, instead finding myself walking along a long, lonely and silent winding path that lead somewhere into the labyrinth of buildings.

After being guided into some building by the signs, a few white people ushered us around a rather unnecessarily complex registration and initiation system and took us to a different building, and we were instructed to be silent as we approached the intimidating glass exam rooms from a corridor. They sat one of us down beside the door of each room, and let us sit there and melt under the intense anxiety most of us experienced as we waited for the examiners to open the door. It almost felt as if we were preparing to be executed, that waiting for us inside each of those rooms was an electric chair or a firing squad. I sat there and the doors began opening, and I watched as my comrades were lured into those wretched rooms, one by one. A few minutes later I was the only one left, and my time soon also came.

Nothing of interest happened during my actual exam. I didn’t do particularly well but it wasn’t a total disaster either, and my examiners were reasonably nice and engagable, not icy, intimidating and morale-crushing like the examiners I endured for my first practice oral examination a couple of weeks earlier. So after going through a long, spirit-breaking process of actually reaching the examination room, the actual exam was something of an anti-climax, being fairly straightforward and lasting for what felt like a minute.

So much for a “relaxing environment”. They had subjected us to a most stressful and even nausea-inducing environment in the lead-up to a hugely important examination. Fortunately I wasn’t overly affected by it, having myself been in many nerve-racking situations that have, to a degree, trained me to effectively deal with pre-examination or pre-concert anxiety. But I could easily imagine a more emotional person cracking under the huge pressure and anxiety that one felt as he walked along that horrible path, or walking into the exam room shaken and stammering from the build-up of nerves that the pre-examination process created.

The moral of this story? Nothing, really. I just felt like writing a blog. But there is warning in this for those of you who are preparing for your Chinese 3/4 oral examinations in the coming weeks: be prepared to be subjected to some mind-fuckery just before your exam.

– Ruob.

This stupid show, which claims to pit a variety of contestants against a selection of questions purported to be of primary school standard, is probably more challenging than most high school tests. Below is a selection of questions from tonight’s episode:

Grade Five Geography: The smaller country of Andorra is located between which two much larger countries?
My sister hasn’t even heard of Andorra. And she’s in grade 6. Hell, even I don’t know where Andorra is.

Grade Two Literature (since when was Literature taught in Grade Two? As far as I know, it’s a VCE subject only.): The magic puddings wish to protect their pudding from who? (or something like that.)
Now, having never read the book (that, by the way, is never mentioned. It could be ANY magic puddings), I find this question both stupid and confusing.

Grade Five Sport: The first non-French winner of the Tour de France was from where?
In primary school, sport is just…playing sport. You don’t actually learn any theory or any facts at all. My sister doesn’t even know what the Tour de France is. This is a real grade sixer, not some cute charismatic phoney that the producers stuck into the show.

Science: Insects are classified as what creature, beginning with A?
Having just started learning taxonomy this year, in Biology 1/2, I hardly expect even a fifth grader to be able to answer this question.

History: Who invented the first lock?
What the hell? If they’re teaching this stuff in school, then primary school has gone downhill since when I was there. I don’t think anyone really cares who invented the first lock. I doubt most people even know who did. I know I don’t.

Maths: How many equilateral triangles comprise the net of a tetrahedron?
What’s a tetrahedron? This is from a guy doing both Specialist Maths: General and Maths Methods.

Computer Skills: What does http stand for?
Okay, I spend more time on the Internet than a lot of people I know, and hell if I know this. I mean, do they honestly expect us to believe that primary school kids get taught exactly what http is and what it means?

History: What was the name of the ship that Flinders took around Australia?
Now, do we really expect little grade school kids to know who Bass and Flinders were, and what their contribution to Australian history is? Hell, I’ve read about Flinders and I’ll be damned if I know the name of any of his ships.

Science: What is the process that plants go through to make the sun’s energy into food?
Having only learnt about photosynthesis upon entry into high school, I doubt primary school kids understand the complex nature of ATP, ADP, and all that stuff.

Grade Five General Knowledge: What is Pink’s last name?
Can someone please explain to me how this falls under the category of General Knowledge? I do hope that my sister isn’t being taught rubbish like this in school…

General Knowledge: What is the floral emblem of New South Wales?
Was never taught this…don’t even know the floral emblem of Victoria, for that matter. And I live there!

In reality, none of these questions even slightly represent anything approaching intelligence. It’s more of a trivia competition than anything else. While Rove claims that all questions come off an actual school syllabus, I’d like to see the school that teaches it’s students about Pink’s last name, or who invented the first lock.

In short, this show is stupid, a waste of time, utterly boring, completely unrealistic, and probably rigged.