Survival Season 101
It's that time of year again. Headaches, hot coffee, and hyperventilation for the more extreme. No, it's not winter we're talking about - it's something much worse than that. It's exam season. Ok, so it's not officially exam season YET, but it's going to be here pretty soon. So let's see how we can stay alive, shall we?
Stay in packs- Group study is one of the most effective study techniques there is. But don't just invite over all of your best friends. Chances are, you'll completely forget the 'study' part of it. Here's where that nerd comes in. Pick one or two of the more 'serious sort of students', along with a couple of your friends for a healthy mix.
Stock up on supplies- We all know how you were supposed to buy those question papers two months ago. Well, it's about time you bought them, and solved them too! Get all your stuff together now so that you won't have an excuse to put off studying later on. If you've missed classes, get up to date with notes, and anything else that you need. Remember to cross-check while copying notes. Just because your friend got something wrong doesn't mean you have to as well.
Keep your eye on the prize- You can reward yourself in little ways when you feel you've done something worthwhile. (Learning how to say CysticFibrosisTransmembraneRegulatoryChannelProtein all in one breath buys you an hour's worth of Halo Reach, at least.) Alternatively, you can work towards something more substantial. Supply-side policies become so much easier to learn when you hear that iPhone calling your name.
It's karma- If you know someone who has missed a couple of classes, or someone who could just use the extra help, volunteer to teach them. You get more work done that way without actually having to sit down and study yourself. And if your teacher catches you doing it, it could very well mean a few extra points for your recommendation letter.
Click it out- Use the Net. There are many sites out there that teach better than your fumbling Physics teacher and your clueless Chemistry teacher combined. Use them to your full advantage. YouTube has some great videos that work wonders on exam night, especially if you're a science student. You'd much rather be singing about protein synthesis than memorising it off that black-and-white bio book.
Keep your friends close... and the coffee closer- If it comes to the worst and you have to pull an all-nighter, just relax. Don't freak. Pace yourself, and stay awake with lots of coffee and healthy snacks. Try and cover a wide range of material instead of focusing on the details. The rest you can leave to your coffee-induced creative skills in the exam hall. Oh, and good luck.
The 'Fishy' Thing About Growing Up
"Here, have some fish,” my father placed the steaming bowl of curry before me with a challenging 'bring-it-on' look on his face.
“I hate fish,” I sighed exasperatedly. “And you know that very well.”
“Nonsense!” he waved his hand impatiently, as if shooing away an insect. “Fish is good. I cooked it myself, so you cannot say no.”
I stared at my father for a whole minute and sighed again. The man was grinning from ear to ear; covered in spices and 'jhol', stinking strongly of fish and looking very, very stupid. He seriously was asking for a fight, wasn't he?
I looked down at the watery curry and the little pieces of fish
You see, my father has an incurable case of fish-philia, so terrible that it crosses all boundaries of lunacy. Every Friday he makes a trip to the local bazaar and upon returning, floods the kitchen with all kinds of fish of various size, shape and name, much to the dismay of both my mother and the domestic aid. To him, life without fish is simply unthinkable, especially the small ones (now you know exactly why the ladies in the house are so displeased with him). He insists that growing up in a village, he had great love for swimming in the river and making friends with its 'delicious' inhabitants. Pity they didn't have Facebook back then; so he had to resort to catching and eating them up as an expression of love, or so he says. Well people have many weird habits and honestly, I had literally zero problems with my father's methods of, um, 'love'.
Until the fateful day he decided to drag ME along in his fantasy world.
See, adolescence is the toughest time in a kid's life, but you've got to admit it's also the coolest. And you have no idea how much it saddens me to think that the very first rebellious act of my teenage life was to get into a heated fight with my father over something as silly and stupid as… fish.
Even in this day and age there are many parents who deny their children the freedom of choosing careers, workplaces or even life-partners, but with me and my father it had always been 'ze fish'. The fact is: I. HATE. FISH. They smell funny, taste fishy and have wee little bones all over them like ninja-'kunai's making the already unpleasant task of eating them even more difficult (Eilish, anyone?). Moreover, most of them have really weird names, so mealtime arguments used to proceed like this between me and my father:
“Have some Bachha machh.”
“Not Bachao, idiot. Then have some Silong.”
-“Sri Lanka?! What?”
“Aargh. What about Kajoli?”
-“Geez, what's with these sissy girly-named fish?!”
“Oi, don't you dare insult my fish!”
-“The hell I won't! It's not like I was raised like a village river-monkey…”
“WHY YOU LITTLE-”
And it would go on and on and on, sometimes ending with me storming out of the dining room, sometimes him, or sometimes both of us. We would stop talking to each other for days and weeks, and I would hate him; for trying to force his preferences on me and not giving a damn about what I wanted. I would rage, fume and get sad that my own father wouldn't understand me, wouldn't care about me… all that cool-sounding cliché stuff just over some stupid fish. God, how it used to madden me.
And today, here it was again: the steaming bowl of fish-curry, the defiant twinkle in my father's eyes, the mocking smile curling his lips and the familiar tension in the air before an imminent fight.
But this time, I had a different plan.
I calmly took the bowl towards me, spooned out a little curry and began munching away at the food. My father stood still, gaping at me.
“Eh?” he made an almost-disappointed, sheepish face.
“Well, one of us had to grow up,” I said. “Thought it might as well be me.”
My evil smile left him even more flabbergasted, “You not gonna scream or fight?”
“Nah, can't win against children,” I said, grinning widely. The fish tasted horrendous, as usual. The taste of newfound 'adulthood', however, was priceless.
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By Professor Spork
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