Let exams begin

To be honest – I’ve actually already had one of them! My Russian speaking exam was on Wednesday at 12.20pm (EST) and it was the most bizarre exam I’ve done in my life. For the first 5 minutes, I had to stammer my way through an A4 sheet’s worth of Russian to show my pronunciation – and some of the sounds that they put together are really tricky to get right. On top of that, you had to judge where the emphasis was, because this can change the sound of the letters before and after the stressed syllable/letter. Then, as though that wasn’t hard enough, you had to actually talk to the examiner about yourself (о себя), and then the discussion could go in pretty much any direction after that. Mine ended up talking about how I used to live in Spain and because Spanish is my second language, I kept trying to say ‘Sí’ instead of “да” (both of which mean ‘yes’ (the Russian word is pronounced ‘dah’)).

After the exam she kept talking to me in Russian even though we weren’t recording anymore, which was weird too – aren’t we supposed to revert back to English and then she can console me and tell me that I don’t need to worry I did ok? I mean c’mon!

So next up is my final Russian summative test (summative count, formative don’t – just so you remember!). That’s 2.30 pm today. The other exams over the next few weeks are listening exams and reading and writing and translation (Spanish only for translation I think – and hope!). The thing is with languages, you can’t really revise in terms of learning a load of facts…. you have to just know as much vocab as possible and have a great grasp of the grammar and be confident when you speak/listen. So it’s kinda down to what’s on the paper/in the recording on the day. Which is fine, because it means my ‘revision’ mostly consists of watching tv programs in Spanish and Russian and going over vocab/grammar areas I find challenging, or reading a book (in Spanish…. maybe next year for Russian!).

So yeah revision is finally CHILLED for me. I don’t need to learn a bunch of quotes for an closed text English exam or a ton of facts and details for a History exam. This is waaaay better than A-Levels. Ok so I have one module exam which was about plays – but I don’t mind revising a bit harder for that one because it’s only ONE exam like that. And it only lasts 1hr 30mins. That’s not that long really!

So things have got a bit tense in my flat. I’m not going to go into too much detail about what has happened, but basically Rob and Ed have really upset or hurt most of the other F3 inhabitants, and now I and about 4 others are actively avoiding being in the kitchen for too long because they are always in there, and if you go in alone, they will insult you or take the jip out of you and intimidate you…. they’ve also been harassing Ellen a bit. That’s as much as I’m willing to say – but we’re all finding it really hard to live with them anymore. I’m kinda relieved to know that I’m not the only one finding it hard. I always blame myself when things go wrong… I thought maybe I wasn’t loving them enough, maybe I wasn’t being patient enough, maybe I just wasn’t being enough like this or that…. but it turns out that they’ve been rude to quite a lot of us, and as a result we’ve all become quite alienated from them. It’s really sad, because we shouldn’t have to feel like we need to lock our doors and hide away and never go in the kitchen (where they always are). It’s our home too for crying out loud. At least for the next few weeks it is.

This is why none of us are going to live with them next year. They will be living together, with some of their friends. I hope they don’t end up alienating them as well, although maybe they’d realise what they are doing if that did happen. I don’t know. I just never expected to meet people like this. Maybe my upbringing has been too sheltered or something…. but it’s a lesson learned for us all that’s for sure.

Not everyone’s experience is like this…. I just wanna point that out! But it seems that we happen to have got these two people who are probably lashing out because they’ve been hurt in the past. Even so, bullying is never the answer.

Anyways… I’ve just cooked some rice in my little rice cooker in my room for my lunch so I’m going to get on with that and then some work before my exam this afternoon. Wish me luck!

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