My Least Favorite Four Letter Word

No…it’s not what you think it is.

Uh-uh…it isn’t that word either.

Think about it. We are in June…I have a 14 year old? Hello?

E X A M S (ok..its actually five letters not four…my bad!)

That lovely time of year when your child, who is pretty much burnt out from the school year, is thinking only about the summer and all that it is has to offer, has to suffer through days of trying to remember stuff they learned at the beginning of the school year (or semester) and has to somehow regurgitate it onto the page to determine if they get a good grade or have to head to summer school.

This is my first foray into exam-hood as the parent of a teenager. The last time I had any thought or concern about exams was when I was studying for my real estate license (but hell, that was open book…easy-peasy!). Prior to that, university.

Alot of time has gone by but how quickly it all comes rushing back to you.

My daughter has two exams this week….one of which is in science, her arch-enemy this year.
She never really liked her teacher and has been struggling with it all semester.

She is not doing particularly well and seems to really only want to “just get it over with” so she can be done and not worry about it again in the fall.

Nice attitude, huh?

I hated…even loathed, exams. The whole process of studying, preparing, reviewing and then sitting in a gymnasium with a bunch of other people for three hours, still gives me pangs of nausea whenever I think about it.

I even have a recurring dream that takes me back to Grade 12 English. In my dream, I skipped the entire year and showed up the day of the exam to attempt to write it. My english teacher, is standing outside the classroom waiting for me to show up. This short, beady eyed woman with a look of disdain as I show up
welcomes me, says its nice to see me and thanks me for showing up after which she says, with a mad laugh, “best of luck!!” She knows I am doomed to fail because I was absent all year long. Usually, at that point, I wake up and realize it was only a dream. In reality, I attended classes almost all the time (although I do admit to skipping a few) and passed the year…although, not with flying colors!

I find myself lecturing to her about the importance to allocating her time so she knows what her game plan is for review, how many hours for each exam, how much time for breaks, for lunch for exercising (a great de-stressor). I am known to be a bit of a lecturer (she has told me this time and time again herself), so I need to restrain myself. Its just that I want her to do well. I know she can succeed if she puts her mind to it. I also know what happens if she doesn’t do well and what happens to kids who don’t put forth the effort and don’t take advantage of all the help that is available to them.

I also know that we now live in a world that doesn’t guarantee success after university. A university degree used to mean a good chance at getting a meaningful, well-paying job. Nowadays, many highly educated students are leaving post-secondary careers with no chance of finding good work. They finish school, highly educated, unemployed and moving back home into their family home.

There are no guarantees that even with all her hard work and determination that she will get into the right school, excel and begin a successful career right out of school.

Its scary and I am scared for her…big time.

All I can do, as her father is encourage her, coach her, motivate her and crack the whip so that she stays on top of her work and studies so she has every possible chance to succeed in school. I also need to get her to start thinking and dreaming…because the best business ideas get started that way.

So, science and french … here we come.

Wish us luck! I think we will need it!

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About I'm Just A Dad

Stephen Gosewich is just a Dad (he is a former Enlightened Male but decided to change the name because when you search Enlightened Male, "other...wink, wink" are displayed. He spends his days during the week as a working stiff. At all other times, he just enjoys hanging out with his best friend and wife and their two very active and inspiring daughters.
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