I had to take a Spanish exam last week.
Being who I am, my preparation consisted of a Spanish novel to be read on the train. (I wanted to take my dictionary along, to flip through on the 20-minute ride to the exam centre, but unfortunately, I couldn't locate it when I looked for it a couple of hours before leaving to catch my train.) And like the best-laid plans of mice and men, mine went down the drain, too. The things I did end up doing on the train were :
- chat with senorita B.
- join AR in ragging senorita B.
- join senorita B in ragging AR
- listen to them speaking in Spanish
- think to myself, "Oh, they know so much!"
- admire their vocabularies (;) )
- ask what all they had studied
- eat some more
- realize that a cough syrup bottle was leaking in my bag, rendering pink my novel and the papers I was carrying (to STUDY ;) Yes, I know... Konjam over than, but whattodo)
- climb on to the berth
- try sleeping
- go freshen up thinking it was 05:15, only to be told it was 04:15!
- wake senorita B. (who was in deep sleep) to tell her, "I'll be getting down in 10 minutes, see you, bye"
- spend the next 1&1/2 hours waiting for my station to arrive :P
I finally got down and reached MK's place.
The next day, the D-day (or call it E-day, Exam-Day :P ) dawned. Thanks to our good planning and MK's driving skills, I got a good breakfast packed. (That AR ended up eating my breakfast, and me his, is a different story. Yes, I know I'm very accommodating that way - I ate idlies instead of pongal!!!).
At last, we were in our seats, with the exam about to begin.
Part 1 - written comprehension. Duration : 70 minutes.
Who wants to write for 7-0 minutes?! I finished in 40 minutes (the exam level was fairly high, and that had to be respected, no? ;) ). I didn't want to revise my answers - I have this unfortunate tendency of wrongly correcting my right answers. For the next half an hour, my mind played 'Dulce nina' on a loop, with random snatches of conversations and other songs in between.
Part 2 - listening comprehension.
Always a nightmare. Even at the best of times. Which that day clearly was not.
Exercise 1 ended, and I resorted to my usual method of choosing the right option (he mentioned this, and this is in option C, so C it is. No, I didn't get what she said, so let me choose B. Ah, that's too many B's, so let me choose an A...)
Exercise 2 ended and I marked my answers.
Exercise 3 started. My mind decided it was the time to start playing "Con te partiro", and I kept hearing "su navi per mari" throughout the recording. (Damn mind. Why did you have to play an Italian song in a Spanish exam? Don't you have any sense?)
Time to mark my answers. And I suddenly discovered that there was no space to mark my answers. It was only then that I realized that I'd done exercise 2 in the space provided for exercise 3...
Exercise 4 - the first part was spent writing the answers for exercises 2 & 3...
Finally, it was over.
I handed over my papers, including the blank sheet they'd provided for taking notes :P (Like a sincere student, I'd clarified with the invigilator that the blank paper was for taking notes, and ended up not making notes at all, not even one word.)
Post a short (err, half an hour, actually) break, Part 3 - Writing (essay-type!) began. After some confusion during which we changed classrooms and listened to another recording, we started writing.
For some odd reason, my mind started playing yet another song, this time in Spanish. Now, this song (La madre de Jose (check it out on YouTube at your own risk) ) always makes me laugh, though I have no idea why.
The result - I wanted to say "however...", and the moment my pen started writing it, my mind sang "Por cierto! tan-tan-tan-TAN! (music :P ) ", which is what I ended up writing. Twice.
I finished writing, and was just checking my watch to see how long it would be before I could leave. The invigilator in this room suddenly told me,"Why don't you go through the paper? You might find some mistakes. Of course the people who correct your paper will find more, but still..." And so, I had to go through my paper. And I espanolized a French word, which I'd unwittingly written... The moment we could hand over our papers, I did so and got out of the place.
Lunch was fun. (Andhra meals. Rice. Ghee, lots of it! Cabbage (something I eat :P). Dal. Rasam. (Sambar had radish :( ). Appalam.) Senorita B then started teasing AR about his sense of direction. She even did it with a straight face!)
Back, and finally, it was my turn to go take Part -4, the Oral exam :)
Let's just say that I mixed up a few nouns. And genders. And adjectives. I used a French word conjugated the Spanish way. I won them over (euphemism for making them scratch their heads) with my wonderful logic and reasoning.
AR & I waited until senorita B finished her exam.
We then walked out and took an auto to Shivajinagar bus stand. Senorita B was the one who had to go there. AR went along to book his returen ticket. And me, well, I just tagged along because I was pretty much jobless.
Anyway, the day ended well. (Senorita B accuses me of trying to hit on her, but what to do? She knows my preferences well enough. Maybe one day I'll just call her bluff :P )
I've rambled on for long enough now. Pointlessly, as usual. So let me now take a break. And ponder over why my mind is trying to wreck my life :P
(* - I'm temporarily out of reach, please don't beat the daylights out of me)