So, Kurt sat his first real exam today.
As in the FIRST exam he has considered important.
He has sat the Naplan tests in the past, but he said they didn’t count.
He has a point.
It was certainly the first English exam he’d ever studied for – if you define ‘study’ as drumming on the table while your mother coerces out of you the importance of language techniques using medieval torture techniques. Unfortunately, ‘language techniques’ don’t light Kurt’s fire in the way that drug-fuelled music does.
But he was very proud that he had read the FIRST HALF of ONE of his three English texts.
Luckily, I have Einstein’s quote ‘Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by it’s ability to climb a tree, it will live it’s whole life thinking it’s stupid,’ tattooed on my ass, to remind me, at times such as these.
I sincerely hope there is a special place in heaven for tutors and online study aids.
When he sat his English Naplan test in Year 9, I was quite surprised when I received his grade for creative writing because normally this is the area he bullshits performs best in. When I asked him what he had written about, he told me he wrote ‘nothing’, because he didn’t agree with the tone of the question!
So that is what we are up against.
And then, of course, there is his very literal interpretation of the questions sometimes, where in answer to extended response commands such as ‘how’ or ‘what’ or ‘explain’, he believes that a one-word answer will suffice.
I attempted to coach him some exam technique for these first half-yearly exams.
A difficult task when he is still so glaringly livid that ‘study leave’, which he had interpreted as an extended school holiday, is actually a time for revision.
Luckily, he managed to get on top of his Top Gear revision.
Difficult too, because I was already in the doghouse for trying to ‘support’ him in other ways when I requested ‘special provisions’ from his school. These are available for kids with learning disabilities, such as ADHD. It means they can get a five-minute break every now and again during the exam, or perhaps a little extra time or be put in a quiet room so that when another student starts chewing on their pen to aid their own concentration, Kurt won’t watch him for the next thirty minutes and lose his.
Kurt was horrified when I told him.
‘Why don’t you just tattoo ‘dickhead’ across my forehead and be done with it,’ he complained.
I decided it might be wise NOT to remind him about his special provisions this morning, just prior to the ‘WORST DAY OF HIS LIFE,’ because he was cross enough at the audacity of the Department of Education for making him sit still for TWO WHOLE HOURS!
But apparently, once the students were all sat down quietly in the hall and just about to start the exam, the deputy came in and shouted out ‘KURT COBAIN’ and demanded that he come out to the front of the hall.
Kurt shuffled his way up towards the front of the large hall, but unfortunately the woman didn’t see him behind his fringe at first and so she shouted his name out again in an even louder voice,
‘KURT COBAIN. SPECIAL PROVISIONS.’
I have been deleted from his life for the foreseeable future.