by Nick Allen
invigilator stands at the front of the class
checking her watch. Mine is on my desk along with
my other exam essentials a bottle of water,
a few mints (sugar helps the brain apparently)
and of course my lucky Simpsons pen. I know
its childish to place ones faith in
such objects but it brings me a morsel of comfort.
While we wait
for the off I glance around the room
at my classmates. Benson appears terrified [as
usual] while the Baker twins are just looking
plain bewildered. Smythe Minor meanwhile is
sitting at the desk next to me and is looking as
smug as ever. I pull out my tongue to annoy the
prig, but hes not looking and Im
nearly caught by The Invigilator, who happens to
glance up from her watch at that moment. But
instead of scolding me she speaks.
you may turn over your papers and begin.
no good luck or anything.
The first few
questions are a breeze, which was exactly what I
was expecting, a gentle introduction for the
timid of heart. But question five stops me in my
tracks. Did we ever cover this? Im darned
if I can remember it if we did. But then I see
what they have done, crafty blighters, and
Im away again. A quick glance at Smythe
Minor tells me hes having no problems at
all smoke is practically coming from his
Focus, I tell
myself, stop day dreaming!
has me completely perplexed, but then I remember
what father had said about employing a degree of
lateral thinking to some of the questions and
Im off racing through the paper again.
makes a funny noise and I stop to look, and I
cant believe what Im seeing. He has
tears running down his cheeks and hes
scrunching up his paper!! I know he hopes for a
career in law and I can see his dreams
disintegrating before his eyes. Id say
something, but by now a teacher is leading him
from the room quietly so as not to disturb the
rest of us. Im shaken, but finally make it
to the end without any real problems.
the hall and heading home when I realize
Ive left my lucky pen on the desk so back
to the classroom to retrieve it.
are talking quietly about the incident with
Smythe, and I strain to hear what they are saying.
cant see that SATS tests for children of
this age is anything but a bad thing, says
one teacher to another.
I pop my pen
into my satchel and wonder to myself if teachers
can ever really appreciate the stresses
of being seven years old...