Once more into the breach

GCSEs Reports from the exam hall

It was back today with Double Science Paper 1, co-incidentally the same one which was hastily rewritten after falling out the back of a van and to be honest, it showed.

The weirdest thing was the abundance of questions where all the facts would be given to you in bullet points, before asking the question. Example:

Here are some facts about the birth control pill
– The pill is 99% effective
– It does not protect against STDs

Name an advantage and disadvantage for the pill?

I mean – how can you get that wrong, unless you can’t read? To be fair there was a nice question on why giraffes haven’t evolved long necks to reach the leaves from tall trees, instead because males use them to fight and female giraffes think long necks are hot.

However, if my science teacher is reading this, I did get a Physics question wrong involved an equation about waves or something. Oops.

Tomorrow is a double whammy – 2 hours of ICT in the morning (easy but dull) and then Maths in the afternoon. It’s non-calculator so it should be slightly easier than the other but still a challenge… however, Maths is also the most satisfying exam to do if you get it right. Expect a tired Dalek to post tomorrow.

It’s hot at the moment, so excuse the lack of anything remotely insightful in this entry. I shouldn’t let today’s History and Geography component of Humanities go without mention – History was pretty straightforward and Geography was an environmentalist’s dream focusing on air pollution, traffic congestion and global warming. OK OK you’ve made the point, just be a bit more subtle about it next time eh?

The exam itself was the stereotypical hot gym hall and I was dying for water by the end of it. Most entertaining moment was someone’s phone going off inside their pocket. Hahaha – you’re screwed.

E4 and E4+1 have launched on Freeview today. It’s quite a big deal – another blow to Sky’s crippling platform with spiralling revenues and declining content. Unfortunately Big Brother also starts tonight, the show I’ve always found utterly dull beyond belief. I might be avoiding Babbleblog for the next month or so too

The important question about E4 – is it a commercial decision or a political one? Will the volatile advertising market make up for the loss in subscription revenue, or is the loss worth is to convince the government they’re a public service broadcaster, supporting Freeview, and digital switchover. The answer, I guess, will come whenever E4 makes a profit!

Right – William Hague is presenting Have I Got News For You in 5 minutes. Cheerio, and have a good half term.

Well, that was much better than I expected. Spanish reading (the thing I really flopped in the mocks) was much easier in the real thing. I didn’t ace it but now I’m pretty confident of getting at least a B (he says, hoping it won’t come back to haunt him!) and even if not, at least I’ll get a decent-enough GCSE out of Spanish. Excelente!

In non GCSE news, we’ve got new neighbours moving in as I speak. Always had nice people next door and they don’t seem to buck the trend.

Anyway, enough socialising, tomorrow is the 2nd half of Humanities – History and Geography – and then it’s half term! So, time to memorise some dates…

(Oscar Wilde continuing my quotes intended to brighten up these posts)

English Literature today, if you hadn’t gathered already. The first time, as expected, when my hand was sore from writing afterwards. (I have no idea why we still have to write essays by hand. When in life do you ever have to write anything longer than a paragraph by hand?) Having said that, it didn’t go too badly at all. In the Of Mice and Men section I chose the question that no-one else seemed to do, and I still believe was better. Then I took the big sprawling essay poetry question over the two-part ones, because I wanted to cut down on writing introductions and endings, and it was easier to manage.

A nice picture to distract you from the dull text

Teachers are always telling you to plan your essays – so I scrawled a short list of bullet points in literally 15 seconds for each – which I only half-stuck to anyway. Partly cause I had a flash of inspiration near the end (I’m writing about relationships? Let’s talk about power struggles!) which I wanted to include. So, meh. To hell with planning.

Tomorrow afternoon I’ve got Spanish Reading and then no more spanish, ever. Unless I get kidnapped and taken to a mysterious village where everybody calls me ‘Número Seis’. But that’s not very likely.

Oh, and Happy Birthday Mum!

(Good old Richard Dawkins)

Well, if you’ve ever wondered ‘What is the Qur’an?’ or ‘Church going is no longer important… discuss!’ you could have done my RE exam. Some people had trouble with the Eucharist (how many marks are available for ‘something to do with Jesus?’) but luckily I was up to date on the whole bread \ wine thing, along with [gulp] Muslim birth rituals. However, this year: no good, no evil, no Easter, no Ramadan, no Eid. There was a sprinkling of baptism though. (hahaha)

Oooh but then – World of Work! Mr X would have liked this one, especially ‘Describe the effects of a multinational on an LEDC’ (Less Economically Developed Country for those not quite up with the latest in PC terms). I was quite mild, only claiming the ‘possibility of lower health and safety standards’.

And the last question was a bit of a gem as well – racial discrimination in employment today. Does it exist? I wondered about writing “No, there is no racism in Britain today at all” but figured that wasn’t quite enough for 10 marks.

Well, tomorrow it gets harder – English Literature. I’m re-reading ‘Of Mice and Men’ and might get round to looking at the poetry again, if I can put up with Simon ‘Monotone’ Armitage.