A Lack of Clocks and an Involuntary Outburst: Sunday 4th December

Today saw me finally sit, and fail (of this there can surely be no doubt), the JLPT N2 test. Things didn’t get off to the best of starts when I arrived in the exam room to find that the only clock had, for some unknown reason, been covered with coloured paper. As I had purposefully left my digital wristwatch at home (a single noise from it’s mechanical case and I would have been ejected, under the draconian rules of the examinations board), this left me at something of a quandary, but not to worry as I was informed that I could put my hand up and ask for the time at any point during the examination. After finishing the grammar and kanji section I raised my hand and expressed my one civil liberty, only to be informed that I had just over half an hour left to do the entire reading session; news which was about as welcome as a hole in the head, although far more lingering.

The clock was finding it difficult to adjust to solitary confinement.

In the break before the listening exam (another resounding failure) I went outside to get some fresh air, only to find myself surrounded on all sides by facilitators with placards informing people to be quiet. Whilst this was obviously a necessity (the different grades of the JLPT exams starting and finishing at different times), I found it a little odd that as I was silently making my way to the toilet I was singled out and approached by a member of staff who asked me to keep the noise down. I can only surmise that my disillusionment had plummeted to such depths that it had physically manifested itself as a verbal utterance, and that it was for this involuntary outburst of my psyche that I was now being rebuked. I don’t want to appear downbeat, but there is more chance of Greece being awarded a prize for fiscal fortitude than there is of me passing that test.


About truehamlet

Sam is a senior lecturer in Science Communication, who researches the different ways in which media such as poetry and film can be used to communicate science to new audiences.
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