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Part 2: Why I Am Glad I Disobeyed My Teachers

From the onset, I knew that one day I was would regret my choice of doing science subjects.  Sadly, a part of me was convinced that I was do...

From the onset, I knew that one day I was would regret my choice of doing science subjects. 

Sadly, a part of me was convinced that I was doing the right thing.

At that time, I had my teachers' reassurance, saying that I can do it. I yearned to fit in, to show that I was part of the chosen few. In time, all this came back to haunt me.

I intensely recall my O Level mid-term results. According to our timetable then, we sat for the humanity subjects first, then moved on to the science subjects.

Psychologically, this setup made the whole arrangement seem achievable. So the first part of the examinations went on smoothly, but on the next stage, I lost all my senses.

Desperate to achieve

From the moment I sat for the mathematics paper, I knew if I could get at least a C, I would have done well. If I could score a higher mark, it would be a miracle, otherwise, I was comfortable with an average mark.
During the Examinations, I Tried My Best
The geography answer sheets, for instance, were returned to us earlier than we had anticipated. In geography, I attained 68 percent, only 2 percent shy to achieve an A.

Of course, I tried to convince the teacher that I deserved the two marks. He did not accommodate my request, instead, he responded with insight. “This will make you work harder in your final examination,” he said.

I grudgingly accepted his wisdom, however, I concluded that he was cruel, he did not want me to pass the subject. I wanted to pass it, to boost my waning self-esteem, and most of all to prove that I belonged among the best.

Finally, when the other answer sheets came, I had done fairly well in all other subjects except sciences, my main adversary. Already, I had registered to write the subjects in the final examinations penciled for October that same year, and it was already July. 

There was no time to retreat but to hope for a miracle.

Safety in numbers 

Soon after the examinations, we left for the holidays. In less than two months, we would return for the final examinations. The holiday was too short, there was more to study, yet very little time to grasp all.
My Geography teacher Was Committed to his Job 
Time was running out. Daily, I discovered new things that needed my attention. With my friends, we formed study groups that would help us revive the most difficult subjects as a group, knowing that there is safety in numbers.

The two-month holiday was done in a flash. By mid-October, we were preparing for the final examinations. Everyone, including the teachers, was nervous. The school's national pass rate was at stake.

Some teachers, including our geography teacher, took us for extra lessons. He was one of the most dedicated educators, who were prepared to give us extra work and thoroughly prepare us, even on weekends.

The last week of October was very hot, signaling the beginning of the summer season. The same month, our final examinations started. In the fourth form classes, students sat in groups of five, revising past exam papers.

The last super

After each exam paper, I avoided debating how I answered the test, even though some students insisted on discussing it among themselves.
My Wish To Become A Doctor Was blown Away
To preserve my confidence, I chose to keep everything to myself, take a short break and went on to the next study session. This was the most crucial examination in my life, and I had to do my best, despite the obvious holdups that repeatedly haunted me.

For the next two months, I went to the examination room, sometimes fully aware I was going to fail, but I had to soldier on, for my dignity, and all those who believed in me.

Towards the conclusion of the exam period, we spent some time at the soccer field, trying to offload the pressure.

This was also a moment to reflect on the future. After O level, most of my schoolmates wanted to proceed to Advanced Level, and probably aim for the university. Meanwhile, I had other dilemmas to overcome.

Choosing a career 

Personally, I knew that I could not study medicine, it was now impossible, considering how I had dismally performed during the science examinations. For now, my quest to become a doctor was not part of the equation.
In School I Wanted To Become A Journalist 
My only avenue was the arts subjects. Naturally, I began to research which professions matched my abilities. Earlier on, our school had travelled to a career guidance symposium, where I was impressed with presentations by some agriculture, and journalism professionals.

These two were the avenues that I could tackle with ease. However, the latter was proving to be more favourable.

On TV, I was wowed by CNN’s anchor, John Defterios. Each time he was on TV, I would scrutinize his presentation skills. His dressing inspired me more.

From afar, Defterios became my silent mentor. Although I was born shy, I was convinced that I could emulate him. Or embark on a similar path to become a global brand.

Meanwhile, my friend Edward was in a celebratory mood.

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