Midterm Misgivings – by Hedwig

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hat time of year is upon us, when we have to strap ourselves into the roller coaster that is ‘to Study’   and answer X marks worth of questions in Y amounts of time and actually be good at it. ‘But Mid-Terms are better, they give you a sense of how to write your Finals!’. Of course, and I’m going to write my Finals the way I  prepare – Slowly, and then all at once. Thanks, John Green.

_______________________________

The clock strikes 12,

And you realize you have an hour

Until the flat, pulped tree –

By that, I mean paper –

Is snatched from your hands

And is taken away from you

F o r e v e r.

Your hands rush to spill onto the page

With new found vigour

The words you learnt

The night before

In an impervious haze

Concocted by caffeine.

Scratch.

Scratch.

Scratch.

The paper rustles

Against your pen

As the two tear-fully battle

To win the hand of Question No. 4,

Subsection 3,

Division (i),

And you can see –

The words are finally making sense,

This answer was in Page Number 3,

Reading 2,

Module 5,

You’ve read it word for word,

Scratch.

Scratch.

Scratch.

Your pen will not lose this battle.

It is Lord Stark

Of the House Stark

Of Winterfell,

Of Winterfell,

Of Winter Fell.

Fell.

Fell asleep.

Asleep.

ASLEEP.

Sleep.

Eye. Lids. Close.

The pen continues to

Scratch.

Scratch.

Scratch.

Like little mice.

You start with a jerk,

Your eyes scanning over the page –

Zooming on the line

Your pen has drawn

Connecting ‘Evaluation’ to ‘French Fries’.

Wait.

French Fries?

Your hands scratch it out in panic but

Your thoughts stop short.

The clock strikes 1.

Hurriedly, you string together

Some words that make

Marginal sense

And hand over that reconfigured tree

To the Devil (some days);

The God (some days);

The Professor (all days);

And leave.

The air seems

Crisper

And the sun seems

More golden

And the leaves seem

Greener

And the lift stops exactly at your floor

And there is a good lunch being served

And your email tells you

‘Morning class has been cancelled’

And the world is right again –

Until,

“What did you write for Question 5”

“There was a Question 5?”

“Yes, on the second page.”

“There was a second page??”

And there,

Your heart

Stops.