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Posts tagged ‘memories’

127. My 11+ Experience

Over the last few days, my mum has been receiving results about how well her tutees did in their 11+ exam. It makes me feel old when I realise I was one of those kids more than a decade ago. For those unfamiliar with this exam, it is an entrance test to get into a grammar school or an ability selective school. These schools are sort of like private schools (minus the poshness and manners) without paying the money thus making it extra popular with brown parents.

It’s hard to say for sure what have been the most important moments of my life but I can say with confidence that passing my 11+ exam was one of them. I am so grateful for the opportunities and teaching I received at my secondary school. If I hadn’t passed, I would have been going to a local girl’s school and I’m sure I would have turned out rather different:

  • (even) more chavvy
  • not as good (but hopefully not bad) academically
  • probably uncomfortable around guys.

I’m not sure I would have made it to Imperial. Who knows if I’d even be studying Mathematics?! I definitely wouldn’t have had James (ewww a boy) as a best friend.

My parents only realised you sit the 11+ when you’re 10 about 4 months before the exam (who came up with that?) so I had limited time to prepare for it. Four months sounds like ages but it’s not uncommon for parents to start years in advance. That’s how fierce the competition is. I had 3 papers to sit: verbal reasoning, non verbal reasoning and maths. Out of the three, my preference was for Mathematics. I remember actually enjoying the practice papers. On the flip side I had to work hardest for non verbal reasoning which tests how well you notice patterns and sequences through images eg.

(I’ll post the answer at the bottom)

Preparing for the 11+ was the first time I really committed myself to something. My parents claimed that it didn’t matter what the outcome was as long as I tried my best. Total bull of course. We were all totally invested in it. And attending the opening evening for my secondary school cemented it further. I walked through the doors of the green and blue school building and decided that it was the place for me.

I don’t remember much about the day except that I had orange juice and a Penguin chocolate bar in the break. But I remember being really nervous… right up till the moment I started the paper after which I just focused on the questions. As the exam was multiple choice, I had no idea how well or badly I had performed. Whenever my mum asked I told her that if I passed, it would be a scrape and if I didn’t, it would be by a small margin.

I was quite anxious about receiving the results but not nearly as much as my parents. I was at school when my results letter arrived. My mum doesn’t believe the whole ‘patience is a virtue’ stuff and tore it in. She then promptly drove to my school, stormed in, found me waiting in the queue for lunch, dragged me into an empty music room and swung me around. One of the happiest moments of my life.

Turns out I did pretty good too. In typical fashion I dropped one mark on the Maths paper. When my dad asked me what I wanted as a present, I wracked my brains for the best possible thing I could think of and said… A FISHBURGER FROM McDONALDS.

Not so clever after all.

Over and Out!

(The answer is B)


68. MSN Memories- join me and cringe at all the silly things your teenage self used to do…

MSN Messenger was shut down a little while ago and though I hadn’t used it in a long time, I felt this huge pang in my stomach at the thought of it being gone. From the age of 13 to about 19, it was a huge part of my life (in both a good and bad way). I killed so much time on it but some of the conversations I had on it honestly changed my life.

As a tribute, I thought I’d share some of the ridiculous stuff that went down on MSN. I didn’t do all of these things (though I did do a lot of them and for that I hang my head in shame) but I know that they were all common practice. So sit back, get comfy and get ready to cringe at all the silly things your teenage self used to do.

  1. Offline messaging in stealth mode so you could talk exclusively to your favourite people
  2. Going to school and hanging out with your friends and then running home and chatting online to the same friends about what happened in school
  3. Print screening the convo to show your friend to ‘interpret’
  4. Copying and pasting a convo in real time to your best friend so they could tell you how to reply
  5. Getting into a fight with someone online and adding your friends to the convo as ‘back up’
  6. That one friend that kept sending nudges and winks
  7. That friend that came online but always had ‘don’t talk to me’ in their screen name
  8. That one random person who was always online even at 5am
  9. That annoying person who aaalwayssss typedddd liiikeeee thisss
  10. xoxo_princess_fairy_92_xoxo@hotmail.com  Enough said.
  11. Asking your friend if someone else was online to check if they had blocked you
  12. The awkward moment when you were added to a group conversation with someone you had blocked…who then knew you had blocked them…woops
  13. Hearing the same story from two different perspectives at the same time and just sitting there thinking ‘why don’t they just speak to each other?’
  14. Being so popular that you could count to 10 and be confident someone would say ‘hi’
  15. Typing ‘brb loo’ when actually you just need time to come up with a decent reply
  16. Telling someone ‘brb’ and never returning
  17. Telling someone that you had to go when in actual fact you had nothing to say. Close window and block for good measure.
  18. That feeling you got when your crush signed in
  19. Signing in and out so your crush noticed you
  20. Seeing your crush online and signing in but making sure to wait 10 minutes before you said anything so they didn’t think you were a psycho
  21. The fury when said crush disappears during the aforementioned 10 minutes
  22. Late night conversations with your crush- oi oi!
  23. Your crush’s status is busy- Argh should I start a convo or not?
  24. Extending the goodbyes because you didn’t want the conversation to end
  25. When asking for someone’s addy was the equivalent of 079-ing someone
  26. Playing 21 truths and ‘would you rather…’
  27. Boss protecting whenever your parents entered the room (good old shift-space)
  28. Mother walks into your room … ‘so what was the History homework?’
  29. Sending 20 full stops to clear the screen
  30. Knowing something serious is about to be said if you see someone typing for a long time
  31. so and so is typing- This continues for 5 minutes during which time you were expecting a major revelation and then they say ‘sorry hit the spacebar’
  32. Becoming a fearless bastard online and saying everything you never had the nerve to say in person
  33. Noticing that the same people who pretended not to know you at school were happy to spill their guts online
  34. Being annoyed because the person you were talking to took longer than 10 seconds to reply
  35. Texting someone to come on msn
  36. Having your screen name ιи тнιѕ fσит with lots of crap like ¸٠·΄°˚o¸٠·΄°˚ next to it
  37. Reserving your personal message for song lyrics
  38. Judging people on their MSN font and colour, and being super pissed if someone copied yours
  39. Matching your font colour with your display picture
  40. Starting your screen name with a symbol so that you were at the top of everyone’s contact list
  41. All your conversations looked like this: ‘i was like’ ‘and then she was like’ ‘to which i was like’ ‘and then she had the nerve to be like’
  42. ‘hi’ ‘how r u?’ ‘fine. u?’ ‘good’    End convo.
  43. ‘I’ll tell you later on msn.’
  44. ‘what are you doing?’ ‘talking to you.’
  45. ‘why do I always have to start the convo?’
  46. A is typing- –B starts typing- –A stops typing- –B stops typing-
  47. ‘you first’ ‘no you go first’
  48. Accidentally typing in the wrong conversation window
  49. Said something you wish you hadn’t –‘oops wrong convo’ saves the day!
  50. Lol, brb, g2g, l8rz, kk- the birth of chat speak
  51. Having entire conversations in emoticons
  52. Destroying your opponents at minesweeper flags
  53. Knowing what (8), (*), (Y), (N) meant
  54. Having an entire emoticon collection of dancing fruit 
  55. Knowing all the shortcuts to your amazing emoticon collection
  56. The notable increase in typing speed from using MSN
  57. Using the draw facility to draw pointless pictures or in my case explain integration in an emergency
  58. When sending one song took 10 minutes
  59. Synchronising MSN with Windows Media Player so everyone could see what you were listening to and bask in your amazing music taste

Have I missed anything?

Over and Out!