Monday, September 30, 2013

The System

I must bid you welcome to this blog, dear readers.

Once again, I do not really know what I should write about. Still, write I shall do.

The Matriculation Exams of this fall are over for my part, and the preliminary results of my tests have arrived. Sadly, I feel unpleased by the score I achieved, and quite greatly so. I had hoped to reach higher points in the foreign language exam, which is English. At this point, I would have to be extremely lucky to reach an 'L' -'Laudatur' - and many others would have to be unlucky, and suffer worse results than mine.

To my dismay, same goes for the test in "the other national language", in this case Finnish. I had hoped to score points worthy of an 'E', and I am again, barely on the verge of my wishes becoming reality. Of course, these were as I said only approximations of the real results, which will be revealed first in November, or so I believe. This means I could still score slightly higher, or on the counterpart, slightly lower. (This is what happens to my English when I read books... In this case, A Game of Thrones, which I have finally picked up reading).

Why so obsessed with getting high grades? You might ask yourself.
This is at least what I've been pondering upon for a while. My best guess is simply that the system has gotten the best of me. The system?

It's funny, now that society to a large extent is focused on "equality", all while it ironically is so competitive. This is true for the matriculation exams as well!

You see, there is no specific amount of points you need to obtain in order to get the highest score, you simply need to be in the 5 % of students with the best results. And all while the 5 % of the lowest scoring examinees are automatically marked as having failed the test completely, and will have to make another attempt later. This is to say, even if everyone would have done remarkably well in the test, one in twenty would still fail, and 1 out of twenty would get the highest score.

Not that that has an all too realistic possibility of happening, since there are always people that don't get all that great results. I'd say I'm on the lucky end of the spectrum; I tend to do quite well even with minimal effort.

I don't really know if I have any conclusion or point to arrive to...
I have just never liked tests, that's all... (Yes, I used 'that' after a comma. Deal with it).

I can stand school; the early awakenings, the time that you could have used otherwise, but I have never liked homework or having to practice for tests... To me they pretty much sum up the essence of brutally murdered motivation. On the other hand I understand that some people (especially younger ones) might have difficulty to learn things without a materialized test of knowledge to motivate them. It has just never been the thing for me...

My previously occurring example of why I don't like reading for exams at all, took place today. Or well, this past week.

You see, I didn't have any school at all during Wednesday to Friday, and thereafter I had the usual two day weekend. I had planned to get some stuff done during those days; compose some songs; write on this blog or in my book; get something useful done... But I didn't really feel motivated at all, for a simple reason... I knew that I would eventually have to practice some for my test in mathematics that I knew I would write today, this Monday. For some reason, this killed most of my motivation for all those five days, and I got nothing much done...

Normally, one might say that I'm only blaming the test, and that there is another reason behind my lack of inspiration. Well, I could think so too, hadn't this same cycle happened times upon times before. The real reason is that I hate stress. If I know that I'll eventually have to do something that I wouldn't really fancy doing, the mere thought can be enough to make my life momentarily dull. You might say that I don't handle stress all that well. On the other hand, I am effective during the very last time I have left before a test, for instance.

Yesterday night (the very first hours of today), I hadn't even begun to practice for my test. It was not before half past 1 am that I finally forced myself to read the course material. And during the next one and a half hour, I read nonstop, fully focused. I could understand mathematics in general better than usually, and I quickly knew exactly what I needed to practise. I didn't sleep much more than 4 h, but I think my test went quite well. And this is far from the first time this has happened. Out of all the twelve math courses, I'd guess that in around eight of them, this very same pattern is what has repeated itself.

But this system of constant trial isn't really for me. For the most part, I see to it that I do well in my courses, in all subjects, but I seldom feel that motivated to do so. It's just systematic. It's the way things are done, imprinted into my mind since fairly early childhood. I would rather focus on my true passions, than end up with a mediocre job, doing my average role for society. But in spite of my ranting, I realize that the world seldom works that way, things aren't always fair, and there needs to be a system for everything to be held together. All I'm saying is, the system is not flawless. Yet, noteworthy is that I am lacking in the field of solutions as well. I'm simply speaking my mind, without supplying anything more to the matter.

It would be nice to get a job that one actually enjoys. "A job you would gladly do for free is the perfect job to do for money", quote by me (might or might not be original)... I don't look forward to the next summer, even if I usually would. I know I will have to get some kind of a job, but most jobs provided by the city (and in general), are either shitty, or just not for me. We'll see what happens...

One thing I think is mentally retarded though, is the education in Finnish for the Swedish speaking population in Finland. It's not wrong that it exists, but the way that it is executed. Countless hours are spent upon trying to learn the already complicated grammar, and little to none time actually speaking the language, in comparison at least. You are forced to read boring and unmotivating things from stupid books (often with weird pictures/drawings of figures created by the most terrible of artists), and they have you learn unneccessary words that nobody uses. This might be slightly exaggerated, but sadly, not that much.

Wouldn't it be much simpler if all they did during Finnish class, was to actually communicate in Finnish...? You see, at a young age (especially under 3 years old, but also around 7-10) children are much more prone to actually learning new languages, and simply by being in an environment where it is used. There are a few people that have Swedish speaking parents that I know, even if they still manage quite well in Finnish.
So far, with no exceptions, the mentioned people have either been exposed to Finnish through daycare, or by doing different activities (like sports), together with only Finnish speaking people.

The grammar is not THAT important, not if it doesn't help you anyway. I know people that have spent more than 10 years in school, and they still can't form a sentence in Finnish. At best, they understand the language but cannot speak it. And it's not good to have to mentally go through 10 grammatical formulas for every word you wish to express; you should learn to hear what's right automatically. But they don't really teach you that in school...

Another thing that is slightly off is that your results in general (not only in Finnish courses anymore) are so dependent of which teacher you have... I could go into more detail, but I'm sure you know where this is going. I'm glad that we have pretty good teachers in our school, many whom genuinely care for your learning, just as it should be.

Why am I speaking of all this? I don't know. In retrospect I think this was quite a dumb and boring subject, but oh well. I'm not one to delete my accomplishments even if I could be prouder of them. My level of English tends not to stay the same if I have merely slept for around 4 hours...
Please pardon me for that ;)

Before this entry reaches its finishing point, it's music time.

I have yet again recorded one of my improvisations, and it turned out to be okay.

I thought I might as well post it here, because why not?

Nameless Improv (

And thus, yet another one of my blog posts reaches its inevitable end.

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