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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Exams (07/26/04)

TITLE: Please! I Need to Study!
By Martha Currington


In order to pass most educational exams, studying the material is a “must”. Surrounding circumstances often make it difficult for some students to have a proper “studying” environment. This greatly affects the outcome of their exam results.

Personally, I never had this problem at home, even with six siblings present. Grades one through twelve passed without any “studying” hassle. But away at college, well, that’s “a horse of a different color”. It all began, and happened, just like this, in 1962...

“Man on the floor!”. The girl’s voice rang out, loud and clear, her words echoing down the long hallway.

“Don’t look , Daddy!” I cautioned, when I saw scantily dressed girls scattering to their rooms. Some had their half slips pulled up under their arms, others wore only a white towel wrapped around their torsos, and another white towel wrapped around their head.

“My back is turned. I’m looking down the stairway.” He whispered.

Daddy was standing there, with my heavily-packed blue footlocker resting on his shoulder. We had two more flights of stairs to climb. After two more “Man on the floor!” warnings, we reached my dorm room.

Daddy sat the footlocker down. Then he spoke, “I promise that I’ll come get you for home visits. Just let me know when you’re free to come, and I’ll be here.”

When Daddy left, it felt like I was a thousand miles from home instead of forty!

The room was rather small for four people. I finally met my three roommates. They pointed out my study desk, my dresser and my closet. I put my belongings away.

“Where do we sleep? Where’s the bathroom?” I asked many more questions.

After they gave me a tour, I felt better. I was actually glad to have them for new friends. I didn’t feel so alone anymore.

I was attending college on an academic scholarship made especially for me. All the regularly allotted scholarships had been promised to others before the school official had met me.

The scholarship included living at this c-op house where I did daily chores instead of paying for housing.(fifty girls lived here). It also furnished a check to pay my various fees. I received a federal grant to pay for books and supplies.

I had a job arranged for me to worked two hours daily as a desk receptionist at a “regular” dorm. Daddy gave me “spending money”.

I quickly settled into the routine at the University of Alabama. The courses turned out to be much harder than courses had been in high school. I had to really “hit the books” here. At times, this was a real problem. It became a major challenge just to study for my exams.

Our dormitory was adjacent to the auditorium. One night while studying, Ann raised our window up a bit. We could hear “Peter, Paul, and Mary” in concert...for free. Nice! But I couldn’t study like I needed.

I got so sleepy that I could barely hold my eyes open. I just had to go to bed.

The large bedroom was at the end of the hall, with no heat, and... had eight bunk beds.

I set my Baby Ben to alarm at five. I had barely dozed off, then “RING!”. It wasn’t mine. Not long afterward, there was another “RING! It still wasn’t mine.

Before the night was over, there were at least ten more RING’s. I wasn’t the only one getting back up to study. I shut my alarm off, then reset it so I could get a couple of hours sleep. I passed my physics test that day, but “not with flying colors”. Eventually I became accustomed to the nightly multiple RING’s and BUZZes until none of them roused me but my own clock. I could study for my exams with better results after that.

There were other distractions to cope with, but I managed. I overcame my new environmental study hazards, and moved on.

Today, my circumstances and environment involve this writing challenge. Participating weekly on a given topic is definitely a test of “writing” knowledge, and creativity- an exam we writers all want to pass...with “flying colors”... of course.

Member Comments
Member Date
darlene hight08/02/04
Nice article and twist on the theme!
Phyllis Inniss08/06/04
Very interesting article.