thief of time

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Surviving the HSC

Having a child who is doing his HSC (Higher School Certificate) is very exhausting. I don’t know what I would do if my son was one of these super students that disappeared into his room for hours on end, studying himself into a mere shadow of his former self. Needless to say, my son isn’t at all like that—he never has been like that.

Firstly, there’s the constant “drip, drip” of the water torture of his railing against the injustice of having to study at all. He rants very well. My son’s attitude is that this is all stuff that is keeping him away from real life and since it doesn’t matter a whole lot in the scheme of things, he’ll do what he has to do, but no more.

Then, there’s the problem of trying to keep him on track and making a proper allotment of time for his studying. When I leave for work in the morning and tell him to “study now”, his reply is “I wasn’t going to at all, but now that you’ve reminded me, of course I will”. Idiot child! As if he spends every last minute in his studies. I have no idea how much time he wastes on the computer, but I’m afraid it would scare me.

Not that I doubt that he’s studying—it’s just that his ideas and my ideas of proper amounts of study times vary greatly, so the constant anxiety has been wearing me away bit by bit a bit like erosion.

I never used to worry about exams myself because I was one of those anxious people that super-prepared for everything and having a retentive memory (in those days at least) I never found exams to be very worrying at all.

Now I worry about my son’s exams constantly. In fact, during the first English exam I found myself thinking about it all the time he was writing it—which is ridiculous, because he had either adequately prepared or he hadn’t. Worrying wasn’t going to change anything.

This being a mother is very wearing. I don’t know how much longer I can keep it up, but according to my mother it actually never stops. When I was a teen, it used to annoy me that my mother would worry about this and that, when I was clearly grown up and quite able to take care of myself. Now I know what she was carrying on about. The thoughts of having to carry on worrying till I’m eighty or ninety, or drop off first are rather depressing.

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