Saturday, 18 May 2013

Cheating During Exams

Third grade. I was 8 years old. I was this self-absorbed kid, mostly oblivious of my surroundings. I wouldn’t notice the people or what they were doing. I was lost in my own world and be contented with it. In retrospect, I feel like I used to walk about with an invisible bubble around me; like a bubble charm in Harry Potter, if you will.


In my school, we had exams and tests quite often. I was a pretty good student, and we’d go into “exam mode” at home, so I was always prepared quite well for them.

One exam incident stands out in my memory. It was an English exam, midterms. I liked English classes well back then as much as I do now. So needless to say, I wasn’t unprepared, or a nervous wreck. I knew I’d get through it without much ado.

A week later, the English teacher handed the graded answer sheets back to us. I don’t remember how I fared in the exam; what I do remember is what the teacher said.

“You cheated, didn’t you. You copied the answers off Katie’s** paper, in the comprehension section.”

I was shocked. The “comprehension section” was the last part of the paper, which, I remember, was a short story about a man. We had to give the story a title, and answer the questions that were based on it; basically, a test to see how much of the passage you’ve comprehended.

Katie had a seat just behind mine. I remember I’d finished the whole paper before she had.  Comparing the two answer papers, we obviously had given the same answers word by word. 


Being so young and unable to defend myself verbally (like I can now), all I could keep repeating was, “It wasn’t me, ma’am. I didn’t copy.” But no one listened to me.  To them, it was clear that I was the one who had cheated. Katie wouldn’t.

Katie was pretty. She was popular. She participated in many extra-curricular activities and brought laurels to the school. She could sing. She could dance. As I later came to realize, her being my classmate for a total of twelve years, she could also act well. On stage and off. I’m sure all this worked in her favour.


Me? I was the ugly duckling. I participated in very few non-academic activities; none of them involved standing before a big crowd. I wasn’t as eloquent as Katie.

No one thought that I would have had a hell of a time trying to peek into her answer sheet while she was behind me. The teacher on duty would have noticed, had that happened. I didn’t even know how to cheat. The idea never occurred to me. No one noticed that I had finished writing way before she did. All they did notice were the similar answers, and obviously, the popular, pretty girl would not have been the culprit.

I’m glad the teachers didn’t mark me down because of the incident. I know that that particular teacher did not hold a grudge against me, before or after that. I didn’t get any marks reduced. I didn’t get sent to the Principal’s office. My parents weren’t called in. They handled it like it wasn’t a big deal.

But for me it was a big deal. I didn’t tell my parents about it; I don’t know now why I didn’t.

What hurt the most, though, was that another teacher, during a different hour the same day, casually said, “So, Vivienne, I heard that you copied for the English exam.” Word had gotten around in the staff room. Again, all I could sullenly repeat was, “I didn’t copy.” Of course, no one listened. No one believed me. 

 **name changed

Today's prompt: Tell a story from your childhood

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

10 Things That Make Me Happy

In no particular order:

1.      My pets. They’re just adorable! Naughty, cute and full of character!

2.      This one’s a no-brainer – good food. Have you heard of food-orgasms?

3.      Great weather. Because that can make or break the day’s plans.


4.      Baking. I like to bake. I like the eating that follows it even better ;)


5.      Taking a good photo, of a person, place, occasion, or of myself (Yay for selfies!)

6.      An unexpected phone call from someone I’m close with but haven’t spoken to in long. Cue 3-hour phone call.


7.      Spending time with my boy (we’re LD-ing, so this happens rather infrequently and not as often as I’d like)

8.      Hand-crafting cards for those special people who will appreciate it.


9.      Being with people I love.

10.  Doodling something…then realizing the “doodle” actually turned out pretty good!

11. The smell of rain... of onions frying... of cinnamon... of my mum's perfume... of chocolate... of my beloved late German Shepherd's fur... of doggie fur... of my parrot's peanutty smelling feathers... 

12. The whole act of giving a gift. From deciding it, to buying / making, wrapping and finally giving it to the person. And seeing their reaction. I've said this before, and I'll say it again - I take the art of gift-giving very seriously.

And yes, I totally cheated and added two things more to the list. Sue me ;)

Today's prompt : Ten things that make you really happy

Sunday, 12 May 2013

College Life

I miss college life. No, not because it was wild and fun (fun it was; wild, not so much), and definitely not the cramming. It was a care-free, fun-filled time full of adventures.

Bunking classes to go to the local ice cream shoppe, or the pizzeria.


Silly jokes. Dumb jokes. Dirty jokes. All kinds of excuses to break into howls of laughter.

Trying to fit four people under one umbrella in the pouring rain.


Griping about the canteen, but still going there every day.

Coffee breaks. Chocolate breaks. Cookie breaks.


Volunteer work.

Doodling in books while pretending to listen and take notes. Ending up with artistic creations.

Long, whispered conversations in the library with my friends. Actually reading in that same library. Discovering new, exciting books in those racks.


Interning in a different state. The stress, the hectic schedule, meeting new people, making new friends. Taking off to the beach on weekends. Trying new foods.


Eating waffles. Staying out late.


Over all, college life was a time of self-discovery, making friends, meeting all sorts of people, and growing up socially. Good times.

Today’s prompt: What do you miss?

Saturday, 11 May 2013

You'll Love Me Because...

I can make a killer Tiramisu cake.


Today's prompt: Sell yourself in 10 words or less

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Seeing Angels

There's a graveyard within walking distance from where I live.

Despite the name (graveyard sounds so chilly), it's a very beautiful, peaceful place. I've never been one to consider graveyards creepy. This one is big, full of trees and flowers, small lakes, rivulets, open spaces, and neat rows of beautifully decorated gravestones. And angels. On gravestones, on the side walk, in flower patches... they're impossible to miss. On days when it's sunny and warm, like today, I take a book with me, and read on one of the many benches there. Channelling my inner Anne Shirley of the Green Gables fame, if you may.

Isn't this angel beautiful?

Today's prompt:  A moment in your day

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Quit Checking So Much

We are a generation that’s obsessed with checking everything often. Email, Facebook, cell phone, weight, calories, blogger stats… Do we really need to? Isn’t this turning into an unhealthy obsession?

Nothing’s going to happen if you check your email only twice a day. There’s not going to be some news on the TV/radio every 30 minutes. Facebook isn’t coming up with exciting new information every two hours. 


We won’t put on (or lose) a Kg every day. Counting calories of every dish you eat only increases stress levels. Looking into the mirror every hour to check your hair/make up/face does nothing to boost your confidence.


I’ve been through some of these checking “obsessions”. Breaking them wasn’t easy, but not as hard as you’d think. The results are worth it – I feel more at ease and less stressed about all those things. I used to check my cell phone all the time. I’d log into Gmail and Facebook very often. Check myself in the mirror (and be dissatisfied with my hair/makeup) at least once every hour.   

Now that I’ve broken those habits, I feel a lot more relaxed. More at ease. Because there’s nothing pushing me internally to check everything. And it feels good.


Today's prompt:: A piece of advice you have for others.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

The Ocean Scares Me

I love swimming. I’m a regular water baby. I love the beach. 


But somehow, due to some reason, the ocean scares me. It’s big. It’s vast. It’s deep, and if you’re in it, there’s nowhere you can hold on to, no way you can “rest” for a short while. Of course, not to mention the myriad of strange creatures that live in the ocean. 

frill shark

Sharks. Rays. 

Imma eat you with a dash of salt and pepper

Portuguese Man-of-Wars (or is it Portuguese Men-of-War??). All those deep-sea creatures we’ve not yet discovered.

blob fish (happy nightmares)

Giant squids. Octopuses. Whales. And big waves which push you down. Strong currents that drag you away. 

It’s just too vast, scary, deep, undiscovered and inhabited

Well, I’m a land animal, biologically speaking, so I guess I won’t have to worry about these scenarios too much. I do think about what would happen if my airplane falls into the ocean…? That’s a nightmare I get sometimes before a potential overseas trip. 

Today's prompt: The thing(s) you're most afraid of