A week of exams had me left deflated through out, with a severe lack of motivation to study when all I really wanted to do was read A Clash of Kings and watch Game of Thrones. Yet I suppose Tyrion Lannister’s words never seemed better fit for life than now:
“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”
By far one of my favourite quotes from a book, it has led me to think of exams in a different albeit greatly dramatized perspective, more or less to make it seem worthwhile as I question their necessity…
There are battles and wars fought with swords and gunfire, skilled in bodily strength but there are trials and tribulations to test the mind as well. They are now, in modern times, called examinations.
It is known how wars are not won in a single day but by fighting many battles and triumphing. Examinations, it can be said, are a war of their own in which our plethora of subjects ranging from arithmetic to psychology serves as battles.
Just as swords are sharpened on stone, so too is a mind with the aid of books. Knowledge is a powerful and complex weapon, you see. It can win wars just as well, perhaps better, than a spear through an enemy’s eye.
Armed to conquer mathematics we wield swords of logarithms and formulae of circumference and integration. Against, literary theory we load our crossbows and let it slip arrows showering terms of ‘binary opposition’, ‘polymorphously perverse children’ and ‘ostranenie’ like fire upon a battle field. Wearing armour doused and oiled in ‘electric potential’, ‘escape velocity’ and ‘restitution coefficient’, we shield ourselves against physics. With these abstract weapons and shields, we go off to defeat exam after exam, slaying biology, french and chemistry alike… or perhaps they slay us.
In the end, we come out as victors or the overthrown. I hope the victors do not aggrandize their conquests nor that the overthrown diminish their capabilities.
Because they are inevitably meant to fight more wars, years to comes, term after term with the coming and going of pleasant summers and foul winters.
It is my solemn hope that we do not lose track of what we are truly (or perhaps somewhat falsely) fighting for.
Our future. Our fate.