Chemical Disaster at School

acl2Grade ten was important. Board exams! The thought of these exams caused my heart to beat faster. It felt like there was a heavy weight on my chest. My brain froze and refused to work.

My worst fear of course was Chemistry. I found the subject boring. I found it challenging because there was a lot of memorization involved and I hated memorizing things.

My Chemistry teacher, Mrs. Sachdev helped me after school. I would go to her home and would go over my difficulties with her. She was a sweet person, a thin sweet voice which was never suited to screaming. Her most distinguishing feature was that she didn’t seem to have a neck. It was like her head sat right on top of her body, like a Penguin.

Exam time drew closer and chemistry continued to be a thorn in my backside. It was time for taking the practical exam. I was lucky to sit beside one of the brightest students, so I was hoping to copy my way through. A dangerous but desperate ploy.

The moderator fired the starting gun, and we scrambled to complete our experiments to make it to the finish line. I guess I wasn’t the best at cheating, having never before being reduced to it. Very soon it became apparent to the ghoul of a moderator that I was indeed cheating.

As she walked toward me, her eyes as dark as coal, embers flying out, I cowered in fear. I felt like my heart was going to jump out of my throat and fall on the floor. And then, my knight with a pipette swooped in. Mrs. Sachdev! She saw the peril I was in. She took her junior to the side and whispered some words and my nemesis retreated. It felt like a cobra in mid-strike had heard the song of a snake charmer.

Then my savior made sure I had a clear view of my friends paper! It wasn’t over yet. These were just the practicals. The theory portion of the Chemistry exam was a few days away. I just couldn’t deal with this stupid subject. Why did I have to study this. Useless as I never planned to become a scientist.

We lined up to get into the exam room. My stomach was tied up in knots. I don’t sweat easily. If I could, I am sure I would be drenched as if caught in rain without an umbrella. We sat down to write our papers. I didn’t have chemistry swirling in my brain so instead I watched how the exam was being conducted.

I realized that the moderator was from an outside school. Mrs. Sachdev wouldn’t be able to help me, even if she wanted to. I saw my peers asking for additional papers to write down their answers, I noticed the moderator gave supplement answer sheets and signed off on the fact that the student had received an additional sheet.

I raised my hand and the moderator walked over. She gave me a supplement sheet. I pretended to write in it and then after sometime I raised my hand again, asking for another supplement sheet. She signed off attesting that I had a total of three answer sheets. While the moderator was busy elsewhere, I took the middle sheet and hid it inside my shirt.

The plan was simple. I needed 35% to pass. Between the two sheets I had submitted, I had answered questions for less than 35% marks so I should surely fail the exam. What I was counting on was that they would have no choice but to give me a passing grade because the middle supplement was missing. If they failed me, I would appeal to have the paper re-examined and would call out that they misplaced my middle supplement.

A couple of months passed and the day the results were announced arrived. I maintained an outwardly composed appearance, my heart quivering with fear from within. As my homeroom teacher announced my name, I walked up to her desk and got the mark sheet. All I was interested in looking for was my grade on Chemistry! I passed…my gambit had paid off! I had Mrs. Sachdev to thank for saving me during the practicals and some real ingenuity on my part to thanks for passing the exam.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Teacher’s Pet.”

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