My 20-year high school reunion in coming up in a couple of weeks and of course we ask the usual questions. Will we be the same? Have we grown up? Do we even remotely look anything like we did 20 years ago?

But what I want to know is, if you had to do Year 12 all over again and sit those dreaded final year exams, how would you do?

Honestly, I would like to think that I would kick the Year 12 exams out of the school hall.  Why? Because I’m 20 years older. I should be smarter right?

Maybe it depends on the school subject. Me, I loved Music, Social Sciences, English and History subjects.  All those touchy feely thinking type subjects.  If I had to take on physics I’d fail.  Hell I failed physics in Year 10; even after cheating.

I remember one afternoon practicing my piano piece for about two hours and my teacher was telling me she couldn’t hear the emotion in my playing.

“Are you in love?” she queried.

“Yes” I replied.  At the time I truly believed I was.  And I was, don’t get me wrong.  But the love I felt the day I got married or the day I gave birth was the kind of ‘blow you away’ love that I needed that 1991 afternoon.  If I had to play that piece again, I would play it better.

I understand Shakespeare better.  The complexity of people and the tragedy we suffer; I get that stuff now.

Waiting for Godot meant nothing to me as a 16 year old. I hated that play with a passion.  But if I hadn’t been exposed to this sort of literature at high school I don’t know if I wouldn’t be giving it a second thought now.

History, society…I’ve seen things now, I’ve lived through moments.  It’s real.  I have experienced the nation’s collective sorrow when an Australian soldier dies. Or the anger that’s expressed when another leaky fishing boat full of asylum seekers reaches Australia.

I’ve lived, I’ve read, I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, I’ve been downtrodden, I’ve fought back.

What I needed in Year 12 was empathy; I lacked empathy.  I just hadn’t experienced well…anything really.  I mean I did write a kick arse essay on my annoyance at some fellow students who were debating whether I was a true Australian.  And why? Because that came from within me, not some textbook.

You want me to discuss The Crucible? I can.

You want to me explore history’s failed lessons? I can.

You want to hear pain in my voice when I sing a love song? I can.

You want me to explain that with no culture there is no identity? I can.

I am 20 years older now. My voice is the authority now. I don’t need to find a quote to back up my argument.

So anyone want to do Year 12 exams with me?

Related posts:

Is 20 Year Old You Happy With How Things Are?


  • At 2011.05.30 13:33, Enzo said:

    No. Thanks.

    But what you say applies not only to Year 12 exams, but life and everything we do within it.

    Kickass post, Mrs M.

    • At 2011.05.30 16:25, Maria said:

      Yeah but those Year 12 exams are supposed to be you encapsulated in a percentage score out of 100. Don’t you want to know if you can better your score?

      • At 2011.05.30 21:36, Enzo said:

        Yes, but not by sitting the exams again. Leave me in the real world thanks.


    • At 2011.05.30 14:57, Lachy said:

      You’re on fire of late smurf.

      • At 2011.05.30 16:25, Maria said:

        Thanks matey. The ideas have been flowing but not the time to flesh them out. But we may be on top of that now.

        Love & stuff
        Mrs M

      • At 2011.05.30 21:50, Booger Bender said:

        Excellent read Maria. Year 12 would be perfect all over again. Thanks had a good time reading this. Cheers.

        • At 2011.05.31 18:06, Maria said:

          Thanks for the visit. Glad to hear someone out there enjoyed Year 12.

          Love & stuff
          Mrs M

        • At 2011.05.31 01:56, Kleonaptra said:

          Oh Id love to.

          I was the nut waiting outside the hall begging to be let in on exam day, with 10 pages of quotes memorized for every subject.

          Cant remember a damn word of it now.

          • At 2011.05.31 18:07, Maria said:

            Not surprising Kleo. You are a walking encyclopedia.

            Love & stuff
            Mrs M

          • At 2011.05.31 17:53, Naomi said:

            What you say is true, about being exposed to great literature, that we only now as adults begin to really understand.
            I cringe at the notes I made in the margins of books all those years ago.
            20 years ago, I was in my second year of uni. Same thing applies, I cringe at some of the guff I wrote as know it all 20 year old!

            • At 2011.05.31 18:09, Maria said:

              I know. I read my essays and I’ve said things with such conviction and now I just shake my head. Queen of fake it till you make it I was.

              Thanks for the visit.

              Love & stuff
              Mrs M

            (Required, will not be published)