I think I am destined to do the most bizarre things during a test. Today, we had another test, this time from Chapter 13 to 16. At first, there is the irritatingly loud music from outside. And then, a little bee that buzzes around me. Finally, my favorite pen, the one I write all my Hanzi (characters) with just gives up. Dies an unflattering, inglorious death.
I struggle thereafter to write. Dawei lends me a pen, but that’s a bit unwieldy to hold. I try the other pen I have, but the ink doesn’t flow smoothly in that, and I know what happens if I don’t close the little boxes, and dot the lines, and create the right tents for the characters. Slash, slash, red ink is what will follow. So I thought I would be smart – just number the sentences instead of writing them out. Bingo! Smart? No, utterly dumb.
As I gather the papers, Tang Laoshi tells me that I did well in the test, but she gave me lesser marks (85) because I didn’t write the Hanzi. I narrate my woeful tale of despair, and she laughs. “So the pen betrayed you,” she says. I nod, ruefully. There are many ifs and buts. In the end, there is just one. But I was dumb.