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Keily, the Bookworm Part-8

I discovered my passion for writing after I quit my day job. So I began to write fiction stories, self-help books, and articles, blogs, etc.

Pic: Keily

Pic: Keily

Keily started attending A-level classes in her old school and so did Emma, her best friend.

Keily tried to be regular in class, answering the teachers' questions, which the others couldn't. She participated in all the quizzes and exams at school. She tried to perform as best as she could in her lessons.

A-level classes were going to last for two years until the start of May 1994 while the A-Level exams under the University of London would commence at the end of the same month. That didn’t give Keily much time and space to prepare adequately with the school going on and the real exams approaching. She had to rise to the challenge and lost much of her health.

She was preparing to appear in three courses in the A-levels under the University of London. It was very, very hard and yet, Keily carried on with no complaint.

The exams were soon knocking all over Keily. This time Dad couldn’t take her to the exam center as he was away on business in another city.

So Mom helped Keily by accompanying her in rickshaws. While her exams were going on, the streets were not crowded unlike the present day, and traffic jams were sparse. Yet, she still set out with her Mom for the center three hours before the exam time. This time she had Physics and Chemistry lab exams too. Altogether, it was maddening.

Keily’s first lab exam was in an established and renowned English medium school in affiliation with the British Council exam center. Her exams started with the lab exams themselves. She had overcome theoretical O-level exams but A-level lab exams were a completely new experience. Keily dreaded them.

On the other hand, her own school, despite her Dad's rebukes and angry remarks, did not prepare its A-level candidates well for lab exams. Keily decided to give herself the best shot like before and leave everything else in God’s hands.

With that attitude and mentality, she began her lab exam with 24 other candidates, some of whom were her classmates. But Emma was in a different session.

Keily had practiced titration experiments in Chemistry lab back at school many times. She carefully fixed the burette now and handled the acid and alkali for perfect neutralization to occur. But her hands were shaking horribly from being nervous. Nevertheless, she noted down the figures and wrote a report in the answer booklet, and after a while, the time was up, and all answer scripts were collected.

The Physics A-level lab exam did not go well for Keily either. The machines did not work well and behaved clumsy, and she knew at heart that her lab exams were going lousy.

However, when it was time for the theoretical exams, she felt she did much better. Getting A’s in the courses would be tough, but still, she tried her level best, and when the results came in a month later, she was happy to get 3 B’s in the theoretical courses and D’s in the labs.

With this result, she could get admitted anywhere abroad and of course, at home. Keily’s Dad didn’t want her to go abroad yet. He thought she could go for higher studies abroad while she studied for an undergraduate program in the city at home itself at present. Dad had a heart-to-heart talk with Keily.

Dad said, “I hear from Mom that you are very much interested in going to the US for undergraduate studies in engineering. Is that correct?”

Keily replied, “Yes, I think I am a grownup now, and I could go abroad for undergraduate studies. My classmates are all applying and getting positive responses with funding and scholarships.”

Dad said, "Look, Keily, it seems like a dream now to study abroad. But the hard reality is that life would be very difficult abroad, and life could throw curveballs at you."

He continued, "Come visit my university where I am working as a Vice-Chancellor. It is thoroughly a spick and span campus. There is a good cafeteria for students, a large library as well as air-conditioned classrooms and labs and of course, a good bunch of qualified teachers. You will also like your new classmates who will be mostly from the city, and you can choose among them to be your friends. Does that convince you?”

Keily thought for a few seconds. She replied, “Ok, Dad, I would like to experience attending classes at your university in the engineering program for the first three months. If I like it, I will stay. If I don’t, I will start applying for abroad, about which I am more inclined. Do I have a deal?”

Dad responded, “Certainly, for sure, Keily.”

Poll Time

Keily, the Bookworm Part-7

Part-7 shows that Keily gets her O-level results about which she is not happy, her Dad helping her to decide to study A-levels instead of the English version of Bengali medium HSC, and finally, Keily feeling happy about Dad’s choice.

© 2020 Rosina S Khan

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