By Kazuya Muto
As I wrote last week, I was worried that my study-abroad experiences were slowly disappearing into oblivion. But then came a great, big reminder: my exam results.
The results for the second-semester exams were coming out, and I could check these through the university Web site. I can't say my happiest memories are associated with these exams, because they were very tough, but the memories are still precious.
When the day came, I was nervous. I was afraid I might have failed some of my units. Results were posted from midnight Sydney time (that's 10 o'clock Japan time, a two-hour time difference, which for some reason made me feel like I had an advantage).
Heart pounding, I went online at 10 sharp but all I got was a "The line is busy.'' I tried again and again, but each time the same message would come up. I was disappointed. This seemed like a bad omen.
I decided to wait for about an hour. I didn't know what to do during that time. I couldn't keep my mind on anything for very long: I flipped through some magazines, listened to some music, texted some friends, ate some chips, cleaned my room a little, wandered around the house, and did some deep breathing.
An hour later, I was already at the computer. I tried again, but still the same message came up: "The line is busy.'' This was torture! I couldn't wait any longer. I was about to give up, but then I thought I'd give it one more go, and to my surprise, I was in!
For a split second I was relieved. At last I had access to the Web site. But the relief quickly turned to anxiety as panic took over — panic about my results. Would I pass, or would I fail? A message came up on screen. It told me to reconfirm my student number. I reconfirmed my number, my results came flooding onto the screen ... and ... and ...
I couldn't believe it. I passed business, politics, communication and accounting. I'd had a tough time of all of them, especially accounting, but I passed them all. I passed, I passed! I leaped out of my chair, I yelled with joy, I punched the air, I danced around the room.
For about an hour, I couldn't think. I was just too thrilled.
When, about an hour later, I started to calm down, I began to remember the friends I'd studied with in Sydney. I remembered talking late into the night about our forthcoming exams. I began to feel a little melancholy.
Since I came back to Japan, I've been very happy (though occasionally I've felt life in Japan is a little boring), but this was the first time that I had seriously missed Sydney. So I decided to e-mail my friends in Sydney. I wanted to know what they were doing now. I wanted to share my joy with them.
But I wasn't quite prepared for how rusty my English was ...
Shukan ST: March 9, 2007
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