My favourite tree. Has been for over two decades now, everyday I see it from the garden, standing alone and proud. Surviving several lightning strikes and countless storms.

But today after all these years I discovered something special about that wonderful tree. A magical hidden secret…..

Hawklad sat an exam today at home. Two hours worth of work. I set him off and kept out of his way. No need for two teacher referees this time. I was asked to keep an eye on him to make sure he stuck to the exam rules. Deep sigh….. They could just ask him and he would straight away tell them the truth. On one trip to Switzerland I gave him a sip of a shandy drink. At the end of the holiday we went through Swiss Customs. We were asked if we had anything to declare. Hawklad immediately owned up to that shandy….

No I didn’t enforce the exam rules. He walked about. He finds sitting still difficult, not moving for two hours would be torture to him. He had some noisy crisps and really loud wrapped up mints. He talked to the pets. The key things he stuck to. He didn’t use any sources of help, he observed the time allocation. If only school exams could be this flexible.

So the hidden secret.

The other side of the much loved tree has a face…

An angry face. Can you see it.

Wow. How did I miss that. Just goes to show that you can never be certain that you know everything. But I do know that school exams are forms of legalised torture. Why do we do that to them.

54 thoughts on “Hidden secret

  1. Way back in the 1960s, I failed what was then the NZ University Entrance examination – required if one wanted to attend university. I didn’t have a strong bladder (and still don’t) and at best I could manage little more than two hours between calls of nature. The exams were 3 three hours long – in each subject. You needed an aggregate score of 50% in all subjects, and you also needed a pass in English. We were not permitted to return to the examination room for any reason – no exceptions, even calls of nature. The longest time I managed to sit was just under two hours, but for several subjects I didn’t last even an hour, one of which was English. My average over all subjects was an acceptable 74% but I still failed as I failed in English by a single mark. I sought a recount, and while my average increased marginally, the English mark remained the same. It was a cruel blow at the time and I abandoned all thoughts of continuing with a formal education.

    In hindsight it might have been for the better, as I suspect I could not have coped with the socialitation expected of university life. I didn’t learn I was autistic until more than four decades later.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. When I was a kid, the word autism did not exist. I was “normal,” maybe even “gifted,” but I could see some others around me were struggling. Somehow, the teachers could not see that. To them, everyone had to be treated exactly the same–depending on skin colour. Seeing as there were hardly any yellow, black, or brown kids in schools then, what that meant was native children were mostly neglected, while white kids were given all kinds of priorities. And I was some kind of colour between white and red. So I had issues I could not understand, and did not understand until I became an adult. It wasn’t the same as you, Barry, but it was similar. I wasn’t expected to excel, and when I did, they figured I had to be cheating somehow.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This is a strangely angry face! Exams and they way they are conducted are always tough on the students. My grandson had his first ever exam last December, the midterm exam. He was quite apprehensive.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I can almost see that tree start to walk, like Treebeard the Ent. It certainly has character, though I can’t find the face you see. And that’s odd, because I usually see things like that where no one else sees them. Hope Hawklad did well on his exam. I never liked exams either, though they were very different when I went to school 60 years ago and more.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I see faces in many things, both animate and inanimate. Strange how the mind works, isn’t it? I am so glad you tossed the exam rules out the window. Some rules just beg to be broken! You have an amazing son. He has an amazing Dad. How fortunate you both are. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I was reading an article about this very thing some time ago and apparently it’s called face pareidolia and is fairly common. I had always assumed because I did so did everyone else. The human brain is pretty amazing.


  5. I see two faces. I wouldn’t call the first face angry though. Maybe grumpy. And the second face below it looks kind of sleepy. Wow… the grumpy face even has an ear and an arm. The sleepy face is basically in his chest area. Beneath the lump in his arm pit. He should really have that looked at… 😂🤣😂🤣😂 I suppose the sleepy looking face is his inner dreamer. He HAS had a difficult life. He needs some dreams. He’s been through storms, lost an arm… I’d be kind of grumpy too. But at least he still has his inner dreamer. 😊❤

    Liked by 3 people

  6. It says SCREAM! Stop the madness! Exams are indeed torture and not the best way of judging a person’s abilities, though I am not sure how else one would do it. However certain people should be allowed exceptions.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Hawklad had his own ways, and they work for him. But if he were in a classroom he would not be allowed to move. Make notes, including results, Gary, and have them ready if he ever goes back to class. He will need all the help he can get to display his abilities in his own way. Videos of him “sitting” an exam might be best, if you can do it unobtrusively. Ask him if it would bother him, and explain how it might help in future!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah, which I why I suggest being able to prove what works for him. School is a “one size fits all” institution, and obviously does not work for everyone. People are all different, so you have to shove in the authorities faces!


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