Saturday, July 21, 2007

The zero that made a difference

I went through the GCE system in school (the good old GCE not iG or whatever). You can do exams in any subject you want, and the school encourages every student to sit for exams in all the subjects that the school provides.

Many students dropped religious studies, biology and English literature. I insisted on doing the first two, but when it came to English literature I was a bit hesitant. I knew my English sucked and besides that I had to read Shakespeare and a few other plays and novels.

I had a intelligent teacher, Dr. Nouha Homad, who was very pleasant and also had a PhD degree from the Sorbonne. I thought I'd give it a shot.

The grades kept coming, I was an "A' student in school but now I was getting 0.5/15 (that's half out of fifteen), 20/100, and so on. I was still an "A' student because those were among the best scores in class.

Once I wrote an essay about the Merchant of Venice. I thought it was a great one, at least I expected to pass, but I got a zero.
A big zero.
I went to talk to her.

"Hey Miss Nouha, shu hada?"
"Hayda zero"
"Let me see"
She took my paper and started re-reading.

Then she looked at me and pointed to sentence I've written at the end. "Because of this", she said.
I read the sentence carefully, it said ".... because Shakespeare is a great writer"

I was surprised because I knew she respected Shakespeare.
"What's wrong with this sentence?"

"You said that Shakespeare was a great writer!!"
"Ok, what is wrong with that?"

She was a bit surprised at the question, the she smiled at me and said, "You can't judge Shakespeare honey"

So I was certain I would miserably fail if I would take the official GCE test so I dropped the exam. I still owe Homad lots of respect for her zeroes.

Next week, all the losers (me included) who had dropped out brought hummus , falafel and shaay and enjoyed a good breakfast in the literature class.


Unknown said...

Luck to have such a good teacher hareega? One of the skills that is totally missing in the education system is teaching a student to ar crtical thinker. Good for her and you for trying.

Unknown said...

"You can't judge Shakespeare honey"

I thought she is supposed to encourage student to express their views and form an opinion
I totally disagree with her! It's your view your decision, she can't give a zero for expressing your thought.

Wallah ya garabah enthahak 3aleek

Mohanned said...

Ya3ni afham ennak 7asset 7alak gad el bareezeh :D
Hoo sa7 mano enteh ta jaudge shakespeare, ha?

Just teadsing bro;P

The Observer said...

Now I remember you! You were not a classmate of mine. You are a year younger, but we graduated the same year cause you studied GCE!

Actually I don't think it is fair to take the Zero for judging Shakespeare! It is your opinion and should be entitled to!

7aki Fadi said...

I don't like her at all.

"You can't judge Shakespeare honey"??? .. absurd wallah, she just follows her whims when she grades.

you should have told her, and you can't judge

Mala2e6 said...

I hate shakespeare

can i say that?

i guess i can

i am not in her class

so hareega what did you learn from this?


you should have learned something

ya3ni if you got a zero and that was supposed to teach you a lesson..what was her lesson?

our teacher used shakespeare to tell us why we dont get As in composition..hay fhemnaha

even shakespeare wont get an A
thats what she said

Hareega said...

shifaa... she was an excellent teacher, we need more of her. It's not easy for a teacher to put a zero but she always did!

firas.. she was basically stating what my score would be in the offical exam had I written the same thing. I think you can say whatever you want about religion and God, but stay away from Shakespeare

mohanned... andari, ba7ot shakespeare howe o 3ailto bi jaibti el zgheereh

the observer... eh! whoever you are i hate you :) I didn't like your class a lot but there were a few exception of course, walla ya hala bi orthothoxiyyeh grads

7aki fadi... hehe unfortunately she's the only one who can give a zero.

mala2e6... probably the lesson i got was that i didn't know how the hell do british examiners think or expect me to think, but your teacher was right.

The Observer said...

hala beek! lol

I think that I am from the exceptions! heheh. Actually we werent that bad!

Hareega said...

your cass sucked :D