2008 SQA English Credit Question 11
Michael Ahari is in S4 and attends Kip McGrath Balerno, Edinburgh South for extra tuition in English. It is days until exam time and we are hoping for excellent results from Michael. This essay question took only one hour to complete and has not been edited. Based on his work so far we have a future writer in our midst!
Patience. For some it comes naturally. They can fiddle around for hours on end attempting to piece together an intricately designed car model. Or, they can soak up all of the juicy information thrown at them when reading through a massive book in order to find a specific minute piece of knowledge. However, for others, like me, it does not. The model car would be dropped halfway through in anger and the thick book brimming with facts would not manage to squeeze even a drop of information into my head, having discarded it within five minutes of picking it up. I was quick minded, keen and simply could not find the time to wait. What can you expect from an eleven year old boy? But, as I had come to realise, it was something I would need to get a firm grasp of. Patience is the most valuable lesson I have ever been taught.
I stared at my computer monitor. An error message: “The file has not printed” popped up in the bottom right corner of the screen. The red alert on the printer flashed on an off, on and off, as it briefly lit up the room before disappearing again. This was the third attempt to print my project. And unsurprisingly, the third occasion I had been told that it hadn’t printed. The printer was on, there was ink in the printer and there was paper in the tray. What more did it want? I grinded my teeth together, slammed my fist furiously on the desk, and sighed. A long, stressed sigh.
What was I going to do? Did the computer want me to fail here? I was growing more and more impatient – tapping my feet on the floor. I whispered “stupid”. And then I repeated it. Louder and louder each time until I was screeching at the top off my voice “stupid stupid stupid”. And now I was standing up, and I moved around the room – pacing up and down. My hands tugged heavily at clumps of hair to the point where my whole head itched and ached. Then I started flapping my arms around like a bird in distress, and groaning a deep aggressive bear like groan. I fell to the floor and slumped against the wall: defeat. The computer has won. I had given up. Forget the project. It was all just stupid anyway.
“Michael” my father called, a tone I was all to familiar with to know what was coming next, “What’s Wrong?” I immediately exclaimed that nothing was wrong, but I could see by the look on his face he knew this is not the case. I looked up at him to see him staring back. I switched back to look at the floor, but I sensed him still waiting for a reply. Maybe he could help. So I told him what was wrong. This was followed by a string of what, at the time, seemed like irrelevant questions that I had already answered before weren’t going to make the slightest difference. As I lay there on the carpet – my father sitting at the computer desk – I answered “Yes”, “No”, “Yes”, “Yes, I’ve already told you” so dismissively I wasn’t even listening to what he was saying. I just wanted the problem fixed. Instantly. As I now know, things cannot always be done straight away…
Fifteen minutes have passed. I am now starting to go over the various possibilities for why my project will not print. It’s tedious I thought at the time – I had already been over them and decided that they were not the reason. The computer fan made a light whizzing sound and the chair my dad was sitting in creaked as the metal moved together. Again, I thought about why. Why? Why? Going over and over and over. Then smack. It was like a slap in the face: my wake up call. I had realised the reason – finally! I sprung into an upright position and proclaimed cheerfully “Yes, I’ve got it”.
Patience. I now understand that although you may not be born with it, you most certainly develop it through experience – even experiences like the one I had when my project would not print. My anger and frustration got the better of me and my whole thought process became irrational. Although my dad told little to me about patience itself, his actions most certainly allowed me to realise that with any issue there is a resolution, you just need to take the time to find out what that may be. When I was calm I sat down, and thought through thoroughly and eventually the problem was able to be solved. It’s the reason I can tackle problems such as intricately designed car models or read through gigantic manuals to obtain information, among the many other that I have to face in daily life.