I received my TOEFL scores today. While I knew I had done well, my scores were off the charts with a near perfect 118/120. I scored full marks in 2 sections (Reading and Writing) and lost a mark each in Listening and Speaking.
The TOEFL is considered a cakewalk, yet I was quite anxious to meet the minimum benchmark of 100 (along with the sectional breakups of 23 each) set by most institutions. I find it funny that all my life I have read/written/spoken/been educated in English; heck, I even dream and think in English and yet these institutions ask me for proof that my English is good. Well, all said and done, hence proved! Id like to have my USD 165 back now, please :)
Whilst this may not be an earth shattering event in itself, somehow today I felt on top of the world. I have been a decent student in school and college, but not managed to hit the high notes regularly. And I believe somewhere down the line, I lost my hunger to score high for the sake of itself, because I realized how unfair the educational system here is, with seats being bought and an intentional uneven playing field being setup in the opportunities afforded to students and I contended myself by involving myself fully in that which mattered most to me (albeit quite successfully).
Today that academic hunger is back. I want to do well. Not to prove a fig to anyone, but myself. I want to go up against that test that promises to keep getting tougher as you keep doing better and I want to crack it. I want to go back to being that kid who enjoyed solving Maths problems in 3-4 different ways other than the one given in the text books. I want to go back and learn gerunds, participles and tenses, like the kid learnt from Wren and Martin. I want to go back in time and bring back the spirit of that kid who wrote 15 page essays in a 3 hour exam because he wanted to make a point and express his opinions.
I want to do well because it is who I am. And while doing that, I am still going to enjoy myself thoroughly.