There’s been a surprising outcome to Miss Arabella’s HSC results and it’s causing a bit of tension. And huge disappointment. And grief and anger and tears and exasperation and bewilderment and sleepless nights. But she’s not taking this setback too badly because so far the words, ‘It’s all your fault, mum’, have not been uttered. I’m off the hook.
Arabella’s HSC results came in around mid-December. We were all stunned. Because she’d done well and across every subject too. And we were stunned not because we thought she was a low-gene-pool victim but because she didn’t appear to be taking the year too seriously. Remember the post I did, ‘My Daughter is Wonderful’ about her intentions to study at the library but she ended up joining me and Celia and Lorraine and Tanya for lunch? That was standard. And there were all those formals and all those boyfriends and, ‘The Glange‘.
It won’t surprise you to know that her best subject was Drama, (we all had plenty of that!) followed very closely by Maths. Who would have thought; she’s an interesting mix, for sure.
But speaking of, ‘The Glange’, Arabella’s ATAR, (who knows what that stands for but it’s where they take all your marks and squash them, compound them, average them and scale them to give you a final score out of a hundred); well that score ended up being one mark short of what she needs to get into the course she wants to study.
One tiny little mark is causing so much trouble.
The ‘Glange’ caused Arabella to miss over five weeks of an eight week term. Because of this, the Board of Studies says she is eligible to apply for a re-mark under a review titled ‘misadventure’. And that required forms. Forms the school had neglected to fill out. Forms that were due into the Board of Studies before the end of the year. And it was December 23 when we realised the oversight. Sending in the forms meant Arabella could be eligible for an additional ten points! We only needed one. We downed tools and got to it.
We downloaded the forms off the internet. We needed a statement from a GP so phoned our doctor who had treated her. He had already gone on annual leave. We phoned another GP whose rooms are a long way from home but she had treated Arabella once during her illness and is very compassionate and yes, she was available so we were up there that afternoon. That form completed we then needed a signed copy of her blood test results proving she had the illness. I beetled up to the medical centre, paid $60.00 for a copy of her records and beetled back home. Next we needed a printout of Arabella’s absences from school signed by a member of the teaching staff together with a form the teacher needed to complete.
I contacted the school where the teachers were already long gone but there were a few administrative staff still remaining. They told me to come down to the school at 11am. When I arrived I had to step over plastic sheets as the whole office was being painted. I was handed a printout of her absences. I looked at it and it wasn’t signed. ‘It needs to be signed’, I said.
‘Well I can’t sign it’, she said, ‘I’m not a member of the teaching staff and there are no teaching staff here to sign it’.
‘I can’t send it in unsigned; her application will be rejected’.
‘You’ll have to leave it with us and you can pick it up on the 10th of January’.
‘No. It has to be in before the end of the month. They’re not accepting applications after that’.
‘But there’s no one here so we can’t help you’.
‘This is something the school was meant to do long before now. The school didn’t attend to it when they should have. I have all her medical documentation here and the application is right to go except for the part the school needs to complete. Where is the teacher whose job it is to manage the applications for misadventure?’
‘He’s on annual leave’.
‘Is he in the country?’ And she glared at me.
‘Wait here’, she said. So I waited and she came back and said the teacher was on his way in. ‘Could you come back in an hour?’ she asked.
So I stepped across the plastic sheets and headed back to my car and drove around for a while then came back to the school. I was handed the completed documentation without a word and I wished her a Merry Christmas and danced back across the plastic sheets while phoning Arabella to tell her I had everything she needed.
We express-posted the documents and rejoiced that we’d managed to get everything completed before the deadline.
Well yesterday Arabella received notification from the Board of Studies about her application. All it said was, ‘Rejected’. With no hint of an explanation. She was eligible for up to ten extra marks but didn’t get one.
Arabella is re-designing her future.