A modern day retelling of Dickens's classic A Christmas Carol (with an educational twist!) from our Company Manager, Leticia.
’Twas the eve of the night before the biggest exam in Eberley Rouge’s academic career so far. At school in the morning, the corridors quietened much more quickly than usual, and students were at their classroom doors immediately on the bell. Her classmates had been talking about and preparing for the exam for a long time, but not Rouge. She could not care less about this upcoming exam and couldn’t wait for it to be all over so things could go back to normal. She hated that her friends weren’t going out with her as much and hated the extra classes that her teacher had set up for them. It was all a waste of time and effort! Whoever decided that exams were the best way to prove ability?
After school that afternoon, Rouge skipped the after-school club and headed straight home, ignoring the calls of her classmates who asked: “Why aren’t you coming to revise? You got the lowest grade in the class for the mocks!”. Rouge glared at them before turning the corner of the playground and heading homeward.
On her way back, she bumped into her form tutor who had recently become concerned about Rouge’s nonchalant attitude towards her work. Madame Eduquer had been Rouge’s mentor since she started at the secondary school so, of all the teachers, Rouge would concede that Madame Eduquer knew her best.
“Eberley, where are you off to so fast?” Madame Eduquer raised an eyebrow and pursed her lips knowingly. “You and I both know that the penultimate revision session is today, and it’s not that way.” She pointed in the direction Rouge had been walking in. When Rouge didn’t respond, Madame Eduquer thought for a moment, then said gently, “How about we work together one to one? Would you prefer that?” Rouge put her head down, pulled her hood up and scrambled away. She’d kill not to have to sit with a teacher in school let alone after school in her own time.
As Rouge approached her front door, she saw her father outside shovelling the snow away from the doorway. It had been a very cold and snow-stormy winter — Rouge thought to herself that she could relate. She mumbled a quick “Hi” as she walked past her father, avoiding eye contact. He’d probably completely forgotten about her after-school class, and she wanted to keep it that way.
Just as Rouge was about to arrive at the safety of her bedroom, her mother flew up the stairs. Placing her hand on Rouge’s bedroom door handle, she spoke, “And where do you think you’re going?” The jig was up. “Eberley, why on earth are you at home? Are you trying your absolute hardest to fail this exam? I didn’t want to tell you this, but your teacher called to tell me all about the disgrace you’ve brought upon the family name! Never did I get anything less than a B at school, and you’re flat-out failing?” Rouge wondered whether she was required to answer all of the questions her mother had just asked, and if so, which one to answer first. But then the barrage of questions continued, which she was able to tune out until she heard her mother’s ludicrous suggestion.
“Cornelius and Crowther are on their way here with your Aunt Carol. They’re over for dinner, and we planned to head out to watch the fireworks later, but you should stay at home with your cousins and revise together. I know you have it in you. The Rouges must never fail!”
Rouge rolled her eyes so far back that she could see the cobwebs on her brain. She hated her cousins and hated revision! She couldn’t understand why everyone was so keen for her to do it — it wasn’t even their exam for crying out loud! “I categorically refuse to work with those two dimwits. They’ll make my grade worse than it already is!”. Her mother put her hand on her hip.
“Don’t talk about your cousins like that, Eberley! The twins are lovely, and besides, helping others with their work can teach you a thing or two.” She tapped her temple twice.
“Great! So the twins can teach and learn from each other then!” Rouge took this as her escape cue. She quickly slid through the crack of her bedroom door and shut the door firmly behind her, holding her breath until her mother gave up knocking.
“You’ll see!” she called as she walked down the corridor, away from Rouge’s room.
“See what?” Rouge started murmuring just as the sky started to get darker. In fact, she noticed that the sky was abnormally dark, even for a winter evening. In an instant, lightning flashed, but there was no thunder to follow. She peered out of the window more closely, and noticed her father still outside dumping the last of the snow into a large crate. He didn’t seem to react to the darkness or thunder-less lightning in the slightest. Odd, she thought.
“Eberley Rouge…” she heard a faint snarl that seemed to be coming from above. No one had been in the loft for a long time, so Rouge was terrified. As she looked around, panicked, the snarl became more and more distinct. “Who is it?!” Rouge tried to sound authoritative, but only a squeak made it out of her mouth. A deep blue mist filled the room as source of the voice materialised. It blended into the mist uncannily.
“I am the ghost of eXams past!” It growled.
Now proceed to Part Two.
Blog Post Crafted by Leticia
Leticia runs our Admin Team, supporting tutors, clients and applicants. She loves singing and will almost always be seen making a beeline for the microphone at any karaoke night!
Leticia manages the staff on our Admin Team, liaising with tutors, clients and applicants. She is also responsible for processing the ID, Qualifications, DBS Check and References for all our newly joining tutors.