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The last day of school

By The New Girl

Exams are such a drag. Storing hoards of information in your head over the time span of seven days is frustrating and meaningless too, since 90% of that information will never do you any good. I'm quite positive angles of elevation and the intricate details of reproduction (in plants) will not help in my dream of becoming a writer. So as exams come, everything seems much more fascinating than the pile of books scattered on your table and shelves. The only thing you can look forward to is holidays, when “FREEDOM” is the cry of the tortured. Oh, and of course there's the last day.

Some may ask: what is this “last day”? Why is it in italics? Why is it implied that our last day is so different from the norm of last days?

Now, where I go to school, studies are the first priority. You're nobody in the eyes of the authority if your grade file holds a C. And they are slave drivers, the teachers. They tell us tests are “marked class works” and put 5 in one day with that excuse. And they don't give us a minute of free time, choosing long, rambling lectures, half of which are an annoying buzz in our befuddled heads. And when our rebellious side kicks in and we dare break the rule of silence in class and whisper to our friend, we are caught and made to leave the class. Occasionally a teacher may be late or absent, and we rejoice by destroying the entire classroom.

But the last day is like the apocalypse. The savage, fierce monsters within us are unleashed as we pay no heed to the teacher's attempts to keep us silent. It's the last day before the exams, usually a Thursday, and the teachers expect us to study. We scoff at their naivety. In all the excitement, happiness and sadness of the last day, we can do anything but stay quiet. We become rebels, the whole lot. Even the “quiet ones” elicit a scream now and then, adding to the ruckus created by 60 rampant students releasing the frustrations of a year of study and two gruelling weeks of exams to come.

Occasionally, some are kind enough to bring food for the class, and once someone has laid their eyes on those glorious objects, there is a rush to be first; there's fighting, there are broken noses and then there's sharing. We are such good children. And then we see a bottle of coke and instead of devouring it, some foolish people decide to spray it on each other. No champagne, true. But there's cola, and there's a generous amount of CO2. So shake it up and watch the froth fly.

And when each crumb has vanished into the stomachs of 60 not-so-satisfied students, we decide to stir up some more trouble. The neat alignment of desks is disrupted, and the chairs are scattered all over the room. They are knocked over, painted on, stood on, and names are carved on them as an everlasting sign of our short, but wonderful reign. And then the most daring of us rebels bring out their electronics and capture images of the vibrant classroom in shambles, to be uploaded on of Facebook, and made immortal.

Sometimes, the word “exams” can be heard, but we disregard it. Exams do not exist. Books are scattered all over the room, and they are foreign objects. "Exams” are far away in the distant future, and we can only see them in the corners of our wildest imaginations.

Now you may ask, why not celebrate after the exams?

And we ask you: would you enjoy celebrating if you were allowed to? If your superiors said, “Go have fun, go crazy”, you would want to sit down and study. Okay, not that bad, but you get what we mean. The uncontrollable high of the last day would not be present; hence it would not be the last day.

And this year, we cry, all 60 of us no-longer-crazy students, because we can't have our last day. The politicians of the nation made sure of that.


Black and White

By Arshiyan Q. Ahsan

A day would not pass by without Black thinking of White. He promised her of the eternal. She felt safe but not wholly. She knew she was a mere mortal. Eternity did not exist. Black tried to live up to the promise. Slowly it scarred them. Parts of their outlines vanished. The wall so perfectly drawn, drawn to protect them, evaporated. But neither Black nor White paid much heed to the world around them. The goal was set and they were to reach it. A little after, Black would speak to White. Wish to acknowledge her existence; that she existed. But they did not have boundaries. No outlines, no limits, to save them. Black and White started to mix. Petrified, they wanted to separate. But it was too late. It was spreading throughout their structures. Black and White formed Grey.

Somewhere, on some other part of the world, the vibrant youth of Red collided with Yellow. Yellow would sit in a corner, shy of the world, and bear witness to everything. Red's actions would be what he would watch, but silently. One day, Red was on her peak. She trespassed onto Yellow's corner. She stabbed him, once, twice, again. Her words killed him. He was afraid, even more afraid than ever. This continued. She was just getting the fun of it; he was being cut open. Till one day, Red woke up to find bits of her missing. Gone. She looked to the corner. She was scared. There, where once her victim would hide, was warmth. Orange.

No more could be taken. The colours were brought together again. They formed nothing. Just more Black. The same black that formed grey before; the one wounded heavily. Nothing could be done so the colours floated inside nothingness. Sad but conceited. Angry but afraid. Their beauties lost to the eyes of the world, hidden and hoarded. They gave up. Lost hope.

Life as we see it.


By Mahir

We have been waiting for this for a long time and it's finally here: The European Football Championship. Arguably the second greatest international football tournament, after the World Cup, Euro always attracts audiences, despite the absence of the Latin American juggernauts and agile Africans. On the flip side, the weaker Asian, Australian and North American teams are excluded making this a short and tough international tournament played by most of the world's best national teams.

This year the tournament is hosted by Ukraine and Poland; the first time Eastern Europe is playing host for the tourney. After a long and arduous qualification process, the top 14 teams (Ukraine and Poland automatically chosen as hosts) are ready to get going. How's it looking for them?

In Group A, we have Czech Republic as the favourites for group champion, but odds of them making it to the semifinals are low. Things might not be as smooth with stronger opponents and Petr Cech might have to pull off another miracle to see his team to the finals. Among Greece, Russia and the host Poland, any of the teams might accompany Czech Republic as they are all equivalent in quality though Poland as hosts might hold the edge.

Action starts from Group B. Falling in same group with the world's 2nd, 4th and 5th teams (according to FIFA ranking published in May 9th), Denmark is faced with a Herculean task. Among Germany, Netherland and Portugal; the first two are expected not only to make it to the quarterfinals but also to lift the trophy. Portugal is still a one man team and is yet to find some world class players to support Cristiano Ronaldo. On the other hand both Germany and Netherland have a full squad of quality players.

Germany's young guns from World Cup 2012 will resume their roles, now with a little more experience. Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira are in good touch. Germany will also be looking to Mario Gomez who is in form in the Euro and the young Mario Gotze might play an important role for the team. As for Netherlands the main man will be Robin Van Persie who will be aided by Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder from the flanks. Both the teams lost in friendly matches recently but they were both playing with a substitute team and have proved that when it comes to major tournaments, one can always expect flair from these two behemoths of world football.

Group C has Spain as the clear favourites to make it out as the group champions but the injury of Carlos Puyol and David Villa and the unimpressive performance of Torres might prove decisive for the team. Spain's offence will probably be handled by Fernando Llorente (or Torres, depending on del Bosque's generosity) backed up by battle hardened and experienced Xavi, Iniesta and Silva.

Italy was recently decimated by Russia in a friendly, making it their third consecutive loss in a friendly without a goal. With the earthquake and match-fixing scandals playing on their morale, Italy seems vulnerable. But they are also as unpredictable as ever and Croatia and Ireland might have their hands full with the Balotelli and Di Natale combo.

In Group D, England and France are expected to advance to the next round. Laurent Blanc, the new coach of France, has a good authority over his team (unlike Raymond Domenech) but they don't have Zidane anymore and the team, despite beating Germany in a friendly, might struggle. Keep your eyes on Ribery though; his brilliant performance in both the Bundesliga and in the Champions League might continue for his national team as well. Also Karim Benzema will need to show his class for his country.

England on the other hand appointed Roy Hodgson at the 11th hour, who is reputed for his defensive strategies. So expect an ultra defensive England team this year. As for Sweden and Ukraine, the odds for them aren't that high.

Things will intensify in the quarterfinals without a doubt. Any of the eight teams may lift the trophy on July 1st in the Olympic Stadium in Kiev. The tournament starts on the 8th June and will be aired in numerous channels in Bangladesh. Here's to some good football!

Interesting Facts
· Euro 2012 will be the last tournament with 16 finalists; from Euro 2016, there will be 24 teams playing in the tournament.

· Ukraine created their response to the Vuvuzela and named it Zozulica. According to the inventors, unlike the shrill ear piercing sound of the vuvuzela, zozulica has a deep pleasing sound.





 

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