“Some Idiotic or Possibly Funny Mistakes I did in my Finals”

Friday, July 09, 2010 Heba Moeen 2 Comments

My last day of exams was May 10, 2010 . . . a blessed day, a happy yet confused day, a thrilling day coupled with fright . . .it was all in one. Stupid mistakes done on this day being aside, I will remember it as one of the happiest days of my life though a final presentation and a final exam of an awful course that day really got to me and that course made me look forward to Summer but thankfully it was really the last day of the last days  . . . it was the 40 true and false questions that killed me that night . . .

It was Islamic Banking but with all due respect to my teacher I still feel there is nothing Islamic about an Islamic Bank even though quizzes worth 20 marks and students fried with negative marking did not make my thinking biased I continue to feel this way. As learnt from Business Ethics, it’s a capitalist world with us getting more inclined towards a revisionist approach . . . well, well my perception of something cannot be blamed on my Business Ethics teacher so here comes the disclaimer at the very beginning rather than at the end.


Starting from the idiotic and silly essay in my Arabic final exam I marked the commencement of foolish answers. There was an essay on ‘Al Baitee’ in our exercise book which meant ‘The House’, most of the students had learnt it in a parrot fashion to simply paste and regurgitate it from their minds. However, to most of our horror the essay question said, “Write an essay on your country.’

Now here comes my most craziest answer. I don’t know what went in and around my mind that I thought of different words I had learnt from the course while I merged Al Baitee essay into it. I could not think of a word that would translate ‘neighbour’ or ‘next to India’ thus China was there to let Pakistan in front of it. I knew I was ‘Ana Minal Bakistan’, Thank God I knew this . . . (how to translate I am from Pakistan), since I didn’t know the word for neighbour to make our country next to India, I placed it in front of China: ‘Bakistan Imamus seeni” (Pakistan is in front of China). 
I then elaborated that we have big cities and that we also fan ‘Marwahitunn’, ‘fans’ . . . Where was this fan coming from? Yes the ‘Al Baitee’ essay that had a fan in a particular room. The next word was ‘Jameelatunn’ (beautiful), now whom to call beautiful? Yes the ladies of Pakistan . . . I went on to write that the women of Pakistan are beautiful. Digestible? Wait now let’s go on . . . the essay then got embellished with some wild life . . . I mentioned we have chickens, ducks and big and beautiful eggs, the stress was on the word ‘Kabeeratunn’ (big) now. ‘Ba’eezatunn wa kabeeratunn fil Bakistan’ (Big and beautiful eggs in Pakistan), I went on to call the chickens beautiful too and the ducks, ‘Dajjaj wa Battatunn’, and yes we also have milk in our country. Something was going on in my head and yes it was a flood of Arabic words . . . I couldn’t take it anymore, I had to put my pen down and sweaty palms on the table to take a break to laugh at what I was writing though it seemed really awkward and insane to laugh in the middle of an examination going on a that auditorium, but I really could not stop laughing at what I was writing. It was time to pen down one of the last sentences of that ridiculous essay I was writing. I had to tell the examiner that I and he are from Pakistan, ‘Ana wa Antaa Min Bakistan . . . Kaifa Haluka Ya Ustaazi? Ana Bikhairin WalHumdulilah.’ (I and you are from Pakistan. How are you oh teacher? I am fine Alhumdulilah). Though I’m not sure about the second sentence but I think I wrote this as well.

Experiential Marketing:

Experiential Marketing final exam followed and even though that exam couldn’t have been worth an hour and a half I went on relaxing myself and answering all the way to the maximum time duration. I took a little more than 2 hours facilitating the oil spill from my head into the sea of Experiential Marketing answer script. There was a question about having an event for the graduating batch coupled by the experience that we could give . . . Experience SZABIST was a good learning ground but inspite of all the relevant stuff our teacher taught us I couldn’t think beyond a typical beach event because beach is something I am always obsessed with. The budget limit given was Rs. 50,000; therefore, I had to apply the trash of economies of scales coming from my head.
As usual, social media was to be taken assistance from, thus, FaceBook was something to educate the audience with . . . yes, yes an FB page where we would first create some hype based on the words as follows . . . and yes the name of the event would be SPLASH ‘a’ BATCH:

Splash ‘a’ Batch

It’s been a time of four year,
under SZABIST’s roof;
the time of togetherness and term report fear,
and interesting credit hour consumption.
Remember the copy paste intention?
When you realized plagiarism is a crime . . .
It now seems a nick of time,
when course phobia led to course withdrawal urge.

Remember the first day?
When the class would never end . . .
Graduation seemed far away,
and then your hectic life you wanted to lend . . .
Now sections unite as one batch,
as together we merge.
Cherish the ending moment of togetherness,
in the splash of entertainment you shall submerge!

I remember this because I had requested the invigilator for a blank sheet to help with some rough work. I took a sheet out of my bag and showed him that it was blank, well just to be on the safe side. Later I brought it along with me.
And yes, how can I forget animal over here as well? Saving turtles was part of the event. The logo to be printed in front of 90 and 100’s entrance was part of the deal, The thought about deal . . . the answer.

I was sure such a common event to serve as an answer would cost me marks and infuriate the teacher but thankfully the effect was no where to be seen in the final result. I was also cautious because in my first hourly we were given a question to launch a car and devised an answer based on a chocolate replica of the car that would be placed in front of super markets such as Macro and Metro etc. Later it was discussed in the class as being a wrong answer not just in terms of target market but cost as well. Moreover, my laughter during the discussion blatantly revealed that such a crazy answer was mine. My other promotion strategy was to place the car at Clifton’s underpass area with it changing it’s colour into the range it would be avalible in . What? Was it an animal . . . reptile? How silly of me . . .=D

My friend, Mehr Azeem devised an experiential event (final exam) for entertaining students and I have to agree that it’s one of the most unique ideas I have ever heard of; she wrote about ‘Term Report Bon Fire’ where students would get together and see their reports perishing in the fire they create. Now this is what a real entertainment would be.


One of the last blunders I did was in my Advertising final exam and would conclude that the soft corner of my teacher’s heart let me have a decent grade even though he would have wished to have a shot gun and have me in front of him while he was checking the paper.

There was a question worth 10 marks and it was regarding the topic that spiced up our worst nightmares . . . yes CPM, calculating the cost of a newspaper advertisement when there is a catch in the question  . . . ‘DO NOT INCLUDE EVERY COST MENTIONED IN THE QUESTION’. He had a nice early morning walk in the auditorium clearing out every student’s confusion; however, it wasn’t a difficult final at all. I would say it was teacher phobia for some while course phobia for the rest that would later result in potential anti bacterial treatment (some people know why I’m using this term . . . in relation with a particular character). We have had simple and to the point advertising hourlies but we had been too scared to expect an easy paper and that easy paper used to surprise the cerebral hemispheres out of our heads.

There was a question regarding types of ad agencies . . . Easy isn’t it? But who would have expected such an easy question. There was another one that said ‘You are the brand manager for National Ketchup and are supposed to segment the market, devise strategies etcetera etcetera’, Though I don’t remember the exact words but here’s the gist of it. Just why? Why? Why on earth do marketing teachers love this topic of market segmentation?

I almost applied the entire Ansoff’s Matrix in my answer I think partly due to my blind love for this matrix, I went on crucifying the brand with all my thought processes. Having a sleepless night before an exam especially an Advertising exam made a brain a blob of crazy ideas. I developed the market, penetrated through the strategy of penetration pricing and bogo offers and went into cities where National’s product penetration was low, I think I went to the Northern areas as well. MY GOSH! Not only this, I applied line extensions as well introducing flavours not thought of before from a brand of ketchup.

Once we were told by our teacher that pickle sales are the highest in Peshawar in Ramzan because they perceive this product to assist digestion. So where else to start from for my answer than from Peshawar and yes in Ramzan, with low prices to beat the competition already prevailing. I started off selling this product in my answer and went soft in my head.
I also devised a nationwide animated ad that would appeal to the mass audience where a tomato says ‘ Bara ho kay Ketchup banoun gaa!” (I will become ketchup when I grow up). What a ridiculous tagline by a tomato! Since animated advertisements are taking off in the local market my myopic thoughts could elaborate this.

Was this the outcome of not sleeping at all? I don’t know . . . At times I just don’t sleep prioritizing my work so that’s not a big deal but I so wanted to borrow the mind of a marketer that day. Well now I’m one too . . . whatever kind that’s a separate issue altogether. . . 

There was another question about how to be careful with a brand in terms of how social media has gained momentum . . . There was an international example where Kraft introduced a new line to it’s brand vegemite and did some crowd sourcing through social media and named it iSnack 2, it wasn’t appreciated and through social media much negative publicity spurred off.
But hey wait . . . local examples were needed and thank God I had completely forgotten about Vegemite or ‘help the over sharers thumbs down feature’ on facebook by Pringles.

There were some comments on Stings fan page that were later removed and were a great help in facilitating negative publicity for the brand. However, it was rather funny, a girl had commented that it tastes horrible and tastes bad also . . .well ‘shit’ was the word she used, I had saved the comment. She also elaborated that she got really sick and was on bed after three days after consuming Sting. Now this response helped me with the answer even though I think it tastes better than it’s competition.

After all the stew I cooked I was sure my advertising teacher would puke on my paper while checking and be delighted to award me a D . .. yes a D for Dog, let’s use a phonetic euphemism here . . . a D for ‘Delta’ . .. and no Alpha or Bravo or even Charlie for that matter . . .
My God! After exactly 2 months I remember what I did in my finals! Dinosaurs live in my memory . . . It could be bad at times as far as bad memories are concerned if any . . .


After doing such mistakes or rather trying out my moment of confused answers I wished I would become invisible and disappear, something I had been wishing for ever since my Entrepreneurship second hourly. There was a question for a business idea and then having a chance to meet a genie who would grant three wishes, however, that poor, poor, very very poor genie seemed to be bankrupt or rather got done with his bank balance paying off electricity bills to KESC that he could not offer any money or shares if wished for. Oh that useless genie I wanted to shoot right there and then. But I wished for invisibility to later visit Rembrandt’s factory and find out about their secret raw material used to manufacture water colours, my other aim was to sneak into teacher’s offices before hourlies and find out the questions compiled . . . Oh that’s evil, this was the purpose for wishing to be invisible. LAMENESS I know  . . .

However, the funniest answer was written down by another class mate who found the genie to be of no use at all and sold him in the market to at least get some money out of him. When this answer was discussed in the class we laughed our lungs and entire rib cages out let alone be our heads . . .

My business idea focused on having 'glow in the dark' T-Shirts . . . and I thought it was a unique idea especially for a place where we have a lot of electricity loadshedding but when I came home to Google it up I found that this idea actually existed on the internet and already capitalised upon, people have a habit of thinking their ideas are unique and one of a kind. Well, hello, your idea could already  be utilised in some other part of the world. As far as I remeber my tagline was "Hope in Darkness" . . . I know this too is lame haha.

After my exams were done I had literally started living in ZabDesk to check my marks, one course was remaining so let me be free . . . yes Experiential Marketing. .. and when it was uploaded I couldn’t believe what had just happened . . .I GRADUATED!!! It was one of the main purposes of my life . . .

May 25, 3:19 a.m I finally graduated with the last upload done on behalf of Experiential Marketing! Thank you Experiential for bringing my heart beat back to normal.

Disclaimer: If you are my potential employer this is what I had been doing . . . May God have mercy on your company. Ameen!

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  1. Ms Hiba,
    If we can look back n reflect upon our mistakes,if any,then that's a super trait,though one that's not so common.
    Your solving the Arabic paper was particularly hilarious.
    I enjoyed your passing away of info that:
    ‘Bakistan Imamus seeni” - Pakistan is in front of China
    ‘Ba’eezatunn wa kabeeratunn fil Bakistan’ -Big and beautiful eggs in Pakistan.
    But on a serious note, it's never really the wealth of words or any other strength we own. Rather life's always about how well you utilize the available resources n strengths.
    Best of luck!

    Bilal Ilyas

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    Please contact me on 111-MISTAKE-111 if you feel you deserve the post.

    Mr. Crazy Fool
    Manager, Mistakes Inc.