Inconsistent Application

Alternate title: The End

Well, ladies and gents, it’s been a good ride. Through thick and thin, you’ve successfully managed to ignore the vast majority of my posts on here, so I guess this is it. I am, of course, referring to the imminent demise of the Facebook Notes importer that works via RSS. If you’re reading this on Facebook, then this is probably the last post you’ll see from me for a long, long time — but if you’re reading this on my, you know, actual blog ( for those playing at home), then you’re guaranteed the same sporadic posts that you’ve always had, with a money back guarantee! Okay, maybe not that last part. But still, random sporadic posts should be good enough for anyone, right?

What follows is a post that has had to be written for a while now…

Primary School

The year is 2001, and the Benny Ling you know is just 10 years old and in Year 5. He’s sitting in class, when suddenly, the teacher plonks down the marked copy of a previous maths test. He looks down, incredulous, at that red lettering: 100%. The perfect score.

I remember it like it was ten years ago. Sitting in class, when my teacher at the time hands back that maths test. It was on the decimal system, as I recall, fractions and that sort of stuff, and I managed to get 100% on it. The teacher exclaimed to the whole class that she had checked it thoroughly, twice, and that I had actually gotten 100% on a maths test. One of my favourite memories, and yet, my report for that year reads something like so:

“He is a very capable in all aspects of language and test results confirm this, yet work is sometimes presented at a standard below his best.”

“Benny’s work on his German project was most disappointing, far below the standard of which he is capable.”

I still have that maths test, somewhere.

Year 6 is perhaps even more eye opening, at least in terms of reports:

“In SOSE, which requires him to do research and put in considerable effort for a good result, he does not achieve as well as in other areas.”

And perhaps the most scathing comment of all:

“He is a very capable student, but often only does the minimum necessary, and homework is frequently not completed or of a standard well below his capabilities.” … “He is able to write for specific purposes but often does as little as possible.”

I was one of those students that always strived to finish first. One of those students that strived to be the best — but only at things I knew I could actually be the best at.

Secondary School

Fast forward a few years. The year is now 2004, and the Benny Ling you know is now a few years older, and perhaps even a few years wiser. He gets his Year 8 interim report, and that’s when it all starts to fall apart…

Inconsistent application.

That’s what it says, in the teacher comments section of the Year 8 Humanities interim report.

I didn’t quite understand it at the time, and to a degree I still don’t, but I brought that report home, my parents read it, and they, uh, weren’t very happy. (Probably an understatement.)

It’s surreal to see two words carry so much weight. One means that things aren’t always the same, the other can mean anything from effort to programs that run on computers, but together, they’ll mean the beginning of an entirely new chapter of your life. (Perhaps a bit melodramatic, but hey.)


A few more years pass. A few more years of just doing what Benny Ling does. The year is 2011, and the day is today. The Benny Ling you know is an avid gamer, general technology enthusiast, and all-round good guy who keeps making the same mistakes, the same bad decisions.

He’s sitting at home, waiting for his third year Uni results to be released — even when he is already pretty confident of his failures — passing the time with bouts of Battlefield 3, Minecraft, and LA Noire.

He’s working Saturdays. Buying replica military weapons from shady overseas merchants. Contemplating pulling the trigger on a shiny new digital SLR, or perhaps a new graphics card.

He’s hanging out on virtual internet forums, playing with various webOS devices, contemplating what to write about in his super-epic HP TouchPad software write-up, and watching as many CSI: Miami episodes he can get his virtual hands on.

What’s he’s not doing is even more telling: he’s not learning to drive, nor making decisions about his future. He’s not considering whether to continue with this thing called “Uni” for yet another year. He’s not sure what he wants to do with his life, he’s not sure how much of it actually matters; his career, his purpose in life, what he wants to accomplish.

But most of all, he’s not sure how to get back on the right track.

Depressive post quota for the month: fulfilled.

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