Oi HSC Kids, Don’t Harass The Authors On Your Exams, For Christ’s Sake

Here’s some disconcerting news: apparently some New South Wales HSC students are taking their frustrations at having to read poetry out on the authors of those poems.

Brisbane author Ellen van Neerven, a Mununjali woman, had a poem from her book Comfort Food included in this year’s HSC English exam. ‘Mango‘, and its sly, lush imagery, was apparently too perplexing for a number of senior students, who have taken to Twitter and Facebook to berate van Neerven for writing a poem they just don’t get.



One tweet, which has since been deleted, simply @-ed van Neerven and said, “fuck you and your stupid mango bullshit!

The future of Australia, folks.

Aside from being incredible rude, hassling an author who has absolutely nothing to do with your current exam stress aside from featuring briefly in your paper is really, really fucking dumb. Van Neerven didn’t ask to be on the English exam; in fact, according to the SMH, she wasn’t even consulted before her work was included. An NESA spokesman told Fairfax:

The authors are not advised in advance. They don’t know because obviously … for the security and confidentiality of the exam.

Fortunately we’ve got folks like Ben Law to get recalcitrant teens to apologise:

Like, we get it; exams are stressful, and the HSC is a disastrous mess of stress and terror that would make anyone want to lash out. But if you want to lash out, do it at the people who wrote the exam question, or the teachers who didn’t prepare you properly, or the system that hinges your future on a few hours of hectic test-condition pressure. Don’t go after someone who writes poems. It’s embarrassing.

Also, oh my god, please never do this.


I just cringed so hard I popped a blood vessel. Good fucken grief.