“You’re a credit to your friends, Anne, that’s what, and we’re all proud of you.”
I never actually realized what Queen’s was before, just because it’s such a foreign concept to me, raised in the American school system: It’s a high school. I only recognized it this time through because I’ve become acquainted with the Japanese school system via anime, wherein high school is a much bigger deal and similarly competitive.
Anne has to go to town without Diana, but she’s staying at Beechwood with Aunt Josephine, and she promises to write her a letter on the first evening (which also conveniently serves as the narrative frame).
Last night I was horribly lonesome all alone in my room and wished so much that you were with me. I couldn’t ‘cram’ because I’d promised Miss Stacy not to, but it was as hard to keep from opening my history as it used to be to keep from reading a story before my lessons were learned.
I’ve rarely felt much of an urge to cram myself (usually only in cases where I had to memorize lengthy definitions), but I can certainly sympathize with Anne, having her whole future at stake, and especially when it comes to her dreaded geometry.
Her whole class feels certain they’ve failed, but that’s sort of the point of these tests – they’re harder than anything you’ve taken before, but that’s so that they can properly gauge your abilities, and you’re expected to get a fair number wrong. All the other applicants are sure to be similarly unprepared.
After she gets home, Diana tries to reassure her.
“Oh, you’ll pass all right. Don’t worry.”
“I’d rather not pass at all than not come out pretty up on the list,” flashed Anne, by which she meant – and Diana knew she meant – that success would be incomplete and bitter if she did not come out ahead of Gilbert Blythe.
[…] But she had another and nobler motive for wishing to do well. She wanted to “pass high” for the sake of Matthew and Marilla – especially Matthew. Matthew had declared to her his conviction that she “would beat the whole Island.” That, Anne felt, was something it would be foolish to hope for even in her wildest dreams. But she did hope fervently that she would be among the first ten at least, so that she might see Matthew’s kindly brown eyes gleam with pride in her achievement.
Matthew is a sweetheart.
Anne spends three weeks haunting the post office, waiting for the pass list, and the anxiety takes a toll on her health.
But one evening the news came. Anne was sitting at her open window, for the time forgetful of the woes of examinations and the cares of the world, as she drank in the beauty of the summer dusk, sweet-scented with flower-breaths from the garden below and sibilant and rustling from the stir of poplars. The eastern sky above the firs was flushed faintly pink from the reflection of the west, and Anne was wondering dreamily if the spirit of color looked like that, when she saw Diana come flying down through the firs, over the log bridge, and up the slope, with a fluttering newspaper in her hand.
She comes bearing the pass list – and Gilbert and Anne are tied for first (but her name’s first, presumably because she’s first alphabetically), and all of Miss Stacy’s other students passed, too.
“Well now, I always said it,” said Matthew, gazing at the pass list delightedly. “I knew you could beat them all easy.”
Until next time…