(We left on Friday morning..well we were supposed to leave in the morning..but you know how it goes)
(I get up and Daddy's already dressed.)
"Oh, I like that top. And those pants! Good job!"
"Good, then I'll wear them Sunday."
"Ok, then wear this today."
"What about shoes?"
"Even the shoes?"
"Well if I pick out a pair of shoes, you'll make me go back and change them anyways."
"Mom. Are you sure you can pack for yourself?"
*sigh* "Yeah. I have been doing it all my life."
"Larissa, what are you going to wear?"
(Back to packing for somebody other than myself again)
"Daddy. Which of these three sweaters do you like best?"
"What? Oh..the one to the left I think. It fits me better."
"But I like this one." *points to right one*
"Then take that one."
"But you like that one. I'll take both. No. If I take those two, the third one will get lonely! I'll have to take all three."
Because we keep (as in worship God on, go to church on) the Seventh day, or..Saturday, my test was on Sunday. So on Saturday. I waited. We waited. And then, before bed, we turned the clock to daylight saving time. One hour stolen, robbed, from me. We set three alarms, hoping at least one of them would sound. None of that mattered anyway because I barely slept. You know how when you have to sleep you obsess about having to sleep..and that's when you don't sleep? Well that's what happened. Jitters and anxiety? Yes, a bit, but I had been clinging to James 1:5 that week, and when I reread it on Saturday night, I read verse 6 too. And I decided I better quit the silly stress. I was still excited, but not as scared. It's all in His hands no matter how much I worry.
It was drizzling. We were after all, in Washington. It was early. Too early. There were only three others taking the test, and we were warned not to discuss test questions before receiving our scores because we could be sued. Therefore, since I have no money or desire to be sued, I will talk about me, and my reaction to the test, not about the test itself.
The heater in the back of the room was making a horrendous taunting noise. Somewhat like a huge washing machine that beat out its constant jeers, "Don't concentrate, won't concentrate, ha. ha. ha." The timed essay was to be my favorite part. I love timed writing, I've done it several times before, out of pleasure. But the question caught me off guard, and I didn't know what to think. But I wrote, the pencil tip becoming duller and duller while my thoughts formed faster and sharper. I edited. Then fussed because my "font" was too big so I had probably written something quite small, but it just looked big. That doesn't fool the grading machine.
The fluorescent lights strained to hold on to the ceiling and their continuous pained buzz picked up when the heater exhaustedly sighed and paused for a fleeting five minutes to catch its breath. Pencils whispered goodbyes to their fine edges and erasers shortened. The reading sections were delightfully fun and the articles beautifully written. The questions sometimes produced a puzzling dilemma, but time was sufficient that every question was answered and there were minutes left over to sit back and enjoy the articles. Pity they don't name the authors, I'd like to have researched more about them.
Five minutes for break. Really? You can't walk down the hall to the water fountain and back in five minutes. Oh well. You can run. Running is a nice break. You can also swallow a square of something sweet to sustain you until the five hours are over. Five hours pass by fast when they are broken into sections of twenty-fives, twenties, and tens.
The clock on the wall is wrong. It hasn't been forwarded an hour. It's still clinging to yesterday, to the past, to a time when none of this was happening. It's a nice clock. It didn't rob me of an hour of restless turning and tossing. The sentence correction and completion parts are fun, and more thoughts go into how well the bubbles are filled in than on the words themselves. Here is when the Latin based second language (Portuguese) comes in handy. Words. Beautiful words. They are my friends who silently wave at me and whisper, "We're the right pick. Oh, oh pick us!" The other options simply wink and smile. We have five minutes left. The words have spoken, except for a stubborn few. These five minutes are spent cajoling them and begging for them to make some sort of sense, or to at least give me a hint. They do or don't. So time is called and they have their way.
Calculators are out. The big monstrous things. They look like ugly pieces of brick, or toads, or any other ugly big thing. I wonder how long it will be until these bulgy things will be replaced by sleek, thinner beauties, and these TI-84's will be scorned much like The Fresh Prince's Walkman. The numbers, letters, angles, and shapes sneer at me and point. When I meekly turn to them for help, they scoff and turn their backs on me while forming a little circle in which they point at me and whisper incomprehensible insults full of ƒ(x)'s and a<b<c's. I shrug at them and take a shaky breath. I'm on my own. The timer is awakened from its sleep and frantically cries out to the world that we have only five more minutes. I panic. A last desperate glance is cast in vain to the circle where the cruel numbers, letters, and figures stand amused at my befuddlement. They turn their backs again and form a tighter circle. Useless fiends.
It's over. All done. It wasn't that bad. The people were friendly. My pencils endured. My calculator didn't malfunction or its batteries finish. I've just noticed my stomach's quite upset. It's very hungry. As I give up my answer sheets, I'm ever so grateful my scores will be...scored, by a machine. That way, no human but myself needs to know how quite utterly dumb dumb I am.
And now. We wait. As of today, two weeks and three days. Now we live life and try not to sit and twiddle our thumbs.
Dear seventeen days away. Come soon please? Or stay away. Depending on what you bring me.