Exam + Snow = Not a Typical Weekend

I think that overall, Saturday's exam went well. . . in spite of the fact that I hardly got any sleep the night before. Probably the fear that the entire area would be blanketed in snow or ice kept me up. When I woke up (earlier than necessary in case it would take a while to drive to the exam location), I could see out my window that indeed snow had fallen, but not much. But the traffic reports sounded dire--for the Turnpike. Ice and horrible accidents everywhere! No mention of the highway I was taking, and I wasn't sure what that meant.

It meant it was clear! After stopping at the Wawa for coffee (having survived a near miss with an old dude coming at me in a minivan who took the new right turn ramp and blew through its stop sign at the intersection where I was turning left and had the right of way--is it related to Winter Dumbass, Dave?), I made my way to the on-ramp and flew up the highway. Fifteen minutes, I think it took me.

The easy commute meant that I arrived over an hour early for my exam's report time. Regardless, I think I wound up in the right place at the right time. As I sat there in the parking lot sipping my coffee and considering my options, a white SUV pulled up. The woman in the passenger seat put down her window to ask me if I knew where B---- Hall was. I told her I thought it was the building right across the street from us at the intersection, and asked if she was taking an exam because I was supposed to in that building, too.

She said yes, and her husband (who was driving) asked me about whether or not we needed a parking pass, as the sign at the lot entrance stated. I told them I hadn't needed one in November, and that I'd "raise holy hell" (please excuse the language; I was tired) if they tried to make me pay. I'd paid enough for these stupid machine-read exams already. The husband turned the engine off. They got out of the car and asked me if I wanted to walk across with them, and I did.

Once I'd reassured the husband for the second time about the parking pass, and helped the wife find her room assignment, the husband took leave of us at a study area on the same floor as the exam rooms. Pest control issues aside, it was a nicer and probably newer building than the one I'd been in before--that had been the science building, and this was the business building. Figures. Anyway, it was nice to have someone to kill a little time with, and not sit there letting my text anxiety build. She'd been teaching for over ten years, but in a different state. She told me she was nervous because she feared she hadn't prepared enough. But when you have three kids, you probably fit in the studying where you can. Personally, I think the test prep book made her unnecessarily nervous--those kinds of books put in really hard questions, the likes of which I never saw on any test. Too bad we weren't taking the same exam so I could have been more convincing in that respect.

I don't recall how we got on the subject, but she mentioned her 20th high school reunion was coming up (so she's not too much older than I am), and that she had found a number of classmates on Facebook. She observed that quite a few of them were divorced, and even some still single. I told her about my experience at my 15th reunion last year, and that the positive response to my being in school surprised me. For some reason, I felt, I don't know, a little more at peace with the direction I'm headed, even if I don't have a clear idea of what lies ahead.

I'm sure my exam buddy did fine, as long as she stayed calm. As for me, I did my usual technique of reading carefully but not second guessing myself. I think I got to the third section and thought, "Oh, I am so OVER this already." I finished about the same time I had on the last exam, about twenty or so minutes early, giving me time to go back to fill in all the ovals precisely, and- hey, I've been sitting under a crucifix. I didn't know this campus had any classrooms with crucifixes still in them! While I counted nine questions that I wasn't sure about (one in Language Arts, one in Math, and the remainder in Social Studies and Science--always a struggle on standardized tests for me), if I got at least half of those right based on educated guessing, that's gotta be better than just passing. But I'll take passing.

Work's getting a bit stagnant--it's after Christmas and hardly anybody came out yesterday between the playoff games and the lousy weather*--I'm feeling that "itch" to move up to a job more in line with my education, even if it's temporary. Now that I've taken that last exam, I think things are going to start to pick up.

I think I'm ready.

*Actually, the principal of the Catholic school for the parish near my old job came in--I saw the school name on her educator's discount card. I asked her how she liked the new parish center, and then I took a chance on a bit of networking. Mentioned how I knew about it from my old job, and how I'd quit to do student teaching. . . wouldn't happen to be looking for a school librarian, by any chance? She said not at present, but handed me her business card and said to send my resume to her. (Guess I'd better get that finished.)


Dave E. said…
"Is it related to Winter Dumbass?"

Every place probably has its own version. Our version is more a start of the season thing where people always seem to forget and do the same dumb stuff every year. That may be changing into something perpetual here though. Usually by this time of year people have remembered how to drive in harsh conditions, but there were over 200 accidents during the morning rush hour today and I'll bet most of that was due to carelessness. It was tough conditions this morning, no doubt, we get worse here though and people should be used to it by now.
Kate P said…
200 accidents!? Whoa!

I'll admit it--even times when I lived about 10 miles from my job, I refused to risk my car and my life just to get to work on time. It wasn't worth it. I'd rather show up an hour late, figuring it gives the roads time to clear or warm up, than get in an accident.
Maggie May said…
Congrats, Kate! Glad to hear it went well!
Kate P said…
Thanks, MM! Now, I just have to remember they're not mailing my exam score and to log into my account in a few weeks. . .

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