My effing state boards are OVER, people, and this is how it went.
I was originally supposed to go with a gal from school. We'd planned it since graduation day. On Wednesday I was kinda getting into a panic, because that's what I do when I don't know the plans for the next day. I'm fully like that. If I'm going somewhere that I've never been before, and time is a factor (and like, my career kinda depending on getting there on time is a factor,) I have to have a schedule in advance. I can't just wing things like this. So I was in a tizzy when I hadn't heard from her, and I called and called and PM'ed and was all "where are we meeting, gimme directions!" for like hours. But then, late that night, she PM'ed me back to say that she'd decided to go with someone else.
So! I went batty over last minute train schedules, directions, where, when, how etc. Had to get explicit directions to the institute from someone who knows the area, and I was lucky enough to know someone who used to work around there. It was in Brooklyn.
I'm a country mouse, okay, I know how to get into and around Manhattan without a problem, but Brooklyn? New to me. Anyway, eventually I got directions: LIRR to Jamaica (see, and I would have gone to stupid Penn and looked for a subway!) change at Jamaica to the Atlantic Terminal, last stop, walk the rest of the way, 30-40 minutes.
I'm pretty easy about trains. I like them, especially the LIRR. As Glassworker put it when we were hanging out last night: Trains are cool because you're getting to where you're going, but you also have all this time to yourself. That's just how I feel about it. I listened to my iPod and did not think about the test. Some guy on the train was nice enough to explain again how to get to Atlantic Terminal. I am not so easy about directions.
It was pretty easy, and once I got off the train at Atlantic Terminal I ran into a gal from the school who I'd never met. But she knew I was going to take the test because on the train, a dude had said to me, "Hey. Your backpack is open." Like it was some kind of huge deal? I was like, "Unless anyone wants my practice tests and school papers, I'm sure it's fine, but thanks." So this girl caught up to me and said, "I have school papers too. Are you taking the boards?"
And we got to talking, and walked the rest of the way together. Which was really nice, although unfortunately it was around 15 degrees that morning and by the time we got to the test-taking place, I couldn't feel my face, my toes, my fingers or my thighs.
But we did get there, and we had about an hour to sit in a separate building and study.
I may or may not have mentioned that I took exception to a lot of the questions on the practice tests. Like seriously, one of them asked, "If you turn a doorknob to the right, are you A) pronating or B) supinating." Well the answer they were looking for was supinating, but hello, what if you happen to be left handed? And another question was, "where is such and such located" and the correct answer was spelled, "Anterior write." THEN. In a few cases, the asked the same question twice. And the first time they gave one answer (which I disagreed with,) and the second time they gave an answer that I did agree with. And yet in another case, they asked a question and the answer key said, "The answer is THIS, but the state boards wants you so say THAT."
So I was really, really fed up. It seemed like this was a stupid, impossible standard.
When I got into the testing room, I was pleased to find that my assigned seat was section 3, number 96. Why, that adds up to 99! AND THEN. There was a huge sticker on my desk that said, "18" and I have no idea why. So I was like "999 OMG YAY." I'm funny about numbers.
I was seated next to a group of three people from a different institute who all greeted each other with "I was hoping I wouldn't see you here again!" As it turns out, one of them was taking the test for the third time ("Last time I finally got up to a 64!") another for the second time, and the last person was taking the test for the sixth time. She said she'd graduated in '07, and had yet to get even close to a passing grade. I interrupted them with the old "I'm sorry, I couldn't help but overhear" and I asked them how hard was this damn test? Because now I was starting to get really worried. The 6-times girl asked where I'd gone to school and I told her. She said, "You'll probably be all right. I did a 9 month course."
I was still a bit panicked, though. But, I got my final grades in the mail two weeks ago and my graduating grade point was 3.98. I thought, Well, how likely is it that I will actually fail this thing? I did well in school, so I must know something, right?
The test itself was pretty varied. 140 questions in all, and I guess that about 100 of them I thought, "this is a joke." There were about 10 that were flat out opinion questions where we were instructed to "pick the best, even if another one seems good too," and I think it's entirely unfair to ask opinion questions on a state boards test. Then there were maybe 20 where I was like, "Okay, two of these options are clearly a joke, but the last two could work, so educated guess." And maybe 10 questions where I was like, "I have no frigging clue what you're even talking about here."
So I think I did all right. I ticked off about 25 questions that I thought it was possible I'd gotten wrong, but I felt that I'd gotten at least some of those correct if even just by luck. I'm not sure how well I did, but I am fairly confident that I at least passed.
So, the test had started at 1:40. We were given 3 hours to finish. I was done by 3PM, getting my exit pass, hustling out the door and calling a taxi from the booth outside the instutite. By 3:20 I was back on the train to Jamaica. By 4 I was in Jamaica, by 4:17 on the train back to Ronkonkoma station. 5:30, getting in my car, and home by 6 PM for dinner.
It was fairly straightforward, and I'm glad it's over.
NOW I HAVE TO WAIT EIGHT WEEKS FOR MY RESULT.
But in the meantime, I'm chilling, still working for the company I've been with for over a year. Writing, making stuff for HitRECord, cleaning the mess that is my house, looking after Haku, sorta whatevering that dude I met in school, getting ready to return to Kung Fu (I took the week off to study,) sleeping till 10 on my days off, and yeah, I don't know, things like that. It's pretty cool, really. ^_^
Anyway, here are some pics from that day.
( Trains, clocks, other junk. )
Yeah, that's about it. :)
It just occurred to me, this might be the last time I have to use the "school" tag! Well, probably not. But for right now, I'm pretending that it is. ^_^