16 March 2009

Nothing distracts reading a test more than reading a book.

In case you hadn't already figured it out by the title of my blog, I'm a bit of an Anne of Green Gables obsessor. That is putting it very lightly. I will fight tooth and nail with anyone, anyone, who dares claim a stronger relationship to Anne than I have (I've done it before. It's not pretty, and I do win.) I have grown up with her and rather than going into the details of this comparison, take my word for it. We are two peas in a literary pod.

As such, I generally enjoy finding ways to compare my life to my semi-fictional friend. It happened this weekend when I took the Praxis: an exam set out to prove that I am (or will be) worth my salt as a teacher. In other words: I have to know more than the average high schooler. The whole time I was there I imagined myself in that hall Anne goes to for the entrance examination to Queens. That was much more satisfactory than taking the actual test.

Here's how it works:

BYU and UVU students (apparently) do some kind of school switch for the exam. Since the exam started at 7:30 in the morning (my favorite hour of the day), I got up at 6:00 (my other favorite hour) to eat and get dressed and generally wake myself up. I armed myself with two #2 pencils with good erasers, a book to read during down time, a water bottle to keep myself awake and to keep myself from coughing, cough drops and gum to help as well, and some kleenex (since I wasn't about to use the scratchy non-lotiony school kind.) Let it never be said that I go anywhere unprepared, especially to tests.

This is where things get odd.

For those of you who will be taking the Praxis at some point in your life, let this serve as a warning.

Our room was divided into half English Education and half Elementary Education majors. This is important because the Elementary Education majors have calculators that feature prominently later in the scene. We are told that this is a very important test that will influence our future lives and that if we don't pass our entire educational career will have been for NOTHING. It is serious, and should be treated seriously. I am officially humbled.

We are then told that the test is two hours long, that we are not allowed to leave unless we have an absolute bathroom emergency. I have to keep my horrible driver's license picture on my desk at all times (for what, exactly?) and nothing else. We are not allowed to eat, drink, or chew gum. If we do, we will spill on our tests, and then they will not be scan-able and we will fail. Food? I understand. Water? I look around. I don't see any open glasses. Just water bottles. And gum? That doesn't make any sense at all. If you're dumb enough to accidentally spit your gum into the middle of your test, you probably wouldn't have passed anyway.

Then comes the bad news.

We must stay in our seats for the duration of the test. Even if everyone finishes in the first five minutes, we have to stay for the full two hours. And when we are finished, we are not allowed to read. When I ask instructor number one about this, she tells me that reading is a distraction. (Insert eyebrow raise here.)

So the test starts. Feeling somewhat cheeky, I ask to go to the bathroom half an hour into the test because I am more than half way done already, and bored with answering questions. I take my time.

I come back in and finish the rest of my test with nearly an hour to spare. I take a nap. I go to the bathroom again. I sit down and write on the back of my test booklet the following list:

Things that are more distracting than reading:
  1. The boy sitting behind me and to my left who persists in bouncing his feet on the ground, and who has the noisiest marking pencil ever.
  2. The calculators. I think the Elementary Education Department has trained their students to believe that the louder they press the keys, the more correct their answer will be.
  3. The clock on the wall that gives a little buzz every couple of minutes.
  4. The pages turning in the test booklets that people are (wait for it): reading.
  5. Instructor #1 at the front of the room. . . (wait for it again). . . reading.
  6. Instructor #2 who leaves the room every fifteen minutes or so and then comes back in for no apparent reason.
So there it is. Nothing distracts reading a test more than. . . reading a book.

02 March 2009

I'm not the other woman, I just came here with a guy who met up with a girl. . .

I decided that I would be more bold than normal yesterday. More bold than normal means that I was dropping hints toward a certain individual of the male gender that I am interested in getting to know. Not in the "I'm really interested in being your girlfriend" way, necessarily, more in the "I don't find you boring and I think it'd be fun to talk with you some more" way. So I mentioned to said male-specimen that I'd like to go up to the fireside but didn't want to drive, was he going? And he said yes he was going and would I like a ride? And I said yes, what a clever idea.

All was going just swimmingly until said male got a phone call from an unknown (to me) individual when we got inside the Mariott Center. This person happened to be a female. This person also happened to be a female that male specimen is interested in and has been out with several times.


Male asked me if it would be awkward. Inside my head I am screaming "YES. Do you even have to think about asking that question to know that answer?! Because if you have to think about it then seriously. . ." But instead I politely smiled and said "No, I don't care, whatever you'd prefer" because what am I supposed to say and in we went. Me. Him. Girl. Girl's friends. And I can't even imagine how awkward it must be for her to have him show up with me. Good grief. The best laid plans indeed!

So this got me thinking. I think everyone in the world has had awkward dating stories. My mother says that they go away more or less when you meet the right person. I hope so.

In the mean time, I am going to cope by laughing at another strange situation (unfortunately) all revolving around one person. Sure hope said person doesn't read this. . .

The scene: I am seventeen. I am also sick. Home alone in my pajamas and bathrobe watching Anne of Green Gables or some other "bonnet movie" because that is what a sick girl ought to do. I get a phone call. Boy has something for me. I tell boy I am sick. He says it won't be long, do you care if I stop by? I say. . . ok. . .

Boy comes. I stand in doorway so that boy will not come in. Boy hands me a box and leaves. The conversation lasts no more than two minutes. I retreat back to the living room, pause the movie and open the box.

Inside is the "Evenstar" necklace from Lord of the Rings. Not a fake one. The real one. The $100+ one that comes in a box with a certificate in it. The one that symbolizes Arwen's immortality. The one that Aragorn wears for years in an attempt to hold on to that flame of their undying love for each other. Very possibly the most conspicuous piece of jewelry in that movie for someone without elven ears to wear including the ring.

And he has not given it to me on any holiday that I'm aware of. Christmas is several months ago. My birthday is not for a couple more months. We are certainly not dating and. . . what the heck was that supposed to mean?! Is he giving me his immortality?!

I put the necklace in the back of the top drawer of my dresser. It stays there untouched for many years until one day I am getting a ride home from boy. He says "so. . . did you ever wear that necklace I gave you?"

". . . No."

(Insert long silence here.)