Friday, June 27, 2008

Victory In DC

There really shouldn't have been a lot of pressure about this test I took today. Somehow, things didn't work out that way. We had the cancer scare with Judy that ruined a month, then turned out to not be cancer, but a triglyceride problem. It did make studying a small problem, as well as breathing. One tends to hold their breath for days on end. I didn't publish anything because, I think I'm superstitious. Or I scare easily. Whatever, I'm off topic.

The last day for taking this test was this coming Saturday. I filed to take it then. Imagine my surprise when I got a phone call telling me that I would have to change locations from Bethesda, three blocks from my office, to downtown, and that I would have to come in on Thursday morning at 9:00 AM, two days earlier.

Naturally, I was on-line, and who did I notice was also on-line at the same time? My good buddy, friend, pal Open Grove Claudia. I definitely want to grow up to be more like her. Really. I got into chat with her, and she simply said that all studying did was to make sure that you were familiar with the material, and when I was sitting there taking the test, I would see the same material, and it would all look familiar. When that happens, there is never a reason to panic, just calmly to sit and figure things out. Is there any wonder that I keep telling you to read her blog all the time? Another one who is more than just another pretty face. More than just another great writer, and novelist. So much more. A source of mental health. A trusted friend.

I found myself on the subway at 7:00 AM with a box of energy bars that my partner had warned me to take with me. I wasn't prepared for what happened. You are not allowed to take any personal items into the testing area. This includes a cup of coffee, no energy bars, I even had to take off my digital watch. I was led to a small cubicle with a partition, and a camera pointed right at me. I was logged into a system called PROCTOR where I was informed that any untoward behavior caught on the cameras could result in my failing the exam. I can only imagine what I might have schemed up to do with a digital watch. Maybe something with a NSA satellite?

Here is where reading the Mel's of the World, and the O.G. Claudia's and the Glamourpuss' and their fire-walking death-defying looking-fear-in-the-face-positive-mental-attitude stories pay off for you. You push all of that crap out of your mind, and you sit there, and just do it. Skinny Little Blond dresses it up in spectacular imagery, but I have to tell you, ultimately, it's all about competence. We each pick our challenges, and then it's up to us to fullfill the challenge we picked.

After seven hours, and a 30 minute break in between, I pushed the exit button. I had answered over 190 questions out of 230 live questions and another 20 experimental questions correctly to hit two standard deviation units out. That's the 95 percentile. Not where NoR wanted me, but way better than passing. I'm satisfied. I filed for the next exam today. I learned this course in four weeks. My partner took six months. I also have a lot more experience now when I took the exam than he did when he took his. On the other hand, the industry has vastly changed and become much more complex since then. I'm proud, and I thank all of you who helped me stay positive through a lot of less than pleasant.

And keep reading these people, they help you achieve the meaning of life! No small task, and they are sooooooo good at it. Not that I have an opinion, naturally. (Hint, I think they are all existential philosophers, and some then turned to Zen. You'll have to go read them to find out for yourself.) Have a fabulous weekend, and remember to have a good time, please.


Open Grove Claudia said...

I am absolutely, wickedly, impishly, ridiculously proud of you! Congratulations! What a positive nod from the universe. Of course, you'll jam your next tests.

I can't wait until you're working on your own - safe in your own healthy environment. Who knows? By then I may even have some money to invest! HA

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Congratulations on your astounding success, Monty. Does this convince you that you can indeed do anything you decide to do? It should.

I'm still mulling over the issue of the digital watch, though.

Odat said...

I'm glad Judy does NOT have cancer!!!
So I'm hoping you've finally exhaled.

Congrats for completing and acing your test!!! Way to go!
Claudia's great! I love all her stuff.....


Alison said...

Congratulations are in order! On to the next!

Allan said...


Mel said...

WELL done! *applauding*

I'm proud for you!

And I'm relieved for you and for Judy......LOTS!

Now...whatcha gonna do to celebrate another victory?!

NoRegrets said...

Crap, lost my comment due to a break in service.

Anyway, what I said was I cannot believe they made you take it without FOOD for that long a period of time!!! I can't believe you did that. Amazing. AND got 95%!!! I'm very proud... (I always aim high for other people, oh, and for me)

Do you like taking tests?

cmhl said...

that is absolutely amazing, but not in the least surprising. Congratulations!!!!

Wicked H said...

No sweat, told ya!

Proud of you Bro!

WanderingGirl said...

Good job! We knew you could do it!

The CEO said...

Claudia, thank you, I heard you sitting in that room, and I just pushed everything out of my mind, and focused on some of the weirdest questions I have ever read.

Susan, I have confidence, but this was almost a concerted effort to get people to fail. They print out statistics and one claim is that 1 in 3 fail outright. Thank you for your kind thoughts!

ODAT, you got the big one. Judy is OK, Thanks for the good thoughts.

Alison, charging. I'll be with you in spirit all through August!

Allan, now I get to root root for you boss!

Mel, time for a new challenge! Next is the Series 66, so I can be legal in all states, and give investment advice. And read your blog.

NoR, I am not fond of taking tests, I just knew the material, and I relaxed. Still, at the end, when you have to hit the EXIT button, I paused and thought about it. Then, I just hit it. And it was over.

CMHL, thank you, this legal stuff, you're right, boring, at least the financial stuff. We'll schmooze.

Wicked, soon, there's a martini in our future.

Tiff, you are on my mind. Thanks for the good thoughts.

M@ said...

Remember to have a good time! I'd nearly forgotten....

The CEO said...

M@, it's the Jack..

PhoenixHearse said...

I'm so proud of you! I say a drink is in order.

The CEO said...

Heather, next time you are home, come on over, and you, me and Judy can go out!

Mel said...

Happy day before Independence Day, Monty.

Just checking in and checking up!

Do enjoy your holiday weekend, eh?


GrizzBabe said...

Sounds like you've had a lot to deal with recently. To get through it so swimmingly and to come out on the other side alive to tell the story is quite the accomplishment. Congratulations! With that kind of mental focus, you're bound to do well on the remaining tests.

Echomouse said...

I never doubted you would do well :) Congratulations Monty! That is no easy feat, despite what you say.

The CEO said...

Mel, sorry to say that my niece was in an automobile accident, and we have been distracted. I'll be back. I really miss you a lot.

Grizzbabe, thank you so much, I'll be right along.

Carrie, you're the best. I'll be right along.

Mel said...

(((((((((( Monty ))))))))))))))

skinnylittleblonde said...

Not to minimize your wonderful test-taking accomplishment, but YAY! for Judy & the negative cancer results! Sometimes nothing is more scary than the unknown.

Claudia said...

Congratulations!! I knew you'd kick butt!