Saturday, June 27, 2009
MAJOR VICTORY In Bethesda
I have been studying for an exam for over four months now. I have been missing for over two weeks now, and I mean to tell you that I didn't realize how much stress I have been under. I have not gone to bed before 4:00 am until last night for weeks. No one passed this exam the first time I took it. This was the last time I was taking it, ever. Not that I put pressure on myself.
The exam is put together by lawyers from the staffs of all 50states "Administrators". They like putting on questions that are trick questions for other lawyers. The last few years, fewer and fewer people have passed this particular exam. It represents a secondary license, so you aren't necessarily denied a living, but if you serve communities in more than one state, it makes life simpler to pass the exam.
I expected to have an exam of 110 questions and 180 minutes to take it. I was scheduled to take the exam at 11:00 am in Bethesda. I arrived at 10:30 am. You check in with a picture ID and the official e mail designating you are assigned to this particular center at that time. Your picture is taken and a copy of your photo ID made and sent to the authority governing the exam you're taking as you certify that you are who you say you are and not taking the exam for another person. You empty your pockets into a tray and put the tray into a locker. No watches, no medic ID bracelet, (they did let me keep my belt and shoe laces), all pockets pulled inside out. No one is smiling, and everything is as serious as a heart attack.
I was seated at a computer, went through the tutorial, and was then informed that the exam was 110 questions but only 150 minutes, they had cut out 30 minutes. My allergies were raging and I started the exam, knowing that the washing machine could handle whatever went onto the shirt (no Kleenex allowed in the exam room). I never moved from the computer, wiping eyes and nose throughout, finishing the last question at the three minute warning as it flashed on the screen. The computer informed I had answered all of the questions, and invited me to review or exit. I exited. I was informed I would be notified of my score in 15 seconds, and I wiped my eyes to read the score, not breathing, needing a 70.
Suddenly the screen started scrolling up and I saw a 66, convinced I had failed, I sat back, but couldn't read. So I looked up and leaned forward. Then I saw the small word PASS, and I saw the dual scores 72% and 80%, then final score 72%.
I had killed the Hydra!
I took the OFFICIAL EXAMINATION SCRATCH PAPER and $3 calculator back to the front desk, and the guy at the front shook my hand. I was the first person in over a month to pass the S66 (the 66 on the screen) and that guy got a 70. He hadn't seen a 72 so far this year. I was given a notarized sheet printed from the computer, emptied the locker into my pockets, and floated out of the room, and left the building.
I went to the car, and called Judy from the car. I notified her at the top of my lungs on the phone that I passed. I noticed that my hands were shaking and I couldn't see or get the key into the ignition. Something about stress and adrenaline. I got the car started and headed home, talking to my wife. I think she was just as excited as I was. She decided to meet me at home. I called my brother-in-law and told him the good news. Then I thought I had better concentrate on driving the car because I had no idea how I had gotten that far.
When I got home, Judy had some pizza, and after hugging, kissing, etc., I scarffed some pizza, and fell asleep. I know I have missed a lot of funny, interesting things, but I am still racing along at a bazillion (bz.) miles per second. I'll be normal eventually. Until then, see you soon and, have a good day!