Last night I took the first exam I’ve had in a long time (unless you count my last pap smear, but please let’s not talk about that).
Did you know? In Canada, students “write exams” instead of “take tests.”
“Even if it’s multiple choice and no actual writing is involved,” you ask? I asked that too. Yes. Even if no writing is involved, Canadian students write their exams. All you Americans: Wouldn’t it have confused you if I had started this post out with the sentence, “Last night I wrote the first exam…”? That’s why I didn’t.
Anyway, I took a test—a midterm, actually.
Believe it or not, I used to really enjoy exam days. I am faster than the average test-taker (not that I’m any smarter, necessarily), so I am usually finished well before the allotted time is up, which means I get a short class. Which is always a bonus. Plus, any day that I don’t have to listen to a professor droning on about random nothingness is a good day.
But like I said, it’s been a while. In my 1.5 year hiatus from college classes, I have gotten a little out of practice. The exam was announced, and I actually had to go purchase 3×5 cards to make into flashcards—two years ago I would’ve had them on hand.
(By the way, I use flashcards to study for any and every exam I’ve ever taken. It is a practically fail-proof method for me and my head. I totally dig flashcards. [Which, looking back, makes me quite a dork, doesn’t it?])
This time around, I had to buy the note cards, cut them up, make them into flashcards, memorise the information, and I was actually nervous about it. The Old Me would have gone through the motions as naturally as popping open a DDP, but this time I was stressing. In fact, moments before the class started, I was still frantically flipping through and shuffling my flashcards like a maniac table dealer gone mad on the streets of Vegas, whereas the Old Me would have said, “Aw, screw it—if I don’t know it by now, I’ll never know it.”
Anyway, the point is this: All my worrying was silly. I did just fine. There were a few last-minute questions on which I ridiculously second-guessed myself [Is alliteration the repetition of vowels or consonants, or is it just repeptition of any sound at the beginning of words? Then what is assonance? And what is the difference between assonant rhyme and slant rhyme? Is there such a thing as slant rhyme? What kind of rhyme is “broom/bruise?”]. Luckily, they weren’t worth very many points, so I’m pretty sure I’ll be okay. I’m back into the swing of things.
But I still can’t believe I forgot the exact definition of alliteration. What self-respecting English major does that? “To sit in solemn silence on a dull, dark dock.” I will never forget buxomous Ms. White (not “Miss” or “Mrs.,” but MIZ White), my 8th Grade English teacher, dancing her jiggly self around the classroom to her own voice chanting that Gilbert and Sullivan classic. What a bad teacher she was—she didn’t even help me remember the exact definition of alliteration in my time of need. When I am a famous writer, I will thank her for absolutely nothing.
I hate her.