Thursday, October 17, 2013


          Yesterday morning I got up at five-thirty to get ready to take the PSAT at Trinitas, a private Christian school. I started to wake up at 4:00 and woke up in intervals of thirty minutes until it was finally time to get up. I held up my phone and let the glow light the room. Jubal was sound asleep in his sleeping bag on the floor. During the night he had woken me up three times sleep talking and fussing. I crept around him and turned on the lamp. The morning went as I remember the early mornings in South Carolina when I went to a public school; just now I had a little more concern with my appearances than my nine year old self had back then. That's why there was a hurried hair washing that almost made us late. Details, details, anyways...

           Levi, back from Alaska, ate breakfast with me as he was coming along as well. As we two walked out the door Mom and Dad sent us off with well wishes. "Have a good time!" "Show those questions no mercy!" I answered "I won't!" and "Those questions aren't going to show me any mercy!" (Or something a little better than that. Just think of something clever and that is what I said.)
           I was definitely not ready for the test and was concerned about the math section; although I had no worries about the writing section. I had spent the day before studying and the day before that worrying myself and moping in my room. Levi on the other hand seemed confident with his academic ability.
           On the way there, to finish off our breakfast, we stopped at McDonald's and bought two bacon egg sausage mcgriddles in addition to one small coffee for myself. Levi and I enjoyed each others company and talked about nothings and laughed at silly old jokes from "back in the good ol' days". We often take to reminiscing with each other. It is good to have him back from Alaska. (Soon I will type up a report about all of that.) The morning was nice. A bit chilly for my taste but in reality most people would find it pleasant. When crossing over the bay I looked at the calm water and was pleased with the peachy color from the morning sun reflecting on its surface.

              We arrived at the school just in time. There were familiar faces as many of the families from church also went to school there. When we walked in the foyer seven or so home schooled students sat in the chairs. Mrs. Johnson greeted us and had sincere and polite inquiries about Levi's time in Alaska. That took up about two minutes then she addressed all the students and led us to room 208. She instructed us to take the chairs off the tables and sit down. When I walked into the classroom it felt a little weird. The last time I had been in one was in the third grade in public school. I didn't notice Levi but the others around me actually shuffled. They all had an air of uneasiness. I myself was not uncomfortable and possessed confidence that I would do well on my test. I always get an inexplicable supply of confidence and calm just before and while doing something new; for instance public speaking, performing, or taking a test. It is a puzzle to me because I am always worried before and after the event.
           A boy with unruly red hair slouched in his chair next to me, Levi sat at my left. Two sat in front and three sat behind. Mrs. Johnson introduced herself and helped us fill out the test forms. There were many questions to answer that had nothing to do with academics. We finished before it was time to start the actual test. The regular students were still having morning recitations. We could hear them repeating their memory verse, singing their song. I stretched my ears during the music and tried to see if I could recognise who was playing. My piano teacher works at the school and I was wondering if it was him. Alas, I did not know him well enough to be able to recognise his key strokes.
           A rumble was heard from the Great Hall and so we answered with a smaller one of our own as we got up from our seats. Mrs. Johnson collected our forms as we left the room. In the great hall Tinitas students busily set up chairs and arranged the movable walls. Their smiles and jokes with each other set an atmosphere of comfortableness that acutely contradicted the demeanour of the home schooled. I took notice of the discrepancy and wondered if I was a part of it. Levi left his pencils with me so I put them at the table behind mine. Our small group sat at the tables as the other students continued setting the room up. The girl to my right leaned back sloppily in her chair and stuffed her hands in her pockets. The red headed boy beyond her mirrored the position. A nice looking girl wearing a teal dress sat tidily in her seat. I watched Trinitas students about their work and smiled at those I knew. Soon enough everyone was ready.
            Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Trotter handed out our answer sheets and test books. Rules were explained and we began. We did one twenty five minute section and then were allowed to stand up and stretch. Another twenty-five minute section and then a five minute break. I met Brooks in the bathroom who introduced me to her friend. Back in the Great Hall I saw Brooks talking with Hannah (I believe that is her name or it might have been her sister.) I was going to join them until I saw Levi standing off by himself. I went to him instead. A moment later we were instructed to take our seats again.
            As I walked to my table I passed the red headed boy. He was standing on his feet but laying his entire upper body on the table. The girl next to me still had her hands stuffed in her pockets. One home schooled boy retreated inside his sweatshirt and hunched over his table like a turtle. I began to see how we home schooled students have a bad reputation, the difference must be even more apparent among public schooled students. Let me assure you though, most of the time if you met a home schooled student you wouldn't know because most of us are completely normal.

           I was interested in how the questions reflected our current culture. The reading passages touched on the subject of sustainable agriculture. A question referenced a popular book written by a fifth grader which I myself had read. Other similar topics abounded; women's rights, the traditions of foreign cultures, and Hollywood's misuse of a sacred Indian art; all of which popular blogs and media never seem to tire of talking. Not specifically Hollywood's misuse of sacred Indian art but the stars themselves. I wondered to myself what kind of questions my parents answered when they were teenagers and thought what an interesting way it would be to use the tests to track cultural evolution.
         Eventually testing was over. Trinitas students were instructed to prepare the Hall for lunch; home schooled students were asked to wait in the foyer for their parents. Levi and I gathered our things and began walking out the door. Mrs. Johnson caught us and reminded us we had to pay. As Levi was doing that I fetched a sign out of the supply closet. It was to increase awareness about the Forty Days for Life campaign that is going on right now. Everyone is encouraged to pray to stop abortion, especially to gather outside the abortion clinic itself. Levi finished first and met me as I was leaving the closet. A minute later we were in the truck and headed home again.
         It was a new experience but not entirely. I had taken a test similar to this one back in the third grade when attending public school. It had the same multiple choice bubbles to fill out and writing your name with filling in bubbles, and the separate answer sheet from the test. Everything was explained by the teacher the same as it had been today except when we were finished we were encourage to take naps or do quiet reading. No other work was expected from us the rest of that day.
          We will get our test results in the mail. I don't suppose I did so badly on it, but I suspect Levi did better. He is very good with math. When we got home Mom and Dad were eager to hear what it was like. They didn't get as detailed report as this immediately but they will get to read this too. I am glad this is over and that I don't have to worry about it anymore.


  1. How did you do? Did you get the results back?
    - Eklund girl

  2. Hey! Sorry I never replied! No I haven't gotten the results back yet. It's been a long time! I wasn't awful but I could have done better.


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