Feb 092011

My Western Civ II class had its first test last Thursday. Haven’t gotten it back yet, she says she’s still grading them. It was all essay, so I imagine she is.

She tells us the material from here on out will be a little easier. Hope so.

She also says that of the tests she’s graded so far, most have been short on detail—a flaw which loses points in history tests, as I learned last semester in Western Civ I.

But I really came to tell you about the whole test-taking experience last Thursday.

We’re all required to supply our own Blue Books. Not a problem; the campus bookstore sells them for something like a quarter apiece.

Before the exam, our instructions were to place our blank Blue Books in a pile on the instructor’s desk, turn off all our cell phones, and pile our bookbags and whatnot in the front of the room. Once she’d collected all the Blue Books, we trooped back up and took them from the pile in more-or-less random order. This was all to prevent cheating; apparently in the past she’s had students write surreptitious notes in their Blue Books ahead of time. Then she passed out the tests and we all fell to scribbling madly.

One fellow brought up his completed test after only twenty minutes or so. I figure he either did really well, or really poorly. I’m guessing… poorly.

As the end of the class time neared, people began turning in their tests and collecting their bookbags. The teacher would thank them as they handed in their tests.

I wasn’t quite the last one to turn mine in. She didn’t say anything as I handed her my test. I gathered up my binder and my purse and left. This procedure took maybe five or six seconds, during which time the following was going through my head:

Rational Brain: The class is almost over, she’s probably just thinking about what she’ll be doing once she leaves, or what to have for dinner, or something.

Irrational, Everything-Is-About-Me Brain: She didn’t thank me, but she thanked everybody else—does she not like me for some reason? Did I do something? I’m always on time, I only missed one class so far. Is it because I sometimes answer without raising my hand? Everybody else does that, too, why would she pick on me? Am I giving off some sort of vibe she doesn’t like? Was something wrong with my homework assignment? Why would she not like me?

And then I was out the door, and my brain was chasing off after the next shiny notion that wandered through.

My husband is right. I have too many thoughts.

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