Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Done. D-O-N-E. Done.

I sat there, clicking and reading, reading and clicking.

The room was small. I was shielded from being able to view the people around me, but I could sense them. I saw them when I walked in, and totally knew that they were there. I mean, even without seeing them you knew. You couldn't see them, but you couldn't not see them, ya know?

And the cameras. Was anyone actually watching us?

I'm the kind of person who often looks up when I think. I don't know what I'm looking at, or looking FOR, but I look up. I look around. I look like I'm trying to cheat, I suppose. I know I've been told to "keep my eyes on my paper" more than once in my school years.

So looking up and seeing those cameras a part of me wanted to wave. Make a face. Say hi. Pretend I was at my wedding, my sweet sixteen, even, and my father was encouraging me. 'Hey, you, you out there! Hi! I see you seeing me.'

But I didn't. Of
course I didn't! I couldn't do that.

I reviewed page after page by clicking the mouse. I looked at my supposed scratch pad of notes. Counted questions. Which - I must clarify - is nothing like counting cards. But I digress ...

I suddenly realized I had to pee. Must have been my nerves, because I'd been in there about four hours and hadn't had a drop to drink. No food or beverages allowed inside. I honestly didn't even realized how much time had gone by. I just knew I was cold, or sweating. Or both. And now I had to pee.

A quick trip to the bathroom, and then back to the room. A deep breath as I walked back in.

I was ready.

One more glance through. I'm ready.

A few deep breaths. Putting my head in my hand. Resting. Shutting my eyes for a split second. I'm ready. To myself. To everyone else. To anyone who could hear my thoughts ...

And I clicked the button.

One ... two ... what? What's that? Ah, great. A short survey while we process your responses. Fantastic. Seriously? Click - was the room too cold? Click - was the facility easy to get to? Click - click - done. Done.


Oh. I really AM done. It's processing. It's truly processing.

Do I look? Do I not look? When will it ... I passed. Oh my G-d, I passed!


This post is in response to the Red Dress Club's RemembeRED prompt this week: "Tell the story (without any trivialization or modesty) of something in your life that you are proud of." This memory is mine from a few years back, when, after being in NC for a while and not working for an even longer while, I sat down to take my LCSW exam for the state of North Carolina. I walked in a bundle of nerves, and walked out a licensed clinical social worker. I PASSED!


  1. Congratulations! :D I love how you wrote this; it was full of suspense!

  2. I hate taking standardized tests! Congratulations :-)

  3. Good for you! I was so nervous as I read, not knowing the stakes of this test. Whew!

  4. Yay! Girl, you always keep me on the edge of my seat!

  5. I just love how you wanted to wave at the camera - I would have wanted to do that too! HA! Congrats on passing! :-)

  6. Whoohoo!! I hate the initial feeling of wondering if you passed or not, but the RELIEF you feel after you see that you have? Amazing! Congrats to you!

  7. Congratulations! Those standardized testing rooms are psycho and seriously add another level to the testing process!

  8. Nothing like feeling like you're under constant scrutiny while trying to take a test! Well written, I felt like I was there. Glad I came by from TRDC

  9. They asked you to take a short survey prior to giving you the results?!? Are they nuts? How could anyone possibly want to answer a single additional question after a FOUR HOUR text??

    You really captured the setting and emotions of a high-stakes, standardized test. Applicable to anyone who has taken the SAT, ACT, AP, MCAT, GRE, etc.

    Which is to say, most of the population!

  10. proud of you and so glad you linked up to share your accomplishment with us!


Comments are like air to a writer.

So please - say something - help me BREATHE!