Monday, August 4, 2008


Finona and I went up together to the Rock, this morning, to take our placement tests. Fin has exactly two classes to finish so that she can receive her Associate's Degree. Myself, since I'm going back for an entirely new discipline, need to start from scratch - 30 credits to my Associate's!

Anyhow, she took only the math portion, but I - kind of randomly - decided to take both the English and math sections. I was an all-digital thing, with Dell desktops breezing away and many students taking the test - all of them conspicuously younger than both Fin and I.

The computers were not, unsurprisingly, running at peak efficiency, and for the first part of the English test - which was a 300-600 word essay on why school sucks - the network would occasionally go palsied and eat a portion of the completed essay. The bonus was that the essay clock (set initially at 50 minutes) would reset itself. So I lost approximately a full sentence - I think others lost more - but I gained about six or seven minutes, which was a nice trade off.

Anyway, this last year of daily Rambling has taught me nothing if not how to spew crap onto the screen in a short period of time, so I finished with time to spare on that, and then went somewhat quickly through the sentence structure and comprehension sections. At some point I toward the end of that, I looked up and noticed that Fin had completed and left the room, so I sped even more and got to the math section.

The math was two parts - arithmetic and algebra. Now, I never learned division and fractions, having been in California in 5th Grade, where the curriculum was a year behind New York, so I learned them over the weekend in advance of the test. But Algebra? No way I can force-feed that into my skull in two days. For that, I actually am looking forward to the class, to see if I can actually get it this time around.

I also tried to learn percentages properly, but after coming home from a day in the city, I was too out of it to focus on the material at hand. When I found myself surfing porn instead of memorizing equations, I figured it was time to give up and hope for the best.

And that's roughly how it worked out: I aced the English and Arithmetic sections - the latter being mercifully short on percentage questions- but the Algebra was a serious joke, with twelve questions that I'm pretty sure I did a random guess at each one.

Nonetheless, I'm considering the day to be a mild triumph, a sign that I'm not totally hurling myself randomly into this without a hope. Good to know that I can at least calculate at a 5th Grade level. Because I never could, before.


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