Saturday, July 23, 2011

Round Two: Already on the Ropes?

This afternoon at 2:00 I take the second part of my English teacher certification exams, over English Language Arts.  In an hour and a half I saddle up and head down to the testing center.  I'd planned to spend a few hours this morning doing some last-minute skimming in Wikipedia and SparkNotes for basic information on all the novels, poems, speeches, etc., I should have read in the past eighteen months but didn't.

But for the most part, I'm not.  I can't.  I'm just too lightheaded and tired.

It's what I get for not turning off the bedside light until 4:00 AM.  Especially after a week or two when I pretty consistently turned in by 11:30 at the latest.  So I couldn't sleep past 9:00 this morning, even if I wanted to.

Five hours.  Not at heck of a lot of sleep before a big hairy test, especially one where I'll have to write a sudden-death essay on some work of literature that I've likely never seen before and know nothing about.

I'm not sleepy.  Just dizzy and quilt-stuffing-headed.  I've eaten a protein-rich breakfast in the past hour, so I doubt it's hunger.  Insufficient sleep, it has to be.

I could have gotten to bed earlier.  I finished the curriculum material and all its quizzes around 10:30 last night.  But I figured I'd better go ahead and take one of the practice tests.  125 questions; they give you three hours to complete it.  Goody for me, I did it in less than an hour and got 90% of them right.  No, actually, nothing to brag about, considering I took the same test several months ago and most of the questions were absurdly easy.  (I doubt the real exam will be the same.)  Turning in at midnight wouldn't've served me too poorly, but no.  I simply had to search online to find out about some of the questions I missed.  And commence my quick-and-dirty knowledge fill-up, starting with the reading list dramatic works I've never read. 

Great.  That took me till a little after 2:00.  I fed the dog, took him out to do his business, shut everything off and went upstairs, took a bath, and got into my nightclothes.  And then I started thinking about a couple of things I still wasn't sure about.  Like, how do you recognize an unreliable narrator?  And what's the difference between irony and paradox?

Back downstairs, restart the laptop, read up on these matters till nearly 4:00.  Learned some interesting things.  Great food for thought.  But this morning, as has been said so cogently in another context, "Teechur, my brayne iz full!"

So instead of cramming, I'm indulging in a nice whinge.  Instead of reviewing my notes (Oh, gosh, what are all the different organizational modes for expository writing?), I'm writing in my blog.  I'm not to the happy point where I can say I don't care if I pass or not.  I just don't have the time or brainpower this morning to deal with anything more.

Yeah, there's a chance I may pass the multiple choice if I read the questions carefully and keep my response to what they actually say and not what I hurriedly perceive them to. And make sure to question my own assumptions about things.

The essay?  Passing that will depend greatly on what the gobbet is (hee-hee, Brit-speak).  And if it strikes any sparks.  Maybe, if I can get my old BSing motor revved up . . . . If the online literary criticism I've been reading is any guide, all I have to do is say the work refers to the inherent corruption of capitalism and the futility of the American Dream, and I'm home free.

Cotton-batting-stuffed head and all.

1 comment:

Miss Kitty said...

Awww, dammit. :-(

I hate standardized tests. Especially those measuring language and English teaching-type stuff.