What kind of person goes into a Long’s Drug store at 6:50 am on a Saturday – disheveled and asking for a pencil sharpener which she then buys for one dollar and forty nine cents using a $100 bill? I did. Today.

I was required to use that ancient artifact of the old world, the #2 pencil for my highly pleasurable CBEST exam this morning. After 4.5 hours of sleep, I drove 2 hours to sit for the 4 hour exam with two #2 pencils, well sharpened, in hand. In preparation for today, I purchased 6 environmentally unfriendly pencils last week. I stood for a long time staring back and forth between the eco-pencils and the flashy iridescent ones in enlivening colors. When it comes to standardized tests, I am shallow and indulgent. I feel excessively entitled to lots of rewards and comforts around the testing experience. So, I chose the bad pencils. Having done so, I highly recommend flashy and exciting pencils for any paper-based standardized test. They really pulled me thru some dull moments.

I was not being facetious when I called today’s test pleasurable. Maybe it is an indicator of how much my brain has been craving some other channels besides mommyland  and  miscarriage grief lately. It was also refreshing to take a standardized test that didn’t make me feel like I was being tricked. I either figured out the algebraic equation or I didn’t. I either comprehended the reading passage or I didn’t. I either knew how to read a table of contents, or, I didn’t. I think with most of the questions, I did.

I got a little carried away with the two essay questions. I love writing, that was part of the problem. I also felt a little thrilled at the unfamiliar experience of handwriting, in a flashy # 2 pencil, two entire persuasive essays. I pushed right through hand cramps and finally had to just cut myself off.  I finally remember that the beleaguered test reader doesn’t really care what I think about diverting public funds to subsidize elite private schools.

On the way home from my testing revelry, I snatched up these ridiculous fluff balls … our 8 week old french angora bunnies.  Soon, we’ll be moguls in the highly lucrative wool business….

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