19 January 2015

My time in the ghetto

In one of my classes, we were assigned the task to write about an event that we can laugh at now but was horrible or embarrassing at the time. I was reminded of the day I took the SAT for the second time, and I realized I never wrote about the lovely experience I had. So, without further ado, here is a little throwback to my time in the ghetto (which just so happens to be where I took the test).

About six-and-a-half months prior to this dear occasion, I took the SAT for the first time at my own high school. Everything was absolutely peachy, and I did very well on it. It is recommended you take it more than once to improve your score, though, so I signed up to take it a second time right after my junior year of high school, but at a different location. A school that is pretty...ghetto compared to mine.

The morning of the test, I wait inside the school with hundreds of other students ready to face their demise. The test is supposed to start at 8:00 am, and it's 7:30 with no signs of where we're supposed to be in sight. (Now, the first time I took the SAT, there were several signs posted all over the school that told you in which room you should be according to your last name. So as kids arrived, they could go straight to their destinations and get settled in for the hours-long exam.) Finally, at 7:45, three ladies sit down at tables on one end of the hall, each with a sign depicting a third of the alphabet.

Yes, one lady per what-I-presume-was-100 students, 15 minutes before the test was scheduled to begin. That, my friends, is what this school thought would be a good system to check us students in. If you haven't caught on to my sass yet, it was not a good system.

After my fellow test-takers finally make it through that genius process and into our room, my proctor begins to read his scripted instructions. Oh, my god. This guy literally starts skimming the booklet, skipping things left and right. I know we all already know to make our marks heavy and dark and completely fill in the bubbles, but oh my god! Isn't this against the official SAT rules or something?? And it only gets better from here.

We come to the part where we have to fill in the information about our testing location and starting time. The proctor points to the board where he has this information ready for us to copy down, and he says, "Alright, can errybody see these up derr? Alright, coo', coo'." I don't even have words to describe how insecure I felt. I realize proctoring the SAT in June isn't the most exciting thing in the world, but shouldn't this guy be at least a little more professional? I don't know, just a thought.

And it still doesn't end there. For those of you who may not know, there is a portion on the SAT where you have to copy a statement - a SENTENCE - in cursive to show you agree to the terms and conditions or whatever. Did you catch that? It's a sentence. But in cursive. Cue all hell breaking loose now, because apparently the fellow high schoolers in my testing room had a very big problem with this.

I almost can't refrain from banging my head on my desk as one kid shouts (among all the other shouts and groans), "What if we don't know how to write in cursive?!" Oh, boy. I'm really praying for you, dude. But then comes the single dumbest thing to happen thus far.

One girl sassily exclaims, "Do I have to?!"
Proctor: "Yes, why? Do you not know how to write in cursive?"
Sassy girl: "Oh, no. I know how, I just don't want to! Like, I don't feel like writing in cursive!"

I am dying. I've officially reached Hell. How else would I have ended up in a room full of all these idiots? I mean, does this girl feel like taking this giant test? Probably not, but she still has to. Just like she still has to write one measly sentence in cursive.

Anyway, after that whole debacle is finally cleared up, it's officially time to start the test. We're only 57 minutes late, but that's okay. That great sign-in process was definitely worth it, as was practically starting a mob to refute that one cursive sentence.

Don't get ahead of yourself, though. The story still doesn't end here. No, my friends, because the start of our test is also the start of our dear old proctor's breakfast. I kid you not, he tells us to begin section one and then sits down at his desk and starts chowing down on Burger King breakfast sandwiches. Even the lasers shooting out of my eyes don't phase him as he crinkles up the wrappers into balls and tosses them into the trash. Now, I don't usually get distracted by little noises like this, but are you kidding me??

Seeing as this is in June, he also has the window open. But it's also June, meaning there's a good chance it's raining. It is. Granted, the proctor finished his breakfast sandwiches, but now I have to deal with the chilly, rainy breeze coming into the room. And then the door thing happens.

I don't know if you all know this, but this crazy thing tends to happen where if you leave the window open when it's windy, a closed door to the room might rattle. I only explain this because my proctor apparently did not know this weird phenomenon.

The wind blows, the door rattles. It sounds a little bit like someone is knocking on the door, so the proctor gets up, walks across the room, and looks out the window of the door to see who's knocking. No one. Holy cow, it must be a ghost! There's no way it's the wind!

This happens three more times, and he even opens the door at one point to see if anyone is out there. I can't make this stuff up. I am screaming in my head to just CLOSE THE FREAKING WINDOW, but instead I sit there and watch the events unfold. He finally realizes the wind is making the door rattle, so he closes the window and makes everything perfect.

Just kidding. I wish it were that simple. But no, he does not close the window after his realization. He rolls his sweatshirt up like a sausage and puts it along the bottom of the door to muffle the rattling. Because closing the window would've been way too difficult, you know.

So I take the rest of the test with no more distractions besides perpetual goosebumps and a muffled rattling door.

Remember how I said people say you should take the test more than once to improve your score? Well, I don't know if it was because of all the distractions that day or if all the stupidity in that room seeped into my brain, but I did 100 points worse than my first score.

And that, my friends, is where my story of the second time I took the SAT ends.

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