I admit I had a moment of panic yesterday when I opened up the envelope, pulled out the test questions, and saw that one of the test questions was not what I had studied for. "Oh crap," I mumbled to myself. I closed my eyes and prayed I would not throw up.
And then I sat, for a good 15 minutes, willing myself to stay there and work it out anyway. Even though I tend to do well on essay exams, I still lean more towards feelings of flight rather than fight. I remembered having the same feeling ten years ago when I took part of my teaching exam, seeing that question about Emily Dickinson and themes of death in her poetry and thinking, "I can't do it." I cried for the first hour of the two-hour exam.
But not yesterday. I would not cry. I would not run away. I would answer the question, even if it didn't have anything to do with everything I had memorized about Aristotle's rhetorical context. And, I told myself, I was going to totally rock that exam question--even if it was pebble-size rocking, rather than boulder-size. A rock is a rock, right?
Anyway, I typed my little heart out, managing to eek out two 1500-word essays that I wasn't ashamed of. The comic Irish lit question I had expected; the developing a teaching unit based on grammar theories wasn't exactly what I had planned on. Nevertheless, by a stroke of Providence, just that morning I had looked over some grammar theories and decided to randomly memorize a few names. Thank you, Lord.
While it's true that I ended up basing the whole writing unit on one theorist whose name I couldn't remember, I think it'll be okay. It's quite possible what I wrote wasn't what they were looking for, but in the end I was pretty tickled with myself and wished that I could actually implement the writing unit I created because it was so totally creative and cool. See, there's that residual adrenaline talking now.
I didn't run away. I sat there and remembered all the things people have said to encourage me. I thought of my professors, my sweet husband, my parents, and I thought, "I can do it."
And 7 hours and 5000 words later, I did.
Now I wait until November 19th to see if I passed. Deep breaths.