April 24th, 2010

piranha - don't think about it tomorrow.


So today I had the pleasure of taking the WST (Writing Skills Test) at San Jose State University. It's a delightful waste of time that all sophomores or incoming transfers need to take to prove that they're competent using the English language.

If you fail to pass, you take remedial English. (I assume. Failure to pass SO isn't an option.)
If you pass, you get to take 100W, which I think still qualifies as remedial English.
If you do super-well on the exam, you get a 100W waiver, unless you have a crappy major that doesn't honor the waiver.

I, of course, will not be satisfied unless I get the waiver. I'm great at standardized tests. I mean, I tested in the 95th percentile for English back in high school, and although my writing skills have degraded somewhat over the years they shouldn't be completely destroyed. Plus, I told everyone and my mother (literally) that I'd get the stupid thing, and I have no intention of eating humble pie.


So the school recommended showing up 25-35 minutes early to ensure you'd have enough time to get to the test. I thought that seemed a bit extreme, but I gave myself an hour and fifteen minutes to get to SJSU from Saratoga, a twenty-five minute drive. When I got to the building where the testing was held, a huuuuuuge line was snaking across the campus. I couldn't even see the end of it.
So I sighed, and started walking. What else can you do?
As I trudged along, getting no closer to the end of the line. I see a girl from one of my art classes last quarter and wave. I keep going. I still can't see the end. I spot another friend from DeAnza, and latch on. "I can cut in line with you, right???" Luckily he's a nice person, so he lets me.

We go into the testing rooms and the first half is an essay. My topic is "Describe an object precious to you and the memories you have." LAME. I write some maudlin tale about how a pendant my grandfather carved brings me closer to him. Tear-wrenching stuff, seriously.

Second half is multiple choice grammar. Zipped right through that. They'd present a "student" essay and ask questions about how it could be improved. Spent the last 20 minutes staring at the wall and daydreaming about food, since the test proctor wouldn't let us leave early.

So now I'm waiting 4-5 weeks for the test results. My instant gratification wants to know how I did NOW, but it won't effect anything for months to come so it makes no difference.