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Let’s never do that again

April 24, 2010

At long last, I took my Praxis tests today.  It was harrowing.  It was uncomfortable.  Maybe it was successful.

First came the content knowledge test, 120 questions in 120 minutes.  My practice runs had all been fine, so when I finally began the test in that massive lecture hall with my bubble sheet on the wafer they call a desktop, I was confident.  Question one included a short excerpt from a novel and included refernces to a character named Heathcliff… I should know that…but I didn’t.  Bad start.  I filled in the bubble for Wuthering Heights and moved on.  Score!  Process of elimination rules.

I went on (and on and on) and felt like I knew about half of the answers cold, was able to work out half of the others by eliminating wrong answers, had solid educated conclusions on others, and at least improved my guessing odds through elimination on all but maybe four.  I am confident I passed this one.  More to the point, if I didn’t pass, it’s not likely to get much better and the creative writing scheme is over.

Then came the pedagogy test.  I hope to God I passed that because I never want to endure that torture again.  Firstly (always hated that word), they managed to find a room on campus with smaller desk-wafers, chairs from the Spanish Inquisition, no discernible air conditioning in the midst of a freak tropical monsoon, and a wall so close to my personal space that I don’t want to tell my wife about it (she gets jealous).  I feel like I spent all morning staring at my belly button.

Then the tests were (finally!) distributed.  Two constructed response questions, one evaluating the teaching points of a piece of literature, the other dissecting a (fictional) student’s writing.  I thought I was ready for this test.  I did my reading and my SparkNoting and of course my Rocketbooking.  I had outlines prepared for six different high school literary mainstays: Frankenstein, Romeo and Juliet, The Great Gatsby, 1984, Beowulf, and as a matter of indulgence, The Hobbit.

All sorts of people insisted that R&J was almost always on the list of stories to write about, so I made it my #2 candidate (behind Frankenstein, whose outline was perfection) in my depth chart.  R&J wasn’t there.  Frank either.  But Gatsby, surely…but no.  1984?  Surely the singular paragon of Old English literature known as Beowulf would be there, right?  No and no.  Oh snap.  But there at the bottom, three stories from the end, was the jewel I never expected to see:  J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Hobbit.  It was there.

My first impression: Sweet!

My second impression: What the hell was on that outline?

To make a long story less long, I wrote the evaluation of the student work first (a daydream/adventure about a space ship) and muddled through my Hobbit part as best I could after that.  I finished the rough, low-detailed versions of my responses with time to spare.  Forty-five seconds is technically time, right.  None of my answers were brilliant.  It was okay.  I suspect that test will be a close call on either the pass or fail side.  Hard to say which.

In completely unrelated news, the Anywhere But Here Anthology promptly rejected L.R. this morning.  Running out of places to send that one.  Weird how the world didn’t stop for my test today.

I’m going to take a nap now.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 24, 2010 9:01 pm

    Woohoo! You made it out alive. At least it is over 🙂

    Where have you tried LR? I have a big market list, so I could email you mine if you want. I can’t remember how long it is, but if it’s under 4k words Redstone Sci/fi is a newish market that pays pro rates.

    • osomuerte permalink
      April 24, 2010 9:08 pm

      5400. Whenever it’s rejected I just hit Duotrope to troll for another. I’m well into my semipro options for LR, but those should last a while. A different market list never hurts, though.

  2. April 25, 2010 8:04 pm

    Hooray, it’s over! I’m sure you did fine.

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