Monday, April 30, 2007

It's over! (the test, not the divorce)

My exam is over! It is was my last exam of the pre-clinical portion of medical school, and I felt amazing as I walked away from it. Trekking to my car, I thought about how fast these first 2 years have gone. It feels like just last week I was looking at my first perfectly normal pathology lab slide and thinking, "I don't know, looks like a tumor to me."

We normally take our exams as a class in huge lecture halls. We have to be there 15 minutes before the exam starts so that Carol, Queen of the Test Nazis can yell at us about how important it is to be there 15 minutes before the exam. It is important, because she has a full 15 minutes of screaming to do before we can start. After the verbal thrashing, she reads this very long, very official statement that basically translates to, "If you little bastards cheat on this test, I'm going to hang you up by your toenails and beat you and then let the 1st years practice physical exams on your bruised and broken asses." In the middle of this statement, she says something about no cell phones or pagers being allowed in the testing room and then stops, puts her paper down, and waits to see if anyone has any banned electronic devices they want to pull out of their pants and fork over to a proctor.

After all this, just after we've forgotten everything we've studied for the past month, she gives us permission to write our names on our answer sheets (do this without permission and you just bought yourself another 2.5 minutes of yelling) and start the damn exam.

Today, though, I took the exam separate from the rest of the class because I had a court appointment during tomorrow's scheduled exam time. (More on the had later.) I took the exam in the campus testing center, a high-security compound where they often administer standardized national exams. They wouldn't even let me take my car keys with me into the testing room. I had to lock them in a locker and then hand the locker key to a proctor. I was understandably bummed--all that time I spent copying a months worth of notes onto my keys completely wasted.

The testing room has separate stations for each test-taker. This morning, I was the only one. A sign on the door warns you that your every move is being audio and video recorded, and there's a camera over every station. Proctors sit behind mirrored glass watching you, both on the monitors and in the flesh.

I sat down in my assigned station. I thought that since I was the only one there, I should get to choose my station, but no such luck. (Damn Test Nazi.) The Nazi stood over my shoulder and read the whole, "If you, little bastard, cheat on this test..." statement. She even stopped at the banned electronics portion, lowered her paper, and looked at me, waiting to see if I was going to pull a cell phone out of my ass. At this point, I couldn't help it--I started laughing. It all just seemed so asinine. Who the hell could cheat in here? The laughing confused her, but we pressed on. She gave me permission to write my name on my answer sheet. I nearly misspelled my last name. (Apparently, I don't work well under pressure.) She then turned my test face down in front of me and said, "Ready, go!" I was a little slow on the start because I was trying to suppress the laughter and kegal myself out of peeing my pants.

I started the test and quickly forgot I was being watched. I got to a particularly annoying question and said, "What the fu--?" I stopped myself just before the "ck" and looked up at the camera to whisper, "Sorry, protor lady." Normally, I wouldn't feel so bad, but some of these proctors are old. I mean really old. Like volunteer for the board of elections, get excited about jury duty, work as part-time Walmart greeter old. I generally try not to use the really potent curse words around the elderly. You know, out of respect.

All that said, the exam went just fine. And I was really glad to be done!

Finally, explaining that "I had a court appointment" part. I heard from the lawyer man this afternoon. He had just received notice of a last minute continuance filed by Ex's attorney. I was really pissed. I was really looking forward to being divorced this time tomorrow. I talked to lawyer man, though, and we came up with a plan of attack to get this whole thing over with sooner rather than later.

So, all that emotional upheaval this weekend for nothing? Yeah. Except, that I actually feel much better about my ability to handle all of this now. I'll revisit all of your amazingly supportive words and kind thoughts before I go to court June 20th. In the meantime, I'm reminding myself to let go of the things I can't control and focus on what I can.

All in all, this was a pretty great day for me. How was yours?


Anonymous said...

Wow, I didn't know getting divorced was so difficult, no wonder some people resort to murder. Doesn't the state understand no, means no, as in, no more marriage please.

I can't believe one person can keep the marriage legal when the other person clearly wants out.

You need a screwdriver:
Orange juice, vodka and 7-up, stir and drink.


Melanie said...

wonderful! so, you've got one more year of schoolwork and then a year of being an intern? is that how it works? what specialty are you going for, if any?

i loved working in medicine. the biggest drawback is that i'm married to a guy who is totally squeamish about absolutely everything, so i could never talk about work. at all. ever. i'd come home with tiger top tubes and unused syringes in my labcoat (back when i was doing phlebotomy...i kept a few necessities in my pocket in case there was an ER call so i wouldn't have to go grab them upstairs and waste time) and he'd go pale and clammy when i emptied out my pockets.

if this business doesn't survive, i may go back to school and finish up my med tech degree. i'd love to just go back to phlebotomy but they don't really hire people just for that anymore. too bad; i really enjoyed being a professional vampire.

Terroni said...

I have two years of clinical rotations (more school), and then I'm an intern. Intern year is the first year of residency, and it's when I start getting paid! I think it probably ends up being about $1.07/hr. Still, it's better than living on loans. (And it's more than Nike pays people to glue together shoes.)

What is this "if this business doesn't survive" bit about? I'm friggin' addicted to that soap! Keep that in mind if you ever do consider changing careers. You're still going to need to set aside some time to make Terroni her soap.

Terroni said...

Yeah, if I think about it for more than about 0.7 seconds, I get so frustrated my head starts to explode.

The worst part is the name change. It takes months to change your name in this state if you do it separately from the divorce. In hindsight, I should have done that. I had no idea the divorce was going to drag on this long.

Now, when I sign my name, I just don't really write the last name. It's my first name and then a squiggle. Cher and Madonna don't have last names, so why should I? :)

Maria said...

were you tempted to keep peeking at the inside of your wrist in a very furtive fashion? Or calmly keep turning your foot up to check the sole?

Or keep looking at the camera and winking?

Or you could have suddenly leaped up and screamed, "Stop looking at me, Thelma!"

But, I know...that would have gotten you a very fun psych evaluation and believe me, the people in there really know how to have some fun with your head....

REALLY too bad that you weren't able to be a happy divorcee yet...but hey, it is just a matter of time, yes?

CS said...

Well, I'm answering this a day late (because your update post today didn't havea comment place) so I have to say sucky day for me. But I'm really glad you're in a good place in spite of the continuance. May it be over and done with soon.