Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Monopolized Test Taking Advice

(Combating stress and worry over test taking. )
Tonight J. asked me for some ideas or tips on "not worrying about important school tests".
Well, I could only refer back to the last "official" test I took; the series 7 and 63 to become a stockbroker. If I failed I would lose my job. It was that important to get employees for the financial institution to get us doing trades for people. The company had great insurance and I NEEDED that job.
So, I had to study the best I could and then drive an hour away to take the test at some random test taking place. I recall trying to stack so much info in my brain by memorization, etc. that it hurt so bad some nights.
I didn't tell him that part.
(J. does a great job of posing with his Christmas loot- but as you can see, you need several weapons to defend yourself from the negativity you can feel toward tests- i.e. Life.)
Me: Well, you've done all you can do, now just remember to relax, go slow, and concentrate on your breathing. Then let the chips fall where they may.
J: What chips?
Okay, that last part I made up. But I did tell him that I rode to the testing place praying the whole time in my head. No music. Just me and the silence before a long test. Like 4 hours or something.
Really, it took that long and there were few breaks, where we were allowed to stand and stretch.
Not to take away the importance of the test I asked him what the worst thing could be if he didn't do as well as he wished? I informed him that I couldn't recall how I did on some test in 4th grade. But that he had the rest of his life to keep learning and eventually get it right.
Recalling the dentist appointment and that brief period on laughing gas, I offered that as a last worry free option. 
"We'll just call Dr. O and then you could giggle through the whole thing and, when it is over, you won't even recall taking the test."
That reminded me of a nightmare I had. So I told him about how I thought I had brushed my teeth with the toothbrush I'd been using to clean all those see shells. LUckily it was a dream.
He chuckled and drifted off to sleep.
Which led me to reflect on the passed few days. Ugh. Spring has arrived in all it's glory. Idaho glory.
There was a calm before the lion arrived with its mighty hair rattling, door slamming, wind.
Right now It is whistling through the fireplace as if to remind me that it is unrelenting. The wind, cold temps, and soggy grass is a signal it is track/baseball season.
I must say,however, that we lucked out over his spring break; beautiful high temps for the majority of the time. Quite unusual for an Idaho spring break. But then it started to act like itself and returned to normal, depressing Idaho weather.
(maybe wearing jammies would help....)
After a long winter you would think that you had built up the fortitude to endure such a blast- but it never gets easy. Like J's dentist said about long distance running, it never gets easy to run 16 miles.
Yes, you get in better shape and it isn't so hard to "get started" . He said he is always fighting with himself about whether or not to stop and tie his shoes, or take it easier.
It made me think about being on prednisone and dealing with disease and it is true across the board; it never gets easier. You just know what to expect and you learn some things to help you, but ultimately you have to ruck it.
To add to the abominable weather, going back to school, and having tests to take,  J. and I  started a game of Monop, Monop, Monopoly over his spring break This time the long hours of counting money, remembering to collect 200 when you pass 'Go' ,and worrying about landing on the Income Tax box has made us a little stressed.To boot,  J. has taken it personal for some reason. He must be growing up because that's how I recall the game going with others I played it with years ago.
J. wants to beat me at this game. And I am not making it easy on him- I taught him some tricks of the trade and things little rules or ways to escape paying the other person- like being non- chalant about it all and then I roll the dice to find that he'd been camped out on board walk inside one of my houses.
(don't try to multitask during Monopoly. Brain drain and bickering is the only result.
(if he only knew I am posting these pics... ha! Revenge!)
 It [the game] lays on the floor of the basement each day waiting for the time we allot to playing the aggravating game. Something that I'm sure annoys Padre as he passes the family room to shower each evening.
 One transaction, transfer of titles had J up in arms most of last night  and I found myself fighting with him over land, that is not even real, on our way to practices and running errands. And even threatening to burn the game. (that last part I added for spice in this post)
As banker, I hope he is learning some things to help him with his tests this week.
Unfortunately, I am learning some about money, selling, and testing of my patience through this whole ordeal.
I wish I had a cavity instead.

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