Since my parents homeschooled my sister and me in the days before it was broadly accepted, mom wanted to make sure we were always hitting the expected bars that kids our age were reaching in schools around us. That meant taking standardized tests every year alongside other homeschool kids. One of my most traumatic test-taking experiences happened on one of these days.
It was a test day like the many I’d had before. I saw the other girls in my age group that I was acquainted with, tried to make small talk, then picked a seat in the test room.
Let’s be real. The best part of these days is filling out the bubbles for your name. I always (and by always, I mean about 90% of the time) didn’t follow the rules and wait like instructed. I filled them out right away. Then the pangs of guilt would hit, and I’d put my arm over the test to look like I still hadn’t touched the bubbles, though seven bubbles now contained the letters of my name. When the teacher finally instructed us to put our names in, I’d darken the already filled in bubbles to look like I was playing along. That was as close as I ever got to cheating.
All of the fun times aside, I knew I was in trouble during one test day when we were already a section or so into the test – past the point of no return – and my nose began to run. Not like “oh look at that. A little snot came out.” Oh no. It was my nose full-on staging a mutiny. Wave after steady wave of mucus came out without stopping. Since the test was in motion, there was no getting up. No asking for help. No movement. Looking around was suspicious. I had no other option. The good news – I have always been resourceful. The bad news – I only had sleeves to work with. I tried to make my approaches to swipe away the charging mucus discreetly, but after I had used up a good portion of the real estate of my shirt cuff, there wasn’t a chill way to keep the now waterfalls off of my test. It definitely didn’t help me make a positive impression on the girls I was trying to win points with. But I still survived the test. And it was something. I think I still turned out ok. Haha.

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