Friday (and parts of Thursday) I was awake for 30 hours. I am now just getting back to normal.
At 12:45 p.m. on Friday I took my MTEL exam, otherwise known as the Massachusetts Teaching Exam Licensure. No big deal right? Wrong. For the past week and a half I’ve been on a reverse schedule – it happens when I don’t have much going on that I have to be up during the day for. My normal schedule is sleeping during the day and working (writing) at night. A 12:45 p.m. test meant breaking that cycle.
In some ways I did break the cycle. I woke up around 6:00 a.m. today and don’t feel like I am slowing down any time soon. But that didn’t happen on the day it needed to. Thursday, which was supposed to be my prep day, I initially woke up at 7:00 a.m. I thought it was going to work out perfectly. But when I next looked at the clock on my phone it was 8:00 a.m. Then 10:00 a.m. Then noon. When 4:00 p.m. came I was resolved to sleep through. 4:12 p.m. I went downstairs and got something to eat.
It was at that point I realized the next day was going to be an arduous task.
Cut to 9:00 a.m. Friday morning. I stayed up all night doing the practice test a couple of times, playing some Madden, and periodically checking the boards of my masters classes at SNHU. Now it was time to leave. To head to Rockland, Ma.
The fact that the test was in Rockland is a pretty important point. It’s normally an hour and ten minute drive from where I live. But sense I needed to kill time – to keep me awake, mainly – I drove up the coastline instead of taking the highway. Getting off of Cape Cod wasn’t that much of an issue. It was about an hour drive along the coast. I was able to scope out some possible pictures for the drive back. It wasn’t that bad.
But when I got off of the Cape things got a little more awry. I took the wrong road in Sagamore and had to pull off to look at my phone. Once I got back on track the resulting drive was a sequence of curvy mountain roads, pot holes and speed I was unsure my car would handle properly at (hence my reason for not taking the highway).
I should probably point out why I was a little uncertain about my car at that point.
Jade (yes I am the type of asshole that names his car) was in an accident about two years ago. We spun out on the highway and a bunch of the inside car parts got messed up drastically. And even though all of that was fixed, it has never felt the same. Combine my mental apprehensions with probable low tire pressure, I thought it would be unnerving if I didn’t have to go on the highway.
The odd thing about it, however, is she handled find for the extent of the trip. I got a little lost in a town next to Rockland, but aside from that, everything went fine. I got to the test 45 minutes early and was able to start when I got right in the door.
Now about the test. I took the practice test four time leading up to the test. With no studying on the first attempt I got a 63. On the next attempts I got a 85, 92 and a 94. Despite my sleep deprived state, I felt pretty confident going into the actual exam.
the thing about the actual exam, however, is that none of the questions from the practice test were on the actual exam. Not one. I was pissed. Silently pissed – there was no talking, no eating, no breathing, no being anything other than a teacher test taking drone within the exam room – yet pissed. But I overcame the struggle. I took the test (which consisted of 100 multiple choice questions and two short essays) in about three hours – they give you four – and spent a little over a half an hour reviewing my answers before I submitted it.
I feel good about how it turned out. There were texts I had no experience with, but I did my best to derive the answers from context. I find out how I actually did on May 15.
I got out of the testing center at 4:00 p.m. Friday. The official 24 hour mark of being awake. A large part of me wanted to pull off in a vacant lot, lock the doors, and pass out for at least six hours. but I didn’t. I turned the key in the ignition and proceeded to venture back home. I’m pretty sure pulling out of the testing center I cut two people off.
The entire drive home was spent with a singular focus; keep the car between the lines. Moving forward was important. But I kept thinking, stay between the lives. Lines. I did that a lot too.
All in all, it worked well. Jade’s tires held up, I didn’t pass out, and I got to sing loudly in my car to stay awake.
It was kind of like that.
(the above addition of the video furthers my belief that parts of my life have been like Jerry MaGuire. That needs to be a post in and of itself).
The drive home wasn’t all Tom Petty (It was actually more Katy Perry – damn the radio). I stopped from time to time to take some pictures:
And then there were the ones from my phone:
But eventually, after stopping for pizza and beer, I got home. After having a little too much beer for my level of exhaustion, i got to bed. I thought i was going to sleep for at least twelve hours. And I was excited for it.
But I did not get the sleep I expected. I woke up about six hours later and spent the majority of Saturday morning trying to make my head work right. Which really didn’t happen until I woke up today. Hopefully I get good news on the test. There are next-to-no writing jobs on the Cape and I am so very bored. A plus side from all of this is I finally did something worth writing about. So that was good.
Anyways, I gotta get some school work done. I’ll be back later to get some NaPo in under the wire.