Thursday, September 6, 2007

Ready, Aim, FIRE!

Someone please shoot me! Ok, well, not really. I guess it isn't that serious. This will be very conversational so, please ignore mistakes.

Things are pretty slow here at the office this morning and so, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to study. I've been studying at home, but it is always after Syd goes to bed and I'm pretty tired. I figured I would do better today since I'm wide awake. Right? WRONG! I might as well just close my eyes and point.

If you don't know anything about the LSAT, know this: it does not test any knowledge whatsoever. So, for those in my family that think I should breeze through this simply because I've had exposure to the system for seven years, think again! In fact, it makes no sense to me at all. There! I said it!

We passed the University of Mary Washington (Prof Studies Campus) this weekend on our way to Reedville and I immediately wanted to puke. I was instantly reminded of the upcoming exam and of my horrible day last Fall. It was a complete disaster.

Of course, I got little sleep the night before. This was in part due to nerves, but mainly because I was very sick. I had been dealing with a terrible hacking cough for almost two weeks and it seemed to only get worse. Next, I had to deal with intestinal issues. This was nerves entirely. It happens to me ALL THE TIME! Family curse. Then, I sat on the edge of my parents' bed (they live near the college) sobbing. This is all before 7:30am.

After I settled down, I got in the car and headed over. I found a space, went inside and hung out until they called us in. By the time I sat down, I actually felt okay and old. Seriously, I was sitting between two pimply college kids who had to be no older than nineteen. The proctor came around to check our stuff and noted my baggie of unwrapped cough drops (they make you do that you know-it is a SIN to make ANY noise during this test). By the way, you are NOT allowed to bring anything to drink at all, not even water. This was BAD for me.

Before I knew it, I heard the proctor call time and we were on our way. The first section was great, not a problem. I didn't finish all of them, but that is fairly normal. The next section immediately begins. It is a reading section and I'm fine. Then, I got a tickle in my throat. I tried so hard not to make noise. I kept swallowing trying to make it stop. I was turning red. So, I dove for the cough drops. I prayed, "please stop!" All the while, the clock is ticking. I start to cough. Of course I am not looking at my paper, I am looking around the room to see if anyone was throwing me eye darts. I wanted to die. "FOCUS, Jess!" I tried to redirect my attention, but it was no use. Now, I'm trying to stifle a cough and not choke on the cough drop. The proctor walks over to ask if I am okay. "Sorry, just a minute. I'm fine." I wasn't fine. That just made it worse. I saw her staring at me with the get-your-crap-together look. That did it! I was hacking like no one's business. I was distracting everyone. The proctor motioned for me to leave the room and the assistant had to stand in the hall with me.

I'm standing outside the room when I hear them call time. I had missed the entire section. I'm thinking that I have to get back inside, but I cannot stop coughing. The assistant leads me to a water fountain and tells me that she cannot let me back in until I stop coughing. By this point, I'm standing in the corner against the wall completely freaking out, crying and trying to stop the incessant cough. I was mortified. By the time I got back into the room, I had ten minutes to try to complete a game section. YEAH RIGHT!

I went back in and tried to focus for the remainder of the test, but it wasn't happening. All I could think was that I missed TWO sections of the test, which is a lot! I left feeling totally crushed, got in my car, made it to the stop sign and looked at the odometer that read 66666 and cried halfway home. I did send the text photo of the odometer to my sister. I returned to work on that Monday and cancelled my scores. I just didn't want to know.

Turns out two weeks later, I still had the freaking cough and broke a rib. I was told I had whooping cough and was given meds, including vicodin for the rib pain.

Now, what do I do? The test is in 23 days and I'm freaking out! There is a very real possiblity that I will bomb this exam. Then what?


Christie said...

You'll do fine - I'm sure! Those standardized tests are mostly mental - if you can relax and focus you'll have it made!

Alex Hall said...

Oh Jess! That sounded horrible. I'm sure you'll do much better this time. Come on, what are the chances of having the same thing happen twice? I'll be praying for you.

JustJamie said...

Wow! I don't even know what to say. THat is a horrible story. I can't even imagine. Wow!. I feel so bad for you. All because of a "cough". Start taking your vitamins now. *Hugs*

Tiburon said...

What a horrible story. I bet you will do fabulously this time around. You are incredible :)

Bonita said...

Just amazing, a testing environment could be that exacting. The real world has tons of distractions, and we are required to proceed regardless. When you take this test again, Jess, it will be better, and you'll do o.k.

Jess T said...

Thanks ya'll. :) It couldn't be any worse right?

Yes, I think Christie's right. I've just got to get my game face on! :)

Anonymous said...

Maybe if it's causing you so much stress, it's not the time for you to do it...It sounds like you have a great life already. There will be plenty of time for all of this in the future. Enjoy you life,
kid(s) and husband in the meantime! You'll never get this time's too short to fill it with things that aren't worth it.

Toni Lou said...

Wow. It's just a test. I'm sure you will do fine. Keep the faith. lol. Keep on truckin', you are doing great!!! BTW: when do you get your laundry done? I'm having some issues....

Jess T said...

Toni- We do laundry constantly! :) Since I've been wearing maternity clothes (washables) our laundry has dramatically increased. We've been trying to do a few loads during the week. Marc is great about starting the wash when he gets home (he's earlier than me) and then we have a load dried and folded before bed. It isn't always put away right away, but they are clean. :)

Toni Lou said...

Wow. I see, I just haven't trained Brian correctly. lol. It's always been my job because I was always home. Now the laundry is piled up to my knees. I just have to organize I suppose. Stress actually makes me prioritize and schedule myself. One more week and I'll have it worked out. Not to mention maybe a few hints to Brian might help on the homefront. Thanks!

Jess said...

Jess, I remember that ordeal with that awful whooping cough and your poor cracked rib. What a hard time that was for you and I should have been better about helping you out with Sydney!

You will do fine on the LSAT. As Bob says, you have been in college recently so your brain is still freshly holding all that you have learned. He is taking the GMAT at the end of the month and he is in studying frenzy mode- however he hasn't been in college or cracked a book in 10 years!

You guys can have a glass of wine together (via the internet, of course!) after the tests are done. :-)

You will be GREAT (like always!)

Jess T said...


Help me? Help me do what? :) You are too sweet. It was a sucky few weeks.

Yes, I did just finish. So, I am still in the "study zone." If only there were knowledge questions on the test. :) I'm actually reading a book now that allegedly shows you how to pick up on subtle clues on the test. Since the entire test is designed to test your ability to do just that, I thought it would be helpful. The funny thing is that I am pretty unobservant. :) It is a really strange pattern. Oh well. I'll do what I can.

If I do make it into W&M, you will have to come home and party with me and Rach. Rachael-I just included you. :) Of course, you know my party will probably be eating a huge fat-laden dinner and going to a movie. I'm boring. :)

Judi said...

As someone who has been in the position of test taking MANY times as a pediatrician (MCAT, USMLE I, II and III) I completely understand. I get really nervous and feel like throwing up every time. But I did the best on this last test b/c I reminded myself that I could do it. I wrote on the little dry erase board they gave me two things -- you can do this and don't change your answer. I'll be praying for you (even though I only know you through your writings).

Kelly said...

I just found your blog and am enjoying it immensely, however, I did not enjoy reliving the LSAT terror. I can feel your pain, but just remember, it is only a test--and one you can take again if you want. Yeah, that's right, I want to take the LSAT again, just for kicks. I guess my best advice is to relax and try not to let it freak you out too badly. Good luck!