I entered the beloved BYU Testing Center after a mad study sesh that started at 5:45 a.m. with my friend and colleague, Kara. We had spent 4 hours straight reviewing/discussing/inventing cheesy acronymns (that WORK) for our History305-Enlightenment midterm. And by golly I was not about to let it defeat me!
I headed for the music room (the secret, quaint, inviting room on the 3rd floor of the Testing Center. Why anyone would opt for the massive, non-music hall of 500+ desks about 5 inches apart is beyond me. Everyone coughing and gagging and nervously tapping their pencils, etc. No thanks). Perhaps students cough in the music room, as well, but its drowned out by the sweet sound of Paul Cardall, Itzhak Perlman, and Debussy. One time a Testing Center employee slipped the Lord of the Rings soundtrack into the playlist.
After a solid 50 min., I completed the multiple choice section of the exam. Time to move on to the essay portion. I love writing. But I find that reactions to my writng are across the board. Some professors (or TAs or whoever is lucky enough to grade my papers) dig my style; others are a little less easy to please. It's always a toss up. I stared at the Blue Book and pondered the prompt. "Compare and contrast the absolutist states of Louis XIV, Frederick the Great, and Peter the Great. Discuss the meaning of "state-building" in an absolutist monarchy." I glanced at the clock on the wall behind me. One hour before I had to be at a meeting. One hour to BLOW THIS ESSAY OUT OF THE WATER! I threw all inhibition to the wind and wrote everything I wanted, how I wanted. I talked about the trend-setter Louis XIV with his high-heels. And how Peter the Great chopped off everyone's beard in an attempt to "Westernize" Russia. I spiced it up with witty comments about Hobbes and Locke and Descartes (some of the greatest Enlightenment thinkers). I talked about what would happen if Hobbes and the Russian Boyars were locked in a room together. In my conclusion, I stated that Louis, Frederick, and Peter taught us 1.) how to successfully and unsuccessfully run an absolutist state, 2.) how to appreciate democracy, and 3.) what's hot and what's not---heels: HOT, beards: NOT.
I chuckled the whole time I filled that there Blue Book and I'll be darned if Downtown Kendall Brown (my Enlightenment professor) doesn't chuckle, too. That was by far the best experience I've ever had in the Testing Center. Especially after I turned in my test, moseyed downstairs to look at the score screen, and saw "Perfect Score!" displayed on the banner next to my ID number. 100% baby! I think I've seen that banner maybe one other time in my history as a BYU student. Usually it says "You Suck" or "How Did You Get Accepted into This School?" (that's my interpretation of it, at least). In order not to piss off those around me who may have failed their exam, I concealed my excited. I smiled slightly:) So, now I'm waiting for my grade on the essay. If it's good, I'm posting it on here for the world to see. Yes, I'm that proud of it.