I didn’t plan on writing a second blog post today. If you had looked at my calendar earlier today you’d see I only had the Doggy Beach Day planned today. However, here I am writing this second post and that’s because I’ve been feeling kind of crummy lately. I’m not so sure if it’s because of all the “adulting” I’ve been doing recently or because it’s that time of month (if you know what I mean, TMI?) Whatever it is, the bottom line is I’ve been feeling pretty gloomy these past few days and I couldn’t think of exactly why.
After reading a blogpost today that a former school mate posted about how he doesn’t let asthma define his life and his running, it all sort of hit me…I do know what is bothering me. Deep beneath the surface, in the darkest part of my mind I have buried something called the Praxis. For those of you who may not be familiar, the Praxis is an exam that anyone who wishes to become a teacher needs to take, even though not every state in America requires this, mine does. I dread this exam more than I dread anything. The reason I dread it so much isn’t because I’m not good at mathematics (which is the content of my exam), I am good, in fact, in college I’ve gotten nearly all A’s in all of my mathematics courses. The issue you see is, I’ve never been a good test taker. This is kind of how it goes…
The night before I lay in bed attempting to shut my eyes and drift into a deep slumber but instead I’m up…tossing…turning…tossing…turning. I can’t get the test out of my mind. I begin to think, I think of missing it the mark by 3 points again, I think about failing it miserably and completely missing the mark and I think about what if my mind goes blank once I get the exam. All these thoughts lead to one of two things, I’m either up crying or I some how fall asleep. If I’m crying well then it’s pretty obvious what I’m doing however if I’ve managed to fall asleep, instead I’m just dreaming of numbers, equations and calculations; not exactly the sort of dream that leaves you feeling well rested. I get up the next morning and go about my day until it’s test time. Deep in my mind I am nervous, but I don’t become truly shaken nervous until I begin my drive to the test center. As I drive I try to keep my shivers at bay by remembering to breathe deeply…“in through the nose and out through the mouth, deeply into the nose and out through the mouth” I tell myself. I finally arrive at the testing center and now I have to fill out a form saying I will not speak of the contents in the exam with anyone or attempt to replicate the exam in any way shape or form. Why on earth would I want to do that anyway? This exam is essentially my biggest nightmare. I quiver whilst writing the statement and then it’s time for me to get searched. Yes, that’s right, I need to be scanned with a metal detector, can’t have any pencils or papers with me…now I can’t even have my own calculator with me. Once I get through security and my mugshot (yes, we have to take a photo via webcam of ourselves before our exam; imagine the horror of that) I get in and it’s test time. I sit at the chair and click next, next, next…I’ve done this 7 times before, I know that I can go back to the question, I know I have an online calculator and yes, I know I have no breaks scheduled during this 3 hour painstaking exam. Once I begin the test, it’s as if I go completely blank. My breath becomes so shallow I feel as if I am gasping for air, my mind, nothing but a white room and then come the sweats. I try to ease my mind by telling myself to take deep breaths and focus on the questions. After some time I am much more comfortable and calm however, it’s never enough…I have yet to be good enough for this exam.
The last time I took the exam was back in November, November 5th to be exact. I was so fed up with crying over this exam, so fed up with worrying about it and so frustrated with myself for going down in points instead of up that I felt almost hopeless…as if I would never pass. And as I sit here typing this, I have tears coming down my eyes because part of me still feels that way, part of me still has given up hope. I told myself I wouldn’t worry about this exam that has put me back in school by two semesters until after the holidays. I told myself starting January 1, it’s back to the books. Here I am, it’s January 11th and I’ve tried to get back into studying for this exam but I have no motivation or hope, it’s almost scary.
With all of that being said, I read this old school mates posts. Here is a kid with asthma and thousands of allergies which must make it nearly impossible for him to run as much as he does however, running is his passion, running is his life and therefore despite the hardships, despite the attacks, he continues to do what he loves. I love to teach and I’ve always wanted to teach and therefore I cannot give up.
I went to Hobby Lobby today to purchase a planner, a pretty one if I do say so myself. With this planner I’m going to write out all the material I need to study and when I need to study it by. I will also of course write other things such as meal plans, workouts and fun activities however my goal, my focus, from here on out is this dreadful exam. I will pass…
“Fall down seven times, stand up eight.”
P.S. So sorry for the super ramble(y) post but I had a lot to get off my chest.
P.S. (2) I kind of feel so much better now that I said all that.
P.S. (3) Sorry the photos aren’t the best quality, I took them quickly with my phone.