I’m currently unemployed looking for a real adult career but mostly, a job to fund my exodus from Florida. Combing through all the regular outlets. Emailing, faxing, and applying to everything within my field, although, mostly anything I could do. My general thought on job-hunting is “I could probably do that” and I apply regardless of how my experience and training matches up. This may seem like a pompous way to approach the job market but I have learned recently that I can do whatever I put my mind to.
Last summer, I had to get a particular score on the foreign language placement test, in order, to completely test out of Spanish II. I could have taken the class but honestly, I didn’t want to pay for it and take a five-credit course on top of a full schedule of literature classes. As a mature student at 31, I had no time to waste in finishing the Bachelor’s degree that has eluded me for nearly ten years. My counselor adamantly informed me that I had one shot at this test and there was no way to take it twice if I did poorly. So, I studied really hard and took the test. Afterwards, the proctor informed me that I had not received a high enough score, now normally I would have accepted this news and just taken the monster of a course load. But something inside me rebelled against my fairer mindset and earnestly blurted out, “I’m not going to take another Spanish class.” I meant it.
The proctor shrugged, tore my Scantron form in two, and calmly advised, “You need a 48 to pass. Study up. See you next month.” I did it! I convinced someone to bend the rules. It was a momentary win for team Jenn.
Over the course of a month, I hit the books (again), studied hard (again), and took an obscene number of practice tests online. In addition to the basic study, I started to meditate and chant my meager goal, filling my mind with the image of a Scantron with the number 48 circled at the top, proving that I had done my part and kicked that foreign language test square in the nuts.
On the day of the test, I continued my internal chant, “ I will pass this test! I will pass this test!” I realize that typing that out is a bit odd, bordering on The Secret and miles away from rational. You know what? To hell with it- I’m not a logical person. Sometimes, you gotta have a little faith that the universe will support even the most measly goal. Lo-and-behold, I found my booklet magically giving me the right answers with multiple-choice letters enclosed in a faint circle. Not ALL of them, mind you, but enough to make me wonder if my prayers had been answered by a much higher power. Was it just my brain playing tricks on me? Or did the proctor just give me another break? I had enough knowledge to know that these answers were correct and I ran with it, filling in the tiny bubbles on the form with a number-two pencil.
I waited for the results in the same chair I sat in exactly a month ago. My mind was blank and I stared at the gray carpeting for what seemed like an hour. The proctor came up to me and presented my Scantron form with my score in bright red ink at the top. I got a 48. I passed the test and a new feeling ran over my skin; an energy and undercurrent of positivity that could only be identified as confidence. Passing something as simple as a placement test renewed, in me, a faith in my own ability and belief that if I work really hard and try my best, anything is possible.