In a nice little active step towards something that resembles future employment, I took my CBEST today to be qualified to substitute teach! I think I might like teaching. Which is another way of saying I don’t ever want to work during the summer.

Remember in school there would always be teachers and subs that made you say things like “oh my gosh I want to sub just so I can be better than THIS guy!” I had that guy, Mr. Rabb, ALL THE TIME. He looked like Elmer’s Glue in human form and sweat profusely and talked about things like banana slugs and living with his mom. He always had a huge circle of perspiration on his back. Ugh I can still smell him.

I was pretty sure I would pass the test and that it wouldn’t be any kind of hard, but hey man I haven’t taken a test in like three years! So I took the practice online tests and carbo loaded for dinner last night, just to cover all my bases. I signed up for this test in January so I’ve had plenty of time to psyche myself out. And it was in Oakland, at 4:30pm, so, you know, the best time and place to be nervous! I actually turned the air conditioning on during the drive there. I was sweating bullets and driving way too fast and listening to “Single Ladies” put your hands up! the whole way to pump myself up. Of course the exit turn off they tell you to take DOESN’T EXIST so I got a little lost in China/Downtown Oakland, winding my way through one-way streets addressed in large Mandarin and tiny, tiny English, certain I would be killed before I could park.

The CBEST center means bus-i-ness about this test. I got fingerprinted and my picture taken every where I went. I had to put everything in a locker and agree to a contract I didn’t read. They made me take off my bracelets, which I hadn’t taken off since Guatemala, seven months ago, and my scarf, in case I was holding the answers to the world in something I bought for three dollars at Forever 21.

If you haven’t taken the test, its got a Reading, Writing, and Math section. Its akin to those tarded STARR tests we all skipped during high school. You have these paragraphs and then inane questions like “which of the following sentences would best fit in with the author’s logic?” And since I took it on the computer, I didn’t get to sharpen any number two pencils and completely fill in any bubbles. Which was a crying shame, because I used to love that stuff. For fun, they throw in fractions during the Math part. I can figure them out, but they still give me the shivers. And all the “what one piece of information do you need to find out how fast the train is going downhill against the wind through the snow wild bananas?” Drives me crazytown.

However, I admit, a small, lingering, huge nerd part of me was secretly thrilled at using my brain again. And to have a pen in my hand, and make all kinds of drawings and equations and use all sorts of useless mathematical symbols that we invented calculators and interns for. Like the satisfaction of figuring out the perimeter of a fictitious lake that Julie left her house at 10am to jog around? Priceless.

Over the last three years, having completed my schooling and henceforth enthusiastically engaging in mindless waitressing jobs, coupled with massive amounts of Cheetos and beer and reality television and YouTube (“I’m on a bo-oo-oooat”), with only a brief spark of creativity while I worked for a newspaper for a year or two, I think the insides of my once agile and interesting brain now resemble something like watery oatmeal, with random bits of flaky, transparent, tasteless information. Like every one-liner from a Will Ferrell movie, and facts from Snapple caps.

Funny part out of this whole experience though, is when I checked back out of the testing site, the administrator guy, a cuteish, 30 something, kinda maybe on his way to balding within ten years, slight speech impediment (which I normally go for…but this one was weird. Like his tongue was too big for his mouth, and battling Ebonics) and maybe only one inch taller than me…totally asked for my number!
Keep in mind, I hadn’t a. washed my face b. put on makeup c. changed out of the clothes I wore as pajamas the night before. I slipped on a bra and a scarf that strategically covered up mint chocolate chip ice cream stains down my front, and called it a day. So it was even more amazing.

He was like “how was the test? did you do well?” and I said “yeah I hope so…” to which he replied “well I hope you did well, although, I wouldn’t mind if you had to come back in here to retake the test…can I get your number and maybe take you out to dinner tonight?”

And in a moment of panic, or distraction by the impediment (I couldn’t stop staring at his mouth and trying to figure it out), or maybe I’ve just been so not a part of the game for so long I blacked out for a second, instead of giving my number to this totally cute, nice guy with a job and well-dressed and good shoes (Ry, you would approve) I instead MADE UP A BOYFRIEND.

Rachel: “oh! um that’s really sweet! I’m actually kinda seeing someone…so…”
(Rachel’s sweat glands move into overdrive, as she is telling a blatant lie, as the only really serious relationships she has right now are with a puppy. and Facebook.)

Guy: “Oh that’s cool. That was really forward of me. I could have just looked for your number on the registration, but I wanted to ask. Whoever he is, he’s a lucky guy. Can I get your fingerprint one more time? (for the security thing. it was such funny timing,)

Rachel: “ haha…yeah so lucky! (cough, look away, sweat some more) So when do I know my score?”

oh it just went from bad to worse.
Good news is that, with my combined scaled scores from Reading and Mathematics, which were multiple choice on the computer, I already have a score of 140, not counting my Writing score. And you only need a 123 to pass as a substitute teacher. So….I think I’m in!
Thanks to everyone who had encouraging thoughts about the testing. (except my crap little sister Sophie. spihdfosiudf. that’s me sticking my tongue out at you and spitting with it) It was really nice of everyone to think I would do well. And Kristin, I’m taking your advice now, after the test, but still taking the advice! haha

so we’ll see where this substitute teaching thing goes. but hey I did something! yay!

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