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The Worst Test Ever

Since I made no progress on new work today, not even my series of aborted attempts to start the Scrivener tutorial (getting the idea I'm not really enthusiastic about tutorials?), I thought I'd talk about a trauma from my youth. Before we begin that, I did finish the magazine series of my favorite book. Despite hints that it had extra material, it did not. It was identical to the paperback and eBook files I've read. My only conclusion is that the "extra material" are the intros each of the last three installments led with to bring the reader up to date on the story.

Tonight, for our Saturday evening movie, I decided on "A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court", with Bing Crosby. It's a decent adaptation of the novel, as movies go, and we enjoyed it. Near the end, my wife mentioned that she didn't think she'd ever read the novel, and asked if I had. "At least twice in Junior High School".

Then I proceeded to tell her about "The Worst Test Ever".

In 9th Grade, our speech teacher, evidently having already satisfied herself we could each address the class with aplomb for minutes at a time, decided to give a test on a novel. She had a stack of tests for possible novels, gave us a list, and we were allowed to choose our novel from the list, then given two weeks to read the novel. I had already ready the named novel, so I breezed through it again, and enjoyed it as much on the second reading as the first.

The day of the test came, and I approached the test with confidence. Then the questions came. ONE HUNDRED QUESTIONS concerning the most ridiculous trivia from the novels you can imagine. I remember one question clearly. Sir Boss had convinced King Arthur to go among the people in disguise to see how the peasants live. Sir Sagramore accompanied them. On one night, they slept in a cave and ate ... something. The test required us to remember what they ate, along with 99 other questions regarding banal and absolutely useless trivia. What color did a character wear in this scene? How many peasants were in the field?

It was a test designed by a moron. I somewhat doubt our teacher had actually read through the tests prior to handing them out. She was not a moron. There wasn't one substantial question about the plot, the significance of character motives, or any lessons. Evidently learning something from the novel is meaningless unless you can remember colors and menus.

The entire class failed these tests miserably, as none of us had bothered to memorize our novel word for word. Since I made an A that quarter, I assume the teacher decided NOT to include those scores in our marks. LOL


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