On June 9th, Saturday, 2012, I participated in an amazing, nationwide event. Thousands of teens across America jumped out of bed at 6:00, eager to put their "best foot forward".
The event? It was none other than the ACT. I admit that teens were probably not as excited to test as they were to be done with testing, but altogether, they did participate in a nationwide event.
But I was probably wrong on one point: I do not think they jumped out of bed.
I (as I hope I have made clear) love writing. Thus, I scheduled to take the essay test, which I was genuinely anticipating. The proctor was a near elderly man who looked like a teacher (and probably was). However nice he may have seemed, however, did not hurry that process of reading the rules.
FILL IN ONLY ONE OVAL PER QUESTION! (Duh.)
Do not look around while testing.
If your watch beeps you will be excused and your answers will NOT be scored.
Electronics, if found turned on, will be confiscated. (I turned off my iPod.)
Do not even think about helping anyone.
I waited, wanting to begin, and knowing I could not until he said so. I am not a person who becomes "bored" easily, but just sitting there was driving me to insanity land. I thought of a solution.
"Write, Elleanna," I thought. "That might be what you need."
I scrounged in my small bag, if scrounging is possible in such a small carry-on, but found no paper.
No paper?! I was shocked. I always carry paper. Like I always carry water! Which is another story.
I looked at my desk, strategically placed three feet from any other student, just as the ACT gestapo prefers, and remembered my admission ticket. There it sat, folded neatly, sitting calmly. Letters do sit calmly, you know, it is just we never notice them.
So I wrote:
This is the only paper I have at this moment, and they can't keep me from writing. They can't. It is in my blood. It always will be.
I am exceedingly excited to see how my writing improves after this ACT. I can honestly not wait for that part at all. There is nothing to describe it. This pent up writing urge I have will come out it that 30 minute essay.
I am fresh as a daisy: I woke up at 6:00, as many of the others, but I do not think they are as excited as I am to be here, in this room, right now.
The only other activities I would rather be doing at this time would be practicing piano or writing.
What a nut! Some might think, or perhaps, say out loud. But I am not done yet.
I had forgotten something, a procedure the proctor had yet to complete.
He straightened and pushed his large glasses up his nose. With an eyebrow raised, (Oh! An ablative absolute! Latin makes you notice all kinds of pretty grammar) he cleared his throat.
"I will now collect your admission tickets." His voice boomed throughout the small, freezing room, and I started.
"Delightful." I thought, sarcastically, "He is going to take away my passage!"
There was no way I was turning on my iPod to take a picture. I seriously thought about it. However, the tall, almost stern, scary, grandfatherly proctor ambled over and swiped the ticket off my desk.
I was embarrassed. I sounded like the nerd that I am and I let someone know. But I was also trying not to laugh. An experience like that (apart from the yearning to write) would surely carry someone through five hours of sitting.
Whenever I was frustrated over a complicated math problem or a weird science graph, the passage I wrote popped into my mind and I sped on through the questions. I could imagine that the proctor thought I was a crazed person for sure. He probably read what I wrote, as he was friendlier later, but it was comical just thinking about what his expression was while reading my passage.
However, it was really God's grace that carried me through. He continuously succeeds at making me laugh at myself, as well as distracting me from taking myself so seriously. I also drew the conclusion that some parts of life, though seemingly annoying, are meant to be enjoyed.
Enjoy the ACT? With God, all things are possible. He did not, for one moment, let me forget that when I participated in this Nationwide Event.