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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Monday, April 11, Day 8

The test gods were good to me. I passed the first exam.

The experience was not pleasant, in fact it was most distasteful. First, there was the pretest anxiety. After  having spent the morning flipping through what seemed like ten million flashcards, trying to tuck away in the back of my mind the one obscure fact that would make or break the exam for me, I was feeling the stress.

Then there was the test itself. Obviously, I can't go into specifics but suffice it to say that it was the hardest Microsoft exam I have ever taken, and I have taken my fair share throughout the years. I'm a visual learner and I can't just read a bunch of text on screen and then scan for the correct answers - I need to "visualize" the scenario first,which requires a lot of diagramming out on paper. I used up every second and barely had enough time to review all the questions.

Since we didn't get our exam scores right away, the class decided to head to "The Commons" and grab some lunch. I was still shaking from the experience and the adrenaline was still pumping through my body. Oh yes, that reminds me. I forgot to mention one thing that made the test experience that much more "exciting".

I take Niacin pills as a natural supplement to control cholesterol and ten minutes into the exam, the pills caused a very unpleasant "flush". I felt my body temperature rise what seemed like ten degrees and I felt like I was going to erupt in flames. The hot flash subsided in about five minutes. Meanwhile I was imagining the next morning 's headlines: "Microsoft candidate spontaneously combusts during test."

The mood at lunch was subdued at times and also filled with nervous laughter. Our exam scores were going to be emailed to us by noon and everyone had their phone out and were constantly checking their inbox. I didn't have my IPhone with me, so I would have to wait until I got back to the classroom to satisfy my curiosity.

By the time we got in the shuttle that would take us back to Building 41, some already knew their scores. Upon returning to the classroom, I grabbed my IPhone from my bag and after reading the good news, I let out a very audible "Yes!" that even the Lync masters down the hall must have heard. I think it was more the adrenaline talking and me feeling a tremendous sense of relief, that the non-stop studying had actually paid off. In a moment, I realized that others were not so lucky and I felt guilty for expressing my joy.

Ryan reminded us that we needed to "reset" after the experience because we were back to a clean slate, meaning that those who were smiling today wouldn't necessarily be smiling on Saturday or Sunday for that matter, when test days rolled around again. Then it was back to the grind.

Surely we will have a short lecture day after such a dreadful test, I thought to myself.

No such luck. It was FRS and DFS-N all afternoon with our new instructor Mike Stephens. As I trudged out of the classroom at 7:30 PM, I could barely hear myself think. I felt like I needed to find the closest diving decompression chamber and spend some time slowly re-acclimating to normal atmosphere. Six more days of this...just six more days...

Today was a victory, but it was too early to celebrate, rather it was time to hunker down again for the next exam.

Don't worry Manny, if you are reading this, drinks are still on me.

1 comment:

  1. I think the lull after lunch, but before the scores came out, was the hardest part. After taking what I think was the most mentally exhausting exam I've ever done, the downtime heading to the Commons was good. But, once lunch was done, while waiting for the bill, and waiting for the scores... There were plenty of nervous faces around the table. (It's not to say that there weren't any confident faces, but they (he?) was in the minority.)

    After getting the email saying I passed, I think I could have flown back to the classroom. Ryan was quick to bring us back down to earth though - we were not even half-way done, and there was plenty more brain-numbing classroom time to come. Early success does not guarantee success next weekend, we must stay focused!

    Fingers crossed, drinks are on James on Sunday night :)

    ReplyDelete

About Me

Fort Collins, Colorado, United States
I have been a techno geek for as long as I can remember. Making complex technology simple is my mantra and I enjoy teaching others that technology doesn't have to be rocket science mummo jumbo but can be expressed in simple easy to understand everyday terms.

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