Friday, July 14, 2006
New Blog Time (Do I look any more Arabic now?)
I'm sitting in my familiar coffee place, trying like mad to express how I feel. Yesterday, we got our results from our final test back. This is the test that basically determines if I graduate and go on to be a linguist, or if I stay in my beloved Monterey and keep fighting the tourists for parking spots. I was pretty confident about my passing the test. Though it might have been the manifestiation of my often overly relaxed attitude about everything. But walking to the school house yesterday, I was far from nervous. Granted, I have been studying this unforgiving language for the better part of two years. And, due to the fact that I spent four months reviewing material thanks to a busted ankle, I've been fairly confident about my abilities for most of the course. However, this final test that we took was unlike any of the others. It was impossible. I'm convinced that when it was put together, the authors were trying to be as vague and confusing as possible with the questions that they attatched to the passages. There were several passages that I simply cut my losses, guessed and accepted that I was probably wrong. I understand that most test takers employ this same approach, with the common goal being to guess right more than guess wrong.
I entered the school house at 2:00, the time that the scores were to be posted. I was greeted by one of my class mates telling me, "A lot of people (failed), so they're checking the scores." I had heard of grading malfunctions amongst the grading computers before. Nonetheless, that was the last thing that I wanted to hear. So I got in the line in front of the bulletin board and waited. After a short pause, I was able to see the sheet. I found my name, and read the corresponding numbers. "2, 2+, 1+". For those of you that don't know (which is probably most of you), we are tested in our listening, reading and speaking respectively. Scores place on a scale of 0-5, with five being completely fluent and 0 being my profecience level in Urdu (none). A five implies that one would speak the language as somebody with several masters and Phd's in said language. No student scores higher than a three. However, in order to pass, we have to reach a certain levels. Thankfully, those levels are 2, 2, 1+. I passed. Where 40 percent of my fellow classmates failed, I passed. Eighty four weeks of fighting to keep interested, of struggling to not go crazy with disdain for the same seven hour routine day in and day out, and I passed. And off I go to the next great thing. Word.