I had an exam today, ENG331, two hours of Renaissance Drama before being officially done school for the winter break. No sweat, really; we’d been given the essay questions in advance, so it was really a question of matching some answers and then writing an essay from a mentally outlined essay prepared in advance.
I got to the exam centre well ahead of time, and sat down to review some notes and wait around until we could begin. After a while I realized that I hadn’t spotted any of my classmates the whole time. Kind of unusual, but it was a big place, and so I didn’t think too much of it.
Finally it’s two o’clock, and we can go into the exam room. I go in — but where is ENG331? Nowhere in sight; the room is rapidly filling with engineers. I go out. Maybe I’m in the wrong room. Was it 200, or 320? I go up to the next floor, now conscious that I’m bordering on not-on-time. Room 320 is filled with a geography class. 300 and 310 are full on history majors, 330 is religion. No English anywhere.
I go back down to the main lobby. Is it room 100? No: that’s another engineering class. I run out of the building: can I spot a payphone? I can’t. I go back up to the 300s and try again — no dice. Back outdoors, and I see a payphone two blocks down. I sprint, phone home, and get my brother to check my exam schedule. Firefox loads and loads and loads. Finally I get confirmation: room 320. Room 320! I run back to the exam centre.
It’s now ten past two, at least. I’m late, but I can still get in. Back to room 320 — but it’s still full of geographers. I ask the supervising prof if he knows where my exam is. He doesn’t, but suggests I try 310. I am referred to 310’s supervising TA, who has a full exam schedule. He finds ENG331: room 320.
Of course it is.
But it didn’t turn out too badly, for all that (true, it’s the stuff of bad pre-exam dreams, but I found out that I had the wrong day before my exam took place, rather than after — a blessing, that). After stumbling out of 310 and taking a few minutes to get my breathing back under control and not cry, I took myself to a nearby library, one to which I’d never been.
My friends, the library was lovely! Head and shoulders above my local library, to be sure, and close enough to campus that I can probably frequent it fairly easily. There’s a huge science fiction & fantasy collection there, as well as a more than respectable children’s lit section, and it’s all air and light. I picked up a copy of Scalzi’s Old Man’s War, which also is delighful.
But I’m not reading it right now. I have an exam tomorrow, you know.