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Final Exam

The alarm on my phone goes off, waking me from my reverie. It's time to wrap things up here at work and pack up to get to class.

"Ergh, I just need to finish one last thing and then I'll get going..."

"Shoot! I really need to go!"

On Washington Avenue, I'm weighing the value of getting some calories in now to energize my brain for the exam versus saving them for appetizers with classmates later. By the time I drop off my messenger bag in the classroom and hustle up the stairs to the Starbucks, I've decided to split the difference and throw in some extra caffeine on ice.

Back in my seat, with my calculator, pens, and number 2 pencils I always bring along to exams, probably as a form of security blanket, Chet, Lindsey and I share assurances and pneumonic devices. "Are you ready for this" comments are echoing half-humorously around the room.

There's no need to even be worried; I studied for hours with classmates this weekend, I've been keeping up in class, and taking notes on all of the lectures.

"Ha! Who am I kidding?!" A quick cram session is as obligatory an exercise before any test as the Hot Pockets jingle is an expectation of a Jim Gaffigan set.

Professor Martens generously paces the aisle for a good ten minutes, allowing professionals to transition into student mode and quickly review their notes, scanning for anything that might jump off a page. By the time he does pass out the exam, a calm has settled over the room, and there is only me, my pens and number 2 pencils, several pages of questions, and my deep love of the essay-format test questions.

Troy and I finish up at about the same time and walk together to meet our classmates at The Republic. I'm still wound up, going a mile a minute, still talking about specific questions. I'm grateful for his reminder that it's over now and it's time to take a breath! By the time we spot John, Matt, and the rest of our group holding down the fort on the patio, I can relax and enjoy the perfect weather in great company.

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