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10 July 2004 @ 11:05 am
The WST, she is taken  
After two tries I actually managed to remember the Writing Standards Test for SJSU. The first miss wasn't really my fault; I didn't get the test ticket until after the test. But the second one I flat out forgot; spent the week reminding myself about it, got the ticket the Friday before, and got up Saturday morning and flat out forgot it.

This time I set my alarm clock, wrote a test reminder on my arm, and enlisted my mother to call me Saturday morning just in case those two precautions failed. I did manage to confuse which side of campus the test building was on, so I got there just in time rather than the leisurely 15 minutes early I had planned, but it wouldn't really have mattered as they took 20 minutes to set up anyway.

For the essay portion I was mostly concerned with suppressing my stylistic quirks. Graders for this sort of test rarely reward creativity, so I restrained my use of semicolons and entirely avoided the em dash. Boring but hopefully sufficent.

The multiple choice section was my least favorite type: reading essays and choosing which variation on a word or phrase is correct. Some of them are obvious, but too often you end up looking at two or three equally awkward variations and trying to choose the least bad.

On the way back to the house I saw a strange little creature, pale and spotted with a narrow tail. I spent a few seconds trying to figure out what animal of the West this was, too large for a chipmunk, too long tailed for most other likely rodents. Until two siblings popped up, more normally colored. Spotted and with their tails not yet grown out, but distinctly the bog standard juvenile squirrel. I stood still for a while and the pale one hopped a little closer, revealing red eyes. Not just a variation, but a genuine albino. Walking a little further on, I saw two more. The gene must be well established in the local population.