Love & Romance > Testing, Testing

Testing, Testing

By GREG MAFFETT
Published: February 17, 2011

Last week I taught my high stress math class. It featured five tests for the students and a multitude of tests for the professors. We had three students in the class who has failed previously. Another student taking the class for the first time had severe adult testing anxiety. She simply quit on the hardest test and left the room crying. One of the repeat students was totally recalcitrant, pointing out every typo. We think this was her way of pointing out that she didn't fail the class on her prior attempt, the class failed her.

Then there was the class valedictorian. Her table was flying through the class at breakneck speed given her stellar skills. Another table was nearly as fast as hers. On Thursday she decided to ask one of the guys at the fast table out on a date that night. I didn't hear the invite, but I sensed it after she passed by. The other three guys were green with envy. "I'd so hit that" was written on all their faces. This lass was not only smart, she was very attractive. I'd have had exactly the same thought as those guys, except for one small problem.

I'd already hit that.

This student was one of my ex-girlfriends.

Back when we were dating, it was one test after the other with her. I get the idea behind this testing, people who are not secure test other people to see if they will fail when the chips are down. Some people do that. I think people will do their best and let the chips fall where they may, so I'm not a big fan of testing.

She was never a chips fall where they may lass. She had two outcomes for events. One, things went her way. Two, she was a victim of circumstances. I think that was what drove the constant testing on her part. At some level, I think she figured if she just tested enough, she could prevent being a victim.

I kind of saw it the other way. I thought if she ever owned up to the idea that she had some responsibility for the things that went wrong, she would not have near as many problems to deal with. In some way, I thought that was why the universe sent me her way. I couldn't force her out of her victim mode, but if she could see that she kept choosing to tell victim stories she would live as a victim the rest of her life...well I thought maybe she could see another way to live. Anyway, back to the class and that date invite that I could have lived quite well without being exposed to.

The event in question took place 4 days into the class. I can say that the lass and were over each other. It was more than that, we weren't just done, we were done-done. But that said, I apparently have a few vestigial emotions. Jealously may be one of them.

In fact, I have this vision of the afterlife. You show up in hell, Satan cuts off your dick, attaches it to himself then lines up all your ex-girlfriends and has his way with them while you watch in total anguish because you haven't beaten jealously. On the flipside if you beat that emotion then you go to heaven where an angel cuts off your dick and does the same thing to your exes. Only this time you are not suffering. In fact you are blissed out that you get to spend eternity watching really good porn surrounded by your loved ones.

So how did I do with this test? In the end, not bad. People move on. After they move on you bump into them in situations like this. It's part of growing up.

That, more than anything, is the issue for me. I've never cared for the whole growing up experience. I figured I'd leave that to old people.

In my case, I opted for the recluse route in life. My life is a variation on the nickel psychiatrist line "No problem is so big or so ugly that it can't be put off until tomorrow." My version is "No problem so bad that you can't get through it with a bottle of Tequila." It was going to be a Cabo Wabo night.

I've had some of my exes tell me that they just can't think of me with another person. I get that. When you really love someone, that is one of the hardest parts. So I really did love this person once upon a time. That was a part of why the J test was staring me in the face.

Sure I fell hard. Loved her, loved her kids. Everyone who has been in love knows the drill. You behave in ways that are not entirely rational. In the end, that is a large part of the problem for me. I have a hard time living with myself when I'm irrational. So maybe I do become something of a nightmare when I'm under the influence of that emotion. And maybe I act out in ways that ensure that things won't work out. Oddly enough, this lass said the same thing about herself when she told me early on that she was really good at sabotaging relationships. We both were. It turned out, I could sabotage quite well also.

So I was concerned about her coming into this difficult class. It was the victim issue that worried me. I was frankly concerned that she would end up in this tough math class and go into victim mode and blow up in the tests.

I was wrong.

She was perfect in the first 4 exams. She had 70 of 70 points going into the final. Maybe that too was part of the issue. She expected people to score 100's on all her tests. I may have had scored a 99 on one of her tests, and that was one too many I think.

I eventually got to the point where I figured out was this J test was. I'd read enough biology and anthropogy texts to know what it was. It is something that was designed to keep the race alive, to encourage you to pass on the genes. It was nothing personal in that regard, just a part of being human. A part I could do without. A part I could reason my way around given enough time, but I didn't have time. I had to get over this fast as the final exam for the class was approaching.

Friday morning then was the final. I had to think back to the first date I had with this lass to figure out what to do. The first date was flawless, I recalled. The victim stories didn't start to come out until later in the program. So if that was they case, the two students in question would be in fine spirits when they showed up for class Friday morning. Turns out they were. Meaning the only person who could screw this up would be...me.

Since both the students were on the top two performing teams in the room, I had the answer to my test. I had to avoid those teams in the morning exercise. This was the exam prep and both these teams had been flying through exercises in 1/2 to 1/3 the time of the other teams.

To even things up, we brought the other teams in at 7 AM. The two superstar teams started at 8 AM and received zero help from either of the professors. (Nor were they harmed by this professor and any vestigial emotion that might rear a pair of ugly green eyes.)

It ended well. Most of the teams finished at nearly the same time. Everyone on the superstar teams figured out the project with little help and they all went on to do brilliantly on the final. The teams that struggled all managed to get through. As tough as it was, in the end it was best performance we had ever put in teaching this course. I heard lots of positive feedback as students left the class. My coteacher got a great end of course rating for his work. It was a love fest on Friday.

As to the lass, I learned more about her this week. Back in the day, I thought the way we lined up was that I was smart and she was hot and that was that. She really played up that angle and I bought it. But she ended up being one of the smartest people I've taught. That really did cause me to re-evalute the whole experience from last year.

In the beginning, it really was our brains that drew us together.

And the end, it was our hearts that failed the test.

Any Comments?


More...

» Quad Fish

Glen, Tiger and Closing Time

By GREG MAFFETT
Published: February 18, 2010

Puritans. 'Nuff said, almost.

Holding Serve

By GREG MAFFETT
Published: November 7, 2012

We just had an election in the USA. Here is a glance at how we seem to be behaving.