yesterday was quite possibly one of the worst days of my life. and because of it i now hate whales.
i woke up at 6:00 am to get ready for my spanish certification exam which started at 8:00 am. since i had to be there at 7:30 am and the testing center was about a 30 minute drive, i was planning on leaving at 6:45 am, just to be safe. i had all of my stuff together, grabbed a protein shake and a bottle of dasani from the fridge and jumped in my precious. i clicked the button to lower the garage door, then clicked the button to open the gate.... and nothing. i clicked again. nothing. i unhooked the clicker from it's usual spot and pointed it directly at the gate. nothing. i got out, pressed the button on the side of the box. nothing. i tried moving the gate manually. nothing. i got into mom's car and tried her clicker. nothing. nothing. nothing. i was literally trapped in my own driveway.
i'll spare you the details of the panic attack, breaking down into sobs, banging the gate bars with a wrench, yelling at my mother, yelling at the air, the 30 minutes it took me to unscrew the bolt to be able to open the gate manually, and then my subsequent breakdown as i peeled out of the driveway and sped on down the road in order to get to my test on time.
it wasn't pretty. in fact, it was awful. but not as awful as the next 4 hours of my life.
yes, i was somewhat unprepared for the test. but even at the height of my fluency in spain, i still would have done terrible on this test. there was a reading/multiple choice section (in spanish) that i think i did great on. there was a listening/multiple choice section (in spanish) that i think i did great on. then there were 3 written sections (in spanish) that i felt okay about. then there were 3 speaking sections that completely shattered any confidence i might have had in speaking the spanish language. the prompts? first, to take the position of being in favor of creating a whale sanctuary in the south atlantic. second, to explain why people should vote in national elections. third, a telephone conversation with a student's mother about an upcoming school trip. probably the most stressful thing i've ever had to do in my entire life. it was ridiculous. the whole thing is timed. and i'm talking into a headset microphone surrounded by other people (all hispanic) taking the same test. even in english i wouldn't have words for the first two prompts. it was horrible. and embarrassing. really, i can speak spanish. i can communicate and native speakers can understand me. but these prompts were absolutely ridiculous. other than the last prompt, they have nothing to do with teaching spanish in high school. whales? seriously? whales. so worthless.
the last two sections of the test were in english - a multiple choice section on pedagogy practices, and then two writing prompts. after the complete disaster that was the speaking portion, i couldn't feel confident about any of my answers. and everything is timed.
i left the testing center feeling absolutely sick to my stomach. when i got home i went for a walk to try to clear my head. that didn't work. i then proceeded to spend the rest of the day practically catatonic in front of the television, being mad at everything and nothing.
whales. seriously. i hate whales.