I'm closing in on the finish line here at DLI, and although for the last few months I was plagued with a sense of panic, I've now hit this lull where I have already accepted whatever fate awaits me in the final proficiency exam. On Friday I was subjected to a practice oral exam. I woke up with a cold Thursday morning, and by that evening was already sensing that the next day's exam had the potential to be something of a fiasco. The weird thing is how little I cared.
I rolled into class Friday morning feeling like I had turned into a one-woman snot factory, and found myself staring at the ground wishing that I could just throw myself down on the bare floor of the classroom and fall asleep.
Justin is already convinced that I have ADD, and that it's worsened by sleep deprivation. I've never put much stock in his theory, but when I found myself sitting in my practice oral exam during the second hour of class, and wondering if I could flick the ant crawling across the desktop hard enough to launch it onto the tester a few feet away, who was patiently waiting for me to formulate some sort of response to her last question, I probably gave a little bit of credence to that theory. The whole thing was a bit ridiculous on my part. Part way through the test I broke into a Spanish phrase that I could have sworn had been long forgotten. I was so startled by myself that I wound up just sitting there mid-sentence, mid-Spanish sentence, contemplating what had just occurred, while my tester assumed a look of confusion mixed with honest concern. When I finally recovered enough to muddle my way through some sort of semi-intelligible Russian response, she moved on to inquire what news stories I had recently read. Despite the literal hours I had poured into preparing for this particular question, the minute she asked I did a massive brain dump and just sat there with a blank look on my face trying desperately to think of anything besides "President Obama wants to take away my guns." Unfortunately, not much else ever came to mind and although it should embarrass me to admit it, that is pretty much what I wound up saying to her. She, of course smiled, nodded, and looked like she felt very, very sorry for me as she scribbled out some rather unflattering feedback on my test form.
I walked back to class, and honestly just didn't feel that bad about it. I know I speak far better than I did in that exam, and I certainly hope I manage to hold myself together and perform better on the real thing. We've been told that peppermint oil increases concentration (and there seems to be something to those claims), so Justin says I'm going to need to slather myself with the stuff before I go in for the real thing.