A Spitty Situation
What do you when trauma strikes right before a test?
Setting of the story
Social studies class on a winter afternoon. The class had to take a test on the previous week’s course material. Everyone is seated and waiting to receive their tests from the instructor. The instructor goes to each individual student’s desk and hands them a blank test paper.
(Btw, please keep in mind that this story takes place pre-covid)
Some more background info
First and foremost I would like to clarify that this incident did not happen to me but to a friend of mine. For the sake of keeping my friend anonymous, I’ll call her Linda Loo.
From here on out I will be sharing a story about an incident that took place right before my eyes, to my friend Linda Loo.
Here we go!
The social studies instructor was passing out test papers to each member of the class. Slowly he was getting closer to our side of the room.
Almost robotically, he would slide his index finger across the corner of the sheet to separate it from the sheet right underneath it, and then hand it to a student.
When he got to me he did the same index-finger motion and I too received a magical test sheet that had been swiftly detached from the sheet below.
But guess what?
Apparently the instructor’s sliding-index finger trick malfunctioned when it was time for Linda Loo to receive her test paper.
So in the spur of the moment, the instructor changed his technique.
Do you know what he did instead?
He opened his mouth to slide his index finger vertically across his tongue and then slid that same finger across the corner of the top-most test sheet to get a single test paper in his hand which he gave to my friend Linda Loo.
But here’s the trauma part.
Once my friend Linda Loo got her test paper, the right corner of her sheet was glossy and shimmering under the light.
Apparently, the instructor had been careless with his use-spit-to-separate-sheets-of-paper technique which is why there was a generous blob of spit chilling on the corner of Linda Loo’s test paper.
When Linda Loo noticed the infamous blob, she let out a small shriek and looked at me with a mortified expression.
She exclaimed a quiet yet audible “ewww" in my direction.
Her disgust couldn’t be more obvious.
But what could she do? All the test papers had been handed out to the students and there were no extra sheets remaining.
In fact, to Linda Loo’s dismay, the instructor had only made an exact amount of test copies as there were students.
How unfortunate for Linda Loo.
Although she was unhappy with her situation, Linda Loo had no choice but to take the test.
As the saying goes “the show must go on."
Or in this case, “the test must go on.”
Since I sat diagonal to Linda Loo, I could see her eyes travel to a question on the sheet and then wander over to the glossy blob in the corner.
Her “eyeball dance” went on for the entire duration of the exam. I guess it’s obvious that the blob really distracted Linda Loo from being fully focused on her test.
Furthermore, Linda Loo took extra care of her hand positioning as to not let it accidentally land on the glossy blob while writing in her answers.
And sure enough, her cautious methods did not go in vain.
Despite having a glossy blob staring back at her during the test, she successfully managed to avoid touching it and still do exceptionally well on the test.
I was quite proud of Linda Loo
(Not only because she managed to do well on her test but because right after completing her test sheet she dashed to the ladies room for a proper hand washing session.)
If there’s one thing that I took from this incident, it’s that it takes courage and determination to face adversity and when you succeed against the odds, there’s no better feeling!