Thursday, March 22, 2007

Biggest Dork Ever

(I have a less-blurry picture but the mirror is covered in toothpaste splatters. I figure bad photography is a lesser sin than living in filth.)

How much do I love this shirt? I got it a while ago but didn't post anything about it because I got my sister one too and wanted to surprise her. For those who don't get it, let me explain. The standardized tests given in Indiana schools had a memorization section. When you came to this section your teacher would read aloud nonsense-sounding words and definitions while you followed along on the page. Then you would take some other section of the test. You then came back to the memorization section and had to choose the right definition for each word. The list of words never changed from year to year, either in content or order. "A baloo is a bear. Sculch is junk. A yonker is a young man. To wuzzle is to mix." The Black Table talks about it in their "Six Things You Don't Know About Indiana."

If any researcher ever wonders why one testing room in one high school had excellent memorization scores in the late 1990s, I've got your answer right here. My sophomore or junior year in high school (the last time you had to take the test) we had a substitute teacher on one of the testing days. When we came to the memorization section, someone in our testing room was trying to be a smartass and asked if we could use our scratch paper. The sub flipped through the directions, thought about it, and said that she couldn't think of a reason why not. Our mouths must have dropped open, but she started the section and began to read the words and definitions. Meanwhile, we are all furiously scribbling down the answers. When it came time to answer the memorization questions we all brought out our scratch paper and looked up the answers. Awesome.

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