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Four-hour essay tests are tough, particularly if whether you graduate or not hangs in the balance. I just finished the second of two tests I have to pass to get my Master’s in T.E.S.L., about ten minutes ago. I say it was “tough,” but that’s a relative term. For sure, it was easier than writing a thesis. For sure, I didn’t even study that much, if you don’t count the two years I’ve devoted to taking all the background classes.

I think I passed. I’m assuming I did, unless I didn’t write enough about something, since, as a pedagogy test, it’s not really a “right answer/wrong answer” kind of thing. Language acquisition is a fairly intuitive game. (Is it better to have students recite drills, or have them actually learn to carry on conversations and write essays and dance and cook and have fun?)

So, yeah, my hand is tired, but I’m otherwise calm, particularly since I got a little perspective right before the test. A friend who took it with me told me she’d just discovered she had melanoma on her scalp; in what stage, she doesn’t know. She’s a redhead; a dear lady. She smiled as she told me and said, if it comes to that, she is not afraid of death, nor of dying. And that, I think, is a test worth passing.

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