This morning, I had to take an exam. Well, I didn't have to take it - I chose to take it. For a long while, I'd been procrastinating becoming a title insurance agent, and since my law firm has other agents, it wasn't a big priority. However, I wanted to get certified and it was time.
About two weeks ago, I scheduled the exam for 8:30AM on 11/8 since that was the best time for my schedule this week. I didn't even really think about the fact that I was scheduling an early morning exam the day after the election.
In any event, I wasn't overly worried about the exam. It was essentially an exam about an area of law that I've been practicing in for ten years, so I felt my practical experience was mostly sufficient, combined with a bit of studying while watching returns and drinking wine.
I showed up at 8:00AM as instructed. I didn't know what to expect, and I discovered that there were a bunch of other people there to take various types of state licencing tests. Mostly people were there to take exams for things like general contractors, plumbers, cosmetology, electricians. There were about fifteen other people there for the early exam time. Of those fifteen, I was the only lawyer, and one of two white guys. The average age for everyone was probably about 30. Our group was in good cheer, and we helped each other with the check-in procedures, explaining the line and the forms, and we were all generally happy to be there.
We all had to wait awhile because there was only one proctor, and she checked each person in one at a time. While waiting together in our little room for check-in we all were a bit nervous, but everyone was upbeat, happy, and the general mood was that everyone was taking an exam that was going to improve their career. Everyone was looking forward to making themselves better. Even the proctor was upbeat and wished everyone good luck in a sincere way that made you feel like she had seen lots of people come through there but still cared about seeing people succeed.
By contrast, I saw (via Twitter) a Purdue college student's letter to a professor today, which made me embarrassed for the person who wrote it. Here's the letter:
First, I am profoundly embarrassed for whomever wrote this letter. It's an election and your preferred candidate lost. However, you're in college, not in daycare, so you don't get to cry about the fact that your preference wasn't met. The real world doesn't give you time for yourself when your feelings get hurt.
College is where you're supposed to be challenged. It's not supposed to be a place where you push off your responsibilities because you're sad.
By comparison, the people waiting with me to take exams didn't use an election to ask for an extension. They were ready to improve themselves and move their lives forward. They weren't looking for excuses to avoid hard work. They wanted to work. They wanted to succeed. I was proud to be with them and not with the students at Purdue.