Test Day



The students sat with their bodies facing forward. 
Their eyes twitched back and forth, but each was afraid. 
The consequences were too great to move.
This was test day.


This was the day that the students would discover their value. 
Many of them bit their nails.
Their breathing quickened. 
Today was the day that their future would be determined.

First the pencils came.
Then the constructed response sheets.
Next the Document Based Question sheet.
Now the instructions from the automaton that was to govern the environment.

Rules:
Things from the World are prohibited.
Emptiness.
Contempt is reserved for those who do not follow the prescribed order.

Standardization:  The process of developing and implementing technical standards.
The students are considered the same for two hours.
Confusion sets in regarding the celebration of and respect for diversity, creative thought, and differences.
Could it all have been a lie?

The test begins. 
Two hours of stress married to boredom. 
The pencils scratch.
The heating unit hums. 

The silence:
It oozes tension.
It is deafening.
It is intensely uncomfortable.

Susie shuts down and puts her head down.
Billy finishes the test in twenty minutes, which is a telltale sign he guessed on every answer.
Maggie bites her lip and looks to the ceiling for an answer.
Johnny pleads with the automaton for a hint, a guess, or a reassuring smile.  Anything!

The automaton shrugs.
He is blank.
During the course he is a guide that is sometimes on the side or in the front with warmth.
Here he is unable.

The minutes crawl.
The clock changes. 
The environment is preserved for 120 minutes.
Most students finish at the 60 or 90 minute mark.

The twitching begins.
The consequences are too great.
The waiting hurts.
Negative thoughts seep in, due to idle hands…

Remember:
This was for the children.
This was for the future of the nation.
This is test day.

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