So, I’ve been absent for a while, in part because I’ve been trying to stock up on things to say. However, just when I’d get something cool, Mollie would say it! Such a good little blogger.
Today, I went to Pomona to take the Engineer in Training exam, along with 2,000 – 5,000 other people. The directions are all very clear: things like “OMGWTF, GET HERE RIGHT AT 7:00 OR WE WILL STEAL YOUR FIRSTBORN” and “LEAVE TIME FOR PARKING OR YOU WILL LOSE YOUR IMMORTAL SOUL.” I didn’t like either of those ideas, so I was sure to be ready to park at 6:25. What they DIDN’T tell me was that parking would take every one of those 35 minutes I left myself, so when I did park, I was still power-walking for the door. When I got there, however, I discovered that my effort was all for getting at the back of a 5-row line some 400 feet long, STACKED with people slowly filing in the door.
The actual test took place in a massive barn-like building at the fairgrounds of the Pomona Fairplex (one of three buildings there that the NCEES rented for the occasion). We were instructed where to sit and what we could have with us, which was virtually nothing (we had to leave all our “forbidden devices” on a table by the door), when to go to the restroom or leave the building, the whole nine yards. Somehow, all some-hundred proctors they had were from the “overweight, old, mean people’s society,” and the “head proctor” was nice and condescending, to boot. Yet, for all their strict rules, they were severely lacking in actual punctuality. The test did not start “EXACTLY AT 8:00 AM”, but at 8:31, and the afternoon session didn’t start until 2:11 PM, meaning I didn’t actually get out until around 6 (I finished early).
The nice thing about the experience, though, was that I got to enjoy two nice long car ride on our lovely LA freeways in our need Mazda 3. Mollie told you it was nice, and new, and I’m hear to tell you that it owns. The car is amazingly quiet on the freeway, and handles the (many) irregularities in the road surface with exquisite grace. Also, I had almost forgotten how much better it is driving a manual than an automatic… this car makes me happy.
Not that I would know at all, but I have a suspicion that the new car might be able to make 0-60 in 7-8 seconds, and top 95 in fourth gear. Maybe someday someone I don’t know at all will find a long, empty stretch of highway and see where it maxes out…