Post 252: …nur ein Traum

The test was easy for a math test! I couldn’t believe it! All of the questions were basic math, something even I could work out in my head and get correct answers.

“I’m aceing this one,” I thought. I guess the class finally convinced our teacher we were as dense as he always claimed!

Page two, however, was problematic. Whatever the reason, this fill-in-the-blank section, text with missing words we were expected to supply, dealt with Eastern European and Central Asian  politics, geography, ethnic components, and other minutiae math students generally don’t discuss in class. What the heck was the teacher thinking?

“Oh well,” I thought, “I’m reasonably good on this sort of question, but it might take a bit too much time to complete just now.”

I’ve taken enough tests in my life that I know a good strategy is to answer all the easy questions on the whole test first, then go back to work on the harder ones. If they pose a problem, skip them and go on to the next easier questions, and so on till the test is completed as best I can with as many questions answered (correctly for the most part!) as I can.

2011-01-01 Andy in window and on desk 004

Usually, using this plan, I have lots of extra time to deal with those 10% or so really tough questions, and the extra time spent almost always results in a decent guess or two, all questions answered, and a chance of actually getting a decent passing mark. I almost always got decent grades as a student, so the plan has some validity! It greatly reduces that “Oh my god! I have no idea what this is!” panic all students taking tests know deep in their loosening bowels!

Well, I answered a few questions on the Eastern European and Central Asian  section, but took a glance at the third page: German!!! Yes, though I am a dreadful German student, I speak enough to be intelligible to children and dogs. All I had to do on page three was select the correct English word out of four choices to match the German word in the left hand column. There were a 100 words at least, and I felt really great to find I had no problem matching English words to German! Whew! As I would know to answer when I got to the probability questions (of which there surely would be some), in this instance my chances of success by randomly guessing would be p = .25. But I actually knew every word!

Fellow students around me were making the sounds of suffering, little pathetic whines of dismay and doom. Apparently they’d hit the Eastern European and Central Asian part or skipped ahead to the German page, or, worse, looked even further ahead in this test with dozens of pages: Astronomy, Geology, Current Events, Farsi, Religions of the World You’ve Never Heard Of, Causes of Plate Tectonics, Dogs of the World in Alphabetical Order and Spelled Correctly, and more! This was one comprehensive bitch of a test!

“Teacher,” one brave and frustrated soul finally piped up, “this is a math class, so why are we being tested in all these other topics we never even studied?”

“Meow,” said the teacher. I felt a tap on my chest. There was Andy to the rescue. *Dieser Test war nur ein Traum!

* [This test was only a dream!]

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10 thoughts on “Post 252: …nur ein Traum

  1. I REALLY enjoyed that one. You had me going … I’m thinking “what kind of test IS this?” Maybe he mentioned it in an earlier post that I have yet to read(?)

    I still dream about being in Russia. My dream Russian is EXCELLENT. So fluent.

    Although I did speak fair Russian, true fluency required liberal application of vodka.

    • Actually, give me a liter or two of a decent German beer, and I am incredibly fluent in German, too! Maybe not a fluent as in my dreams, but…! I think a lot of our proficiency issues come from doubt more than actual knowledge of correct usage and vocabulary.

      I personally get hung up on proper grammar and a fear that I will guess incorrectly whether a noun is male, female, or neuter.

      Germans (reasonably so!) seem very tolerant of Americans attempting to speak their language at all, which I always appreciated when talking with Germans. I suppose I gave them lots of comedic moments with my frequent errors!

      It didn’t help my confidence that Germans I met generally not only spoke flawless English, they spoke with a German-flavored British accent! (I never ran into one who spoke that cartoon German accented English we associate with Sergeant Schultz.) LOL! Also, it seemed most spoke at least one or two other languages besides German.

    • Well, they were very, very simple math problems, and (since I was doing the dream grading) I got them all right, of course! The same no doubt applies to my miraculous fluency in German that seems common to my dreams in German or with some German in them. Wow! I can speak a blue streak in German! Perfect pronunciation, perfectly perfect idiomatic use of the language, exactly the right vocabulary! I am a whizz in Traum Deutsch! I suspect there are things you do perfectly in your dreams, too!

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