October 1st. The day was finally here.
After months of preparation, a lot of prayer, and too many practice LSAT tests to count, I was finally seated in the back seat, trying to catch a bit of additional sleep as my Dad and Mom quietly talked as we drove northward to catch a ferry ride. Over a meal of bagels, scrambled eggs, and a BBQ hot wing, we watched the sun rise as the ferry churned its way through the dark water.
I needed to be at the University of Washington in Kane Hall by 8:30 am, but we thought it would be best to get there at least a half hour early, just in case we forgot something or got stuck in traffic. It turns out that a lot of other test takers had the same idea. The ground floor of Kane Hall was absolutely packed with students clutching gallon-sized bags, as they received room assignments and nervous formed lines outside doors.
One of the staff handed me a yellow card with the number 210 on it. This particular room was on the second floor, and there was already many students anxiously milling about, munching on bananas, sharpening their pencils, or trying to catch some sleep. I checked and re-checked my own gallon-size bag, filled to capacity with a few cough drops, a package of goldfish, a Juicy Juice can of apple juice, three #2 pencils, two sharpeners, a trio of highlighters, an analog watch, and a few other items. I didn’t really feel tired – in fact, I was definitely feeling more awake and almost even buzzed.
They soon announced that individuals could begin taking their seats – slowly the long line began funneling into room 210. Dad and Mom prayed for me, and then I made my way to the back of the line. I chatted with a fellow test taker before we entered the room and he said that he hoped no one noticed his wife’s pink butterfly watch, which he had to bring since LSAT testing centers only permit analog watches. I reassured him by letting him know that I was using my mom’s watch.
When I finally made it to the registration desk, I had a mini heart attack because one of the staff said that I wasn’t on the check-in list! I guess there must’ve been a mistake, because the other staffer’s list had my name on it. Another staff individual led me up the stairs to a row nearly at the back of the room, and slightly to the right. I pulled out everything out of my bag – the fold-down desk would seriously be causing some problems because it’d be a headache to balance the testing book with the bubble sheet. Fortunately, I didn’t have anyone sitting to the immediate left or right of me, so I placed my highlighters, pencils, watch, and sharpeners on the desk space of those chairs.
The initial instructions went by fairly quickly, although I did forget my social security number. I always rely on my Mom to tell me what it is since she has it memorized and I never carry it around in my wallet. I was fairly confident that I knew it, but wasn’t totally sure. I later found out that my “guess” was correct. ::whew::
Three sections flew by fairly quickly – the students stumbled down the stairs and out the two exits. There would be a ten-minute break before we would be called back in. It’s funny how so many people eat bananas. I guess it’s supposed to be some kind of brain food – I’ve never liked them, so there I was, munching on my goldfish while everyone else guzzled their energy drinks and nibbled at their bananas. I think we all were trying to stay focused, so the atmosphere was strangely quiet throughout the break. Though multiple people sat on a single bench, they all tried not to make eye contact.
We all settled back into our seats one more time, and attempted to shake out the tightness in our right hands and wrists. Two sections later, and after a written essay, we were done. It’s pretty amazing how fast a large group can funnel out of a room and exit the building. Everyone was gone in a few minutes except for another girl and I. We were both waiting for our parents to pick us up – Kane Hall was eerily quiet. Except for a few departing proctors, the entire building was empty. The other girl left after 45 minutes or so, but my parents hadn’t returned yet.
I sat on one of the benches and just waited. It had begun to slightly mist, and even though it was a Saturday, there was a fair amount of people walking around. It’s interesting to see that Asians comprise a large part of the total student body, at least from my limited sample size. It was beginning to get cold. I wasn’t allowed to bring my hoodie, and only brought a warmup jacket, which didn’t really help keep me warm. An hour passed by, and then another …. hmm. Something must’ve come up. It wasn’t like my parents to be this late. Could something have happened to them? What if they had gotten into a car wreck?
I decided to do something about – across from Kane Hall, there was a library. A library has to have computers, I though as I entered it. “Wait, I don’t have a student ID – how am I going to be able to log onto these computers?,” I thought as I made my way over to a row of computers placed on a long, rectangular table. Fortunately, someone had forgotten to log out – I quickly checked to see if Amy was on Facebook so I could ask her to call Dad and Mom. I wasn’t allowed to bring a cell phone into the testing room, so I was definitely in a bind. Bummer – she wasn’t online. I sent a few emails off to my family, hoping that they could call Dad and Mom and see what their situation was and whether or not they were ok – if there was trouble, they could get in contact with me and work out things from there.
I stepped out of the library and decided that I ought to have a look around UW while I was here. I made my way over to Suzzallo – wow, what a building. I wouldn’t mind studying in there for an afternoon or two. I quickly made my way back to Kane Hall, hoping I didn’t miss them. Hmm … still there was nobody. Weird. It was maddening, not being able to do anything – I sure realized the value of the cellphone during those agonizing minutes.
I went back into the library again, hoping the computer was still logged in – it wasn’t, but another one was. I re-checked my email, but Amy hadn’t responded. Just as I stepped out of the room, I had my Mom call my name. Finally! Davy, my cousin, and a new student at UW, was also with them.
Aaggh, this post is getting way too long. To quickly wrap up the day, we ended up driving around town for a bit, trying to find a good place to eat – we settled on a Chinese buffet. The food there was sure good. I was absolutely starving.
I won’t know until October 26th to learn how I did – hopefully I did ok. Thank you all so much for your prayers – I really could not have been as mentally sharp and at peace about my scores without them. God was truly awesome.
After I got home, my Dad, Stefanie, and Amy stayed up extra-late and watched movies … and thus concluded, October 1st, 2011.