Today was a proud, proud day for me. I successfully passed the motorcycle license test and am officially licensed to drive a two wheeler in the state of Utah.
I thought that I was done with taking tests in my life. Turns out, taking tests is part of God's eternal round. When you are a born, they give you blood tests. As a toddler you are tested to get into a good preschool. I don't need to mention the endless tests you must endure during your school years. In college, tests become an almost daily part of life. I had to take two tests to become a teacher. The worst test is the test I take every year to make sure I know how to successfully give tests! I believe that there is a test in the works that tests the tests that have been tested to see if there are any irregularities.
When you get older you get the whole battery of tests: The eye test, the two finger swoop prostate exam (fortunately, my prostate seems to be repairing itself and I do not need to be subjected to such a test... yet), blood pressure tests, blood-sugar level exams, the list goes on and on.
This test, unfortunately, required a bit of study. I reserved a special block of time to get my research and study done; the half hour I waited to for the DMV to call our number - number 195,635.
The computers were down so I took my test the old fashioned way - with a dark piece of coal and a writing board in the corner. Fortunately, when they saw that I had dark coal dust all around me, they realized their mistake and brought me a piece of pencil and a paper.
The test started out very odd for me. The first five answers were B! How could that be? I knew I had to have had one of them wrong, but they all seemed so right. I decided to cut my losses and leave my B's in filled in and in place. When I got to question six, I was sure to put A. There was no way possible that they could have six B's in a row.
When I took my test up to be graded, I was reminded of a teacher in high school that would correct the tests as we handed them in. You were required to stand at his desk and wait while he marked up your answer sheet with a red pencil. Inevitably, he would hand back your paper and say for all to hear, "72% - Go correct the ones you missed." This was a great way to get a great grade. Second chances were always nice. At the same time, when your average math test score was 65%, it proved to be a very embarrassing situation.
The people in line before me were failing left and right. The most common phrase at the DMV seems to be, "FAIL! Do you want to take it again?" The test taker gets three chances to pass and then they must pay the additional fee. You would think that would be enough, but the man in front of me was on his third driving test try and only got 59%! The scary thing is that we saw him get in his car and drive off as we left.
I got an 84% on my first try. 80% was passing. I felt great, but at the same time I was left a little disconcerted. By my calculations, I had missed four questions. I was sure I passed the questions like:
What is the best head protection for a motorcycle?
A) A helmet
B) A handful of potato chips
C) A Darth Vader mask.
But what were the questions I missed? What if I missed the questions that could eventually keep me alive? What if I had missed this question?
When avoiding a crash, you should:
A) Speed up and scream as you sail to your impending death.
B) Slow down until you come to a complete stop.
C) Drive directly into the oncoming vehicle.
What if I had passed the helmet question, but failed the crash question? Which one bore more weight? This wasn't a curved test and each question was weighed equally. I am not sure if that is a good thing when it comes to motorcycle safety.
It took us an hour and a half to get out of that madhouse. It took us 45 minutes just to get our "number". Contrary to popular perception, the DMV people were all very friendly and had a sense of humor. I think it is because they all get drunk at lunch time so they can play with the alcholizer test. "Yep, Bob - .07% - Just under the legal amount to take people's pictures with a giant black box."
I took my scooter back into today for some more minor problems. It looks like they fixed them, but I am beginning to regret buying a no-name, Chinese brand. I will keep you updated on it's condition.