Being the first person to finish a test, especially a big important one like a midterm or a final, is a giddy and terrifying position. Am I missing something? Why didn't this take me as long as it's taking everyone else? Am I forgetting everything? Am I reading the questions wrong? Or am I just that good?

It makes one question one's confidence in one's self, and one's abilities. At the same time it gives a flush of potential pride: I'm faster, better than these others. I can do just as well, or better, in less time. Until we get those tests back, until we see that little letter grade, we are probability waveforms, uncertain of our quantum state. Are we made or ruined? Genius or moron? Saint or monster?

I hate being the first to finish a test.

Addendum 11/4/2000: Apparently, I'm just that damned good. Whoo!

I was one in school to always finish tests first in my class. Not because I was overly smart, or ingenious, but because my policy towards tests was that I would go through once, and only once.

NO revisions

NO changing answers

NO second guessing answers

So to solve the problem of appearing like a genius, and thus getting dirty looks from the ladies in the room, I would start playing TI-86 games, like ZTetris, ZCart, and DrugBust.

Ah . . . highschool.

Upon taking physical science last year, our teacher presented us with his most difficult test of the year one day. I knew the material like the back of my hand, but I had very little confidence in myself because the week before, I had made a D on my homework since I did it a sleep-induced stupor at 4 in the morning. This completely shot me down.

So it was around 2:10 when he began to pass the test papers out. By 2:30, I was finished. I did that scanning-over-my-test thing that serves no true purpose other than to stall for a moment, and I proceded to push my stool away from the lab table (with a loud squeaking sound that caught everyone in the room's attention) and walked to the front of the room to turn in my test. I was the first person to have finished, and I had to form a test stack on my own. I was a bit anxious, when I saw that every other student had returned to working diligently on their test, only halfway through.

I sat down in my desk again and began reading the The Invisible Man, which at the time, I had a female hard-on for at the time, and I was really engrossed in this book. It wasn't until 10 minutes later, and a lot of Mr. Cuss hot action going on, that I suddenly remembered the last page of the test had a back side!

Using my prowess, I somehow managed to sneak up to the front of the room, steal my test from the stack, catching everyone's attention again with the exception of the teacher, and made my way back to my lab table. I know that could be considered cheating, but at the time I didn't care. I was going to risk being caught in order to not make a 70 on this test. I suppose reading Sun Tzu's The Art of War paid off.. I successfully maneuvered my way out of that sticky situation with some great tactics and strategy. Oh yeah.

A week later, the test papers came back. One glance at that paper, and wham! 100.

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