Ah, Iowa tests. I freaking loved those things as a kid. Most students got nervous to take them. I remember one kid always barfed in her pencil case on testing day and another who would pee by coat rack. Not me! I’d bounce out of bed and go tearing off to catch the bus to school when it was Iowa testing week. I don’t know what it was about having those two sharpened #2 pencils in my book bag — but I felt powerful. Even as a kid I knew I was a good standardized test taker — and who doesn’t like doing something their good at?
It’s funny though, because I’ve always been awful at math, horrible at languages, and borderline disabled in the sciences. I mean, I only passed high school biology because my friend Julie let me copy her lab book. Plus, common sense, um, well, that’s not my strong suit either. I think I flunked my driver’s ed course three times. So why I’m good at standardized tests? I don’t know. I actually think that I simply will myself to be, and therefore I am. But gotta love the Iowas, because for years, those puppies made me feel like I was a secret genius!
Even into my twenties, I still felt like my testing scores meant I was really really smart. I remember when I first married Grey, I definitely thought I was mentally superior. This was probably due to the fact that I scored higher than him on the SATs or something equally ridiculous. No more. Not only has he graduated from business school (I would have flunked out immediately), balanced our budget for years, (um, I can’t even properly work Excel), and served as my personal technology consultant (I honestly don’t know how to turn on our TV alone), but he also can do crafty things like change the brake pads on our car and rewire light fixtures. Last night, he even installed a new toilet in our bathroom!
Granted, sometimes Grey says things like, “Where are the vanilla envelopes?” and I laugh hysterically at his petty malapropisms, but I’m beginning to think a strong vocabulary does not a smart person make. Or a good score on something like the Iowas. And though I hope Ollie inherits my ability to shine on multiple choice tests and essay exams, I really hope he has his dad’s real world intelligence too!