PE Preps – Part the Third

Well, it’s July 19th and I have 101 study days left (102 if I use the 28th, but I need to make sure I’m ready with everything and if I don’t know it by then…). I learned an interesting tidbit the other day. I posted a question on a board about the use of post-it type tabs, because I had read that some states don’t allow them. The responses all indicated the post-its were okay, but that they had to be marked in ink. Oh, and any notes I have, whether on personal sheets or in my reference books! No one is allowed to bring pens, pencils, etc. – the testing agency provides mechanical pencils. So, why must my notes be in ink? It finally dawned on me why, and I’ll share at the end of this piece. (Friends who have taken the test – no fair spoiling it!)

So, I’m going back over my earlier notes – two sets: my current set and the ones I wrote up back in 2007 when I was studying the first time. I know now I would have been asked to leave, because I didn’t know about the pencil issue, and I had many, many pages of pencil notes. I’m still in the (re-)learning phase of my preparations and trying to cram a whole lot of info absorption into a short period. So, it’s understandable, but still frustrating when I look at something I wrote just two weeks ago with deer-in-the-headlights blankness. It makes me wonder which part of my brain needs to be switched to manage this – I can remember Bugs Bunny quotes, or lines from movies I saw 25-30 years ago, but not what I wrote last week?

Anyway, balancing the “second job”, home life, work and an additional factor are going to be one of the bigger challenges of my life to date. That 10 months getting my Master of Science degree at A&M was the worst, but this…well, given that I’ve already announced to the fam (as noted in the previous entry on this subject) that Halloween is going to be tough…

“Additional factor”? Yeah, I just sort of snuck that in there. I’ve applied for the Deputy Public Works and Engineering Director position at work (City of Plano), which will fleet up and take over the Director position when the current Director retires next year. So I am also preparing for the series of interviews that will start in August. Competition is going to be pretty stiff – at least one, and maybe one other, within the department have applied along with something like 38 outside applicants. I have heard that several of those candidates “look pretty good.” But I look better. (No lack of confidence here!) The job is perfect for me and I am perfect for the job; more to the point, I know what I can do for the City in that position – I just have to be able to demonstrate it to the interviewing teams. And I understand it will likely be teams. More on that later… (because I don’t know any more on that now.)

{Update: I didn’t get the job. They broke the news to me with “We selected Jerry, but we talked long on ‘How are we going to keep Jim?'” Flattery didn’t ease the disappointment, but the thought…}

Brain’s churning all the time, but it’s exciting. It’s a serious challenge – worthy of the time I’m putting into the PE study, the interview preparations, my work (of course), and an occasional D&D session. I’ll be missing out on fun stuff like drive-ins and sweatin’ to the Friday Night Lights tapings, but this too soon shall end.

So, the no pencil requirement…well, another rule is the test taker can only write in the test book and NOT in any of the reference material brought in (grounds for removal). I’ll tell you, I had to think a bit on why pencils were a no-no. It never occurred to me that it was about cheating. They want to make sure no one writes down test questions for future test takers. Yup. Never occurred to me. Now, what might have occurred to me was a suggestion posted in response to my question – rather than transcribe my notes in pen, I could just photocopy them and put them in a three-ring binder. But, I’ll get more value during the repetition of transcribing (see bit above about memory!)

When next I post on this subject, there will be less than three digits of study days left. But who’s counting?

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