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Get Ready for Testing Season!

When Emperor was a tiny tot, I was worried about the kid being "behind" everyone else because he's a bit... eccentric.  So off I went to the screening held by the local preschool.  Nationally normed tests and stuff.  You know, objective. No grey area.  Just science.  The kid gets the test right or he doesn't. Pretty simple.

Emperor, age four.
So off Emperor went. They had it all set up so that when your child was called, he'd go to different stations and do a different test at each station.  At the first station, the teacher would explain to the child that she would be holding out different blocks and he was meant to say what colour he thought each one was as quickly as possible.  Ready? 

She held out a brown block.

"Tan!" Emperor yelled. 

"No, wait!  I want to change that.  It's brown.  Or... maybe a beige.  I don't know, do you think it's more a beige or a brown?  Because I'm not really sure about the difference yet, which one is lighter..."

tick tick tick tick

You know the teacher is not allowed to give the answer and there is an uncomfortable silence. You could tell at this point she was about out of her skull.  He has only thirty seconds, and if he doesn't get at least six colours in that time, he's marked as deficient.

"Well?" he asked.  "What do you think?"

tick tick tick - Time's up!

Obviously, my child is very far behind and doesn't know his colours.  They marked him as getting one colour right.  Brown.  (Though I think Emperor was leaning toward beige, thanks.)

Another station was the "draw the thing you see" station.  A little paper wheel was turned so that a cross, a triangle, a diamond or whatever was revealed.  The kid had to draw the same thing on his paper.  Ready?  Go!

Emperor turned the wheel round and round and decided he wasn't ready to draw today, because the wheel was too interesting.  Obviously, he will never be an engineer.  This teacher was unable to redirect him, because just then he caught sight of a large plastic dump truck on one of the shelves and screamed so loudly about it that other testers were a bit distracted.

Can you believe they didn't let him play with the truck?  They marked down that he failed every test and was in something like the third percentile on stuff.  He had a great time at that preschool, because his abysmal scores qualified him for four afternoons a week.  Mostly he played, but his teacher thought he was quite bright and couldn't understand how he could test so poorly every year when really, this level of performance wasn't what she saw in her classroom.


  1. Some kids just won't fit in that box! This is pretty funny.

    1. It's very him, too, if you know what I'm saying.

  2. testing never covers the whole child. Maybe by now they've changed that block for a black one.


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