On Sunday I woke up in the Hotel Indigo. No, this isn't the story of how I downed a bottle of quaaludes and a fifth of Jack Daniels and had a little desperate fifties housewife interlude (what the hell are quaaludes when they're in my medicine cabinet?). I was at the tail end of a smashing girls' week-end with four of my amazing friends from high school (should have been five but Sheila was having pregnancy complications and couldn't travel, which SUCKS beyond belief, not least because she is the driest of dry wits and she would have complimented the sweet lychee liqueur beautifully). The forecast had been dire, but my friend Anne Marie assured me that outside was just a little cloudy and threatening rain. Then Patti came back from her run and after we chipped the ice off of her she said 'it's freezing rain'.
So then we had breakfast because if you're going to subsequently risk your life and your academic future you might as well be full of the best eggs benedict a downtown Ottawa hotel can offer, right? (Actually I had a strawberry smoothie, but I thought the eggs benedict sounded better). Then Bonnie and Patti left to drive Rachelle to the airport and Anne Marie and I went and packed up and left to get her to the airport. Halfway to the airport they called and said Rachelle's flight was cancelled so they were going to hang out at Patti's, which pissed me off because if I'd known there was going to be flight cancelling and further hanging-out going on I never would have booked my stupid exam for stupid Sunday at stupid one-thirty in the afternoon (which, upon reflection and hangover assessment, did not seem like such a great idea even before the cancelling and hanging-out occurred). But Anne Marie's flight was leaving, and we realized Rachelle's was only cancelled because she was flying Bearskin. (Let the bear take you there. In a tiny little toy plane that can't withstand the weather. Okay, enough mocking my home town's airline. But seriously -- let the bear take you there? What the hell were they thinking?)
So I dropped Anne Marie off, very chivalrously (parked at departures and let her drag her own suitcases in -- I didn't want to be dripping wet for my three-hour exam. Lifelong friendship only extends so far). I drove slowly and carefully to Algonquin College, where I parked in the free parking lot and only after inching bit by painful bit over roughly a kilometre and a half of glare ice did I think that maybe I just should have sprung for the goddamned parking metre right in front of building C. I spent a few minutes sitting in my van because I was an hour and a half early, and I was just thinking that it was surprisingly pleasant just sitting there watching the windshield slowly ice over before realizing that I was in very real danger of waking up drooling in three hours and realizing that my exam was half over, so I better start my icy trek.
I had a good book, so the time passed pretty quickly. Actually it's a really good book, and I was faintly annoyed when they opened the doors of the auditorium. I took a seat in the front because you have to leave your coat and purse at the front of the room and I harbour a constant expectation that people are going to steal my stuff. These exams are for anyone that has to write an exam for an online course, so two women come in with boxes, you flash them your I.D. and they find your exam and read which course it is so you can confirm it's the right thing. Mine was called "Information Work II", which almost caused the poor woman to die of boredom in mid-phrase. I felt a fairly deep stab of envy for the person writing the infinitely more glamorous "Money Laundering and Asset Tracing" and briefly considered changing diplomas right then and there.
It was a three-hour exam. I finished in fifty minutes. I like to think this was because I had absorbed the course work so well, but it's entirely possible I missed a page or four. It was only worth twenty percent and I got almost perfect on all the assignments, so I think I'd still pass the course. But I don't think I'll make a habit of scheduling my exams after two consecutive nights of extreme merriment.
Also: I had taken great pride in memorizing the definition of percentage increase (the variation between two variables, measured between two fixed points in time, expressed as a percentage of the earlier number), mostly because it just kept sliding off my mind as if my mind was buttered. I sort of took it as a personal affront that, in the definitions section, she used this as an example, with the definition ALREADY PROVIDED. Humph.