A Lamentation for the Test Taker

Like unprepared schoolkids, we show up nervous for the test, worried about what’s at stake.

It is always multiple choice.
Implying something is right.
Everything else is wrong.
Or at least less right.

            Who devised this test? How deeply did they mine for answers? Why are plausible
answers next to but out of reach of the truth, falsely reinforcing our inaccuracy?
What about the cognitive bias of the assemblers?

We are no longer schoolkids.
We have matriculated to adulthood.
We expect to opt-out of the test.
We prefer the survey,

an open-ended plea to provide our other response: eloquent and well argued; one that doesn’t
catalog nicely into the researcher’s assumptions. Where, with enough outliers, we can reach new
conclusions, defy what they know, anticipate.

[this diagnosis / that vote / another condemnation ]

This. That. The other. All of them – tests.
The kind where when in doubt, choose C is not for consolation.

Test-taker: breathe, say your psalms, dry your sweaty palms, and know only this is true:

Everything is broken.
It is all unfinished business
this side of eternity

Thad DeVassie

La Clave