bya Gabrielle at 11:31 AM

You are sitting in a blue plastic chair at a desk in a room that you know all too well. On your desk is a pencil with .5 mm lead. It’s the kind you hate because it breaks too easily if you press down too hard. Written on the blue plastic neck of the pencil in black ink is your least favorite number in the world. Two. Specifically, #2.

The room is quiet, except for the steady ticking of the clock positioned on the wall behind you. Every now and again there is a nervous roll of a pencil across a desk from someone sitting behind you. You’d roll your pencil too, but you don’t want to draw any attention from the woman standing behind the podium at the front of the room. It doesn’t even seem like she’s even paying attention, but you know that it’s all an act. Her eyes are trained to see anything and everything that might be deemed suspicious. Years of practice have taught you to remain still and quiet.

The woman, if you haven’t guessed yet, is your teacher and today is test day.

You’ve known about it for a week now and you studied for it, but your anxiety is still running a little high. Tests, well, they just make you squirm. And you’ve heard rumors about this test. A friend of a friend of a friend who knew this one person who dated this one person who took this test a few years back said that it completely made him self destruct. With rumors like that floating around, you have all the right to be just a tad bit nervous. It can’t be that hard, right? It’s just an English exam after all. What is there to be afraid of?

As the clock behind you flips to 9:30 am, the woman behind the desk lays the test face down on your desk. She’s gives you that look that says, “If you cheat, I will personally eat your soul.” You nod in understanding and flip it over.

Before you is the test that you’ve been losing sleep over all weekend.
The test is only one page. One line. One question.

The question is . . .


“You have until the end of class to finish your test. Good luck.”

Humor me and answer that question for me.

I gave this question as a extra credit to my students on their test today, and they really did self destruct. They had no idea how to answer it.

And finally, a random picture from my collection. This picture comes from the selection I stole from Tim when we met up in Hong Kong.

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