Tempered victories

I’m more than halfway through, trying to plot a course from Sandpoint to Rock Creek when the exam room door opens up to admit two new test takers. They’re chatting in full voice and I keep repositioning the plotter before giving up and moving onto another question.

Up until now, I’ve been in the zone. Deep breaths for calm. Making notes about questions to revisit. Carefully plodding through the test, alternately telling myself “You got this” but also “You can always take it again. No big deal.”

E6-B Flight Computer
Okay, so the E6-B flight computer was just a prop, but it felt good to have a circa 1971 family heirloom with me for luck!

When the proctor asks one guy for the log-in code—his birthday—and the kid replies with the year 1999, I refocus on the screen. I am not failing in front of this boy.

And I don’t. After putting it off for years and cramming for weeks, I pass my FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Exam with a respectable 88%. WOOT! (It should have been 92, but I missed some stupid easy questions. Alas.)

Frankly though, it’s the only test I’ve ever taken where I was literally praying for a C and I’m just thrilled to have the milestone behind me so I can finally finish up my private pilot ticket. (The next and final step is the practical test where I go out and fly with an examiner.)

Needless to say, I was high on life for a few days, feeling so happy of myself.  We celebrated with victory pizza. I plotted subsequent rewards for my awesomeness like planting new shrubs. I walked around asking T if he was happy to have such a fantastically smart wife.

And then I flushed my car key down the toilet.

Yep, I watched the roundel on my $500-ish BMW key swirl down, and on my life, I still have no idea how it happened. All I know is the key was in my front pocket one minute and swirling away the next. (And yes, OF COURSE, I reached in after it but wasn’t fast enough. D’oh.)

If you need me, I’ll be exchanging the ribbon key chain on my spare/only key for a brick and contemplating the universe’s methods for managing inflated egos.


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