Sunday, April 24, 2005

Exam Permits

The ominous exam week is just around the corner, and students should be getting their exam permits in their p.o. boxes anytime now. Of course, we all realize that exam permits are very important, but did you know that I still have 5 of my old exam permits from BJU? Does anyone else have their permits? I just can't get rid of them. They are so special to me - like old friends. Some have marks from being folded in the middle. Some have the letters rubbed off from my nervous, sweaty fingers. Each one of them -green, yellow, white, tan, blue - are well worn. In fact, each permit has its own past. As I look at the blue permit, marked 12/03/97, I can't help but remember Dr. Mazak asking for it before the Counseling Techniques exam. I close my eyes, and I am still sitting there. Lecture B. On the right, near the back. Class has just begun. Dr. Mazak asks us to show our permits to those in front of us, behind us, and beside us on both sides. Out of the corner of my eye, a girl starts to panic. She opens her bag and combs her fingers through a semester's worth of candy wrappers, scantrons, and demerit slips, and some of this actually spills out onto the thinly carpeted floor. After about ten seconds, she retrieves a piece of paper - its not even the correct size or color of the exam permits. Yet she begins the exam - the last exam of the semester. We all begin, and know that moments later we will be walking to chapel - an early chapel. We will hear about mildly amusing bumper stickers and a sobering story about a car crash from the 1980's. I open my eyes. The only sound comes from an early spring Midwestern rain shower outside my window. Mazak is gone. But my exam permits will be safe in a painted recipe box that sits on my desk.

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