pack of wolves
On Monday November 17th 2008 I got home from my fun and fabulous weekend with Mr. Man I checked my kit for my State Board examination, and started to study (some more) and make sure I had everything I needed – that’s where the drama began. . .
I need to have a valid ID, my model (this was my sister) must have a valid ID, and I need to take my admissions letter.
I did not have an admission letter. I call and text some old classmates that have passed their exams asking what the admission letter was and I get back stuff like "it was in the envelope, it has your date and time for written and practical exam" – I didn’t get such an envelope. Had I known this before, I would have taken the proper measurements to get said paper. Had I been responsible enough to look in the folder my school gave me upon my departure I would have seen the checklist that says to Look for this "admissions packet" with my "admissions letter" and if I didn’t receive it, to contact the school. SO that’s the first thing I could think of – contact the school. Accept they’re closed mondays. party-part I. I then call the number I have from PSI exams to ask about the admission letter, I talk to a human – cool and he tells me my admissions letter comes from State Board, I need to call them. He gives me the number after I politely ask for it. I call them and go through a series of menus to get to where I need to be then I am placed some kind of hold where I hear a beep for a while, then the beep turns into a "disconnected" kind of sound and I hang up and call again. Go through the series of menus again, get to where I was not 15 seconds ago and hear this "Thank you for calling State Board for Barbering and Cosmetology, our call center hours are monday through friday from 8am to 4:50pm" It is 4:52 on my verizon wireless time. Party-part II. I continue to freak out and call Jennifer, she went to school with me and we talk about what I should do and I am convinced that even without this piece of paper that I am going to go and attempt to test. If I get there and they say No you can’t test today at least I was there ready to go. The worst thing that can happen is they say no, I have to re-apply for a new date…which would be in 6-12 weeks and I would have to pay all the fees again, about $200. But I’m going and I’ll just see what happens. I’ll leave earlier to get there earlier to get paper work figured out and for the rest of the night I studied my "79 packet" A packet given to me from my teachers that is a compilation of questions that are on the stateboard exam, and questions the proctor might come and ask me etc etc. I study this packet alot, and I read my book a little. I go back to some main chapters and review and bla bla bla. I stop studying at midnight and try to sleep, my alarm is going to go off at 5am, 5:10 and 5:20am. I do not sleep, instead I have an "E40" song featuring Akon stuck in my head. . . I’ll treat you like a superstar that you are, cause i’m a superstar too. . ." and I’m having worries of performing my practical procedures incorrectly. Like using hairspray on her face instead of cleanser.
My alarm goes off all three times before I get out of bed and wash my face. I get to sisters house by 6am. We get gas, we get coffee we’re passing santa maria by 7am. My goal was to be there around 9:15 to discuss this admissions letter in hopes that they would still let me test. We rolled into Los Angeles outskirts by 9am. Cool, only there was traffic. ALOT –party part III. Everyone that should have been at work by 8am was on the road at 9am trying to get to the 405. *I* was trying to get to the 134, which is past the 405. Its 9:10, 9:23, 9:30, 9:40, 9:53, at 10am we got on the 134. The exit I needed was not too far down, it as only in Glendale so I try to stay calm. Meanwhile – I’m not. Thanks. I take the exit and turn RT because that is what the directions say to do. I am looking for building 710 on Central Avenue. After turning right I see addresses. 600, 590, 560——> down to 300 and I decide this is the wrong way. So I turn around and go the other way. I find building 700 and next to it – building 800. what the??? I go into a parking garage get a ticket then go straight to the exit and say "hi i’m looking for building 710" he tells me its behind me and I say I see building 700 and 800 he says are you looking for North Central Avenue or South Central avenue…..oh god. I have NO idea, its 10:08, I find the address – its South Central. he gives me directions I’m on my way. I find the building and break to attempt to turn into it and almost get hit by a red truck that decides to honk his horn at me, rightfully so I suppose but he honked it for the better part of a minute. I don’t know if you have ever heard a truck honk his horn for longer than a second but its very annoying and seems to get louder. I pull into a gate that doesn’t open so I back up and go around the block, 10:12am, and find no parking, so I swing back around to the building and my sister, at 10:14am, says "aiyani! get out of the car and just run up there!!" so I do. I pull over by a fire hydrant, grab my ID and my booklet that says my date and time and went into the building. I went to the 4th floor at 10:15am and couldn’t find where I was supposed to go. I took 2 or 3 laps before finding a door that said "office" and I walked in and it was dark, there was no one there. In my mind I think. . . oh god. . . I missed my time and now I don’t get to test. I stand in the dark office for a couple moments and a guy walks in and the lights come on, the lights are on motion sensor I guess. He says Hi may I help you and I say, with wish and hope, I need to take a written test…?? He asks for my ID then tells me where to go. I get walked over to a computer and I take a 100 multiple choice question exam. I am nervous but prepared – I think. I studied and studied and as I answered the questions I was realizing the stuff I studied. . .was NOT on the exam. party part IV. For the entire hour it took me to take the 100 question test I was worried that I was not going to pass. Ihave to get at least 70 correct in order to pass the written and I was genuinely concerned I was not going to that many correct. I sat there and would stare at a question until I figured it out. I dipped into every chapter in that book I could think of, I thought of every scenario my teachers had gone over and I finished it, and was escorted out of the test room. I wouldn’t get to know my results til after the practical exam was over as well.
I had to be back in the building downstairs at 12:30pm with my model (sister). On my way to the elevator a girl walked by wearing a white smock, like a labcoat. I had to wear these in school, and it occurs to me that I needed to wear one during the practical exam. I knew this, and the night before had even prepared myself by taking it out of the closet and putting it by my stuff. But, of course, somehow I left it on my bed. Party. Part. V. I go back into the office and ask Albert, the nice guy who let me take my test a few questions. Hi, number one is there is uniform store around here, and I tell him I left my smock at home and he says they might let me rent one downstairs by the kit rental – cool. Then he says when I come back for my practical exam I’ll need my ID and admission letter. I freeze and say, I dont’ have an admission letter. He stares at me with a blank expression for what seems like an eternity than says "you can go to that window and they’ll get you another one" I breathe again, and maybe its really the first time I’ve breathed since realizing i didn’t HAVE my admission letter yesterday. I say thank you and go to the window. I get my admission letter and go downstairs. I go ask the kit rental people if they have smocks I can rent she says yes, in my best foreign asian/korean/chinese/japanese way "yes you rent smock for Fye dolluh, wi’ twenty dolluh depOsi’" cool – now, remember I have no money. My sister has paid for parking $7 and tried to feed me twice today but I refuse. I go and tell her about the smock thing and she says she can take care of it for me. She …is…my….Hero! We go back to rent it and she hands them her debit card to which the woman says "we can only do credit cod fo’ rento, mus’ do cash for depOsi’" Now, the sign behind her says this: We accept cash, checks and the following credit cards: Visa, Mastercard, Discover, AmEx. We ask why and she attempts to explain that she will get charged for taking money off a card and putting it back on. So my sister and I look at each other, then we say – ok, but why do you have a sign that SAYS you take credit cards, if you don’t – her response "we take cash for depOsi" i think to myself. . . and you don’t answer questions. So I ask her out loud. . .where can we get cash? Is there a bank near by? and ATM? She says there is an ATM at the Albertsons 1 block down the road.
Sister and I walk, its 3 blocks – party part VI !. Its 100 degrees for sure, it smells and the area is a little ghetto, the ratio of english signs to foreign signs seems to be 1:8 and that’s including the english words that are misspelled. We get there, sister gets a cesar salad and asks if I am hungry, no – I’ll throw up right now…out of anger and frustration not out of nervousness. We walk back and I get my smock and we sit in my car in the parking garage. i need to try to gather my thoughts; harness my chi; find my center; re-focus. I lean back in my car seat for 20 minutes and say nothing with my eyes closes. I then play St. Patricks day by John Mayer and listen to a text of laughter that R.i.k. sent me a few weeks ago. It makes me feel better. We go to the lobby at 12:30 as instructed. The models go up at 12:35 as instructed and we, the candidates go upstairs at 12:40pm. Now, earlier during the written exam at 10:15 there were 3 people in there, for the practical exam there were at least 30 of us, not including the models. Where did these people come from? Did they take the written test earlier? maybe. Are they only taking the practical today? maybe. Does it REALLY matter to me?? not at all. I go upstairs we are ushered into a room at 12:45 and told to fill out whatever paper they have given us and use the bathroom if we need, and if we have our phones or any electronics to take them back to our cars because even if they are off – they are not allowed on the 4th floor. Cool – I dont’ have mine, I’m good. But we have time to do this and we’ll meet back in the orientation room at 1:10. At 1:15pm they explain to us that we’ll go into the exam room and the proctor will tell us what to do, but not til 1:30. So we sit there more. at 1:35 she comes back and we all go into our rooms and are assigned our stations. The proctor introduces herself, she has some personality, cool and has been in the business for 45 years. . .you wouldn’t know if from the lipliner she drew on her chin and up to her nose but I digress. She shows us the sinks, how to use them, where the dermal lights are (lights for skin treatment / therapy), how to work the chairs; raise them recline them etc and tells us to unpack. So I do. We begin at 1:45 and have until 3:30 to complete our procedures.
I perform my procedures that would do my teachers proud, remembered every step – I believe, end by 3:15pm. I’m told to pack up and to not speak to my model, so I don’t. at 3:30pm the proctor says….its 3:30 the exam is over, models you may change and go downstairs please do not return to the 4th floor, candidates please meet in the orientation room at 4pm.
I return my smock, get my sisters $20 back and sister points out another great sign, "you must check yours kit before bring out" yes it said yours with an s and yes it said bring-out. It was funny, we laughed.
I walk sister to the car, put my kit in there and tell her I’ll be back later. I head back up to the 4th floor and wait. Its 3:50. The orientation woman comes in again at 4:15pm and starts calling up names. As people go up there, they show their ID and she straight up tells them – in front of everyone, and with volume "you passed written but failed practical, you can re-apply" then she hands them a piece of paper and gestures towards the door. next person went up "you failed written but passed practical exam, you can re-apply" and gestures to the door again. She goes on like this, at random as the numbers dwindle. I look over at a girl I befriended and we both have a fear that she is going to call us up and say we failed the written and can re-apply. The room gets smaller in numbers, girls have left crying, some confused, some have questions that the woman doesn’t answer other than "you can re-apply". She calls up a few girls this time and I am one of them. I am in line and moving forward slowly. She looks at me and asks for my ID. I hand her my ID and she looks up at me, as if she was a bouncer at a bar verifying my right to drink tonight, and puts a piece of paper on the counter and says "sign here."
Its my license.
A California State License with my name on it stating I am an Esthetician. Party part VII
My first thought is to look up at her and say "why do you scare us like that??!!" But I say "thank you" and walk out the door others I had walked through with disappointment, and I feel – hunger pangs. =)
I walk down to the elevator, take the elevator from the 4th floor to the parking garage and walk out to the car and show my sister and she hugs me. The first thing I say to her is "i’m hungry now" and she says YYAAAAAYYYY!!!!
I text family that I passed and we are on our way home. We stop at a mall and have a celebratory Food Court Meal. She had Carls Jr., I had Panda Express and then got on the road. We talked about all kinds of stuff on the way home and arrived there at 9pm. I was asleep by 11:30pm, and woke up this morning at 10:30am. First thought was – When I move to NY, I’ll have to do this all over again – party.. . part VIII hahahaha
I text a few more people that I passed and Kevin and Vicki respond with How ’bout a celebratory Sushi Lunch!!! – uh….YAH I"LL GO!!!! Party Part IX
Next step – everything.
Party part X
Bonus Material: The subject title says "pack of wolves" Why you say?? A comedian I enjoy, Nick Swardson, has a bit in one of his routines about game shows. He said something great like what if the game show prizes were more random like "congratulations john, you win you’re very own. . .WOLF, and a gun, which will come in handy on your trip to Iraq" he continues with "Iraq? did I lose?? Is that a real wolf ??" So in a small circle of mine when we feel we have consequently "lost" we say "I won my very own wolf" yesterday I felt like I won a pack of wolves.