Izumi’s had a bit of a struggle with getting her California Driver’s License and I don’t blame her. In order to transfer her license from New Jersey, she needed to pass a written test which is hard enough in English. While multiple choice, many of the possible answers are written in a twisted grammatical form that make it challenging for a native speaker but pure hell for a non-native. The questions are also devilishly obscure and sometimes defy logic.
Q: When on a hill, without a curb, which way do you turn your tires?
A : To the right.
So if you’re brake fails, now your car will swing out INTO traffic? Go figure. . .
In order to give herself a fighting chance, Izumi chose to take the test in Japanese. Unfortunately, that didn’t make it any easier as there was no Japanese booklet to study and their translations left something to be desired. On top of this, Izumi’s got one of the worst cases of test-phobia I’ve ever seen (she actually breaks out in a cold sweat) so you can appreciate the dilemma. She had failed twice so you can imagine the tension as well as we went in on Friday morning for her third try.
I took her to the DMV while Tyler was in school and played with Julia while mommy labored over her test. We made up little cheers and whispered them quietly in the corner (“Go! Go! Mommy!”) hoping that the positive vibes would boost her confidence. We were crestfallen when the scores came back and she had again failed by missing seven questions when you need six to pass.
On the way home, as we reviewed which questions she had missed, Izumi noticed that one of the questions was marked incorrectly as a miss when in fact she had marked the correct answer. She had pointed this out to the woman scoring her answers but she was distracted and had somehow missed it (see picture above).
I pulled a quick U-turn and floored it back to the DMV hoping to catch the lady that graded her test before she went out on lunch break. Luck was on our side because not only did we catch her, she remembered that Izumi had pointed out the proper answer and now the “-7” became a “-6”. When I confirmed that Izumi passed, I couldn’t contain myself and caused a minor disturbance by shooting my arms straight in the air and shouting “YESSS!”
The Kennedy household is a couple of notches less tense now that the test is behind us and we’ve ticked off another hurdle to becoming Californians.