Caveat: Tree #219

I am in Ketchikan to take my test tomorrow morning, bright and early.

I walked up to the tiny UA-Southeast, Ketchikan Campus (really just an annex behind the high school, though architecturally pleasant enough).

I saw this tree, looking down past one of the buildings.


This was the view in the other direction standing in the same spot.


This is the sign marking the campus.


This is the view from behind the same sign.


And I walked down to my motel.


I walked all over Ketchikan, as it seems better than figuring out buses for what is, actually, a pretty small city. Ketchikan is having a heat wave: it was 72°F (22°C).

[daily log: walking, 8.5km]

Caveat: Praxis

I am off to Ketchikan for an overnight visit. I have to go to a testing center, at the Ketchikan campus of the University of Alaska Southeast, to take a set of standardized tests called the “Praxis Core.” These are essentially entrance exams for the Alaska state teacher certification program. They are actually not that different from the GRE, although I think they’re actually easier than the GRE. Notably, they include an essay writing section that is almost identical to the TOEFL exam that I was teaching to my students in Korea for a decade. This is not surprising, since the same company (ETS) make both tests – ETS is a kind of national standardized test monopoly, which is a bit scary if you think about it too deeply. Anyway, because of this, I feel some degree of confidence about the writing section: I have literally written hundreds of these standardized essays over the years, always in front of an audience of teenagers. That was part of my methodology: write the essay on my computer projected to the front of the classroom, while providing running commentary on what I was doing.

I have been taking some practice tests online over the last few weeks, to make sure I know what I’m getting into. I felt especially pleased by my score on the reading section, yesterday:


Apparently all those years teaching TOEFL in Korea have had a positive result for my own test-taking skill.

Arthur is staying home. He’s threatening to go out in the boat alone. I have no way to prevent that. So that will give me something to feel anxious about, as if the test wasn’t enough.