Today was Practice ACT Day at Newmentia. Students who signed up to take the real ACT at the end of October were treated to a five-hour session of testing on a released version of the ACT. The Pony is took it, even though he's just a sophomore, because that's how we do things in Hillmomba. The #1 son took this same October test, and the preparatory practice test.
I'm not saying The Pony was nervous. But he is a creature of routine. He had to miss his first five classes, and report to a classroom where he is not a student, with all upperclassmen save one. It helps that he is on the academic team with some of the testees. Heh, heh. I said testees.
About ten minutes before test time, The Pony showed up at my room for his admit ticket and two #2 pencils. He was already packing a billfold with his Missouri Learner's Permit photo ID, and several dollars in case he needed lunch or soda money. He was a bit on edge, but not to the point of a headache or vomiting.
"Mr. Principal says he has ordered pizza for our lunch!" That alone was incentive enough for The Pony to take the practice ACT. Then his smile of excitement faded. "Or maybe he was just joking..."
"No. They always order lunch for...you." I stopped short of saying testees. The Pony doesn't cotton to such wordplay. Perhaps you remember how not-amused he was when I announced in the middle of Little Caesar's, "It's kind of hard to keep from dropping these pizzas and breadsticks while I'm standing here holding your balls." Meaning the superballs he won in that game while we were waiting, of course.
Off he went to seek his college-readiness score. While he did not mention it in so many words, I sensed that he was measuring himself with the yardstick of his brother's score at this age.
Just before 7th hour, a sweet lass who also took the practice ACT walked by my room. "I'm not going to tell you. I'll let The Pony do that himself. But I am really happy for him." She's no slouch herself, that Science Fair division winner who also won a special figurine that contained a piece of foil that went to the moon. So I was optimistic.
Then another student stepped over from the drinking fountain. An Academic Teamer. "Darn The Pony!"
"Don't tell me! I want to hear it from him!"
"Well, darn The Pony! He scored one point better than me. I actually got one more question right, but because of the composite score, The Pony beat me."
So I was even more optimistic.
Shortly after final bell, The Pony came bopping up the hall. "Do you know what I got? Guess. Guess my score. What do you think it was?" He was quite animated, my little Pony. He almost needed a lead rope and a few laps around the school to cool his heels.
"I don't know. Maybe...30 or 31?" A perfect score is 36. The national average is 20, and the Missouri average is 21.
"I got a 34! I aced the science. I did the worst on math, because I haven't had trigonometry yet. But I still got a 34!" Let the record show that The Pony's super-animation was quite probably partially the result of Mountain Dew consumption with his lunch pizza.
Yes. We're over the moon. Sure, it's just the practice test. But The Pony knows his capabilities. We texted the #1 son, recent MVP of the Solar Car Team at College. That's what I'm calling it. College. Like the sweatshirt John Belushi wore in Animal House. #1 replied that it was a good score. Higher than the practice ACT score he got his sophomore year.
In a phone call later, he commanded: "This beating me has to stop." He's coming home Saturday.
I warned The Pony to sleep with one eye open.