Kage Baker hated tests, Any and all tests, for anything at all; she simply detested being evaluated. It was mostly for things in which she had no interest anyway; and often considered were no one else’s business.
She knew she could read. She knew she could write. Both abilities were self-demonstrating, if a teacher were paying any attention at all. For the rest … maths, geography, all the varied sciences: Kage figured there was either nothing that could make them explicable to her, or that reference works would be available to her in adulthood. She was pretty well convinced, though, that nothing she learned would ever again be of use to her, at least not in that specific form in which it was presented and tested for in her school days.
She was probably right. Kage was certainly not one of those kids who fit well or easily into the assembly-line format of standard schooling. She was one of the ones who slips through unseen, a shadow in the doorway, on her way to somewhere else. It was obvious to all her frustrated teachers that she was very, very bright – and also that she had no interest in taking part in the aspects of scholarship to which they thought that brightness should have led her. Why doesn’t she live up to her potential? countless teachers wailed.
Kage said later that there was no greater curse for a bright child than potential.
School systems have always struggled with kids like Kage, and more often than not they have failed. Standard classes have almost no way to reach that elusive spark of potential, and in their efforts to expose it they usually put it out. Kage was tougher than most, and more stubborn – she put her head down and slogged her way through 12 years of lessons and tests. Then she ran away with the circus and spent the rest of her life writing.
A lot of writers have childhoods like that. In Kage’s case, she maintained that she just too private a person to put up with being tested. Being published was much easier – because she got to decide what was going on display, and no one had to read the answers unless they wanted to.
Medical tests, of course, were different. They were inescapable. And by going to a doctor in the first place, one sort of requested them. That was one of the main reasons Kage put off going to a doctor in the first place – she didn’t want to ask for tests; she didn’t want to know the answer. Besides, as she said, it was bloody depressing to have passing the test be the problem.
I’m going in for some more tests on my eccentric heart tomorrow – stress testing. Hopefully on a treadmill, because the chemical alternative is an amazing drag – one ends up strapped to a table, head downward, while weird chemicals race through one’s bloodstream and aggravate one’s heart into beating too fast. Or, in my case, usually don’t … the techs get very annoyed then.
Of course, I usually fall off the treadmill. I have the last two times. I tend to pass out before any useful data is gathered; except the dubious information that if I run too fast, I faint. But I intend to try, because I really don’t enjoy that head-down-drugs-in-your veins route.
However the stress test happens, I am hoping it will supply the answer to why my heart is not beating fast enough. The tide of my blood keeps stalling out; then I get dizzy and fall down. My blood pressure is ludicrous, and reads like something someone calls out just before the patient codes.
At least I’ll be a part of the campus that has lots of aquariums. I’ll just think of it as going to visit the fishies.