The aptitude test only got worse and worse for Amelia.
English seemed easy at first, as most of it was reading comprehension. The answers were painfully obvious, as all you had to do was pull them from the long excerpt on the previous page. However, it ended up being very much like the section of the ACT that ‘tricked’ her in the same way back in high school. While she didn’t doubt any of her answers for a few pages, reading and re-reading drained a lot more time than she expected. When Mrs. Lewis called out that there were only five minutes remaining, Amelia quietly panicked when she realized she had only made it about halfway. The last few pages of the test ended up being rushed; she skimmed and made a few educated guesses, ultimately having to blindly choose a handful of answers at the one minute mark.
Science and History were both difficult in a different way. Since the test was designed for thirteen year olds, a lot of the questions were based on information that would be more easily retained from someone who actually took middle classes more recently. For Amelia, it had been nearly ten years. A few science facts and historical names still stuck out to her, but the vast majority of the third and fourth sections of the aptitude test felt like total guesswork.
And, of course, Religion. The last portion of the test was by far Amelia’s worst. Even with the knowledge that this was all for the sake of the Westridge student experience, and the fact that Mrs. Lewis had also said to not worry too much about the final section, Amelia still felt herself tense up at just how frequently she was wildly guessing at the questions. With a ‘subject’ she barely spent any time in throughout her life, there wasn’t a lot of room for educated guesses; multiple choice or not.
Frowning at the completed scan sheet, Amelia flipped the test back to the first page as “time” was called. Maybe it was the self-doubt from the last few sections, but she seriously wasn’t sure if she would break a B average as a whole. Not ideal for a girl who was still in the interview process to be a teacher.
“Okay, Amelia. Right this way.” Mrs. Lewis came over to collect the testing materials, then led Amelia towards a door at the opposite end of the room.
The next room looked to be a simple waiting area. One door led to what looked like an office, and the other to one of the hallways. Amelia was told to stay there for a few minutes while her results were collected, and then she’d see where she was placed.
Left in solitude in the small room, Amelia sat down and fidgeted with her skirt. This was quite the process. She definitely felt like a new student, with all the awkward first steps that came with a first day. At the moment, nervously waiting to see how she did on the aptitude test designed for girls years her junior. Those scan sheets were designed to be graded quickly, so she knew it wouldn’t be too long.
It was only a few minutes, but it felt like hours in the cold and quiet room. If this was for a doctor’s appointment or something similar, Amelia would be idly scrolling on her phone in the interim. However, Ashley took everything before the testing began, which meant all of her personal things were in the main office somewhere.
Finally, Mrs. Lewis returned to summon her. “Amelia? This way, please.”
“Of course,” Amelia nodded. Standing up, she also realized her only real interaction of the day had been with Ashley so far. Part of Amelia’s plan for the day had been to build a rapport with the faculty and administration, which would actually be more difficult than she initially thought. Between the long testing period and her coming class observations, there wouldn’t be a lot of one-on-one time. “So, what brought you to Westridge?” she asked. Better to make a personal connection than worry about her test and how well she fared compared to other candidates.
“Well, I didn’t exactly transfer here, like you,” she chuckled, after a beat of silence following the question, “If you’re really curious, I can tell you about it some time. Long story short, it was a change in my career path.”
“I didn’t-” Amelia began, but trailed off. This was the middle of a semester, so technically she would be a transfer student in this little roleplay. But surely they could talk freely when there weren’t other students around, right? Hell, Amelia also assumed she would be introduced as the observer she was when it was time for class. If everyone kept speaking to her like a new student, per Ashley’s words, then that would undermine her future authority even more than the current outfit would.
“Didn’t what, Amelia? Proper girls speak clearly, yes?”
“Umm, yes? I’m just not sure how this is all supposed to go. I never received an itinerary, and Mrs. Thompson didn’t say anything about being treated like a new student.”
Up until now, Amelia had been reluctantly going through the motions. Putting on the schoolgirl uniform Ashley gave her, turning over her possessions, taking the full aptitude test that a new student would take, and now being lightly criticized by an adult rather than the teasing remarks the dark haired guide had made earlier. Her tired mind hadn’t offered much resistance at this point, and her inexperience with private schools paved the way for her compliance so far.
At some point, however, enough was enough. She was an adult, and would much prefer to speak to the other adults at Westridge as herself. Especially if no one else was around. How was she ever going to be taken seriously if everyone kept pushing this empathy/experience thing of walking through the first day as a new student?
Mrs. Lewis’s next words brought back that nagging feeling that Amelia felt when she saw the front page of the test.
“Mrs. Thompson?” she asked, “Why would you have spoken with her?”
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Stories of Age/Time Transformation