Define “Stress” on the Day of the AP Chemistry Exam

Our junior took the AP Chem Test today. At the far end of our dining room table. Online over the same 50 minutes as the rest of the world, due to COVID. I imagined millions of teenagers biting their nails. Chewing erasers. Twitching. Sweating. Desperately taking deep, calming breaths.

He spent the hours prior to the test “just chilling.” Loved the class. Never complained about the difficulty or workload. Never worried that he didn’t have an A. Logged on 30 minutes before launch. Followed me around the house for the countdown.

It’s Recycling Day too. The dog barked as the trucks drove up and down the streets of our neighborhood. The rest of us stayed quiet.

I asked if he was nervous.

“Only a little.” he paused, considering.

“But it’s not like a Packers’ game day kind of nervous.”

That’s much worse.

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