Actually, it's not the DMV here in Illinois --I don't know what it is called here, but a rose by any other name . . . . I needed to renew my driver's license.
I made Rob (and Emma) go with me. I'm such a wuss when it comes to sitting in strange places with stranger people, waiting. We got our number --13. The first number they called after we found chairs was 96, so really, that wasn't too bad, huh? About an hour after we came in, I was finally called up.
First, you get all these questions, asked very blandly: Things like "do you ever use drugs, or alcohol to the point where it could impair your driving?" and "Is your license suspended or revoked?" (And really, shouldn't they know the answer to that question already?) The woman who was helping me had these things memorized --a whole string of questions just flowed out. Then she gave me my test. A page of signs to identify, and 20 multiple-choice questions.
Now, I've been writing multiple-choice test questions for coming up on 18 years. I know a thing or two about writing distractors, and the use of "all of the above" and "none of the above".
Wow, there were some really poorly written questions! An example:
Q: A school bus is driving on a two or four lane road, with it's red flashing lights on, and the stop sign extended.
a) You must stop any time a school bus is flashing red lights on a two-lane road.
b) You don't always have to stop for a school bus flashing red lights on a four lane road if two of the lanes are traveling in the opposite direction.
c) You don't need to stop for a school bus flashing red lights on a four lane road when there is a median.
d) all of the above.
So, take a moment. Which did you choose? I know that a is a correct answer. But what's the deal with b? You don't always have to stop? But I'm pretty sure c is a correct answer too. So, if a and c are correct, does that make choice d the right choice? But b really bothers me --that can't be a traffic law, can it? It's just too vague! So, color me confused. All total, I missed 3 questions, but I don't know which three. Certainly the one where they asked about getting your license revoked --I couldn't remember whether drag racing gave you a suspension, or revocation. I mean, I just don't spend a lot of time drag racing, so I'm a little rusty on those specific rules.
After my test was graded, I had to stand in line. For about 15 minutes. Which is only a big deal because I can only stand on one leg at the moment because my arthritic hip doesn't really do straight down anymore. Too late it occurred to me that I should have called Emma up to keep my place in line, and found a chair.
I paid my $30, and the woman took a truly awful picture of me. I dye my hair light brown to cover the gray. All the pool time this summer has turned me into a blond with a very tan face. In the picture, I look like I have white hair and white skin. A little over-exposed I think.
Two seconds later, I had my new license in my hand. And I thanked Rob (and Emma) profusely for wasting their afternoon to keep me company.
Thank goodness I won't have to do that again for another 8 years!