The last couple of work days, I've been playing quasi-hookey.
My current position requires me to complete a qualification process, that consists of completing On the Job Training and Evaluation forms for different procedures/instruments, and then an Oral Qualification Board(Think a 4 or 5 on one interview) as both a technician AND a Supervisor, and then, finally two exams...a Department of Energy Core Fundamental Exam, and a Site Specific Radiological Knowledge exam.
I'm usually a pretty good test taker...but confidence in my ability to pass these two exams was proving elusive. My time in the Navy and the Shipyard(which are very similar), preparation for qualification exams were very...rigid. Someone was teaching you the information, and when they 'told you three times' you knew what was important. 'Verbatim Understanding'(rote memorization) was the word of the day for definitions and you had to flat out KNOW your 'key words and tricky phrases'. The exams were short answer and essay style, and on each RCT exam in the Shipyard, you knew you were going to face one 'complex problem' question, where you had to work your way through a casualty scenario, and then do all the math to prove what would have happened to anyone exposed to the radiological threat. This one question alone usually involved 10-14 handwritten pages of an answer.
By comparison, the qualification tests here at Hanford are MULTIPLE CHOICE(or multiple guess, depending on how prepared you are). Compared to the type of tests I was used to, these should have been a breeze...but...but...there was no one to horse me. There were no practice exams. There was no instructor stamping his foot when something was REALLY important to memorize. There was just me, and 275 pages of Core Knowledge and Site Specific Study Guides to chew through.
That was a big difference. Focus was proving elusive, especially at work. What I really should have done 9 months ago was tell my boss to pull me off-line for a week, and let me JUST STUDY. He even offered, but know...I could study and do my job at the same time.
Like Hell. And so, I finally had to go beg my boss to NOW let me go hide in the training building for a few days so I could study, study, study. Mission accomplished...I got a 94 on my core test, and an 89 on my site specific.
Mission accomplished, I set about whipping something up to bring in to my co-workers. While I was hiding in a cubical with index cards and a highlighter, ignoring my cell phone, they were picking up my slack. So, I thought, 'who doesn't like cookies?'
Because I forgot to bookmark the last cookie recipe I made, I had to start my search for a promising recipe all over again, and finally thought this one sounded promising: Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. Healthy too...whole wheat, oatmeal, I mean, heck, might as well have these for breakfast tomorrow. I made two batches...one with chocolate chips, the other with butterscotch chips.
As a warning...these are BIG BATCHES of cookies. I ended up with somewhere around 50 cookies, which leads me to the Coolest Invention EVER!!!!(today)....Parchment Paper! This stuff is the bomb....line two separate cookie sheets, and just keeping rotating back and forth. The two sheets lasted me the whole time...cook a batch, cool them, pull them off the cookie sheet, and then, repeat with the same parchment paper. Not one of those cookies came close to sticking, which was a bummer...you can't taste test cookies if they don't fall apart on their own....
This was just the butterscotch cookies...like I said...BIG BATCHES. Me be much popular tomorrow.