Nathan has been a student at BYU for a year now. The other night, I mentioned the “MOA café”.
“Moa?” he asked.
His BYU and my BYU are different.
This was my BYU:
- I lived in dorms on campus as a freshman.
- I walked or bussed to campus from nearby apartments the other years.
- I met friends at places to eat around campus: MOA café, the Tanner Building paninis, etc.
- I was single.
- I attended BYU wards, on campus.
- I had classes strewn throughout buildings: running from the JKHB to the JSB.
- We still had the Smith Family Living Center, SFLC, which people pronounced syphilis.
- I didn’t really use campus parking.
- I used campus facilities: library, organ practice rooms, language lab, computer labs, printers, library, intramural sports, the gym, library, and the library.
- I used the testing center.
This is Nathan’s BYU:
- He still lives in Salt Lake.
- He drives his car down for a full day of classes once a week.
- He might grab lunch in the Wilk, but hasn’t heard of or been to the MOA café.
- He is married and has a kid.
- He attends our family ward back in Salt Lake where at least he’s not in the bishopric anymore. (Shh, don’t tell people.)
- All of his classes are in one building, and even the same room. All. Day. Long.
- They tore down the SFLC and built a fancy new humanities building.
- He uses campus parking, but it’s for GRADUATE STUDENTS.
- He has not used any other campus facilities, really.
- And he has not even HEARD of the testing center.
Which gets me to the thoughts of my blog today: the BYU Testing Center.
Wikipedia told me that it’s the largest college testing center. Ever. (Or in the nation, but ever sounds better.) It was the BYU library, once upon a time, and now its purpose is taking tests. Even when I was there, they had a webcam you could check on to get an idea of how long the wait is. It was like checking the wait times for a ride at Disneyland.
Except you weren’t getting on Splash Mountain.
You were going to spew out memorized Shakespeare, Church history, biological anatomy of a bee, or an essay on feminist literary theory.
A few interesting things about this amazing testing center:
- You can pay a late fee, if the professor allows it
- If you forget to bring a pencil, you can buy one at the entrance
- They had razors there for boys that forgot to shave that day
- When I first started using it, you waited for a ticket or receipt to print out with your test score at the exit
- That was replaced with a TV displaying an electronic feed of test scores by student ID at the exit (ooo, technology)
- During finals, the testing center also set up “satellite” centers in the JSB, Wilk, etc
- And yet, during finals, the lines were insane
- I am not being extreme when I say insane
- See this (poorly made) YouTube video as proof
- I never used the upstairs room where they played quiet music out of wall-mounted speakers
- I often saved my study time for standing in line
- I always wished I’d brought a camping chair with me for the long line
- Eventually I just took all of my tests after 8:00 pm when the line was usually shorter
Wikipedia also told me that they have 650 desks in the large, main testing room. I wonder how many hours I spent in that room throughout my BYU life. Harry Potter should have had a testing center at Hogwarts. A magic testing center.
And for a third YouTube video link, here’s Divine Comedy’s testing center sketch.