Saturday, February 19, 2005

Drinking and Testing
I spent most of the past few days studying for my next exam. My employer has asked that I become certified as a Novell Linux instructor. Being that they have been dropping the ax at the rate of once per week, it was an offer I couldn't afford to refuse! Besides ... when they finally fire me, I will have one more certification to my name, right?

So I have two immediate goals, one of which is complete. To obtain your Certified Novell Instructor status (for Linux courses) you must obtain either the: LPI, SuSE, or RedHat certification. You then send your proof of certificate-ship to Novell along with proof that you are a "real teacher". That base is covered. I have been a Certified Technical Trainer for many years now (now owned by CompTIA and called "CTT+"). I scanned that certificate and mailed it. So then it was onto one of the three Linux certs.

Since I had complete freedom in the Linux cert I chose, I went with the most vendor neutral; "Linux Professional Institute - Level 1". There are two exams one must pass to be LPI certified. After doing a couple of days of studying, I thought I was about ready. Plus, I needed to get a move on. They want me to teach a Novell class the week after next! I scheduled it for Friday afternoon.

Friday morning I came to work and got to studying as usual. Around noon I stood in the cafeteria and choked down my reheated lunch. And then ... I guess it was back to studying. With only a few hours left, I was starting to get that pre-exam anxious feeling which I hate. I really needed a beer. Then I saw some of my co-workers getting ready to leave for lunch. They were going to the Red Door Tavern. For those who don't know, the Red Door Tavern is a run-down, filthy, smelly old resteraunt up the road. The food is awful, the prices are outragous, and the service is downright disrespectful. Yet, they seem to turn quite a bit of business. I would never dare eat anything there, but I REALLY needed to get out.

So I followed the work gang off to the Red Door with one thing on my mind. A beer. Once we got there I could see that the selection on brew would be slim. This place actually had two bars (only one functional) and about five taps. Not wanting the usual beer I made a few requests. "Guiness?" Nope. "Becks Dark?" Nope. "Anything dark?". "Yes", the waitress replied, "We have Columbus Dark Nut Ale". Yum. Give me a big one!

Over the course of the next hour and 15 minutes that it took my cohorts to get their food, I slowly consumed 24 full ounces of dark stout ale. It was all of delicious. A full meal in itself.

After heading back to work, I began to see the err of my ways. My mind was filled with cob-webs. Had I consumed too much alcohol? Ah hell, of course not! 20 minutes before it was time to take the exam, I was beginning to get worried. I was ready for a nap. So I did what any beer-buzzed exam taker would do. I drank two consecutive mountain dews. But they could not compete with the dark ale which was consuming me.

As I stepped into the exam room, I was a bit worried. The test was said to be 65 questions, yet I learned it was more like 90. The extra questions were random "beta questions" which would go unscored. That's a lot of beta stuff. So I buckled down, and hammered through it. About 45 minutes in, I was all ready done, having answered all 90 questions. "Damn! That was simple!". I figured I aced it. Imagine my surprise when I exited the exam room to learn that I passed it by a hair. 500 points of 890 were required to pass, and I scored a 540. Whew! Close one!

The moral of the story: Friends don't let friends drink and test!

Oh shit! I'm about to be late to Best Buy. Bye! Miss me.

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