I only woke up about 15 minutes earlier than usual, since I did all my prep work the night before. I didn’t love it, but it got the job done, and got me to Little Rock a little after 7:30, which gave me just enough time to settle in before finding the classroom. Greg called to tell me he was coming in late, but that he would be there since they couldn’t get a refund for his ticket. He said he felt better, so hopefully I don’t catch whatever he had.

Mike Meyers was a bit of a celebrity in the field, and I think he probably acted more that way than anybody else let on. I was only just aware of his existence in the space, but Ben wanted to come have his book autographed. When I saw that he was giving us copies of his new book, I jumped at the chance to have it signed for myself, and got a selfie with him as well.

The class itself was rather a disappointment. I had hoped it would be an intense workshop to try and cover as much material as possible, but instead it ended up almost being more of a roundtable. It would have been a nice way to decompress and chat further about things you learned in a formal class, but in and of itself, I don’t think Greg or I learned anything at all. It was almost more of a pep talk to psyche us up for the test itself.

Greg and I had lunch at the hotel, which was quite a bit smaller than I expected, but still better than the “barely a step above cafeteria food” I had documented from previous years. Half of the bar was a salad, and the other half had mostly run out of food by the time we got there. They had some chicken, and Greg found some pork when we went back for seconds. The staff were fussing that it seemed like there were more people than they were told, and we missed out on dessert as well. Ben picked up Tacos 4 Life, but I declined his offer to pick up some for us, remembering a less than stellar experience from before.

The afternoon went by relatively quickly, but with not much more productivity. By then, the hotel had managed to bring out cookies, and did a fair job of keeping the drink fridges stocked. We got through the day, but Greg mostly scoffed and rolled his eyes at the fossil that couldn’t remember his ports or acronyms. I was a bit more forgiving and could see the struggle with fitting so much historical knowledge into an eight hour course. I tried to reel the conversations back in to the test material periodically, but I don’t know how much that helped.

I made the trip back home without incident, but confirmed how much I hate traffic between Conway and Little Rock. I just don’t know how people do it. My entire life would be so much more stressful if I had to do that every day. I miss the old days of getting a hotel room the night before a day like that. I got gas, went home to unload, and then went to my parents’ house to visit for a bit.

Julie was there to talk to Dad about their trip to Disney. They warmed up some fish sticks for sandwiches, and Mom shattered one of her prized bowls full of boiled carrots and butter, slicing her hand open a bit. I didn’t really get to talk about my delivery day plans, but suffice to say that I wasn’t thrilled with the way support responded. I went ahead and made the appointment, but apparently even that can change, so if we stay the night, I’ll have to get a room that allows for refunds in the event of a reschedule.

When I left my parents’ house, I went to the high school and got some of that fancy pellet ice from the breakroom, and then went out to the stadium to watch the marching assessment with Summer. We stuck around longer and colder than I expected, and then ran out to the cars to beat the crowd out. The girls eventually made it home after the event, and everyone was off to bed in a hurry.

0/10, especially with that weird, bland rice.

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