No Clock

I sat for the LSAT on Saturday. I can't say anything about the test itself, as I'm convinced the Law School Admissions Council (which runs the world) has vigilantes on-call to snipe at test-takers who leak test-related information. After being reminded a dozen times over the course of the six-hour test to tell no one anything appearing between the testbook covers, and after being forbidden from making phone calls during the single 15-minute break, I'm a little surprised we weren't required to undergo a polygraph examination before permission was granted us to take the test.

Regardless, the exam went reasonably well. I was, however, a bit taken aback that there was no clock in the room we tested in. Am I alone in considering it a safe assumption that clocks are generally a given in all college classrooms? Not this one. No clock. For a timed test. No clock.

I wasn't the only one that noticed. "How will we keep track of time?" one young man nervously asked the proctor. "I'll keep track for you," she answered matter-of-factly. "Yeah, but--" he began, but she cut him off. "AND, I'll tell you when you have five minutes left." Gee thanks.

Some may point out I would never have found myself in such a situation if I wore a watch like everyone else. But I don't like watches. They pinch my arm hair. And dig into the flesh on the back of my hand when I push myself up from a sitting position. And leave a weird tan line. And tick all the time, reminding me that my life is seeping away, instant by instant. Well, that last one doesn't really bother me, but if it did, I'd have four solid reasons why watches blow.

Panicking that there was no clock would've served no purpose and whining would've been futile, so I held my peace. But I nevertheless felt a bit apprehensive -- I'd taken dozens of practice tests and had carefully timed myself at 35 minutes per section. And I'd always been able to glance up, monitor the time remaining, and pace myself. But alas. No clock. In a college classroom. No clock.

No matter. I finished the test. My head didn't explode. And I have a handy excuse if I end up with a lamentable LSAT score: there was no clock. In a college classroom. In 2007. In Washington, D.C. No clock.