A Standardized Test Measuring the Quality of your Soul

Read the passage bellow, then answer the following four multiple choice questions. Select the ONE best answer

You are getting ready to leave your apartment for work. Your girlfriend of several years is still in her bathrobe on the couch, reading a paper, drinking coffee. You say goodbye. She does not reply. You say you are leaving for work, and she makes a non-committal noise that may or may not have something to do with what you just said. You leave. Walking down the stairs, you find yourself randomly thinking of ‘Young Goodman Brown’, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, a short story you read in high school. The title is just about all you can remember, except that Brown was alienated from a lot of things. Later that day, you will nod numbly during your annual performance review, and only as you sign the written copy will you realize you do not remember a single thing your manager has said since you walked into her office.

1.) In the selection above, your girl friend responds with a non-committal noise. What was the noise most likely to have meant?

A.) Something to do with a story she was reading in the paper. She was absorbed and never heard you.
B.) ‘Goodbye, sweetheart. Have a nice day at work.’
C.) To answer ‘B’ would be what is politely called ‘magical thinking’. She doesn’t love you anymore and cannot remember if she ever did.
D.) If answer ‘A’ is correct, wouldn’t it become more accurate if it began ‘Because she doesn’t love you anymore and cannot remember if she ever did, the sound she made…

2.) The selection suggests a predisposal to what philosophical outlook?

A.) The idea of ‘romantic love’ is a genetic construct designed to instigate partnerships necessary for societal cohesion. After a few years, the brain stops creating the chemicals associated with romantic love, and if we are lucky we come to a more mature understanding of partnership.
B.) A man grits his teeth and keeps moving forward
C.) After five o’clock, it is sociably acceptable to start drinking.
D.) Before five is okay too, but keep it on the down low and always carry tic tacs.

3.) The dynamic contrast between your girlfriend and your manager can best be described as

A.) This answer is obviously incorrect.
B.) This answer can almost certainly be ruled out.
C.) This answer is the correct answer.
D.) This answer is exactly as correct as answer ‘C’.

4.) In Hawthornes ‘Young Goodman Brown’, Brown’s wife Faith is uneasy with his plans for an overnight trip that will take him through the forest. She asks him not go. Brown surmises that she fears though they have been married only three months, he intends to commit adultery. Why is Faith uneasy?

A.) Wait… what?
B.) Okay, if Faith represents my girlfriend, and that’s why I thought of the story in the first place… wait, we’re not married. Is that why she can’t even be bothered to say goodbye when I go to work? What the hell?
C.) During the Colonial period, the forest embodied all that was evil, including the unknown.
D.) I was assigned the book in high school. That was a long time ago. It’s likely I didn’t read the book and faked my way through class discussion, something I generally managed quite well, thanks. But I have yet to find a way to make this strategy work in life outside of school, and to be honest, I have no other strategies.

5.) Change is constantly falling out of your pocket at inopportune moments. (Church, movies, dating) You have never noticed this happening to anyone else. Does it?

A.) Wait; is this referring to the passage? How?
B.) I thought they said just four questions about the passage. That would mean this is a stand-alone question. But what if I’m wrong?
C.) Do I have time to go back and check the instructions? I’m sure it was four questions. But what if it says four but that’s not what they meant? THESE TESTS ARE WRITTEN FOR SHIT, DO THEY NOT EVEN HAVE A PROOF READER?!
D.) Change never falls out of anyone else’s pockets. It’s just you. And that is the tip of the damn iceberg.

6.) Did you use a Number Two pencil?

A.) Yes. Sure. Isn’t pretty much any pencil you buy a Number Two? Isn’t that, like, the default number for pencils?
B.) This pencil has no number written on it anywhere. So it’s a Number Two, right? Right?
C.) Are you seriously telling me if the pencil I used is some other Number… Wait, what happens if it’s not a Number Two? You never said what happens! Tell me you bastard!
D.) I will put this assumedly Number Two pencil right in your God damn eye.
E.) ‘E’? ‘E’? All the other questions stopped at ‘D’! What the fuck?!
F.) All of the above
H.) Okay, none of the above.
I.) The answer is ‘H’. In the grand scheme of things, ‘H’ is pretty much always the answer.
J.) Any answer containing the phrase ‘in the grand scheme of things’ is incorrect.

Close your Blue Book. Return the Blue Book to the Proctor. Return to your home and wait for the results. Continue to wait. Make pointless inquiries on a semi regular basis. Eventually forget you ever took this test until at some point in a poorly funded old age home that smells of urine and dollar store off brand disinfectant, you think you hear a visiting grandchild on the other side of a curtain saying something about a school assignment. Did he say ‘Young Goodman Brown’? Is that possible? Probably not. No one visits anyone in this place.