In order to avoid the last-minute stress of trying to track down my candidate number, I wrote it on a little post-it note (the kind that are shaped like little arrows and that you stick in your books). After all, I could have memorized it, but that would have taken up brain space that would have been useful to remember how to spell Heidenheimer or Hocschild. Clearly, that was space I needed. (And clearly, I am going to be able to remember how to spell those names for life.) So, I marched into my exam confident and prepared with pens, Bod card (id) and candidate number. I stuck my candidate number on my name card and started filling out my test forms with the necessary information.
Then the invigilator (the man who was charged with watching us like a hawk) started reading the instructions, including the part about how you are not allowed to bring anything other than your Bod card and writing utensils. And that's when I started to get nervous. I didn't want the jovial and jolly-looking invigilator to think that I was cheating. And while my post-it did just have my candidate number on it, I didn't want to arouse any suspicion. So, my first idea was to stick my post-it on the back of my Bod card. But then I decided that that looked sneaky. So then, I thought that I would wad it up and stick it in my skirt. And I did. But then I thought, what if I get up to leave the exam and that little piece of paper falls out? Now, that will look suspicious. So, I did the only thing that made sense.
I ate it.
(Ok, so maybe I could have raised my hand and turned it in, but I wasn't sure how that was going to go.) After all, it was only a really small piece of paper (and it only had a little bit of black ink on it). And while it may be a little crazy that I chose to resolve my dilemma in that way, it seemed better than having all kinds of anxiety that I was going to get accosted mid-way through the exam for the fluorescent scrap of paper on my desk. And after all, halfway through the exam I was wondering if I really needed to keep writing out "Esping-Andersen" in its entirety or if I could shorten it to Andersen or Esping, or better yet, "EA" as he came to be known in all of my notes. I decided to air on the side of safety (aka, my "eat it" decision) and write it out.