Wednesday evening I had to take a quiz to complete a professional training course series. Following the final session held last week, we were given until midnight Wednesday to complete the quiz. I spent a couple of hours reviewing the final four sessions that I expected the quiz to cover. When I began the quiz, however, the first full page of questions was more along the lines of evaluating the course. For a few glorious moments I thought that maybe the course organizers had given us a break and made the final “quiz” really just a course evaluation.
Then I got to screen two…
As originally expected, I then had a series of questions about each of the final four class sessions. I began to worry a little bit, though, not knowing how much time the questions would take. The rather thorough course review questions asked up front took way more time than I had expected or allowed for on the clock.
Finally, I submitted the quiz 27 minutes before the deadline. I sighed with relief and went on to my next task.
In a span of a few minutes I went from the expectant hope of an easy quiz (course evaluation only) to wondering if I’d complete it on time. What made it easier, though, was being prepared for the content of the quiz through adequate focus on the subject during the original sessions and then spending time to refresh my memory again before the quiz. I’m confident I passed.
In general, I don’t like surprises – at least unpleasant ones. Had I not paid attention during the original sessions or had I not reviewed again before the quiz, the outcome might be very different. In the end, I was the one in control of whether or not I would be surprised by the questions. The more I knew the subject, the less surprised I would be. That’s the way it is with other matters of daily life as well – in our work, our hobbies, our communication with others, etc. We can minimize the number of unpleasant surprises that come our way by being better prepared ourselves.
Leap year lesson #53 is Be prepared and minimize unpleasant surprises.