I took the final, finally. Thank you for all the good wishes. Fortunately, I remembered that the second Robert of the Cuban Missile Crisis was McNamara, not McFarlane. I even threw in a gratuitous shout-out to Fulgencio Batista. Unfortunately, I wrote that Henry Kissinger pressured President Nguyen of South Vietnam to accept harsh peace terms during the Paris peace talks. Accurate in all but one respect, that being that South Vietnam's president at the time was named Thieu, not Nguyen. I drew a complete blank and could not recall his name; I thought of referring to him as "South Vietnam's President" or "the President of South Vietnam", or possibly "the South Vietnamese President" but then thought that this would be a very obvious signal that I couldn't remember his name. I decided that odds would be in my favor if I used "Nguyen". You know, if you're in a large room full of Koreans and you yell "Hey! Mr. Kim!", at least half of the men are going to look up; I figured that the same principle applied with "Nguyen". (I told my husband when I got home that I'd drawn a blank on the name; before I could finish the story, he said "you should have just said "Nguyen"; you'd have had a 50% shot at least".) I figured wrong in this case. I'm hoping that she'll overlook it. I correctly discussed Ho Chi Minh and Le Duc Tho and Ngo Dinh Diem, right? I knew the difference between Haiphong Harbor and the Gulf of Tonkin! I even remembered the name of the French general whose ass was handed to him by General Giap at Dienbienphu (Henri Navarre, in case it comes up in Trivial Pursuit). It's possible she won't even notice. This essay was a good two hours into the exam, and my handwriting, which isn't so good to begin with, had deteriorated so badly that "Nguyen" could have been read as "William Henry Harrison" just as easily as "Thieu". Anyway, it's finished now. Woot.
Bowing to the will of the people, those people being small and outspoken, we finished putting up our Christmas lights and decorations yesterday, both because it was time and because we needed to quell the growing unrest at home. The 4yo's patience with our failure to have our lights up and running had finally come to an end. The 7yo was thoughtfully providing several-times-daily updates regarding the number of OTHER houses on our street that ALREADY HAVE THEIR LIGHTS UP. We weren't far from outright insurrection on Thursday night, when I offered to turn the TV on for them, and they coolly refused, saying that they preferred to look out the window at the houses across the street. Because THEY have lights up. So now we do too. With my shopping halfway finished and no more schoolwork to do for at least a month, I have my usual vague anxiety over the lack of looming deadlines or immensely long to-do lists. I'll get over that, though. I might watch TV. Unless there are some good lights on across the street.