Totally by chance (if you believe in that sort of thing), last Friday I saw an announcement that the Ivy League Institution Where I Teach would be offering the exam that confers the Diploma de Español como Lengua Extranjera, from the Instituto Cervantes. For free! And the deadline was that same day!! Yikes!!!

Needless to say, I signed up — and even though it required me to deal with Friday afternoon before school vacation traffic, it was worth it. On May 21st, I’ll sit for the C2 (“Superior”) level exam, and I’m comfortably confident that I’ll do well. Since classes for me end next week, I’ll have lots of time to prepare (and the preparation will also be a good way to keep myself engaged and amused). I do have to remember how to take a standardized test, something that hasn’t been on my radar since 1984, back when we scratched our answers on a wax tablet with a stylus. But I used to be pretty good at them, so I’m hoping it’s a skill I can relocate in the mental file drawer.

This exam isn’t small potatoes, kids. A C2 diploma will mean that I have “near-native” competency in Spanish, and it’s the only official way to prove it in the Spanish-speaking world. It means I can apply for jobs in Spain that I wouldn’t be able to without the diploma, and should also help in the visa process.

My only concern is this. Given all the work I’ve been doing recently to become more compassionate, nonjudgmental, and humble, is it going to be a good thing to have official written proof of my superiority? 😉