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Life as an Exam Widow

11 March 2013

How was your weekend? The weather has been so nice lately, that even when we were run ragged I would pack us up to head to Kyle Warren Park on Sunday afternoon and soak it up (and maybe also get an ice cream sandwich). This weekend's muggy, rainy weather was a good excuse to stay inside.

Markus is an engineer, and unlike the Bar or CPA that tests right after school, the Professional Engineering exam is four or more years after taking the Engineer In Training exam (Markus took his in college so we're a little ahead of the game in that regard).

A good study plan for the PE is supposed to be 20 hours a week for six weeks before the test, but since you are so far past graduated you are also working full time, so I am getting a lot done* by myself while Markus gets his study on.

*If by a lot done you mean a few loads of laundry, catching up on Jennifer Lawrence talk show appearances and lots of online shopping.

It's like the pottery scene from Ghost...I can see him and feel him, I just can't talk to him.

We have about a month left to go, and I think we both are already losing it a little. I came home on Saturday and Markus told me he found the light most conducive to studying in our house. In the middle of our kitchen. I think I'm a fairly supportive person, but I after I got hungry I had to tell Markus that if the only way he could pass an exam was to study in our kitchen for six weeks, he was going to need to choose another profession. Mama needed a sandwich.

The actual testing hasn't occurred yet, but I am already super proud of Markus just for being here. Markus earned scholarships and paid his own way through college. When I met him he was on a break following breaking his foot and some serious medical complications from the surgeries. When he went back to school, the big goal was getting to this test. Long distance college romance, graduations, job searches are kind of chapters in the story of Markus building a career for himself and this exam has long been heralded as the big shift for us. No matter what score comes back in June, watching my pizza delivery boyfriend make sacrifices every day to get a spot in the exam has been one of the coolest and most inspiring things to pay witness to. It has made me a better person and has made each of our accomplishments even more rewarding.

All those nice things I just said? These are the things I need to write and remind myself of when I want to use my kitchen turned study hall to make lunch or when I start talking to myself because I haven't had a meal or quality conversation with my spouse in days.

The experience so far has also made me thankful for my awesome family and friends in Dallas who have been great to hang out with, a house that I can dream up projects for and of course the fact that I don't have to take this crazy test myself!

Any tips for me, dear friends? Have you survived one of these types of tests yourself - whether it was you or a loved one actually taking it?

And any cool things I should check out on Netflix now that I don't have to share for the next while? I want to rewatch Freaks and Geeks and might even get to Downtown Abbey!


  1. Lilly... love the pics. You should get them framed as a present for when he passes with flying colors. Good for you that you have seen Ghost, being so young. One of my faves. Always remember... these are the good old days... I envy you guys...The best is yet to come.

    1. Thank you, Katie! We are just barely starting to see how fast time goes and how you can start to miss the simple things. That is a great idea to print out these pictures. I hope the blog helps me savor everything in this fun chapter. I can't wait to think back about them all...when I'm sailing on my yacht. :o)

  2. My husband and I just went through this for the bar exam. For me, studying in different places was necessary to keep my sanity. Otherwise I got bad cabin fever. I studied outside, at Starbucks, and in different rooms of our apartment. The best thing you can do for him is probably just the everyday to-dos, like laundry and making dinner, so he doesn't have to worry about that stuff. Also, you could bring him coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.

    1. That is a great perspective, Molly! Thanks so much for sharing. I'm sure even the kitchen floor is more exciting than the table after six straight hours. Two of his friends are taking it with him so he has some study groups coming up. I'm going to keep cranking out the coffee! Hope you kick the Bar exam's butt!

  3. My boyfriend is studying for his FE now, and I'm already nervous for when he has to take the PE in a couple years! But it will all be worth it when they can sign off on their own plans, right? :)


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