Series 65 Test Aborted, then Failed

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I’ve been telling Benji that my Series 65 studying is work and the class is meetings. Yesterday (October 1) I told him I had one more meeting, my actual test, that morning.

He said, “How many more meetings does Mommy have?”
Me: I hope only one more – today.
Benji: No…I don’t think so. Mommy have lots more meetings.

Later… Turns out that Benji was depressingly prescient. When I showed up at the testing place, I wasn’t on their list. After panicking to the point of hyperventilating and (when I had picked my jaw up off the floor and recovered from speechlessness) stuttering, spending an hour on the phone with the scheduling company, and being a (in my defense, panicky, shocked) jerk to all the testing facility staff, I finally rescheduled my exam for today, October 2.

I can’t remember when I’ve ever felt that way – it was like entering another reality. I knew I scheduled my test, knew date and time, but didn’t have any confirmation paperwork. In retrospect, the lack of confirmation email should’ve tipped me off that something was wrong. But it didn’t.

Then being ready to go, all prepared and having going to a great deal of trouble to arrange everything; that, combined with the anxiety and stress of test-taking (and, honestly, this entire week of test prep) just tipped me over the edge. It wasn’t pretty.

I guess I get to go back there today and first apologize to the poor staff people, whose fault it definitely wasn’t.

And hopefully a miracle will occur, I’ll pass the first time, and I won’t have to interact with those people again for a long, long time.

— Edit to add —

Well, no miraculous intervention occurred. I got a 69%, with my worst scores on the economics and client suitability questions — basically, the things that were heavily emphasized on the test but not as well covered in the book, maybe because the expectation was that a person doing this would, perhaps, have some experience in finance. I’m honestly just relieved to be done for now, even if not as relieved as I would feel to be done for good.

Here’s the math question of the day: If 94 hours of studying took me from 0% to 69%, and I only need to add another 3% to pass, how many more hours should I need to spend to pass?

Oh, and, did you notice that Benji was right again? Creepy.

Series 65 Training

I spent all of Monday and Tuesday in a cram class to attempt to pass the Series 65 exam. This test will allow me to trade on clients’ accounts, something I’ll be picking up as one of my coworkers retires in the spring. Alas, this test material is way more dense and intensive than I expected, and I didn’t give myself as much study time as I now think I could have used.

Anyway, after 10 hours of this, I took a break for a walk on the Green River Trail at sunset.





That was all very pretty, and it was a nice break from Series 65 studying, but I still prefer snuggle time with my favorite boy.


Things Benji said

We read a story about above and below with Benji. At the end, he said, “Maybe next time story about in and out.” He recognized those are the same class of things. Clearly my nefarious plan to raise a grammar Nazi is proceeding apace.

Also, looking at the train track he made, Benji said, “This track fabulous.”

Finally, Benji got to bring home the class bear. He named it Lindsey, after his favorite teacher from Kindering. We read Lindsey Bear a bedtime story.


Edit to add: I’ve been telling Benji that my Series 65 studying is work and the class is meetings. Today (October 1) I told him I have one more meeting, my actual test.

He said, “How many more meetings dies Mommy have?”
Me: I hope only one more – today.
Benji: No…I don’t think so. Mommy have lots more meetings.

Achievement Unlocked

Today at the park, a nice guy chatting with us asked Benji’s name. Benji said, “Benji — B, e, n, j, i.” It took me a moment to realize that Benji had spelled his own name! Then I was just really surprised. I guess all those times of spelling his name to him are paying off.


He also asked, “Who drive this car?” today when we were all going somewhere together. This is cool because “who” is another of those question words that kids this age are supposed to be picking up. He’s good on “why”, as he demonstrates about 10,000 times per day, and uses “what” perfectly fine.

However, right now he says, “Do Mommy go downstairs with Benji, play trains?” when he means, “Mommy, will you come downstairs and play trains with me?” Sometimes it’s also hard to tell past and future with him, since almost everything is present tense. Past tense is coming in a bit, but future is trickier.

Speaking of futures (and not the kind I’ve been reading about in my financial studying), I am scheduled to take my Series 65 class the beginning of next week, and the exam at the end of the week. At least it’s going to be over one way or another shortly… Although, in the extremely likely event that I fail, alas, the studying must go on.

At least I have a pretty pen to use.


School, for Benji and Me

Wow, this week has gone so fast, my head is still spinning. I’d forgotten how full the week feels when Benji has commitments a few times a week. Through August and September, Benji and I had plenty of time together — perhaps a little more than either of us really felt absolutely necessary. (I suspect this is mutual because the other day, I asked Benji, “Do you love Daddy?” Benji said, “Benji love Daddy more than Mommy.” Thanks, buddy. He then clarified that “Benji love Daddy more because Daddy watch vit-e-oos with Benji.” It’s true, they watch train videos together while Benji sits on the potty.)

Anyway, our week now looks pretty full: Mondays, I work and Benji spends all day with Mom; Tuesday, school; Wednesday, the whole morning with Ian’s mom; Thursday, school; and Friday, speech therapy in the morning. This week Benji attended preschool both Tuesday and Thursday, but only for two hours. Next week we start the full four-hour day, and he has to bring a lunch. We won’t be getting him back here until probably 1:30, so I’m hoping that won’t ruin our naptimes (which until now have started about 1:00) for good.

Benji doesn’t know what he’s in for yet, but I think he’ll do well. He did great this week, cooperating with the teachers and going right in when I dropped him off. What he says indicates he’s having fun; I trust that’s the case. We get pretty sparse details out of him, except when it comes to the train set, which he soliloquizes about most eagerly. In any case, I’m looking forward to having three consecutive, uninterrupted hours to do work or whatever.

In fact, I’ll probably spend the time working for the time being. I’m in the (very slow) process of studying for the Series 65 test, and although I spend as much time as I can on it, it’s not that much, since I’m adding that in on top of my normal work time. I haven’t been studying in the evenings, spending that time with Ian instead; but I’m thinking I’ll have to switch to really intensive evening studying on top of everything else pretty soon.

As far as the information goes, I am starting from a place of almost complete ignorance, so all the material is entirely new to me — a situation that I haven’t dealt with since college. Ouch. Plus, to be perfectly honest, it’s not exactly gripping. There’s a reason I chose technical writing for a major, rather than finance. I can only take so much of this before I can’t absorb any more and I have to take a break.

I have an exam prep course scheduled for a week from now, but the recommendation is to have read the entire book before the course, so the course is review that you do right before taking the exam. Well, I’ve been doing this for weeks and I’m just finishing Unit 2. The book is incredibly thick, but also it’s organized so poorly I have no sense of how these things relate to each other until I’ve gone through the material several different ways. I have to read each chapter two times, taking notes; watch the associated video lectures; take practice tests; and make flash cards. Even then I still haven’t gotten a passing score on any of my practice tests.

On the kind-of bright side, if I fail the test, I can take any other prep courses for free. On the very dark side, that’d mean I have to take the prep classes and test twice, and that really wouldn’t be fun, on many levels.

First Day of Preschool

Benji went to his first day of “big boy” preschool yesterday. It was a half day, so only 9:00 to 11:00, but even so felt like a really big deal… At least for one of us.


Actually, Benji did fabulously: He waited in line, greeted the teacher, and went inside with nary a glance back. He told me beforehand that he wanted to play with the train set, and I could tell he was on a mission. He brought snuggle blanky, his most special, comforting snuggle (our term for comfort/security item), but it ended up in his cubby by the time I got there. When I came to get him and do the picnic with him, he was waiting somewhat patiently in the circle with the other kids, and although he was glad to see me, he really wanted to show me the toys, not get lots of reassuring hugs.

I’m thinking that our experience at Stepping Stones is going to be invaluable here. This new preschool is longer – 9:00 to 12:45 – so probably more tiring (although yesterday he took a long time to fall asleep at nap time, probably because things were SO exciting). But the principle of “mommy always comes back” remains true, and he learned it well during our eight months at Kindering.

So, although Benji wanted to play with the trains, they were actually blocked off for the day with a stop sign. They were “asleep,” apparently, so now he’s really looking forward to them “waking up” next time he goes to school. Very canny of the teachers, not to make all the toys and play areas immediately available. Benji, however, calmly accepted the trains’ unavailability, for which I am grateful.

On another front, Benji is doing great with potty training. I’m expecting some regression or difficulty with starting at school, but at this point he doesn’t have accidents, he goes poo and pee in the potty when he needs to, he holds out when we’re out and waits to go until there’s a potty, and he holds it most naps and nights, and goes in the potty first thing when he gets up. We’re still doing diapers at night, but undies all day, and I’m proud of how well he does. He even went at school, with an unfamiliar adult, when prompted. We are starting to slowly work on getting him doing the other bathroom things – pants and undies up and down himself, wiping himself, washing hands consistently – but he’s doing so well at the hardest part. I’m about to switch from Baby Diaper Service pull-ups to real big boy undies, and we’re almost ready to do undies at night, but I’m waiting to make any changes until we’ve settled in at school. One big change is hard enough.

Finally, in non-Benji news, I’m starting to study for the Series 65 test, which I have to take in the next 100 days or so. I went into it sanguine, but now I’ve gotten into the material a little bit, I’m feeling more exsanguinated. Hopefully I’ll master enough to pass the test. I can see it’s going to be a long, miserable slog shoving all that data into my brain. Ugh.

Dulcius Ex Asperis