Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Golden Horseshoe-- September 6, 2014

I meant to post this last week, but I had some pictures I wanted to upload before I posted it. So here it is! (Still waiting on a few photos.)

Okay, so all eighth graders in West Virginia take this big exam called The Golden Horseshoe test to test their knowledge of our state's history. I took it back in March. Well, as it turns out, I placed in the top ten highest scores in the county. So, although I did not do well enough to win one of the actual coveted Golden Horseshoes, I still did pretty good.

So Saturday, I wore a white shirt and a black skirt like the people told me to. Then I showed up at this old Civil War era house, where the ceremony was to be held. Some bluegrass band was playing "Country Roads". Important-looking men in suits were roaming about the grounds. Historic reenactors  in full costume were explaining the history of the house. Farmers were selling vegetables out of the beds of their trucks. (One of them was, surprisingly enough, my old kindergarten teacher. We stopped and talked to her and she said she was proud of me and then launched into a speech about how I should avoid boys until after college. Ah, Mrs. M.)

Here I am, having never really taken a selfie before,
smiling like an idiot because I'm so nervous.

Yup, aaaand still smiling like an idiot.
The parents made us pose for pictures on the porch (it was SO CRUEL of them!), so we lined up between the columns.

Whaaaat? We have to have our pictures taken?
 There were three flags hanging over us: the American flag, the West Virginia state flag, and a violet flag with a very interesting picture on it.
 "Um, is that a picture of a guy stepping on another guy's throat?" I asked, glancing up. It looked vey odd, indeed, especially since it was upside down from where we were standing. The others stared up at it, too, and had similar reactions.
"It's Virginia's flag." said one of the moms. "We used to be part of Virginia, you know. Or at least I hope you guys know that-- you scored the highest on that test out of the county!"
"Yes, we know. But that's still kind of... gruesome, don't you think?" said one girl. We spent the next ten minutes discussing the Virginia state flag.
Then we were lined up two by two and led in a circle around the house.

The ROTC color guard led the procession.
My cape-thing refused to stay up like it was supposed to,
so I had to hold my shoulders at a really awkward angle.
 Before the colors (flags) were put in their posts by the porch steps, we stood in front of our seats. After the Pledge, the Color Guard pivoted, marched towards the steps, and planted the flags in their posts. One of the flag poles was inches from my feet, so during the ceremony, the flag kept blowing back and hitting me in the face. It was draped over my head for a good bit of the talking, because every time I pushed it away, it fluttered right back down onto my face. My parents were laughing and my friends beside me were snickering quietly. I gave them dirty looks-- although the offenders couldn't see them, because the West Virginia state seal was plastered over me.

See, I told you. Right in my face.
Once each of those important guys had remarked on what a great day it was and what a bright future we had with students like these before them, they started calling our names. One by one, the ten of us went up the stairs to shake the hands of the important dudes and be presented with our plaque, as well as a book on West Virginia history.

When they called my name, I skipped up the steps and then turned around to face the "crowd", which consisted of the color guard, the families of my nine fellow winners, and a handful of old couples. And, even in front of that small number of people, I froze. I stood stiff, unable to move, next to a lady as she read something about me from a binder.

"... and Rebecca was homeschooled. Go ahead and get your stuff, honey."

Now out of my frozen stupor, I stumbled over to the men in suits. My fingers fumbled as they tried to grasp the things that were handed to me and shake the men's' hands at the same time. Then I sat back down with a thunk, doing my best to keep from flushing bright red. Grace was apparently not my thing today. (Or any day.)

And then it was over. By some Divine Providence, I managed not to fall on my face on the way down the steps.



  1. Go Rebecca!!! I'm so proud of you, girl!
    I love your cape and can sympathize with it's general peskiness and not wanting to stay in place!
    PS- Was Jacob there? Is he the boy with shaggy hair in the bottom right of the forced porch-pictures?

    1. Thanks! And yes, the cape was quite aggravating.

      PS- Yes, that's Jacob. I have more pictures from that day I'll share with you later. :) Goodness, he photobombed me SO MANY times!


Go ahead and drop me a comment-- I appreciate them so much! I try to reply to all comments you leave me as quick as I can, whether it's on my blog or yours.
Rebecca :)