I love tests.
I love them because I delight in my ability to pass them. I was always that weird kid in class who loved when we were forced to take standardized tests. I can’t think of a single final in college I didn’t ace. Even my driving test, which caused me over a decade of agita, was just one more set of objective criteria for which I could learn the correct answers.
Ultimately, tests are no different than playing a song in front of an audience – all it takes to pass them is rehearsal. Plus, with most tests there’s not the subjective grading level of the audience rejecting you because of how you look or because you’re playing the wrong kind of guitar.
(But, seriously, Flying V guitars are lame and Gina and I will judge you.)
It’s only the tests you can’t rehearse for that give me any unease, which is why I was very nervous last week as we embarked on a two hour drive to northern New Jersey to one of the only three doctors in driving distance who may conduct a physical for our New Zealand visas. (There are presently only 34 Immigration New Zealand panel physicians in America – you’re screwed if you live in the Midwest, or even parts of the Pacific Northwest!)
Objectively, I knew the questions with which this test was concerned. New Zealand’s health care system isn’t socialized single-payer, but it’s government-subsidized enough that the “good health” of their potential residents is paramount to them granting a working visa.
What’s “good health” in this instance? They make it sound so simple on their friendly immigration site…
- unlikely to be a danger to the health of the people already in New Zealand
- unlikely to cost New Zealand’s health or special education services a lot of money
- able to work or study if this the reason for your visa.
Simple, yes? Yet, getting there while over the age of 55 isn’t easy, and you can be rejected in one fell swoop for having certain medical conditions “deemed to impose significant costs and/or demands,” which include HIV and M.S.. In all of those cases, you can certainly be in “good health,” but it might take more state dollars to keep you there.
I’m not that old nor do I have any of the conditions in question. I’m in decent physical shape and quite limber. I have near-perfect eyesight. I wasn’t feeling congested enough to be anxious that my chest X-ray would give a false positive that I had tuberculosis.
The only unknowns were a urine sample and a blood test, but I would be fine. As for “preparing” for these tests, they only had three suggestions – which of course I studied carefully:
How do I prepare for my immigration medical examination?
- If you are mildly unwell or on a short course of antibiotics, wait until you are better before having your immigration medical examination.
- Do not have alcohol or high fat meals 48 hours before your blood tests.
- Do not consume kava for 48 hours before your blood tests.
Except, in that most Peter of Peter decisions, 24 hours before the test I did something very inadvisable (see also: shaving off my guitar callouses before a big gig; not sleeping the night before my driving test).
Here’s the inadvisable thing:
Yes, that is a Friendly’s Wattamelon roll. [Read more…] about not failing my first New Zealand test