Jim walked into math class with that small tightness in his stomach that he always got before a big test. He'd stayed up till 2am the previous night cramming and had, he thought, finally cemented as much of the information as he was going to get into his brain. He'd been studying all week to try and finalize the equations he'd need in his memory and practicing well over a hundred problems in preparation. He told his nerves that he was as prepared as he was going to be and now was the time to bite the bullet and let his mind spit out what he'd crammed in.
He walked in, sat himself at his desk, and looked over at his friend Matt who was pouring over sloppily written notes that seemed like they'd been stained with last night's dinner. In front of him was an assortment of objects- stones, a pilot's pin, a rabbit's foot and a variety of other small items.
"What's all this about?" Jim asked as he reached over and picked up the foot.
Matt jumped and grabbed the foot back, stroking it and carefully placing it back on the desk where it had been.
"Don't mess with my juju, dude. I need this shit," he said, going back to his notes.
"Hey, I know this is going to sound absolutely crazy to you but some people have better luck studying rather than relying on, you know- luck," he teased.
"Whatever, dude- you got your plan and I got mine. You won't be laughing when I pass this thing."
Jim raised an eyebrow at him and chuckled.
"Alright, alright- papers away. The only things you should have are your calculators and two -count them- two number 2 pencils. Anyone who does not have a number two pencil may come up to my desk and beg my mercy," the teacher instructed.
Jim watched Matt fumble with his notes and cram them, sloppily, into his backpack. His legs started vibrating under his desk as he straightened his pencils on his desk and stroked his rabbit's foot repetitively.
Jim took a deep breath, closed his eyes, reminded himself that he knew everything he needed to know, and waited for the tests to be passed out.