Friday, June 28, 2013

The Test!!! duh duh duhhhhh.... (<--- that's dramatic music)

I mentioned before that getting into falconry is a bit of a challenge.  First you have to find someone willing to take you on as an apprentice for 2 years, they don't get paid, PLUS they do have real jobs, lives, families, and their own falconry obsession.  I was really lucky to meet several falconers pretty quickly, and each of the falconers I met seemed to have a crazy important role in the falconry community, which was pretty cool!!!  Even though everyone I met seemed to say  "You are going to make a great falconer and wonderful apprentice!!! ...but I don't have time for you" I was lucky enough to find my sponsor through that network of people and I can honestly say, I think he's a pretty cool guy :)

Once you have your sponsor, you have to pass an exam.  Now, I typically don't stress about things like exams, but I did want to ensure that I passed.  I spent a LOT of money on books and read every single one of them cover to cover - no joke, I even read the foreword and dedication.  Some of the books that I thought (or was told) contained the most information relevant to the test were re-read several times.  There is one book in particular that everyone tells you is the holy bible when it comes to the falconry exam; The California Hawking Club Apprentice Study Guide.

There it is... see the ruffled edges?  That's how you know I studied that thing!

Now... here's the thing... I don't live in California buuuuuuut,  I've been told that the California test, and their laws, and everything else they do regarding falconry helps to set the standard for federal law and other states tests because they're so big and more strict than most states.  Remember how I said that this book is the holy bible to the falconry exam?  Well, everyone tells you the guide will ensure that you pass the test... yeah, that's not really true.  I studied that book SO hard I could probably tell you what pages certain questions are on!!! Now, I read no less than 15 books on falconry, studied this magnificent website called The Modern Apprentice, and also downloaded around 10 falconry study guides on this cool app called Quizlet, and I still wasn't sure that I had passed when I walked out of that room.  Actually, I was CERTAIN I didn't pass and kinda threw a fit about it in the parking lot...  I will say that the test I took was probably written circa 1970, and did not look to be updated at all.  In fact, the copy of the test I took was so worn there were places that some words were actually hard to read.

If you want my advice (... I  know I said this wasn't going to be some sort of information ridden blog with helpful tips... but... come on), and I'm pretty sure you do, I would say to read as much as you can. Don't skip things that you don't think you should know, including birds NOT used in falconry, and common diseases in other animals.  I'm telling you, if they had asked me the proper way to fix the bobber thingy in the back of the toilet I wouldn't have been shocked;  there was so much on there that didn't seem to relate to falconry as I understood it.

Then I got this e-mail:

As you can see, I did pass the test, but I didn't pass it with a perfect score like I wanted to.  I don't have to take it again, and some of the information I crammed in my brain isn't worth retaining (... or at least that's what I've been told... we will see how much of that is true later...), so I guess I should stop whining about it.

I started this post intending for it to be about all the cool stuff I've been making, but obviously I got sidetracked because... stuff.   Hopefully my next post will be about some of the equipment, cuz that's the part that's keeping me occupied until I have my bird!!!!

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