I put in a considerably better performance today than on my orange-belt test, having dedicated most of the past 24 hours to practicing and studying and worked very hard to keep myself as calm as possible. Still, I was terrifically glad I didn't get some of the questions Master Fuzzy asked during the oral portion of the exam, and I need to do some serious work on a few things before next weekend's tournament.
Yes, that's right. I said "tournament." It's mandatory, and I'll have to compete in my long form and in sparring. Sparring doesn't worry me so much, except that I apparently smile (!) too much while I'm doing it. I'm still godawful, but I'm okay with that, so long as I'm improving. And it's hard to get distracted by worrying over what everyone's thinking of your performance when you're focused on your opponent. The long form is another thing altogether, particularly since I've been doing the formal bow-out incorrectly without realizing it until today. A row of poker-faced judges will be staring me down while I try to execute the entire thing flawlessly--and remember all the etiquette surrounding the tournament performance, too. I am not looking forward to it.
Still, I think I earned a Fudgesicle today.