Every once in a while, I like to challenge myself to do something I might not otherwise consider doing. After all, I spend the lion’s share of the lion’s share of my days writing. Aside from putting me in perilous proximity to an alarming number of lions — and despite the fact that I love writing passionately — a change of pace is good for the soul … or some other, equally lame platitude.

So, I decided to create a TCOE. As soon as I made the decision, the problems began. Out of the gate, I couldn’t decide what it should be. These were my top 10 options:

  1. Tulare County Office of Education
  2. Testing Center of Excellence
  3. Trust for Community Outreach and Education
  4. Total Cost of Employment
  5. Telecom Centres of Excellence
  6. Technical Community of Excellence
  7. Training Centers of Excellence
  8. Take Charge of Education
  9. Tagliateli College of Engineering
  10. Tancredi Composer’s Operatic Embarrassment (aka Rossini’s Lament).

Suffering from a wicked case of Option Anxiety, I was getting ready to re-think the wisdom of this particular diversion when I remembered my big sister’s admonition: “No guts, no air medals.” Feeling reassured and resolute, I picked #2 and plunged headlong into creating a testing center of excellence. (Please note: The abbreviation of this term can be rendered as TCOE or as TCoE, which is another potential source of Option Anxiety. I chose not to dwell on it.)

Thinking the first decision would make subsequent decisions easier, I forged on to the next step: determining what to test. Given the possibility that I was biting off more than I could chew, I decided to start small.

Since Albert Einstein established the laws of physics are the same for all non-accelerating observers — demonstrating the speed of light in a vacuum is the same no matter the speed at which an observer travels — I determined to test the speed at which I get out of bed in the morning, relative to my cat, Sammy, who’s typically a decidedly non-accelerating observer.

The test would have been a smashing success were it not for the fact that, as soon as I budged, Sammy assumed I was going to feed him. Accordingly, he bolted down to the kitchen before I could peel my carcass off the sheets.

Since my testing center, therefore, fell far short of excellence (thanks to Sammy), I’m pretty sure my next foray into TCOE will be #10, Rossini’s Lament. Opera seems like a safer bet that than the variables involved in the Theory of General Relativity and a cat.

The good news, however, is that — in a development of providential serendipity — I gave up on the idea of creating a testing center of excellence before even coming close to contending with Shadow IT.


Image by geralt, courtesy of pixabay.com.