Saturday, February 24, 2007

How Math Affects a 46 Year Old Brain

Thanks to GingaJoy ( for this ... I laughed out loud this morning.  Good thing I had finished my coffee.  You see, next Tuesday I am taking the GRE (Graduate Record Examination).  On the way down to New Orleans last week (more on that later) I was studying my Kaplan's GRE practice book.  The vocab stuff isn't too bad, I recognize most of the words, but the Math stuff is giving me a nervous breakdown.  My eyeballs, literally, went into spasms.  I only get more freaked out when I ask David a question and he says, "Oh, EASY!  All you do is multiply this by this and then that by that, and there ya go!!"  Heh ... easy for you maybe, you're a freakin' SCIENTIST.   I, on the other hand, am steeped in Liberal Artism.  Let me discuss the ramifications of the German invasion of Poland, or the British parliamentary system, and I am right at home.

I am very hopeful that the Powers that Be at UNC-G will know that I am going to study Library Science (think: words, books, reading, literature) and NOT Rocket Science, so my miserably low Math score on the GRE will not be a factor.  (Factor?  Did you say Factor?  As in Factoring Polynomials???  AGH!!) 

It is a CAT ... "Computer Adaptive Test", which means that the exam is given on a computer.  If you answer an easy question correctly, it will then give you a hard question.  If you miss that one, back to the easy ones.  Then score you accordingly.  There is a writing section too ...well, we all know I can put together a coherent sentence (Right?  RIGHT?) so I'm not too worried about that.  And argue?  Yep, I can certainly argue a point.  I'm a woman, after all ...

No more No. 2 pencils.  No bubbles to fill in.  Just point and click the mouse.  Thank goodness.  When I took the SAT all those millenia ago, I remember stressing more about getting No. 2 pencil marks outside the bubble than the actual test itself.  I can't remember what my scores were, but they were good enough to get me into a pretty decent, competitive school (Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas).  But ya know, today, my qualifications would never have been enough to get in.  Now you have to have 1,000 hours of community service, volunteer in the bush of Africa, start your own business at the age of 16, and participate in at least 20 clubs or extracurricular activities.  Sheesh.  When I was in high school, the most I did was participate in the school play because it got you out of school early for rehearsals, and smoke behind the gym.  And get invited to the best parties, held by the kids with the fanciest houses and most lenient parents.  Doesn't that count for something??

So, wish me luck ... and that Academia will welcome me back into its fold with open arms.

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