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Practicing for Life…Math Sucks

October 11, 2010

So, in  a way, yesterday was a big day for me. I took my first timed GRE practice test. I’m pretty confident that I rocked out on the Issue Task and Argument sections of the test — but in the practice formats there really isn’t a way to grade those. In fact, I felt like they were sort of easy looking back on it. I hope the practice test isn’t easier than the actual test will be. I mean, if it is what kind of practice would that be?

I actually got a nearly perfect score on the Verbal section. And I finished it in half the alloted time. Stellar verbal skills confirmed.

But the Quantitative section — otherwise known as math — handed me my butt. And I mean handed me both cheeks with both hands. Painful baby.

First of all, you aren’t allowed to use a calculator. Color me panicked.

Second, I ran out of time.

And finally, I got 15 questions wrong.

So that means I only got 13 right. I wonder how good my math score has to be to get into a creative writing program? I’m guessing better than that. (side note: LOGAN I REALLY DO NEED YOU! You aren’t allowed to leave town again until I have this test taken! Please? I’ll buy you lunch! Breakfast! Beer! Anything! I NEED YOU!)

After my mathematical defeat I topped off my day trying to schedule the test and the time I had picked out is no longer available. DAMN!

I finally stopped stalling me and now I feel like the Universe is stalling me. I just wish I knew why.

Maybe I’m not supposed to go to grad school next fall after all. I still haven’t picked even a short list of schools. My initial reaction to most of them is a lurch of my stomach. I looked at schools in Washington today and the programs require work in a language besides English. My German really isn’t that good. I’d rather not have to relearn that.

Oh, the nausea.

Other than that, the programs sounded good. But I think I really need the sunlight. I don’t know if I could live in Seattle — even just for 3 years. Oh…there goes my stomach again. I guess that one’s off the list. Oh, but that idea makes my stomach hurt too.

I think I’ve spent too many years ignoring my instincts. I don’t recognize them anymore!

I’ve started working on a new book in the meantime. It’s kind of a memoir. Or a collection of memoirs. It’s sad. Or, it’s about something sad. One of my friends at church asked me yesterday what was wrong and I think I’m just sad because of the topic. But it’s important. I have to do it. My instincts have made that one pretty clear.

So maybe that’s what I’m supposed to be working on instead of going to grad school next year. This book could easily take years. First things first though. I’m going to keep pushing and applying for grad school this fall (for next fall). I guess I’ll see what’s supposed to be when I get the responses from the schools.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 11, 2010 1:32 pm

    Hey, Crystal, I wanted to mention that the GRE is given on a computer, where the better you do the harder the questions get. So when you’re taking the actual test and the question seem to be getting harder, don’t panic, this means you’re doing well! Also, I’ve heard that the GRE is used as a cutoff, so in your case people who have high verbal scores are more likely to get their applications looked at, and they might only remember your math score if it was really bad or really good. My point is, don’t panic, you’ll be fine if you keep studying.


    • October 11, 2010 2:04 pm

      Thanks for the support. I did know about the computer thing. And hopefully it won’t stress me out too much.

      Do you think a 460 counts as really bad? Cause that’s what my math score equates too. It feels really bad to me.


  2. October 12, 2010 10:54 am

    Wow, I totally feel you on the math. I told you, I don’t entirely know my multiplication tables – my dad was in the military, and we moved just after learning the sixes. So, that means I know what six times eight is. But seven times eight? No siree. Nine times anything larger than six? Kill me now. And don’t even get me started on the people who know the elevens and twelves…. LOL. And no calculator?! Torture!

    But I’m sure you did fine.

    Oh and, “I think I’ve spent too many years ignoring my instincts. I don’t recognize them anymore!” I’m starting to wonder if this is sort of like my problem. I have instincts and feelings, I think I’m learning to recognize them, but I can’t ever figure out what they mean!


  3. October 12, 2010 1:36 pm

    Ugh. Math. Yay, words.


  4. October 12, 2010 2:17 pm

    Sure, keep working toward your goal of grad school, but also be ready to listen should/when your instincts demand something different. Sometimes it gets hard to distinguish the fine line that separates determination from stubborness, especially when reason and instinct are yelling different things in different ears. You can have the best advice in the world, but in the end, only you will know what path to follow on the winding road of life.
    I can tell you that I’ve definitely missed the boat…many times. Not necessarily because I didn’t want to heed my instinct, but because I wasn’t sure it was my instinct talking to me. But hey, what’s life but a chance to experience? I hate to say it, but I often think the missteps can be the most valuable – they’re the ones that offer the best life lessons of all, go figure. They also give you the best stories to write about 😉

    So however it turns out, I wish you luck, and lots of it!


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