Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Weekend Wanderings - The GRE

I took the GRE this weekend. I also saw one of my favorite infants, had tea with one of my favorite couples, and watched the Super Bowl with one of my favorite groups. But what really stood out was the GRE.

I studied a lot over the fall, and then once I started freelancing this winter, it fell by the wayside. I crammed a lot the last two weeks, and now I know all about geometry, which is really interesting to me. I guess that's what's sort of sad to me, is that all the math is pretty interesting to me, even though ultimately I did not do as well on that section as I should have. As my friend said yesterday, when I mentioned I only got in the 40th percentile for math, "It's a shame you're applying for business school." It is, but honestly? I'm pretty sure I did even worse on the Literature GRE in 2008. I think maybe I was in the 20th percentile for that? It wasn't pretty. It's a shame I was applying for English PhDs then.

If I don't get into grad school, I'll either have to try again with this test and with math, or consider to myself that I likely won't ever have to learn this math again. Except maybe when my own child is learning it in school, and I'm sitting at the dining room table, frustrated because it will be easy for me, and maybe less easy for them. What I'm saying is I wish I'd had a chance to realize I love math before 11th grade. I wish I'd had a chance to realize I love math before I already hated it so, so much, and had basically already devoted my life to being a Person Of Letters. Math is awesome, guys! Presumably I'll be saying the same thing to a crying child, 15 years hence. I was that crying child once.

And a note on that: I did reasonably well on the verbal section, and got in the 95th percentile, and then was instantly angry at myself for not having done better, for missing a few questions. And then I was subsequently angry at myself for being angry at myself about that. For a long time, I told my parents that they pushed me too hard, that they were never happy with anything I did, and they told me that they were always happy with everything I did and that I was the one pushing myself, and I honestly thought that was bullshit, until I looked at that perfectly reasonable score and got mad.

Anyway, that's over at least.

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