Friday, December 30, 2011

An End is Just a New Beginning

I now have a 3.239 GPA overall and 3.597 in my major
The fall semester ended a little more smoothly than I anticipated. After camping out at DH Hill for most of finals week, I was able to somehow manage all A's and B's for the semester, although I honestly didn't deserve the A I was given in French 201. I shouldn't have gotten more than a B+, at best.

The Saturday after exams ended, I took the GRE in order to apply to Graduate School. While I know people who bought all sorts of study manuals, flash cards, and practice tests, I can't imagine how anyone would truly study for the GRE. It was, without a doubt, the most obtuse exam I've ever taken in my life! Rather than the analogies that I recall having to sort through during the SAT I took back in the early 1990s, the Verbal sections of the GRE required me to read a bunch of essays and analyze which of five paragraph long answers seemed to best respond to whatever deep thinking question was posed. And, usually, the paragraph answers I could choose from were incredibly subtle in their distinction, which only succeeded in making the test unnecessarily dense and incomprehensible.

Regarding the Quantitative sections of the GRE, maybe I would have done better if I had been fresh out of high school and college before taking this, though the main focus seemed not on actual problem solving, but rather on understanding the relationship of variables to one another. Most of the questions didn't even involve numbers, at all! The few questions which did have numbers that could be solved couldn't possibly be solved in the short amount of time given for each section. So, I was left to only half solve each of these questions, and then make some leap of logic to guess from among the given answers. At any rate, I was able to score in the 84th Percentile for Verbal, and in the 61st Percentile for Quantitative, which is enough to qualify me for the Graduate Psychology program at many US universities, including NC State. Presumably, I could apply to other universities, as well. However, as I've said to friends, I don't really want to pack up and move unless I have a job to go to which is paying for the move.

The upcoming semester is likely to be a challenge in its own right, as all my courses will entail a great deal of reading. I will be taking Great Works of Western Literature, Modern American History, Philosophy of Science, and the second half of the PSY 240 series which will require me to learn how to run statistics using SPSS, administer my experiment, analyze the data, and complete the writing of my research article. Besides all of that, I will be continuing to do research for the Good Doctor, gathering recommendation letters for my Grad School application, and completing the application process. The good news, at least, is that I won't have to take another math course or another French course. Although, I would like to continue studying French, as I've always regretted not being fluent in a second language.

During the interim, I've been spending the month of December surfing the net and trying to not spend any money, as though I have a choice in the matter. I think I currently have $30 to my name, and I won't receive any financial aid money from school until probably January 11th. So, as I've done all too often in my life, I find myself alternating days between macaroni and cheese and microwave dinners. The bright side, of course, is that I've lost a little weight over the break.

I do wonder what 2012 will bring. I finally graduate with a Bachelors next December. The only question is what will I be doing beyond that? As I've said before, I don't have a backup plan if Graduate School doesn't pan out. Still, it will feel like a real accomplishment to have achieved my goal of earning a college degree. That's worth something, right?

Have fun and keep living life... Or some approximation thereof.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thats my boy Ashe, I am so proud of you.

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