Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Today I am an angry grape.

that is all

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

GRE and geometric shapes that I have made peace with

I have decided that he GRE as a computer-based test is the devil. The tiny boxes you are expected to word process within, caused me to neglect to erase my "notes" before the time was up. I realize this is probably my fault and not the computers, but usually when you are typing out a paper, you can see everything on the screen. This is, of course, ruling out 2-3 page essays and the like. This was a 5 paragraph essay about judging a culture by the appearance and actions of its people.

This is what the test-site looks like (please note the massive orange headphones of pain on the left of the brunette)

We were promised "earplugs" but that was a lie. Much like the bathroom break before the test really began lie. LIES! Having freshly moved up to 12mm lobes the previous day, I was none too thrilled with the earwear. (ear shots later)

It made me cranky, and I hope the readers of my analytical section realize that I am just a doofus, and don't grade me too harshly for the obvious "word ... (four spaces)... word ... (two spaces)." Kinda made me want to cry, but what can you do? You can go out till 4am in Osaka at some club called Triangle (oh the irony) and get drunk on numerous alcohols. I needed the relaxation, and I paid for it on Monday. Ouchie.

Anywho, I will probably take the GRE again next year with J, after reviewing a lot more about the geometry and vocabulary of circles. Fuck circles. Hard. I memorized formulas for circumference, area, etc. I know about tangents and line segments, semi-circles and arc lengths. What do they do? The first question is something about 2 concentric circles and the tangent of the smaller circle bisecting the other circle at two points.... All I could do was look at concentric and think, "that was NOWHERE in the review!" This blew my mind into a million pieces.

The unfortunate thing is, MA programs are gonna view the scores side by side, not alone. If I do better, then cool, if I do worse... It's good to know that studying for months won't make you feel any better about the test. It was as if none of it mattered.

The system gives you a question, and if you get it correct, it gives you a harder one, and so on and so forth. If you screw up, you start getting cake questions. When I saw "modicum" I knew things were starting to go downhill :(

Also, it's fairly evil to include "there is not enough information provided to figure out the answer" problems in any test. It's like pulling the safety net out from under a teettering tight-rope walker!

To top off the fun, Japan is, for some reason, under the impression that J is my middle name now. When I applied for my passport nearly 8 long years ago, I was asked for my middle initial. That would be J. When I filled out the online form to take the GRE, they asked for my middle name, so I wrote Jane. The mistress of GRE called me into her lair on Sunday, sat me down, and started asking why I filled the form out incorrectly. ??? She asks to see my passport and points at the J trying to tell me that is my name. I explained as best I could the difference, and try to legitimize the ridiculousness of J vs. Jane, when it's obviously me, they have photo evidence as well as every number I have been given by either govt. since birth. Want my soc # I have my card in my wallet! Want my gaikokujin card? In my wallet! Want my thumbprint? HERE! No. I had to wait nearly 20 minutes while she called the head office and had a debate about whether or not I should be allowed to sit for the test. Talk about unnecessary tension directly before taking a test that is going to affect the rest of my life~!

That is enough whinging for now. If any of you folks are preparing for the GRE, take the online tests, as many as you can, be careful of the word processing software (you cannot use mouse right/left clicking for cutting and pasting), and circles! Circles are EVIL.