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Aug. 1st, 2009

 Sorry - I know I disappeared again. I have spent every waking moment for the past two week studying for the GRE, which I was supposed to take at 8 am this morning - yes, 8 am - the bastards - they really are trying to torture us. Because of course that this means I had to get up at 6 am, to get ready and out the door and to south san francisco on time. This after I had been going to bed at the wee hours every night for the past few weeks, staying up unwilling to give up on getting that last bit of studying in. The past few nights I went to bed earlier in preparation, but I still ended up staying wide awake until the wee hours - I need to lay off the coffee.
Anyway, I show up at 8 am this morning. I had gone to the DMV for my appointment to get my ID renewed yesterday, knowing I would need to produce a valid photo ID (they don't take anything else) and mine had been suspended for some time. But of course, I wasn't thinking - of course it will take time for my new ID to get to me. So all I had was my receipt proving it had been renewed. I figured it would be something like you get when you get your permit - a pamphlet with photo and all - put know, it just details the nature of the transaction, essentially, with the cost and the statement declaring NOT A VALID ID printed across the top. Well, I showed up anyway, and produced both expired ID card and the receipt proving it had been renewed, along with birth certificate and social security card, and my student ID, and they still did not let me take the test - after all the work I had done, two weeks of my life wasted and $150 down the drain. The man was so rude! He didn't even try to work with me! Given the situation, that I was trying to take a test, for Christ's sake, not take out a loan, and the fact that I obviously was who I said I was, you would have thought he would have cut me some slack - damn, stupid bureaucracy.
Now the issue is that they do not let you take the test again in the same month, and if I cannot take the test before the semester starts I am going to have to take it without studying (because I won't have time) in the midst of my very crazy next semester, since grad school applications will be due December 15th (in the middle of finals) and we are required to submit GRE scores with our applications. I am going to try to fight it. I am also worried that a zero may show up on my record, since I didn't take the test I was scheduled to take - I need to make sure that no scores are submitted and the test as a whole is withdrawn. That may raise eyebrows *sighs*
If you hadn't noticed, I have hit panic mode as regards grad school. I met with one of my professors to see if he could help me, but the fact is I just cannot figure out what time period of history I want to specialize in - apparently that is more important than where, specifically, since I know i definitely want to do Europe. There was really nothing my professor could do to help me with that - he lent me some books to start with, but the ultimate decision is mine. I was just kind of hoping he could give me advice on a set of criteria or a process I could use to help. No go. So I guess I just have a lot of reading ahead of me - so TIRED. But both the professors who I have talked to about it in depth say that the entrance essay is a big part of getting into a grad program, and that in it one needs to be very specific about what one wants to pursue and why one thinks that is the place where one can best pursue it - a specific person one wants to work with, for instance.
And in the midst of all this we lost almost all our TV channels. The other day Dad was trying to upgrade our service and to include internet in that service. Then it turned out we were receiving more channels than we were supposed to be receiving - unbeknownst to us, I assure you. And then, about a week later, all of the sudden our channels were reduced to about thirty. We were pissed off enough, that we decided to do without them altogether. Done away with our credit cards, done away with our cable - slowly yet surely declaring our independence from corporate America! YAY!

Quote of the Day: "Here is a test to find out whether your mission in life is complete. If you're alive, it isn't." Richard Bach



( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 1st, 2009 10:16 pm (UTC)
As a grad student who is getting prepared to start researching Ph.D. programs, a word of advice:

Your professor is right. The time period is more important than area, especially if you're doing Europe. Also, don't go in with Ph.D. dissertation topic all ready to go. They want you to come in with a time period and an area if you have one. If you come in with a spiel about what exactly you're going to research, they won't want to work with you because it shows that there's nothing to teach you. Ideally, when you apply you want to say something like this: I want to study Colonial American history and my particular areas of interests are the South and medical history.

And with the GRE - all that matter is Verbal. Everything else is just gravy. But you probably know that already. Good luck!!!
Aug. 3rd, 2009 05:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for the advice! That seems much more doable. As for the GRE - the verbal section was proving no problem, and I know no one cares about my math skills - its really the Issue essay I am worried about. The questions they ask are so weird and random!
Aug. 2nd, 2009 06:33 pm (UTC)
Wow, that's really awful. I'm so sorry. At least you're further along in applying to grad school than I am. I don't even want to think about the GRE.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )