Thursday, November 09, 2006

Math is, like, hard and stuff

Remember the talking Barbie that caused all the commotion a while back? The one that rallied important motivation to the burgeoning female leaders of tomorrow with such gems as “I love shopping!” and “Math is hard!”?

Well I hate to say it, but Barbie my dear; you hit the nail on the head…

Last night I embarked on my very first GRE crash course. Cause I’m in a productive frenzy. Some people break down in a time of crisis, I fly into a flurry of activity when I’m not weekending the slack at home.

I slosh too many cups of beer, I toss the plastic down for anything falling into the slinky category, I drink coffee and sweep internet searches in lieu of meals and I burn off days at the gym. I amp up the page writing for my novel (at 175 and counting) and with five weeks until the first applications are due, I decide, for real, that I’m applying to graduate school.

That means I have to take the entrance exam. And I haven’t taken a math class since junior year. Of high school.

So back to last night’s class and the diagnostic. Under the florescent buzz of times past, a preppy, peppy and slightly mean instructor cheerily tells us that this will be the gauge on which we are measured. I fly through verbal, stumbling minimal times (Integument is to animal as…uh…I guess I’ll go with…rind is to fruit?…cause in my mind integument, at that moment, is incorrectly interpreted as some sort of cage…is offset with the opposite of thwart is cause…easy!).

The feeling does not last.

Oh quantitative. Why do you mock me so?

We start off all right. Not too shaky. (What’s bigger, 20 percent of 15 or 19 percent of 16…okay…not too bad…hey maybe I’m smarter than I thought…three questions in a row and four minutes into the section…I’m not weeping yet….)

Then we get to the meat. (What is the least prime number greater than 200? (201, 202, 203, 205, 211). Okay, let’s see. So we’re looking for the least prime number here. Okay I understand the question. And it needs to be greater than 200. So far so good. So uh, yeah…uh…teacher? This is a little embarrassing…but you told us to be honest so…ah…what’s a prime number, again?)

For shame. Yes I graduated from a decent school, and even got a good grade or two along the way. But hell if I remember complicated fractions, algebra or prime numbers!

Where the creative writing section please? Can’t I recite a poem to get out of this? A limerick? Nothing?

"There once was a man from Peru
Who fell asleep in a canoe
He dreamt of Venus
And played with his p*nis
And woke up with a handful of goo…"

I resorted to filling out the scantron to making a pattern with my shaded dots. D hadn’t been used in a while, so there you go. Right there. Oops, looks like too many Bs in a row, let’s change one to an A. What? Time’s up?

Will find out on Monday how far the mighty have fallen.

Math is hard when you purport to have an English brain…


Anonymous said...

OMG that poem, I am going to die with laughter!!

Monica said...

hehe I loved the poem.
We're opposites! I have a math brain and hated all my english classes. Hope you did well on your exam. :)

brooke alexandra said...

The GRE SUCKS and only makes you feel dumb, especailly if you have an English brian, like we do. Why is it that getting through four years of undergrad is not enough to get into grad school? Why do we need to be further tested on stuff we learned in high school? It boggles my mind.

debo said...

I once turned in a blank blue book in college and it was glooooooooorious!

Luria Bertani said...

I took the GRE after going to Art School for undergrad and thought the math would put me in an early grave. So, I studied a lot, complained even more and told myself and anyone who would listen about the “math block” I have.

But I got through it and I truly think that so much is what we tell ourselves we are good at, or bad at...or what Barbie tells us.

Cheetarah1980 said...

Yes! Yes! Yes! You feel my pain! The GRE sucks. I put taking the test off to as late as possible to give me time to study. Hey, at least you already have the manuscript part in the bag. 175 pages?! Wow!

Victoria said...

Oooh I understand completly. They did the same thing with my MCAT diagnosis-- I was laughing maniacly and filling out answers randomly.
I bombed, naturally. But really, I think the only reason they make you take a diagnostic is to scare you into studying. Hard. And it works-- taking the classes was the right thing to do.
I'm sure you'll end up doing great on the GREs, and maybe even rekindling a little love for math.

M said...

I used to cry over my statistics homework!

Buffy said...

How the Hell did you get through college without a math class? Stats at the very least?

Wish someone would have taught me that trick.

Tragic Assistant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
K said...

Hey buffy, something weird happened when I just posted my comment above--so I'm posting again--I got through by taking a Symbolic Logic class (I swear, it was just as hard) and doubling up on my science requirements. I thought I was smart for that sidestep at the time. How wrong I was...

Anonymous said...

that poem wos funny but im good at maths and english