November 15th, 2004

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Of Tests and Decisions

It saddens me to report that my super-geniousness suffered a serious set-back this weekend:

Saturday morning I was taking the GRE Subject test in Literature. I was taking this test because I registered for it during that brief phase where I was considering applying to PhD programs, and once I changed my mind, I couldn't cancel the test without loosing money. So, thinking that if I changed my mind again I'd need the test anyway, I decided to go ahead and take it. Oh my. The test book says, "The majority of the test questions will concerns literature from the U.S. and Britain written after 1925." This is a lie.

The majority of the exam was poetry. Old poetry. I don't read poetry. I have a smattering of knowledge of the confessional poets, and some familiarity with Elizabeth Bishop and Pablo Neruda from a poetry course I took in grad school, but that's about it. It has been far too long since I studied medieval poetry. And sadly, a majority of test questions concerned it. And just as sadly, I don't understand the technical side of poetry one bit - I can't identify types of rhyme - I don't give a damn about rhyme schemes or heroic couplets or enjambment or any of that.

Anyway, I was sitting there filling in those annoying little circles on the answer sheet and I was thinking about what I really want to do. And it didn't take much contemplation, "I want to write," was the only thought I had. Yes, being a professor would be a better career than what I have now. But the money and time aren't really worth it to me. So I just need to concentrate on writing and getting published. When it comes down to it, that's all I want to do.

So was the test worth taking? Yes. Clarity is often expensive.