Once again, Josh here, writing about something that is on my mind, and something that I’ve done. I have been thinking about “enduring to the end” (an oft quoted phrase in LDS culture) and specifically as it pertains to my goal of lifelong education. I have the goal of getting my master’s degree, and plan on starting the application process this fall. I have high hopes for the schools that might accept me including The University of Michigan, Ohio State University, The University of Wisconsin, and Brigham Young University to name a few. For those who do not know, applying to graduate school means that you get the wonderful opportunity to take an entrance exam, which most people dread. In fact, in some instances it keeps people from applying to graduate school simply because they do not want to take the entrance exams.
Well, I took the Graduate Records Exam (GRE) today, kind of as a first step in my goal of getting a master’s degree, and I did really well. They are in the middle of defining a new scoring system so they did not give me an exact score but told me the range my scores would have fallen in under the old scoring system. The test is broken into three areas, a written portion, a verbal and written comprehension (language), and a quantitative (mathematical) portion. I won’t know what my written scores are until some English grad faculty somewhere reads the essays that I wrote and scores them, but for the verbal and quantitative portions I fell in the following ranges (out of 800 possible):
Quantitative: 710-800 (next to perfect)
This means that my overall score for the two sections is somewhere between 1280 and 1470. These are very good scores. I would like to take all the credit, but I definitely prayed a lot, and received some key inspiration while studying, preparing for, and taking the test. Mostly I was impressed to make sure I was well rested (and grateful that I woke up, ready to go at 5:25am despite forgetting to set the alarm clock last night. The test started at 7AM), that I was in a good state of mind, had eaten a good breakfast, and took time for myself during the test. Taking the breaks that were given and even using the extra time during the test to move my body and rest my mind was invaluable. I remember taking this test the first time (early in 2010) and being tired by the end, but not this time! I was well prepared and felt good after the four grueling hours of testing. I am very thankful for the skills and abilities that I have.
As this test relates to the bigger picture, all these numbers reflect are my ability to take this test. The perspective that I am choosing to take is that of joy, not of pride. This is a first step, not the final step. Certainly it is appropriate to celebrate the little things of life, but to get caught up in the tide of the minutia means that we will miss the bigger point. I can’t wait to make future steps towards a master’s, and am grateful for a succesful first step.
…now if anyone would be willing to help us pay for the applications, let us know. The University of Michigan for example is charging $200 just to apply! Seriously, we would love some help.
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