Alice Cooper Lied

School’s out for summer
School’s out forever
School’s been blown to pieces

No more pencils
No more books
No more teacher’s dirty looks

-Alice Cooper

August 30th will be my first day back to school in almost 10 years.  Ten years people – an entire decade!  Since I’ve only had three of them it’s like saying “a third of my life ago, I was in school.”  Egads.

I’ve said on here before that if you’re ever in a natural disaster or experiencing a legitimate crisis, you want me there.  I’m cool, calm, and collected in these situations.  But tell me when I’m in line at McDonald’s the shake machine is broken and I have a melt down.

Likewise, my reaction to important decisions that will a affect my life vs. those that in reality are inconsequential are seemingly backward.  For example, every so often I get the notion to change my hairstyle (trust me, this definitely constitutes as an important decision that affects my life.  Ladies, you know what I’m talking about.)  Not a little trim or slight highlights but full on, whack off a foot or more, I can no longer pull my hair back in a ponytail because it’s so short haircut.  And from the time this notion first occurs, to the time I act on it,  is almost always within 24 hours.  No thinking, no waiting, no second guessing.  Ask me which restaurant I want to eat at for dinner and you’ll be eating a pre-dinner to tide you over until I come up with a place.  You know come to think of it, maybe I just have issues with food.  Hmmm.

I’ve been hanging out in Arkansas without a plan and not knowing what it was that I was wanting to do about it.  Well, I knew what I wanted to – nothing.  But that wasn’t exactly conducive to my predicament so one day I thought, “Fine.  I’ll go to grad school.”  The next day I went over to the local university and walked in the door and said, “I have a BSW, I guess I want to teach elementary, what program do you have that will get me doing that the fastest and cheapest way.”  Ok, so that wasn’t exactly what I said but more or less.

And that was the start of the last couple of month’s whirlwind of grad school run-around that I’ve been playing.  No real thought went into the decision.  No research examining different programs and no arming myself with information before going into battle.  Just walked in and began to acquire information on what I guess the university sees as a need to know basis.  Which is a tad ironic since I need to know everything now and not one person seems to have ALL the information needed.  But that’s a whole other frustrating post.  But regardless, I registered for fall in a program I knew nothing about a couple weeks prior.

I discovered that as part of my admissions I must take the GRE.  Technically, according to the program, I have until the end of my first semester to submit test scores.  In the meantime, I’m considered a conditional student.  Personally I didn’t care what my status as a student was until I  learned I cannot qualify for financial aid as a conditional student.  No financial aid means no school and no school means I’ve been wasting my time the past couple of months with all this application crap.  Again, a whole other frustrating post.

Bottom line – take the GRE sooner rather than later and begin the paperwork for financial aid.  The hype for the GRE makes it out to be one of the hardest tests you can take and in many circumstances it determines whether you will be admitted into the grad school of your choice.  People shell out a lot of money in prep materials and to take special classes for months to get themselves ready.  And the test itself is $160.

Me?  I signed up for it last week and took it today.  No studying.  No special classes.  No prep materials.  I got online and spent about 20 min on a practice run and called it good.  And you know what?  The test wasn’t that bad.  I’m not saying I’m a genius or anything, well actually I would like to go on record saying I’m a genius.  Of course the GRE test grading computer strongly disagrees with my genius declaration and instead, deems me as average – more or less.  A little less when it comes to math but that’s not any shocking revelation.

But as a whole, the test questions didn’t seem crazy hard and if I had studied or had been enrolled in school for the past decade, I probably could have done a little better.  But I didn’t and haven’t been so I’m happy with the result.  And I guess it doesn’t hurt that the university I’ll be attending views the GRE as a formality to complete and virtually has no interest or concern in my score.  No pressure there.

So there you have it.  My more recent life altering decisions brought about from practically zero thought or foresight.  I really thought Alice Cooper had something but I guess I’ll have to wait another 2-3 years before this song has any validity for me again.

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