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I hate making decisions. I'm one of those people that almost always looks at both sides of an issue and nods their head. Kind of like Gollum.

Lately, I've been thinking about whether or not I really want to apply to Carnegie Mellon. I know, in my gut, that the answer is no. That I seriously considered it, but now I'm done considering it and I'm not going to study for the damn GRE and I'm not going to take the test and I'm not going to send in my application. Because, for better or for worse, my heart is set on Oregon.

Then again, I feel like I should apply to Carnegie. Because it's a great school. Because it's a great program. Because I shouldn't put all my eggs in one basket. Because when I mention U of O people go, "Hm," but when I mention Carnegie Mellon they say, "Ooooh." Because I think it will somehow validate my intelligence. Because I'll be better connected with major arts organizations. Because they require the GRE so they must be better.

Hey well, guess what? I think the GRE is a load of shit. After looking at the study books, I realize it's a big stupid scam and they're not testing your aptitude or intelligence at all, they're studying how well you can study for a dumb ass test with a bunch of tricky questions in it. I say, screw you, GRE. I've already passed the test: it's called putting myself through college while working full-time and still getting three promotions along the way. It's reading books and trying new things and performing my art and supporting other peoples' and having the best group of friends anyone could ever want. And the more I think about it, the more I realize that I don't want to go to school for any sort of prestige, anyway. I just want to go. I just want to be a student. I want to move away from everything I know and try something that scares the shit out of me. And maybe fail miserably, I don't know. But at least I'll have gone.

Good Lord, I sound like an after-school special. All I need is that one guy in the back of the lunchroom to stand up and start clapping real slow. Then he needs to pick up momentum, and one-by-one the rest of you need to stand and applaud in unison, until the room is filled with the thunderous roar of your support for my decision NOT to apply to Carnegie Mellon.

And then the bucket of pig's blood tips over.

Posted January 22, 2003 10:05 PM | On This Day: 2005 2004



Clap.........Clap........Clap......Clap.....Clap...Clap...Clap..Clap..Clap..Clap..Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap!

Clap.........Clap........Clap......Clap.....Clap...Clap...Clap..Clap..Clap..Clap..Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap!

Clap.........Clap........Clap......Clap.....Clap...Clap...Clap..Clap..Clap..Clap..Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap, Clap!

Are you sure you aren't just trying to get out of the GRE? While it may be entirely bogus, so is just about every bureaucratic hoop you have to jump through in college. (Why I never graduated.)

You may get to portland and decide after two months that you hate it there. It'd be better to have already taken your GRE at that point than to not have taken it.

Just be sure you're not taking the easy way for the wrong reasons. (Just because it's easier is actually one of the right ones, I think.)

I always hated those stupid after school specials. Full of retards. Nobody actually went to schools like that.

grid: you have tapped into my worst fear. what if i am just taking the easy way out?!

BUT. if i do get to oregon and hate it, i can always take the GRE there and then go off somewhere else, right?


Hi I linked over from reading your posts at Kingdom of Squirrels.

3 Things:(all in my opinion of course)

1) Oregon is fabulous. The campus is incredibly beautiful and you are about one and a half hours from Portland or the ocean. With the possible exception of bad school JuJu, there is not much out there to hate.

2) Curriculum aside, Pittsburgh is an armpit, and a lot like Cleveland.....Only with worse B.O...

3)Go where the classes intrigue you the most.
So........you want to leave everything behind that is familiar and go tear assing off into the wild blue unknown yonder, to go to school and suck up new stuff and scare the shit out of yourself????.............doesn't sound to me like someone who dodges challenges, or is not taking the GRE because she is afraid of things.
Go where your heart takes you. If you get there and it doesn't work out..screw it and jump to somewhere that works better. Choosing one now, does not limit your ability to choose the other at a later time.

OK 4 things...

I love your poetry..

I guess I'm a day late and a dollar short with that whole clapping thing. dammit.

Another thing-you can get a good education anywhere. It's all in the attitude.

Consider other decisions that you've made w/ your heart. How did those turn out? Nora used to say, when confronted w/ two intriguing options, "No matter which one I choose, I"m going to feel like I'm giving up something." At least you have two great choices. I say, go visit the campuses. It would be a great way to get your dad to pay your airfare and spend some quality time with The Geez. Where have graduates of said schools ended up? Are any of them running cool art programs somewhere or have they fallen into obscurity whiling away their time in low-life establishments?
I don't know what Portland is like but all that nature might make a city girl nervous. It sure would me. I hate nature.

Bagpipers. Yeah. Carnegie Mellon has bagpipers. If you get my drift. Men in skirts.

"I see it all perfectly; there are two possible situations - one can either do this or that. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it - you will regret both."

- Soren Kierkegaard

You have to at least try for the better school. When you reach the fork in the road take it. You ain't at the fork yet.

What have we learned so far...

None of us were overly fond of after school specials....I would not put mother and nature together, she might loose a lightning bolt on me for bad puns. Spliv thinks you aint been forked......
.And me??? I think SOMEBODY here is pretty well read..did you get that from SK's "Either/or"?....here is something else from him.."What is to come? What does the future hold? I don't know, I have no idea. When from a fixed point a spider plunges down as is it's nature, it sees always before it an empty space in which it cannot find a footing however much it flounders. That is how it is with me: always an empty space before me, what drives me on is a result that lies behind me. This life is back-to-front and terrible, unendurable.

Oh one more thing..For the record, I don't WANT to give you the clap.

... remeber what we learned ... pay attention to what has heart and meaning "to you".

So now, stand-up close your eyes ... and listen to your heart ... not you head!

And whatever decision you make "lucky girl" will be the right decision for you at this time and this place.

You are totally right! GRE's are not an estimation of intelligence. The work you did throughout college, your ambition at work, and you assertiveness to succeed is how someone should be measured. The only one making out is the service providing this sample of test questions. Just another way to gain more dollars in the pockets by professionals telling students they aren't good enough unless they score X on the exam. Not even taking into consideration their own GPA gained through "their own institutions" curriculum. If the universities cannot depend upon their own GPA's, then something in their program is lacking if they need to look elsewhere.

Having gone through the GRE myself, I can attest to its "bullshit-ed-ness". Further, having gotten into the graduate school of my choice, I can even more clearly see how the GRE proved NOTHING.

You know what I've learned from this whole experience? Nothing! Just kidding...I've learned that attending college, graduate school or attempting to obtain a PhD may still not yield happiness.

So, "lucky girl" go, don't go (though I'm sure you've made a decision by now)...in the end...the degree will not define you. Your apparent assertiveness, your ability to laugh at yourself while weighing the opportunities before you seem a more apt measurement your abilities (than the GRE will accurately measure).

Oh...and though you hate making decisions...always remember...YOU CAN'T NOT MAKE A DECISION (even in making no decision, one has been made). Good luck to you.

And...as I drone on and on...I want you to know that reading your website last year helped me learn to laugh at myself through the entire GRE and grad school application process. Thank you for that.