Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

29 Mar 2002, 22:12 p.m.

I traveled to San Francisco, got my first shoeshine ever,…

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2002 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

I traveled to San Francisco, got my first shoeshine ever, and took the Graduate Records Exam. [Is that still its official name? Or did ETS change it, as they changed "SAT" from "Aptitude" to "Assessment"? (Assessment!) And didja know that FFA no longer stands for "Future Farmers of America" and now is a meaningless series of capital letters that stands for nothing (and, presumably, falls for anything)?]

I disliked many things about that experience. I disliked the secrecy and the antisepticism and the power asymmetry and the Windows boxes and the cameras focused on the test-takers at all times and keeping my belongings in a locker for the duration of the test and not being able to take away my scratch paper. And I disliked the computerised test on which I couldn't skip a question and answer it later. I rushed through the last few questions on two of the four sections. Oh, yeah, another thing I dislike: the four sections are Math, Logic, Verbal, and Experimental. I had two math sections. I had scratch paper scarcity and didn't want to lose time by asking for more!

I did well, it seems. I chose to view my scores. 780 Quantitative, 730 Analytic, 720 Verbal. My parents and sister are proud, as is Leonard. And it's over, so that's something.