Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Satire after Cromwell, Or How Education Ruined Me for the GRE*

As I prepare to take the GRE this Saturday, I have sunk into the Slough of Despond since I realized that my verbal - especially Reading Comprehension - majorly blows. Of all things!!! Since taking a prep course, my math has improved considerably while my verbal score stays stubbornly fixed.

Then, after taking a mini-quiz on reading comp today, I realized the ironic heart of the matter: grad school has robbed me of a higher score (yes I have to take the GREs again since my last score was 5+ years ago). When reading a piece on satire post-1660, during the Restoration, I am asked whether the passage implies that a) satire came to dominance among other literary genres or b) greater political freedom allowed for more diversity in satirical pieces. My mind immediately jumps to the turn of the political tide in Britain, from the Protectorate under Oliver Cromwell to the Restoration of Charles II. Answer: b) greater political freedom. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Woefully wrong.

Other things that do not help my reading: training to be continually subversive, looking for the subtext, and other silly, silly things.

Oh woe is me. ETS does not care about the unspoken undercurrent and multiple possibilities of text! ETS is firmly rooted in the Modern Age of direct signifiers and meaning. If only the essay portion would allow me to write on that!

blug blug blug blug ("And Jeremiah sank in the mud.")

*please excuse this blog, which is basically a rant in which I try to prove that I really am not an imbecile and am really quite brilliant


noirah said...

I hear ya. Nearly jacked up the written portion of my CBEST (which I suppose might have had a little to do with that fact that I approached the test as a fun little joke on California's public school students) with what I felt was a very clever story about mass consumerism. I never thought my lack of confidence in math would serve me so well.
Lesson learned.

Gaunilo said...

Rule #1 for the GRE reading: There is only the text. There is nothing outside the text.

I do affirm that you are not an imbecile and really are quite brilliant, if it helps. &c.

Good luck!

Gaunilo said...

Incidentally, I'm curious to hear your theory w/r/t to Snape now that you've (presumably) finished HP&tHBP.