Later on this afternoon I will be doing something I'd hoped never to do again ... taking a standardized test.  That's the Graduate Record Exam to be exact.  I took it once upon a time, 17 years ago when I was finishing my undergraduate degree.  The thing to know is that standardized tests do not agree with me.  I've always done poorly on them and had to take the SAT 3 times to break 1,000.  Sad but true, which is odd because I am a well read, intelligent critical thinker by most accounts.  Of course, math has never been my friend and those old school logic problems gave me a headache.  Thankfully those at least are gone now.  In any case, 17 years ago I did abysmally on the GRE, had probably my only real panic attack, and hoped never to repeat the task.

Flash forward 17 years and I will be taking the (now) computerized test this afternoon.  Why?  Because of an invitation.  I've been invited by my Congregation Leadership to consider some more academic theology studies.  While I've been enrolled part time in a Masters of Pastoral Studies degree to get some basic theology, the invitation is to get a more focused advanced degree in theology probably starting in the Fall of 2012.

I've been looking at graduate programs, giving some thought and consideration to what I'd like to study and where, and preparing myself for the whole application process.  Which is where the dreaded standardized test comes in.  While my present graduate program did not require the GRE, for which I was VERY grateful, some programs do.  So I've been preparing myself--literally and emotionally--for the experience which as I said takes place this afternoon.  Hopefully, THIS will be the last standardized test I have to take!

Aside from the assorted anxiety and dread of the you know what, I'm pretty excited about the idea of spending a few years in full time graduate study.  One of the beauties of community is that we are invited to grow, to try new things, to take risks.  Sometimes the invitation may require our revisiting a place that we'd rather avoid, but there is also a lovely feeling that comes with being invited and feeling open to the possibilities.

"As we live our vows each day we trust that Christ's blessing promised to peacemakers will sustain us, knowing that God working in us will accomplish more than we can ask or imagine." ~CSJP Constitution 62


Anonymous said...

Hope everything went well today, Susan. I remember that anxiety-ridden day all too well myself (especially that last click to view your score!), but thankfully the intellectual fulfillment of graduate school makes up for the temporary pain of the GRE! Best wishes on your applications. :)

Susan Rose Francois, CSJP said...

Yes things went well, although quite different than the dark ages when I took the gre 17 years ago. Now they take your photo, empty your pockets and wand you every time you go in and out of the room! I did like the computer test better than the silly scan tron thingy before.

Eilis said...

This made me smile. I'm scheduled to take the GRE on the 24th and the math section is making my palms sweat. I actually took a break from studying to (procrastinate) online.

p.s. love your blog...have been reading it for some time now.

Susan Rose Francois, CSJP said...


Thanks for the note!! And good luck on the GRE. Studying does help I think, at least it helped me. The biggest help was learning the tricks and knowing what's likely to be on the test. It's not really a test of general knowledge in my humble opinion, but a test of how much you prepare to take the test (if you know what I mean).

Thanks for leaving a note! It's always nice to know people read this thing. :)

Anonymous said...

That is a wonderful quote from your constitution! And its wonderful to think that in community the support will always be there to help you grow especially when it is a challenge. I hope the test went well.