Seriously, some of the words they ask us to know for the GRE are insufferable! I think a few of them haven’t been used since their golden age of the 15th century.
Why do we have to use them then?
But I know that the one word I’m not sure about but don’t make a flash card on will be on the test and I will lose that point and I can’t afford to do that. I’m prepared to make a flashcard of and memorize every single word on the list if need be, thats how much I want to get into this program.
I doubt I will take the GRE twice, its expensive! If I don’t score in the 85th percentile on the verbal section I will have to do it over if I want to get in, but I’m praying that I get a really good score the first time. InshAllah.
Here is a list of some of the more obscure words they want us to know:
Factitious: ok thats not so obscure but it doesn’t mean ‘truthful’ it means ‘produced by human rather than nature’ or ‘adapted to an artificial or conventional standard.’ The first thing that pops into my head when I hear it is: ‘true!’ not ‘artificial.’ God help me.
Peripatetic: ‘to journey from here to there, wandering, pedestrian.’ Ok maybe I should know this one, I think they use it in medicine.. oh wait no thats ambulatory. It just sounds weird, non? I think it can also means someone who follows Plato’s I mean Aristotle’s teachings.
Opprobrium: ‘something that brings disgrace.’ WTF. Who uses these words?
Pillory: (Clinton?) Pillory is another word for the stocks they used to put criminals in and leave them in the town square. The wooden frame that held the head and hands and people would throw rotten vegetables at them. Also: ‘a means for exposing one to public scorn or ridicule.’ They do it for free at the Renaissance Festival!
Obloquy: (say what?) ‘abusive language.’ (its abusive to make me learn this word.)
Pusillanimous: ‘lacking courage and resolution.’ I actually get it when they broke the latin down pusillus (small) + animus (spirit). But that doesn’t mean I can pronounce it though, and I tend to stay away from words I can’t pronounce correctly.
Inchoate: the word of my nightmares; ‘imperfectly formulated’ or ‘being only partly in existence.’
Proselyte: ‘a new convert.’ Hey! I could use that one at the mosque!
Bromide: isn’t that a solution they use to pickle things? Or in chemistry? Yes. Also: ‘someone who is boring.’
Elegiac: ‘relating to an elegy.’ Ok that makes sense…
Perspicacious: wtf.. ‘of acute mental vision or discernment.’
Encomium: macro or micro? *sigh* ‘a formal expression of praise; warm praise.’
Impecunious: ‘having very little or no money.’ Usually you can just say poor. But not on the GRE.
Esurient: (the wordpress dictionary doesn’t recognize this word) ‘hungry or greedy.’
Prolix: (sounds like a sportswear) ‘marked by or using an excess of words;’ man the GRE is prolix.
Tyro: (Banks?) ‘a beginner in learning.’ Me.
And then, this was hilarious, there were two words listed together: Hector + Martinet.
Ha! Apparently these are two words, but it sounds like el cholo from down the block me entiendes?
Hector: ‘bully or braggart.’ (a guey!)
Martinet: ‘a strict disciplinarian.’ (pues no, pero you can’t win them all.)
And a word that speaking Spanish helped me to get:
Mordacious: ‘biting, sharp, or caustic.’ (no me muerdas!)
Oy, these words are making me tired.
Most likely at the end of this week I will be unemployed, at least at this company. I will miss everyone here but I am hoping to be able to move to a part-time job where I have more time to get to work on reading and writing.
I can get to work on step one and step two of my ten-step plan. Maybe even step three if I’m up to it!
The only problem is that there are few places to buy English books at reasonable prices. Arabic books sell for 10-35 EGP but English-language books sell for 90-150EGP and if its a best seller thats been translated? Uff. Where is a Half-Price Books when you need it? And libraries? I do intend to make full use of my unemployment by spending a day (or 20) at the Maadi Library. Lets cross our fingers that they have a good selection of English books.
I have until December to assemble my portfolio, and its almost April now! Oy!
Its been suggested that I write for English-language magazines and newspapers here, but I’m not terribly interested in journalism. Its a totally different branch of writing and not what I want to do with my life. Now if there were a literary magazine here, I’d be interested in that.
What am I doing? I just don’t know.
I am obsessed with becoming a part of the MFA Creative Writing program at the University of Minnesota. Obsessed in that I think about it every day and go to sleep at night fantasizing about it. That’s just a mild obsession right?
My hugest concern is making the cut; they only accept a small number (12-15 depending on the phase of the moon apparently) and have a waiting list longer than my lifespan in case anyone drops out. My eternal optimist likes to think I’m fantastic enough to deserve acceptance while my internal pessimist likes to tell me I’m just not that great. I’m a Gemini, what else can I say? Its been a civil war in there since 1983.
In the desire to save my sanity and fantasies I am thinking about adhering myself to a regimen of reading the great (and mostly suicide-inducing) authors of all history and then making myself write super stellar stories and works of fiction so that when they open my application portfolio there will be choirs of angels singing and a soft golden light emanating from my masterpieces.
My ten-step program goes as such:
2.) Read some more.
3.) Write some mediocre works.
4.) Hate myself.
5.) Get writer’s block/ lack of motivation for a few months.
7.) Write some mediocre to slightly stellar stories.
8.) Read some more so that when I write a list of my favorite authors the reviewers will be awed by my intellect.
9.) Write a masterpiece.
10.) Spend the rest of my life finding flaws in said masterpiece.
I really think its doable. I have until December of this year to accomplish it…. then again it’s already March…
OMG I’m screwed.