What’s Going On

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?

Here’s the traditional background music while we catch up:

Two weeks ago, with as little pomp and circumstance as I could get away with — I didn’t even tell my sister — I retook the GRE.  You’ll remember that I wasn’t happy with my scores the first time around, and though some of you were kind enough to share your GRE wisdom, it bothered me that I hadn’t done as well as I knew I could.  I worried that if I didn’t get into the graduate school I hoped for, I would regret not having retaken the GRE to give myself the best application possible.  So, I spent a few more weeks reviewing, the goal being to merely retain and clarify what I had learned over the past six months of studying; not to make myself crazy trying to learn a million new formulas and strategies.  I took two more practice tests.  And then I went downtown on a Thursday afternoon and faced the darn test once again.

It went much better, I’m glad to report.  My scores are now where I want them to be, which I credit entirely to my being more focused, more confident, more relaxed than last time.  Telling fewer people, and not shouting over social media about what I was doing meant that I didn’t have the added — and entirely self-inflicted! — pressure of trying to make half the internet proud.

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My friends are the nicest.

The GRE is over forever (I fervently hope), and I’m currently knee-deep in graduate school applications.  It’s stressful, of course; there are dozens of moving parts (transcripts, essays, letters of recommendation) to corral and polish.  But it’s also exiting to finally get to think and talk and write about history once again.

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Currently reading: Mornings on Horseback, by David McCullough.  I’ve been coveting this book for years, and I finally, finally found it at Capitol Hill Books.  David McCullough is truly my favorite history writer; his biographies are always written with narrative skill, with sensitivity for the humanness of his subjects, and with wit.  Best line so far (regarding James Alfred Roosevelt): “Of his private, domestic enthusiasms, it is recorded that he was inordinately fond of waffles.”  Me too, James.  Me too.

Looking forward to: Going home for Thanksgiving.  I will be in Minnesota for an entire, glorious week.  We’ll see if I can face the cold having been spoiled by DC’s temperate falls.

Betterment: I have a complicated relationship with journaling; I want to be the kind of person who writes down everything, both for therapy and later nostalgia, and I go through phases where I am, but most of the time, journaling the story of my day is a daunting task when I’m tired and would rather just plunk down and read.  Lately, I’ve been writing a few lines in my journal every night.  They don’t have to be beautiful or polished, but they do have to say something about my day and state of mind.  I can commit to that.

Other things I haven’t told you:

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I met John and Sherry from the blog Young House Love. They were so sweet, and their new book gives me hope that I too can DIY things.

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My friend Gabi came to visit. There was an awkward run-in with a lion at the National Zoo. Luckily, I kept my cool.

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We went apple picking in Maryland, and I picked an apple. And was clearly delighted about it.

And then I made my friends do the "Macbeth" pose with me. The real witches were not amused.

And then I made my friends do the “Macbeth” pose with me. The real witches were not amused.

I was Lucy for Halloween. No one asked me for advice, strangely ... shouldn't have raised the fee.

I was Lucy for Halloween. No one asked me for advice, strangely … shouldn’t have raised the fee.

And then, continuing my yearly tradition of choosing costumes no one actually gets, I was Bernie Sanders[on] for Halloween. One guy muttered, "You don't look like Bernie Sanders!" Thank you?

And then, continuing my yearly tradition of choosing costumes no one actually gets, I was Bernie Sanders[on] for Halloween. One guy muttered, “You don’t even look like Bernie Sanders.” Thank you?

Let’s catch up some more once this application madness dies down!  

3 responses

  1. I LOVE this video/song. It makes me so happy. I’m still listening to it as I type this comment. I’m so glad to hear your GRE went better this time around! Best of luck with all those applications!

    If you’ve got any spare time during your week in Minnesota, I’d love to catch up over coffee/dinner/drinks/whatever works best for you. Let me know–it’s been far too long since I’ve seen your face!

    • Thank you, and I’d love to meet up, too! I was just thinking the same thing, actually. I’ve been keeping up with your blog, but it’s not the same as hearing the stories in person :) I’ll text you, and we’ll make a plan!

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