Saturday, July 24, 2010

GRE: Heidi as Guillotine: Robespierre

I had a distressing experience this morning. I took the GRE. Even for someone who did not get the score I did, taking any form of computerized, standardized, digitized, dehumanized test is not a terribly pleasant experience. I was, and, 40 minutes later, still am more than a bit distraught about my score. Not that I have anyone but myself to blame, of course. I think I may have had two real study sessions. The rest were brief and desultory; they usually consisted of two to three questions total, each one interrupted by conversation with my roommates about boys or work or our need to find work AND boys.friends. So I really can't blame anyone but myself for being terribly unprepared for what is (rather unfortunately) a large determining factor in where I get into graduate school.

And all of this, in a rather roundabout way, brings me to my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Taking the GRE proved to be a serious blow to my intellectual pride. I graciously recovered, however, when my train of thought led me to my membership in the Mormon Church. I won't expound on my entire thought process here, but below are two reasons I came up with that I am grateful to be Mormon.

#1. I definitely used an argument from Elder D. Todd Christofferson's talk on moral discipline to answer one of my essay questions. Thank goodness for sound doctrine that can't be refuted, especially in a persuasive essay. You can't effectively argue with truth, now can you?

#2. Knowledge of the truth, as we learn in the Book of Mormon, brings a different perspective to life. My intellectual prowess may be akin to that of a flaccid pickle as demonstrated by the GRE, but if I put everything into the Lord's hands, He'll take care of it. And when I say everything, I mean everything. I will do my absolute best the next time I take the test (yes, I am already making study plans), but He will take any sort of intellect-flaccid pickle or not-and place it where it needs placed. God's far-reaching hand of miracles certainly extends to the Stanford Admissions Board, right?

Consider this an exercise in gratidue intended to relieve my distress and bolster my hope for the future. Onward ever onward.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

oh sheesh.

So when I first moved into my ward, I was invited to attend a new member dinner. At said function, I suppose to increase brotherly kindness and fellowshipping, everyone was required to tell their most embarrassing story. To be quite honest, I really had a difficult time thinking of a story to tell, not because I never do embarrassing things but because the humiliation I felt wasn't powerful enough to leave an indelible impression. This last week, however, I experienced the MOST meltingly humiliating situation I ever have before and believe ever will come in contact with. Here I am, therefore, to publish it. Makes sense, right?

I do need to preface my story with one fact: I love a man I work with. And no, not reall love him. Not in the sappy and romantic I-love-you-forever kind of a way. Mostly just in the WOW-you-are-attractive-and-I'm-single-and-you're-single-and-you-are-actually-kind-of-awkward-in-an-endearing-sort-of-way love him. So yes. Crush on a man. And here is how the most ultimately embarrassing situation of my life went down:

I was sitting at my desk, and for some reason unknown to me, I was REALLY struggling with boredom. My cubicle neighbor is narcoleptic, and so perhaps seeing him pleasantly bobbing away, mouth agape, launched me into a reverie of my own. I had previously made plans to go up to Baltimore to hang out with my narcoleptic co-worker at an art festival. I got to thinking. Cogitating. I began musing. "(Insert name of man I have a crush on) also lives in Baltimore. Why don't I invite him too?" Small smile, pat on the back, pleasantly pleased by my own wiliness. Then creased brow, concerned frown.

"But wait. I haven't seen him at work in a while. He mentioned he might be going on vacation? Maybe he is on vacation." Ponderous thinking. Pursed lips. Heavy sigh. Pause. Raised eyebrows. Eyes brightening.

"Why don't I just send him an e-mail inviting him to go with us? Like, a hair-flippingly flirty e-mail that if he gets before the art festival, GREAT. If not, he still has a hair-flippingly flirty e-mail to get back to after his vacation." Bingo. Once again, small smile, pat on the back, pleasantly pleased by my own wiliness. I set to working crafting a gem of an e-mail, figuratively flipping my hair and swaying my hips with every comma and period I employed. It was short. Sassy. And then I sent it. Brazen and confident, right?

Five seconds later, auto-reply: "(Insert name of man I have a crush on) is out of the office. If you need immediate assistance, please contact Christina Stanley."

My thoughts: "Ok cool. Not here. At least the ball is in his court now."

Not three seconds later, a second e-mail, (dare I say e-mail from DOOM) only this one is NOT an auto-reply, nor is it from the man I have a crush on. It is from Christina Stanley: "(Insert name of man I have a crush on) is having all of his e-mails forwarded to me. If you want to get in contact with him," she tells me, "try his gmail account."

And so I quite literally melted into my seat with complete and utter embarrassment. So much for being a plucky blonde, right? I was ratcheted off whatever confident peak I had previously reached and flung down into the gaping jaws of cavernous humiliation. I mentally kicked myself for all the hair-flipping and hip-swaying. TOO many commas. WAY too much sass.

And so what did I do after my initial visceral reaction? (Which was hysterical giggling, by the way.) I invited Christina Stanley to come with us, of course: "Oh excellent. Glad to keep you in the loop. You are welcome to come as well if you would like!"

Needless to say, it was just my narcoleptic friend and I at the art festival yesterday.