Eight years ago, I walked into my favorite English professor’s office and said with more enthusiasm than conviction: “Sir, I want your job! What will it take?”
At the time, I was getting a “B-” in his class; so he could just as easily have belittled me straight out of the room. Nevertheless, he kindly, but honestly stated what it would take. He gave me this list.
1. Acquire a working knowledge of a classic language.
2. Achieve acceptable GRE Scores.
3. Attain a stellar GPA.
4. Maintain an inexhaustible love for reading and writing.
5. Accept the unavoidable 6-8 more years of school after the BA.
After he gave me this helpful but seemingly insurmountable inventory of requisites, he expressed that he was less than wholeheartedly excited about my chances. Who could blame him, really? At the time, my GPA was in the toilet. I didn’t have a language. I was incredibly intimidated by the GRE and thought there was no way I could take it. And as much as I loved to read, my writing was in dire need of a coach.
Flash forward. I am now finished with my BA and MA. And after years of working on the list, I feel much better about numbers three, four, and five. Nevertheless, these past few months, dealing with numbers one and two, have been particularly heinous exercises in self-torture.
I hate Spanish.
I hate studying for the GRE.
I hate it when I can’t find my keys when I’m already 5 minutes late to work.
I wish the golden nuggets of knowledge in these areas would be given to me at the same speed everything else is.
In any case, I take my GRE on Tuesday. Pray for me my loved ones. Pray for me in my foolish aspirations.
(Like all things involving ambition, I must pay the high price to visit those heavenly stars.)