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Posts Tagged ‘graduate school admissions’

 

Eilean Donan Castle of Scotland.

Eilean Donan Castle of Scotland.

This morning I took the General GRE for the first and hopefully last time. To study for it I just used the Princeton Review Cracking the GRE book, the version without any CDs or DVDs included. The book really helped me get familiar with the types of questions being asked and how they are asked. Probably the most helpful section was the GRE Vocab, since without it I would have missed several more questions. To be fair I did not do any of the practice essays or any full length practice exams.

After a nervous morning I made it to the testing center well before my scheduled time. I waited in the car for a bit because I did not know if they were open (I did not want to check myself) and eventually I went in early. The center was very friendly and not as strict or stressful as I imagined (this being the Santa Rosa testing center). The essay portion went well as it was on a computer instead of being hand written so it was much easier for me to write and spell correctly. After that I had a verbal section, a math and another verbal. Overall the test took me from entering the building to leaving, three hours. I expected it to be more like four to five (assuming arriving early time). And I like that part where I got my test results, except the essay, right after I finished.

For the verbal section I got a 620 and for the quantitative I got an 770. These are out of 800, the essay part is out of 6 (I think) and the Physics GRE, which I will take in November, is out of 1000. I am glad the physics GRE is out of a 1000 since I saw some PhD programs list their average physics GRE as 800. I thought it was out of 800 so I was a bit dismayed on initially hearing that. With my scores, so far, I meet the minimums for all of the universities I want to go to.

I will keep posting about my graduate application process, including the personal statements, as I finish them.

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Nothing to do with this post, I just like this photo.

Nothing to do with this post, I just like this photo.

I joined facebook within a month of starting at UCSB in the fall of 2005. During the school year I found myself checking it once, maybe twice a day. At first I updated my profile quite a bit with updates slowing down. I joined a lot of groups until they overflowed in my profile and not all could be listed. I was in groups dedicated to one course and others about the joy of stepping on crunchy leaves (I will never leave that group). I am not sure why I joined some of them. Eventually they added applications and like most people I added a bunch of those when they came out. Then I slowed down with adding them. Eventually I reached a point where I did not care about some groups, applications were used once then never used again. Then I read about privacy concerns about how the Facebook API interfaced with other websites and cookies (not the tasty kind). After reading this I started to consider what I had on Facebook and whether what it said to the internet (nothing on the internet is private after all) really represented me.

Of course it doesn’t represent me any more then a picture or this blog does. Unless it was a really nice picture with a fancy frame of gold leaf and a delicately scribed “Michael Hutchins” along the bottom of the frame.

I have noticed that many of the items listed under “favorites” are not really my favorites, rather books or movies that I encountered between creating the lists and the present moment. How could someone have forty favorite musicians? It all started to feel a bit much.

The one part of Facebook that I liked was the ability for me to post photo albums and photo galleries to share with friends. Then I started my own website on UCSB’s server to host my photos. Since then I have stopped uploading to Facebook, instead I list the link under my websites.

After I returned from Edinburgh I stopped using facebook for about two months. Then I came back to it recently and started checking maybe once every few days. A few days ago my boss, well boss in the abstract way that he is the CEO but the company does not have a strict order of authority when it comes to my part time job, added me on Facebook. I don’t know but that just seemed weird. 

I wonder if graduate school admissions will look up applicants on Facebook, I wonder if there is a “I love Graduate School Admissions” group.

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