Preservation & the GRE

[Disclaimer: I realize that this is probably off topic, but isn’t that allowed on a Friday?]

Many of you have taken the GRE already, done that whole grad school thing, and are probably glad to be finished.  I, however, feel the need to go through two years of sleepless nights of grad school studying and projects.  Before I get to study for the next two years, I first must sudy for the GRE. 

It’s been a different experience than that dreaded SAT from so long ago. This time, I am actually studying because I’m no longer on my high horse of this test doesn’t mean anything. I have more important things to study for – I have to keep straight A’s.  [Yes, yes, I have always been a nerd.] I am looking at studying for the GRE as an opportunity to refresh my brain on math that I haven’t had to take since high school, therefore using that half of my brain again, and as a way to build my vocabulary. I’m learning. It sounds way better than I have to study.  Still, some of these words? Really, where did they come from and why do I have to remember them? Where are the architectural words!? Why isn’t there any historic preservation on this test?! This question always runs through my mind when the GRE book is in front of my face.

As I was studying last night, something wonderful happened. I came across this sentence completion question: 

“The issue of further development in the community had caused much                 among the residents, who were concerned it would permanently change the village’s way of life.”    (A) acrimony, (B) parsimony, (C) capriciousness, (D) prurience, (E) complacence.

WAY OF LIFE! DEVELOPMENT! COMMUNITY! I definitely smiled when I read this question. And I answered correctly: (A) acrimony.  I thought, wow, it gets me tonight. 

Wait, it gets better. The reading passages in the section I was studying were about history. That’s right, history. I didn’t have to read about protons and neutrons or how the body works or something crazy like that.  A long reading passage happened to be about William Penn and his founding of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia for religious freedom and proprietary government.  Not entertained by this? I was. You see, I am applying to the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, whose mascot is the Quakers.  [Intimidating?…another topic for another time.] 

Here I was, not really wanting to study – ahem, learn – tonight after a long day of work (and wondering what to write for Preservation in Pink), and then I happened to pick a review section that I actually enjoyed.  These coincidences thrilled me.  They acted as a subtle reminder saying, Study! Learn! This is so you can go to grad school.  Friendly reminders, confidence boosters, enjoyable work – we all need it now and again.

Happy Friday to all! I hope you find historic preservation in the most unexpected places as well.  Now that it’s on the GRE, which every grad student is required to take, we have further proof that the field can be applicable to everyone and every field! [And if you are like me, studying for the GRE, good luck!]

2 thoughts on “Preservation & the GRE

  1. redbaiters says:


    UMW now has a blogging platform ( , and we were going to include the feed from your blog so that you can joing the flow of data in the community there. Would that work for you? People could discover and access your blog through the UMW Blogs system, sound good?

    Jim Groom

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