Once upon a time, a girl named Olivia decided to study for two majors. She left her family’s hut on the edge of the woods and ventured deep into the forest. When the weather changed and it was time for most young lads and lasses to return to their families’ dwellings (they take advantage of the summer light to chop wood for their families’ winter stock of fuel), Olivia found a group of youths who decided to stay in the woods. This was called BSI.
Then once that bunch of young people trickled back toward the perimeter of leaf cover, Olivia wandered through the forest alone once more, part of the diffuse group comprised of those doing independent studies. While sustaining membership in this rather scattered crowd, she passed several hours in the company of an assembly of yet more lads and lasses. This was known as the GRE, the Graduate Requisite Exam.
This assembly, however, stuck out in a bold new direction. No longer did they circle the campfire in search of antonyms; no longer did the ceremony adapt question by question. Instead, they worked on a full body of arcane trivia before the spirit of the proceedings determined in what vein the questioning should advance. This was known as a computer adapted test which adjusted difficulty section by section rather than question by question.
In sort, Olivia survived the long ritual but remains at large in the forest, still weaving daisy chains (i.e. English papers) for her independent study, slowly going loopy, while the majority of Butler lasses and lads prepare to return to the forest of academia.
So what do I do all day during BSI?
There’s always, always breakfast with a mug of tea, followed by work on BSI. Ballet happens at some point, and cooking adventures occur in the evenings. I attend BSI lunches every Wednesday and other BSI programming every Tuesday, plus other BSI events.
BSI events I’ve attended:
Other things I’ve done:
- Take a practice GRE
- Study for the GRE. Relearn special triangles.
- Skype with my mentor, who is traveling in Australia
- Discover there is a GRE English Subject Test. Freak out.
- Make extensive use of Butler’s Interlibrary Loan system.
- Play card games and Apples to Apples
- Dinner with friends
- Big Bang Theory
- Wii night at the Apartment Village’s Dawghouse
- Bingo night at the Dawghouse
- Ballet, ballet
- Explore Broad Ripple and taste truly excellent avocado eggs
But more than anything, I write, I read, I write some more. I discover that I shouldn’t really be longer than 25 pages and groan, because I’m set to pass that sooner or later. So I sit down and trim the excess wordiness, verbosity, prolixity, pleonasm, and garrulity. Research is what BSI is all about, and if you are good at self-motivation, this is definitely the program for you.
Participating in BSI, I am for the first time surrounded by a concentrated group of students on track to do graduate school. Lately the pet topic has been the GRE, or Graduate Record Exam, a test of which I was only vaguely aware a few weeks ago.
It’s odd, since I want to dance after I graduate from college. If I go back to graduate school — which I would love to do, to study English literature — it will be who know how many years in the future. Maybe dancing won’t work out. (It must, it must!) Maybe I won’t want to go back to the academic world after having left it for five years? ten? twenty? Maybe I will be too poor to afford the schooling, or I will have a family or otherwise not want to move. I just don’t know.
I thought moving to college as a first-year student was a big deal. Turns out, the real world outside the classroom is much more uncertain. I’m going to take the new GRE. I’ll try to muddle through the terrifying GRE English Subject test in April. I’ll audition my behind off and hope to get into a company. And I’ll just exhale and let life take me on a ride.
Did I mention, my family is at the beach right now? I'm wishing myself back to this pool, currently located in Florida. (Well, always located in Florida -- currently and in the past.) Summer....
In the end, that’s all one can do, really. I’ll try my best and see what happens. And perhaps review my early British authors, since I think that’s my weakest point. (Except for poetry.) After BSI, I’ve totally got postcolonial Anglo-Celtic authors covered. And American literature from 1850-1855 should be good as well. I never realized just how vast the “canon” (can we even use that term anymore without a skeptical smile?) of English literature is.
Anyone want to hire a shorter female ballerina?