Tonight as the crowd of supporters of Seoul FC, chant, cry and wail at all the action of the pitch, and their voices carry from World Cup Stadium to my open apartment window, I moan. A few hours earlier I was proclaiming to my mother on the phone that it’s just not fair. Not fair at all. And it isn’t. But at this hour, after all the dread has slipped away, I just feel dispassionate. With a touch of aloof and a pinch of lassitude.

You see, I’m taking the GRE tomorrow.

It has destroyed my mind and my time to write. Studying for it.

In a country where standardized tests can cause dire results, and at a time when I read that America envious this system of testing, I wonder what the point of these tests are.

My students never questioned it. If they did, it was always backed with the idea that it’s necessary. So why complain?

So why complain?

I will be applying to Ph.D programs in the fall. I really don’t have a choice in the matter. But I think about the time I’ve spent as an instructor in universities here in Korea. When we had a hoop like this for students to jump through, what was it for?

Make it easier to reject people.  Give a number for people. Divide them based on their number. Nothing is more terrible than to have to sit down as say why one student is more deserving than the other when they have done the exact same things. Numbers make it easier.

If these tests measure anything more than our ability to take that test, I’d be surprised. But I need a number. Tomorrow will be hell, but it will pass. So relax.

And why complain?

The Night Before You Know Your Going to Hell