Fun Times With College Board and School in General

Today, my brain was effectively wrung dry and I approached a lobotomized state near the third quarter of the test. Yes, this was the day I lost my SAT virginity. “Never again,” I thought to myself, “Except I will have to.” Indeed, I did not come to the test prepared. I came in to see what it was like and decided to establish my expectations from then onwards. Jesus, I’ve done a three hour test before, but more than four hours of my life passed by due to a handful of formalities in the beginning and the breaks that we received periodically. Four hours of my life that I won’t get back, not even used in a serious attempt to make myself marketable to colleges.

That’s right, I said “marketable.” College Board is a monopoly my friend, and students are the main goods. College Board thirsts for your information, sometimes excessively. They requested for my social security number, for instance. What? What in the world would they want that for? They claim that they’re a not-for-profit organization, so, ummmm…. I don’t think they’ll exactly benefit from my Social Security number. Also, pretty much any kind of test that’s administered and accepted by colleges comes from the CB. It’s ridonkulous. Now, of course, we get the benefits of having colleges being able to recruit students that they want more easily, but I feel like there’s a whole conspiracy to make secondary education a lucrative business.

CB isn’t really making any monetary gains apparently, but information is nowadays the main commodity that businesses care about. Think Google: in exchange for all of their convenient and free products, you sell off most of your privacy in the form of your browser history. With all of this information in their hands, CB is indisputably one of the most powerful corporations out there when you consider how many students go through their system each year. Besides, there’s also the issue of for-profit summer experiences that are supposedly good things to put on your resume.

I’ll explain. I got an offer a while back from the National Student Leadership Conference that offered a fair amount of opportunities to explore different careers and even a seal to spice up my diploma if I participated in their little adventures. It sounded good and they even flattered me by saying I was among a “select” group of students. The catch? A big, big price tag. I asked one of the people who actually went to one of these “conferences” and he said that they were fair enough. If you had money to blow.

A couple of clicks and whirs went on in my brain as I processed those words: “money to blow.” See, that’s exactly what colleges want. They want money, no doubt about it. I then realized the true purpose of that diploma seal, the “recommendation” that the NLSC offered: “Hey look, a student with money! You want a student with money? Go get ’em!” Honestly, coming up with this link scares me and I would like somebody to tell me I’m just another conspiracy theorist who has nothing better to do. I could also be an unreliable author when it comes to this topic, as I have admitted earlier that my brain went down in the dumps since the SAT. Oh well, just throwing it out there.

I’ll continue to tango with CB a little more on this Monday and Friday with AP testing. Though I disapprove of their Big Brother-like tendencies, I applaud the CB for offering AP classes, since I wholeheartedly agree with providing students opportunities to test themselves with rigorous classes in subjects of their interest. I know that an AP exam isn’t as tough as an SAT, now that I’ve experienced both, so it won’t be too bad I hope. The only thing that irks me is the area of where we’re testing in: the Little Theatre, our affectionately named area within our art building. Too bad for our poor bastard selves: apparently it was called that for a reason, possibly as a sick joke for the AP test takers in our school. See, we have chairs within the theatre, but on the armrests lay a little side table that you can flip out if you wish to write. This little table is probably the width of one and a half worth’s of my hands and just a little longer than one of them. I could be exaggerating the dimensions, but I’m not exaggerating as to how much it sucks to write on them.

It wouldn’t be so bad if the exams I am going to take only demanded for multiple choice bubbles, but they also demand some writing as well. This is what enrages me beyond my wildest dreams. And apparently, my school thought it was a funny idea to put the AP English Language exam in the Little Theatre instead of the library, which is where they put the AP Chemistry exam people. WHAT. THE. FFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU-

-DGE. Lucky-ass science bastards. It’s not like they have to write three essays in an hour and a half. The catering to the crowds whom are adept in math and science is a whole ‘nother topic though. My brain’s not really into going for that path right now. For now, I’ll just be contemplating the experience of getting my ass handed to me by a teensy-weensy test that wanted to take over my walnut of a brain. My mental prowess requires further enhancement if I’m going to stand a chance in secondary education, so I’ll rest now.

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