So I took the GRE. Here's what I learned.

First, it's possible to teach yourself how not to care about something. I'm proud of that. (Any feelings I have about my actual score are faint enough to be drowned out by that - which I'd hoped would be the case... if I could make this a test for myself about how much I could break out of test-score-mania, and not about the test score, then I win. I won.)

Second, I'm no better at sitting through standardized tests as I was in high school. Fortunately, this one was individual and computer-based, so one can (for instance) draw sketches of baseball gloves between questions as an RSI break and leave 1.5 hours early. All the same, by the time I was on my last section, I was antsy and almost pacing in my chair, feet bouncing and arms shifting position every few seconds. I was aware of this (I'm usually aware of it) but couldn't control it while simultaneously concentrating on getting the damn problems out of the way as fast as possible without deliberately throwing the test (I could have just clicked random answers all the way). ADHD is sometimes simultaneously amusing and frustrating.

I'm not sure how we missed this when I was little; I've blatantly rushed through every standardized test I've taken* in order to fling myself into a book afterwards and stop feeling so darn restless. I know I could ask for special accomodations for this, but I don't want more time to take a test (why would I want to be antsy for longer?) - I want permission to do jumping jacks and push-ups in the middle of random questions. (This is in fact what I did once I went to college and started being given take-home exams. If I got unbearably antsy, I would stop, run a screaming lap around the outside of my dorm, then continue the test. My teachers knew.)

Third, scores are out of 800. I had to look this up in the bookstore across the street afterwards, because after the screen showed my numbers I realized I had no idea what they meant. (So, yeah, I guess I still do care, a little. That, and I'm curious about most things having to do with numbers. But the caring was much less than I would have without thinking about how much I wanted to care... I think I'm in the "appropriate reaction" range now.)

*with the exception of the Putnam, which is devilishly difficult and fascinating and just really, really fun. It fills up my entire brain, and the antsiness takes longer to set in. Well... and first time I took the SAT, it was also fun. I was also 11 - it was required for my middle school to figure out what math track you'd be placed in - and at the time I hadn't taken algebra or anything the SAT assumes you know (though I knew the Pythagorean Theorem and what the ratios 'sine,' 'cosine', and 'tangent' stood for), so I was sitting there with my feet dangling from the too-big chair, chewing on my pencil and deriving things that popped up in my math classes years later; that was pretty cool.

RSI break time. I think I'll watch a movie. I have not done that in a very long time.