We had 1,657 graduates in my high school class. I was ranked #110 academically, which put me in the top 6 percent of the class. (I remember this ridiculous fact because my dad was obsessed with how well I did in school, so I became obsessed.) I also was an editor of the yearbook. I played the harp. I created a Spanish newspaper. All-around gal.
But I didn’t get accepted to my first or second choice colleges, Brandeis and Rochester, because I didn’t do especially well on my SATS (I got 1,100). Tests scared the living daylights out of me. Big tests. Little tests. Surprise quizzes (the thought of them.) I thought I’d have a nervous breakdown before I took every Regents exam (required three-hour standardized tests in New York State.) It’s a wonder the SATs didn’t throw me over the edge.
Anyway, I went to Syracuse University and hated it. Lost 35 pounds in eight weeks, missed home something fierce, cried all day long, got Ds, had a real mini breakdown. Left after one semester and never looked back. It all turned out okay, but I sometimes think how one stupid test weighed so heavily on which college accepted me.
Being judged can be trying. And being a judge of others has to be one of the hardest jobs in the world. What exactly makes us decide which person we want to hire for a job opening? Who we’ll date? Whether we’ll accept someone’s idea? Who we’ll choose to perform a critical operation? I know it’s my duty, but I would not want to sit on a jury to decide whether to convict someone.