#Adulting: One Step At a Time

Since my last post in November, I have

  • quit my part-time job as a barista
  • completed my internship
  • moved to a new city
  • started a new job

And in case you’re wondering what place finally took me on…

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A M Montgomery 2017

You’re looking at the most recent Executive Fellow for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting or CPB for short. Never heard of them? But you have.

Pretty much every program you watch on public television or when you listen to public radio, do you know who that’s funded by? Support Provided by The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Viewers Like You. Thank You.

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I won’t say much about my new position except that yes, I did move for it since it’s in D.C. and yes, it’s a paid, full-time fellowship. And that’s all I will say about that.

I will say that I am in a new chapter of my adulthood. It’s weird.

Suddenly, I’m fully responsible for paying rent and utilities, dressing as a working adult everyday (which means dressing appropriately AND dressing fashionably), living harmoniously with three housemates who also happen to be strangers to me, shopping for groceries, maintaining relationships with both family AND friends (which is tough because I’m now near neither), figuring out what to do on the weekends or decorating my room, and the hardest part? Cooking for myself. Every single day. (but that’s another story for another time)

Truth be told, I’m grateful for these preoccupations as they are so different from what I was worried about pre-move (How will I get anyone to take me seriously?) and they distract me from the big worries I try not to think about (What will I do with the rest of my life? Specifically? Truly?) and the even bigger worries I can’t really ignore (How do we evaluate the state of our union with all of these changes?). As you can see, there’s a lot to think about.

But there’s a lot to be excited about as well.

I’m employed!

I live in the capital! (Where there are tons of free museums! Free!)

My friends are only a bus or train ride away!

My mother is proud of me!

 

I hope to blog more this year, about my trials of adulting, of navigating a new space with its own rules and customs, of figuring out my next steps beyond where I am now. Though, given how unexpected my life has turned out so far, I’m willing to keep an open mind.

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What I’m Listening To: (Podcast/Radio Talk Show) 1A on NPR (B/N: Thoughtful yet 1aapproachable way of staying informed about all the changes in the U.S., the precedent behind them, and their effect on people’s daily lives)

What I’m Reading: (Fiction) This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales; (B/N: Interesting take on a YA protagonist going from suicidal to becoming a DJ, but sometimes unclear characterization and cliched writing; trigger warning: suicide attempt, cutting)

(Fiction) Attachments by Rainbow Rowell; (B/N: You guys know how I feel about this author, but this is the first book of hers for adults that I’d read; Despite the tangle of misunderstandings and unrealistic mess it creates, the story is surprisingly heart-wrenching and the ending is surprisingly cute)

What I’m Watching Now: (DVD) Seasons 1 and 2 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine (B/N: This show is hilarious, usually without being offensive, and stars a Jewish man, two Latina leads, and two Black men, one of whom is gay in the show, and the best part? The show focuses on these detectives doing their jobs, not their diversity as tokens in the plotline! I love every character, but would pay money to hear Captain Holt say “Velvet Thunder” in person)

SAT Error Frustrates Test-takers

Students across the country complete standardized tests multiple times a year.(Photo Credit: via ccarlstead)

Students across the country complete standardized tests multiple times a year.(Photo Credit: via Flickr from ccarlstead)

There are big changes in store for the SAT in 2016, but what about now? During the June 6 testing date last week, there was an error printed in Educational Testing Service (ETS) booklets across the country. The error said to allow students 25-minutes on two of the sections instead of the actual allotted 20-minutes.

The Monday after the exam, CollegeBoard emailed June 2015 testers, notifying them  of the error, explaining the two sections would not be graded, and the test-takers would still receive accurate scores and would not need to re-test.

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Some test-takers, however, pointed out some unfairness in the CollegeBoard’s plans. What if a student scored well on the mislabeled sections, better than the sections that will be graded? By not grading the mislabeled sections, they are actually missing out on points they would have received. Some argued that a make-up should be mandatory or at least optional.

Bob Schaeffer is the public education director of the National Center for Fair & Open Testing and a known critic of the CollegeBoard. He does not see the June 2015 testing error as an isolated problem. He argues, “If reliable and valid scores can be generated from June 6 exams despite a missing section, why do students at other SAT administrations have to spend the additional time answering questions that the test-makers now say are unnecessary?”

Indeed, there are changes coming to the SAT in less than a year, but what about those who will take the exam during the 2015 fall and 2016 winter quarters? Will they have to take these additional two sections even though their scores can be graded without them?

The redesign of question content, no guessing penalty as well as other changes to the SAT will be released in Spring 2016. When the CollegeBoard first announced these implements, I reported on high school counselors’ and college admissions officers’ plans for the new test and if they would implement new procedures as well.

Just recently, Khan Academy announced free online SAT prep for students is now available. In addition to the new changes to the test’s format, CollegeBoard is also partnering with Khan Academy in order to give more students access to preparation materials. The CollegeBoard hopes these changes will create a more level playing field for students, no matter their means available for test prep.