Alex in Transit(ion)

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GRE Vocabulary Practice: Lesson Eleven

I always lose track of the lesson numbers. I bet The Count wouldn’t though!

(also: I never knew he had a floral lining on his cape!)

Affected- phony; artificial

Yuck, this tastes like affected banana!

Arrogated- to claim without justification; to claim for oneself without right

Look dude, I know you’re upset that the Cookie Monster just barged into your apartment and arrogated your cookie jar without your permission, but what can you do? Some Muppets never change and you’re just going to have to accept that. 

Banal- predictable; cliched; boring

Actually, that’s the reason why I can’t hang out with Cookie Monster anymore, he is so banal! I just want to say “yes, I got it the last 100 times you told me, C is for cookie!”

Cosset- to pamper; treat with great care

The sickest thing about it all is that he cossets his cookie jars. He puts them all in this trophy case and polishes them daily. 

Disabuse- to set right; free from error

After talking with the DA, she said that as long as I perform 100 hours of community service my record will be disabused. 

Ebullient- exhilarated; full of enthusiasm and high spirits

I think a lot of people could describe my personality as ebullient

Edify– to instruct morally and spiritually

Yoda edifies young Jedi warriors. 

Exigent- urgent; requiring immediate action

After we heard voters complain of being intimidated at the polls, it was exigent that we got in contact with the Board of Elections and our lawyers. 

Gregarious- outgoing; sociable

I can also be described as gregarious

Mar- to damage or deface; spoil

There’s no question about it; his actions marred a beautiful friendship. 

Mercurial- quick, shrewd, and unpredictable

Cassidy, featured on Toddlers and Tiaras, is quite mercurial. You never know what kind of meltdown she will have next! 

Mirth- frivolity, gaiety, laughter

There’s no doubt about it, Rob brings the mirth to every party with his jokes.

Parley- discussion, usually between enemies

That was one intense parley between the two parsley manufacturers over whose grounding techniques are the best!

Perspicacious- shrewd, astute, or keen-witted

Tom was always very perspicacious when it came to hiding the fact that he lived in the radio station’s office. He always made sure to clean up after himself and leave before the janitors came by. 

Prevaricate- to lie or deviate from the truth

That’s the one thing about Cookie Monster, he won’t prevaricate and say that he didn’t steal your cookie jar. He will own up to the fact. You don’t meet many Muppets like that. 

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GRE Vocabulary Practice: Lesson Ten

This day is brought to you by Pearl Jam’s Ten. I don’t know why, but I have been obsessively listening to the album today. Maybe it’s because this is Lesson Ten?

Actually, that’s not the reason at all, I had to look back at the blog to figure out what number I’m at. But I’ve got to say, I’m a big fan of random coincidences.

Dilatory- intended to delay

My four year old brother decided to resort to dilatory measures. He hid my keys to prevent me from leaving him to go to Albany. 

Dilettante- someone with an amateurish and superficial interest in a topic.

Dilettantes get under my skin; they claim to be experts of the 90’s grunge scene when they’ve only listened to “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on the radio.

Flag- to decline in vigor, strength, or interest

If you don’t eat before you go on a long bike ride, your stamina will flag

Inure- to harden; accustom; become used to

As hard as it can sometimes be, I’m inuring to living life without my former partner in crime. 

Invective- abusive language

The bums who frequently camp by my apartment building shout invectives at passers-by almost every night. Needless to say, I call the police a lot. A girl has to get her beauty rest these days. 

Latent- potential that is not readily apparent 

I always recognized the latent ambition inside of you. One day you will flourish when presented with the right opportunity. 

Pare- to trim off excess; reduce

Many companies have pared off their non-essential employees to cut back on costs. 

Phalanx- a compact or close-knit body of people, animals, or things.

The phalanx of philosophy students would often study and socialize together. 

Placate- to soothe or pacify

My dog always knows how to placate me when I’m having a bad day. No matter how mad or sad I am, she will always wag her tail and cuddle with me while we watch TV.

Prescient- having foresight

The psychic claimed to be prescient about the future. 

Quiescent- motionless

When a deer sees headlights, they either are quiescent or the bolt away from the road. 

Sacrosanct- extremely sacred; beyond criticism

Cows are sacrosanct in the Hindu religion. 

Syncopation- temporary irregularity in musical rhythm

The musicians were sick and tired of playing their songs to 4/4 time so they decided to tweak them of with spurts of syncopation

Taciturn- silent; not talkative

Compared to Bono and the Edge, the other two members of U2 are taciturn and tend to shy away from the public eye. 

Tome– book, usually large and academic

The professor used to boast about researching from his many tomes

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GRE Vocabulary Practice: Lesson Nine

So what’s a girl to do when the S&P lowers the country’s credit rating and everyone is predicting the economipocalypse?

Study for the GRE, of course! 

Aerie- a nest built high in the air; an elevated, often secluded, dwelling.

If I were a bird, I’d build my aerie high up in the trees so predators couldn’t harm my eggs.

Apocryphal- of questionable authority or authenticity

My old professors used to warn about using Wikipedia as a source for my papers because they considered the information to be apocryphal.

Articulate- able to speak clearly and expressively

There’s no question about it; in order to win an election you must be able to speak articulately to connect with voters. 

Forestall- to prevent or delay; anticipate

The rain forestalled my plans to bike in the afternoon. 

Inchoate- not fully formed; disorganized

I’m glad that I am applying to graduate school now instead of right after I graduated in 2009. When I was an undergrad, my career plans were inchoate and I wasn’t sure of what I exactly wanted to do. Now that I’ve had almost two years of working in the political field, I know the direction I want to point my career towards. 

Inculcate- to teach; impress in the mind

It is clear that Governor Rick Perry inculcated his values and talking points upon his 30,000+ audience made up of Evangelical Christians. 

Indolent- habitually lazy or idle

I can’t stand people who complain about their jobs and are too indolent to look for other opportunities. Yeah, it may be a pain to job search every night after work, but you may come across a job that you may actually like!

Impecunious- poor; having no money

While I have been impecunious for most of 2011; I was rich in political experience. I know that one day all of this hard work will pay off!

Laconic- using few words

While I am very talkative; my brother Raymond is laconic. 

Lapidary- relating to precious stones or the art of cutting them

The lapidarist was very talented in cutting precious stones into beautiful pieces of jewelry. 

Panegyric- elaborate praise; formal hymn of praise 

The victim’s panegyric for the firefighter who saved his life brought everyone in the room to tears. 

Upbraid– to scold sharply

If I had known that he was groping my best friend at the bar, I would have upbraided him and ended things then and there. 

Wan- sickly pale

I was concerned when I saw her wan skin; she was so healthy the other week! 

Wraith- a ghost or specter; a ghost of a living person seen just before his or her death

As geeky as this sounds; I know that you have to kill a lot of wraiths in the Elder Scrolls games.

Zenith- the point of culmination; peak

Even though I already have a campaign win under my belt; I do not believe I’m at the zenith of my career. There is still so much more good work to do! 

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GRE Vocabulary Practice: Lesson Eight

Ohhhhhh snap kids, it’s time to get our learn on!

I should never type that sentence ever. ever. again. 

Also, I decided to up the ante. Instead of doing 10 words a day, I decided it would be best to do 15 a day. I’m testing at the end of September and when I worked the math out, I see that I can blast through these vocab words by the end of August if I do 15 a day and then I can review them all later. If anyone has any thoughts about this method, feel free to share!

Abjure- to reject; abandon formally

I’m sure that that some graduate schools will sent me letters of abjuration.

NOTE: Abjure can be easily confused with Adjure which means “to charge, bind, or command earnestly and solemnly, often under oath or the threat of penalty.”

Hapless- unfortunate; having bad luck

Don’t consider yourself hapless because you’re not getting any job offers. Since the economy has tanked and budgets have shrunk, employers are more apt to give jobs to those with more experience than to fresh, college grads.

Keen– having a sharp edge; intellectually sharp; perceptive

Alex the parrot was very keen. He could pick up an object and determine what kind of matter it is made up of. 

Itinerant- wandering from place to place; unsettled

Since I haven’t lived in the same zip code for more than six months since May 2009, I guess you could describe me as itinerant.

Jargon- nonsensical talk; specialized language

I’ve learned more jargon working in the political field than I ever did in a political science class.

Jettison- to discard; to get rid of as unnecessary or encumbering

It makes me sick when I see boats jettison trash into the water. 

Jocular- playful; humorous

There is no doubt about it, my college friends were some of the most jocular people I know. I don’t think I’ll ever meet anyone else who would ever feel comfortable playing baseball in a car.

Levity- an inappropriate lack of seriousness; overly casual

If there’s one thing I admire about Rob, it’s that he can always bring levity to any serious situation. 

Mendicant- beggar

We get a lot of mendicants hanging outside of our building at night. 

Missive- a written note or letter

This past weekend, I had to write a missive that I hoped I never had to write, but I didn’t have a choice. I could not continue to be treated like the only girl in the world when I apparently wasn’t. 

Obdurate- hardened in feeling; resistant to persuasion

There’s no doubt about it, when I found out about the deception, I was obdurate. I could not ignore what I saw and pretend like it never happened. 

Plastic- able to be molded, altered, or bent

Silly Putty is very plastic; you can mold it into just about anything. 

Prodigal- lavish; wasteful

I can’t watch shows like Real Housewives of Orange County. Their prodigal lifestyles annoy me. 

Pulchritude- beauty

If some guy told me that he admired me for my pulchritude, before coming across this GRE flashcard, I wouldn’t know what to say. I would have thought that he was saying that I was ugly since, by its spelling and pronunciation, it doesn’t seem like a word you would use to flatter someone.

Variegated- varied; marked with different colors. 

I enjoyed the variegated building I saw in Montreal; each windowpane was a different color of the rainbow. 

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GRE Vocabulary Practice: Lesson Seven

Bifurcate- to divide into two parts

The construction workers bifurcated the road to make one lane for cars and the other for bicycles. 

Boor- crude person, one lacking manners or taste

I hate hanging out with that boor; he never knows when to stop with the fart jokes.

Convoluted- intricate and complicated

When a relationship becomes so convoluted that it turns both parties into toxic characters, it is best to end it. 

Judicious- sensible; showing good judgment

My friend in DC always has judicious advice to offer. 

Knell- sound of a funeral bell; omen of death or failure

When a Pope dies, you will hear the knell from the Vatican’s bell tower to alert the people of his passing. 

Meticulous- extremely careful; fastidious; painstaking

In order to perform well on the GRE Math section, I must be meticulous with my arithmetic to ensure I’m not making any careless errors. 

Puerile- childish, immature, or silly

I consider it puerile to get into fights on Facebook. 

Repast- meal or mealtime

I used to dread repasts at the college dining hall because of the poor quality of the food. 

Stasis- a state of static balance or equilibrium; stagnation

The Statue of Liberty is in stasis. Chicago won’t be taking it anytime soon. 

Tyro- beginner; novice

You can tell from my stances that I am a tyro in Tae Kwon Do. 

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Alex and the GRE Math Section.

Let’s put this straight, I am horrible at math. I was great in it all throughout elementary school, in fact, my teachers would have me tutor other students. Then I don’t know what happened, 7th grade came and I found myself struggling with the subject from that point on. 

I find that the new GRE math section is easier than the old GRE math section because I feel that it is more intuitive and you can relate the problems to real life. However, if you struggle with math like I do, I can’t stress this enough:

Be honest with yourself. By being honest with yourself I mean this:

Everyday before I prep for the test, I ask myself how badly I want to go to graduate school. The answer always is “I’d give anything to be back in school again.”

If I really would give anything to be back in school again, I’m going to devote at least a hour or two a day to study until my test day (September 24th).

Second- expanding from that, while you’re being honest with yourself, be honest with your skills: I am horrible at math and I find myself struggling with ETS’ Math Review because they don’t explain why you got answers wrong. Instead of getting frustrated and giving up because the book sucks, I went to my library and picked up some remedial algebra books because the only way I’m going to succeed is if I’m comfortable with the problems. The only way to be comfortable is to practice.

Third- try to figure out what’s leading to your downfall. After looking at my mistakes I see that I’m rushing through the problems and in turn, my impatience is resulting in me getting answers wrong. For me personally, I have to remember to take my time. 

So what am I going to do on a Friday night?

I’m going to study. 


Because if I get an awesome score, I might get to spend my Friday nights living it up in an awesome city for the next two years.

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GRE Vocabulary Practice: Lesson Six

Wow, I didn’t know people would like and reblog these posts, so I guess I’m doing something helpful! Thanks for the love! I would definitely recommend taking these words and making your own sentences out of them though. As I’ve been studying, I’ve found that I recall words better if I “own” them rather than memorize them. 

So let’s keep a good thing going, shall we?

Also, this weekend I plan to write about how I’m studying for the GRE Math Section.

August- dignified, grandiose

The New York State Capitol takes my breath away every time I step into it because of its august architecture. 

Cupidity- greed, strong desire

Bernie Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison because of his cupidinous Ponzi scheme.

Diaphanous- allowing light to show through, delicate

Although I love the look of diaphanous curtains, I had to buy blackout curtains for my room because the sunrise kept waking me up around 5AM.

Decorous- proper, tasteful, socially correct

When one goes to a funeral, it is decorous to dress modestly out of respect for the deceased.

Ingenuous- showing innocence or childlike simplicity

My four year old brother brother was very ingenuous when I was leaving to go back to Albany. When he saw me get into my car he said “Allie don’t go bye-bye!” I told him that I had to go to work and he replied “ok, I’ll see you later!”

Liberal – tolerant or broad minded; generous or lavish

My mom always gives me liberal amounts of mashed potatoes. 

Lissome- easily flexed; limber; agile

With time, yoga conditions your body to become lissome

Mores- fixed customs or manners; moral attitudes.

My partner became very jealous after he saw a European man kiss my hand; however I had to explain that it’s just part of the mores of how Europeans greet each other. 

Officious- too helpful, meddlesome

In each campaign, there is always one officious volunteer who you must try to control before he or she hijacks your operations. 

Requite- to return or repay

I don’t mind the fact that you owe me money, I know that you’ll requite me sooner or later. 

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GRE Vocabulary Practice: Lesson Five

Abase- to humble, disgrace

After feeling the backlash from his Craigslist sex scandal, Chris Lee, the abased former Congressman, has kept a low profile. 

Abscond- to leave secretly

The soldiers absconded from the enemy side’s headquarters, after planting the bomb that would hopefully assassinate the leader and end the war.

Hoary- very old, whitish or gray from age.

There will come a day when my hair will be so hoary that I will not have the enthusiasm to dye it. At that point, I embrace aging gracefully. 

Licentious- immoral, unrestrained by society

Even though it is illegal, prostitutes still engage in licentious acts.

Lumber- to move slowly and awkwardly

As a fast walker, I can’t stand being behind people who lumber on the sidewalks.

Machination- plot or scheme

To make drivers aware of cyclists on the road, the local bicycle coalition organized a machination to meet up in the park at a certain time and bike around the city.

Occlude- to stop up; prevent the passage of

I stuck a patch onto my bicycle tube to occlude air through my tire.

Palliate- to make less serious, ease

Some women opt for epidural to palliate their pain during labor. 

Propriety- the quality of behaving in a proper manner; obeying rules and customs

It is important, before one signs a lease or agreement to live with roommates, to have an honest talk and discuss what the propriety should be in the domicile.

Salubrious- healthful

It is important to buy free range meat because since they do not have any fillers in them, making your meal more nutritious and salubrious. 

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GRE Vocabulary Practice: Lesson Four

Aesthetic- concerning the appreciation of beauty

I met a person who did not appreciate the aesthetic qualities of nature. Needless to say, we don’t talk anymore.

Ambiguousdoubtful or uncertain, can be interpreted several ways

The American people are becoming very ambiguous about the debt ceiling crisis; it seems that all the politicians are doing is arguing back and forth instead of working towards real progress.

Ameliorate- to make better; to improve

We decided when we got back together that we would communicate with each other more to ameliorate the relationship. 

Analogous- similar or alike in some way; equivalent to

In my eyes, Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts are analogous to each other. Both businesses brew sub par coffee and charge you exorbitant prices for it. I’d rather support my local coffee shops, buy their quality beans, and brew tasty coffee at home. Believe it or not, it is cheaper. 

Antagonize- to annoy or provoke to anger

If I ever wanted to antagonize my brother, all I need to do is hide his hair gel. 

Apathy- lack of interest or emotion

It can be assumed from the low turnout that voters were apathetic about the result of this election. 

Assail- to attack; assault

The robber realized he made a bad life choice when he tried to rob one of the members of the Tae Kwon Do squad. Instead of stealing a pocketbook, he was assailed by 20 black belts. 

Belfry- bell tower, a room in which a bell is hung.

Quasimodo lived in a belfry

Bolster- to support, prop up

The finance team had raised enough money to bolster the campaign’s operations. 

Interregnum- period between reigns

There was an interregnum after the college president suddenly resigned.