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GRE Vocabulary Practice: Lesson Three

Abstemious- moderate in appetite

When you are an unpaid DC intern, expect to have many abstemious meals.

Deride- to speak of or treat with contempt; to mock

My friend thought I was deriding him when I playfully said he was attempting to off road with his hybrid bicycle. I was contrite when he told me he couldn’t tell whether or not I was joking. 

(one word from yesterday’s set used in this sentence! Seriously, I highly recommend writing out these sentences if you want to be able to recall these words on a whim!)

Dissemble- to present a false appearance, to disguise one’s real intentions or character.

I’m really bad at dissembling. Within 30 seconds, I have to tell the truth.

Malediction- a curse; a wish of evil upon another

A voodoo doll is a form of a malediction

Oblique- indirect or evasive; misleading or devious

The study, as presented, is oblique. You didn’t provide any data to support your claims. 

Obviate- to prevent; to make unnecessary

It is important to communicate freely with your loved ones; when everyone knows where they stand, it obviates the chance of fighting.

Peregrinate- to wander from place to place, to travel, especially on foot

Brian peregrinated all over Canton so he could knock on doors and remind voters to get out and vote on Election Day. 

Précis- short summary of facts

She thought it would be helpful to write a précis to accompany her thesis, in case readers didn’t have the time to read the 32 page paper. 

Politic- shrewd and practical in managing or dealing with things; diplomatic

It may sound like a weird approach, but it is important to be politic when dealing with typical issues and problems that you will encounter in your 20’s. Just remember, it’s not forever and live for the moment.

Raconteur- witty, skillful storyteller

Many Lost fans view J.J. Abrams as a raconteur.

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GRE Vocabulary Practice: Lesson Two

(note: I think this is working. Two days after making that first sentence set, I find that I’m retaining the words better. Whenever I do the drills in Barron’s GRE Vocabulary Workbook, I find that I forget them as soon as I finish the drills. However, I’m happy that the workbook is introducing me to new words. My tip is that studying is different for everyone and you have to find out what works for you. I’m going to keep doing this…I really want a near perfect score on the verbal.)

Alleviate- to make more bearable

The proposed bike lanes are sure to alleviate traffic congestion. 

Antipathy- extreme dislike

I don’t understand why they both have such antipathy towards each other. I could never imagine wasting my energy to hate someone so much when there’s better things to live for. 

Bilk- to cheat, defraud

The bouncer bilked us out of our money, we only stepped out of the club to go outside, and he had the gall to charge us cover again!

Chauvinist- someone prejudiced in favor of a group to which he or she belongs

Clearly, the men who stood up at Hillary Clinton’s rally in 2008 and yelled “IRON MY SHIRT” were male chauvinists

Circumspect- cautious, aware of potential consequences

If you must walk alone at night, you should be very circumspect regarding your surroundings.

Coterie- an intimate group of persons with a similar purpose 

(note: this might just be my new favorite word.)

Last night, D invited a coterie of fellow Magic: The Gathering players to his apartment. 

Inter- to bury

After talking about the reasons behind their antipathy towards each other, they decided to inter their harsh feelings and move on.

(two GRE words from this set in one sentence!)

Slake- to calm down or moderate

Mothers tend to slake fights between siblings. 

Specious- deceptively attractive, seemingly plausible but fallacious

You have to watch out when responding to a Craigslist ad, some may be specious.

Stratagem- a trick designed to deceive an enemy

When playing chess, I must be aware of my opponent’s moves, he may trap me in a stratagem


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GRE Vocabulary Practice: Lesson One

From now until September 24th, I will be studying for the GRE everyday. I thought that it would be a good idea to take out a couple of GRE Vocab words (courtesy of Kaplan’s GRE Exam: Vocabulary in a Box) and construct some sentences and paragraphs out of them. I hope to do one of these a day. 

Abate- to reduce in amount, degree, or severity

Within a day, the sweltering heat abated and the citizens of Albany were able to enjoy a nice, warm breeze. 

Aggrandize- to increase in power, influence, and reputation

It can be assumed that Sarah Palin resigned from office to aggrandize herself. If she was still Alaska’s governor, it is likely that she wouldn’t have had time to write two best selling books, go on media tours across the country, and star in a reality TV show. 

Amulet- ornament worn as a charm against evil spirits

I bought an evil eye bracelet because I liked the design, not because of the fact that it is an amulet

Coalesce- to grow together to form a single whole. 

Gay marriage wouldn’t of passed in New York if it weren’t for the support of same-sex rights interest groups. They may have differed in their individual philosophies but they coalesced into one formidable force to pressure the Senators to bring the vote to the floor. 

Coffer- strongbox, large chest for money

Scrooge McDuck is so rich that the biggest coffer in the world couldn’t hold his money. He had no choice but to put it all in a vault that is bigger than most people’s houses!

Condone- to overlook, pardon, or disregard

When I was conducting a college tour, a parent was mad about SUNY Oneonta’s alcohol policy. She couldn’t believe the college condemned the presence of alcohol on campus, especially after visiting many college campuses that condone alcohol, if the students are over 21. 

Contrite- deeply sorrowful and repentant for a wrong

The hairdresser was very contrite after she realized she accidentally cut part of my ear off. 

Xenophobia- a fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers.

It is unfortunate that after September 11th, xenophobic feelings became prevalent across America, sometimes resulting in violence against innocent American citizens. 

Zeal- passion, excitement

My roommates used to make fun of me for watching CNN all the time but appreciated my zeal for following current events. 

Zealot- someone passionately devoted to a cause

Dude, that zealot has been on a hunger strike for four days now. He must really want Albany to get a Trader Joe’s!


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fancy book larnin’ and the atmospheres that surround us.

I can only imagine this happening 30 or so years from now, when my future son(s) and/or daughter(s) come(s) up to me and asks me about my lurid past: 

“So Mom, what did you do when you were 23?” may be the question that I’m asked.

If I am asked, I will then reply: “Sweetie, I helped organize a winning congressional campaign in a year where the Democrats were supposed to all fall and for the next couple of months following the victory, I lived out of my car, slept on a lot of couches, and found out the qualities of what makes a good internet cafe. Yet most importantly, Lady Gaga and Vanilla Rooibos tea can solve any of your problems.” 

I don’t know what will happen after that supposed future conversation or if it will even occur. But if there’s anything I know, even though it may be hard to realize it at times, is that there is always a diamond in the rough. 

The Diamond in the Rough today, as much as I hate to mention it, is Starbucks.

I still don’t have internet at my roommate’s apartment so I’m still camping out at various internet cafes in order to do my freelance work for my parents. Unfortunately, as much as I would love to camp out at the Lark Street cafes, they are only open until 9. Starbucks is open ‘til 11:30. Don’t worry- I promise to be back to supporting my trusty cafes as soon as I get internet in the apartment because my daddy raised me as a good ol’ gal who is a patron of local businesses, just like the one I grew up in. 

Photo tangent of me and the papa bear! I get to see him this weekend. I’m all sorts of excited.

Yet I’ve got to tell you- there is something so calming about this Starbucks that is unlike the Daily Grind or Caffe Vero. I truly feel like I’m a student again even though I’m not. I’m surrounded by people studying and it feels AWESOME. When I was at Panera Bread, I was really stressed out about the whole situation, but I feel really calm here. I felt like this the last time when I was here too. 

And this leads me to one conclusion: I must become a student once more. I’ve  got other reasons too but this is a pretty legit reason. I want to do some fancy book larnin’ again.