Words.

 

A box is an improbable container for a word.

Each is as not a liquid, nor a solid.

Words are gas,

filling their container,

taking their shape and their work.

An SAT allows exactly eight inches by eleven,

for my words to fill the page.

Is it promise?

Is it potential?

No, it is neither,

for it has abandoned its purpose.

Scholastic Aptitude Test

or so it claims.

 

Scholastic? No, indeed.

According to the dictionary,

which I have so aptly used as it is not provided during an SAT

and is therefore unnecessary,

Scholastic means:

one who follows a method of critical thought.

Critical?

Is filling in blank circles ‘critical?’

Is making a choice of one’s favorite letter ‘critical?’

Thought?

When does it take thought,

consideration,

or any degree of intelligence,

to churn out a 

five paragraph

five sentence

five point essay,

simple thesis,

simple points,

simple conclusion,

opinionated sentences,

a simple lack of fact.

When did that take thought?

 

Aptitude:

a natural ability to do something.

Natural?

A plastic chair.

White walls.

White paper.

Dead silence.

That creeping ticking in your ears,

every second passing your future being made,

or slipping away,

and as you feel your education

failing you,

you realize that it means nothing

to fit within their box,

their box of essays,

their box of three minute grading papers,

with a computer file,

scrawled across hastily on top,

that the people who are savoring your words

feel nothing for your plight,

your boredom,

your haste,

your past,

your present,

and your future.

There is no nature in an SAT.

Ability?

It is not a matter of skill,

of access,

to write a cookie cutter essay.

There is nothing in it,

only blankness,

only coldness,

only artificiality,

and only the abomination of the 

god-given,

amazing,

beautiful,

and utterly human gift of words.

 

Test:

a procedure intended to establish the quality,

performance, 

or reliability of something.

Quality?

Show me a piece of a

publishable,

intelligent,

SAT essay.

Alas, you cannot.

Why?

Because there is nothing in it.

No fact.

No stand.

No candid.

No beauty,

and the last of these

is the greatest tragedy.

Performance?

Show it to me.

Performance is art,

performance is awe,

performance is greatness,

and you cannot contain that in eighty eight square, blank white inches.

Reliability?

Then why,

if you may please explain,

is there only one SAT score

that counts?

Why do we not consider

bad days,

dead days,

sad days,

early mornings?

 

The SAT not only,

shatters,

crushes,

parodies,

and destroys the written word,

it betrays itself,

through its own namesake does it show its

antischolasticism,

inaptitude,

and un-test like qualities,

and while we put more and more

of what is supposed to be our very future

into their little box,

we expect them to have

promise,

potential,

consideration,

intelligence,

a love for nature,

awe, 

beauty,

and a love for the very words that are destroying themselves.

I have loved words. 

I have hated words.

And I hope I have done them right.

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