Asaf Bartov (ijon) wrote,
Asaf Bartov

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TAU Ain't Unreasonable

In last month's episode, our intrepid hero was pondering the relevance of an English language exam as a condition for his admission to TAU, considering his SAT score.

Obscenely early this morning, I got up and drove to TAU's Admission Office, after carefully verifying that the two hours per week in which the manager of the Admissions Office accepts appointments are in fact Wednesdays between 10:00 and 12:00. I showed up in front of her office at 10:05. It was locked. Slightly disheartened, I walked over to the general Admission secretary, and explained the situation.

Surprisingly, and contrary to what gaal said I should expect, she was very sympathetic, and actually agreed with me that it is absurd. However, she added, SAT scores are simply not taken into account for the purpose of exemption from the English test. "So what do I do?", I ask with genuine sadness in my eyes. "You could go to the Division of Foreign Languages, and ask the division head, maybe you could take some internal exam there..." I thanked her and proceeded to the DFL offices.

At the DFL, I am directed to the counselor, who asks me what this is about. I explain. Once the nature of my request is clear, I begin to add that I'd appreciate it if I could be exempted from taking that additional exam, but she cuts me off and says, in English: "Speak English if you want to improve your situation here." I was speaking Hebrew until that point, of course, and her phrasing surprises me, but I switch to English immediately, and explain that I honestly think the test would be an unfair waste of my time and money, given the circumstances. She questions me a little about why I took the SAT and not the local equivalent, and I explain the whole St. John's College story. Then, an idea strikes her: "Did you take the TOEFL, then?" (TOEFL = Test Of English as a Foreign Language.) "I would have had to,", I reply, and her eyes widen for some reason, "but when I visited the SJC campus, I was shown around by this guy from the Admission office, and after an hour-long chat we had while walking around campus, he told me he'll just waive the TOEFL requirement in my case, so I'm afraid I don't have a TOEFL score."

People are impressed by the damndest things, I tell you. It turns out that she was thrown completely off-guard by my using "would have had" correctly. She said: "Never mind the TOEFL, you said would have had! Coupled with your SAT score, I don't think there's any need of further evidence." I was very embarrassed by this, especially considering my far from perfect grammar. The kind counselor wrote up some memo, and promised me I needn't worry about this anymore. We proceeded to chat about SJC, about her son, studying medicine in Australia, and about the TAU Classics Dept.'s size, in terms of enrolled undergrads. She wished me luck, I thanked her very much, and off I went on my merry way, less than 20 minutes after arriving at TAU. Whee! :)

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