We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Remember the bumper sticker "The one who dies with the most toys wins"? That one was popular at the same time as the one that read "When all else fails, lower your standards." Lower that bar, and all shall have prizes.
The board's first tests were offered in June 1901 to 978 applicants to Columbia, Barnard College, and New York University. Each year more colleges joined the program as they recognized its value.
The examinations — in chemistry, English, French, German, Greek, history, Latin, mathematics, and physics — contained no multiple-choice questions. Students were expected to demonstrate their knowledge by writing extended essays or displaying their solutions to problems. In English, 10 classics were assigned in advance for students, including The Merchant of Venice, The Vicar of Wakefield, The Last of the Mohicans, Silas Marner, and "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." Students were told that they would be judged more for their powers of clear expression than for their minute knowledge of those works, but they were expected to have closely studied them and to be ready to answer questions in detail. Every two or three years, the standards and reading lists were revised, and high-school teachers knew well in advance which works would be covered.