Yesterday, I went to the post office, in the hopes of finding what I hoped would be a thick letter, addressed to me, containing all the parephenalia I would need to start my graduate training at the school of my choice (which shall not be named here but you guys all know where I applied to).
I flipped through the mail with eager hands, putting some of my magazines aside for later perusal, throwing out some duplicates. And there it was.
It wasn’t thick. It wasn’t bursting with information about the beautiful campus, the challenging programs, or the helpful teachers. It was thin, and lonely. And very, very small.
That didn’t bode well. I knew even before I opened it, but I had to be sure. So I tore open the envelope with shaking fingers, right there in the middle of the post office. I got through the first sentence…It is with deep regret that I must inform you…
And I was gone. In the car, on the phone, shaking, to the sound of my mom’s shocked voice and my own high-pitched incredulousness.
It was never an option that I wouldn’t get accepted. I had put all of my eggs into that basket, as well as the chicken, an ostrich, a duck, the freaking Cadbury Bunny. All of my work spun ahead of me like a dreadful tornado. The months of reading Rilke and Keats. The hours of trying to figure out just what the hell Chaucer meant in his Middle English. The sheer poetry of Goethe. The temper tantrums I threw when I thought I would fail my Quantitative GRE. And the joy I felt when I passed.
Now, I know some jerks out there are thinking I should place a few calls to my connections. Hell no. If I didn’t get into grad school on my own merits, then that’s the way it is. I will not bribe my way to a Master’s degree. I was raised better than that.
There are options for me, however. There are ways I can take courses this fall and spring to prepare me for possible acceptance into the 2011 fall semester.
I just want to write. And write well. I need the training to do that. I have the books I’m writing, plus my blog, and so many opportunities to show my skills. I hope I can back them up.
Life isn’t fair. It’s just fairer than death, that’s all. – William Goldman