duck-shaped pain


21 February 2004
What I expected, yet not nice at all.

Slender envelopes always contain the worst, or at least, the least wanted news. Overdraft notices are slender. Birthday cards sans money: skinny, too. Of course, there are slender envelopes that don't announce their contents by means of their size, but there are times when you know that thick envelope = good, and slight, wafer-thin envelope = uh oh.

This is a roundabout way of announcing that I got my first graduate-school rejection letter today. It lay there on the stairs when I got home, taunting me with its lack of bulk. The letter was brief (not even a half-page long), and announced that there were soooooo many qualified candidates, they couldn't possibly take them all, thank you for applying etc., etc.

Of course, it was fairly improbable for me to get into the school in question in the first place. It's one of the top three or four programs in my area in the country, and I mainly applied to see if I could get in (no, obviously). Since my undergrad degree is from a tiny, unknown school, and I had some shady grades in my past from my time at a different, much worse school, I figured it was a long shot, even though my GRE scores were in line with those earned by people accepted at the school I applied at. So, I'm not terribly surprised.

Still, though, it is a rejection, and one that comes at a time when I feel completely crap-ass about a whole lot of things, especially about what it is that I'm going to do when I graduate. I'm trying to look on the better side of things: the place that this school is located in had the highest cost of living of all of the places I'm considering. It is also far and away the coldest of all of them (very important, seeing as I'm not coping very well with the cold, cold winter we're having in Colorado this year). But, on the other hand, having an advanced degree from there would have a lot of prestige, and there are interesting people there to study with, even if I'm not entirely sure what it is that I want to do with a graduate degree in history.

I still don't know about any of my other schools. One of them (the second most- prestigious on my list) is fairly likely to admit me, based on the fact that they keep calling me to talk to me about various things. The others: silent so far. I really want this whole thing to be resolved, so I can figure out what it is I'm going to be doing in August.

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