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Month: February 2009

How to annoy people and alienate judges

Ugh, blog, something bad happened yesterday.

It took me weeks to complete an important application and only minutes to undermine the character of the intelligent, conscientious person I worked so hard to present in the personal statement.

Here’s how it went.   I applied for a program, and the program asked for several materials, including a recommendation letter, some photos, a personal statement, and a registration fee.   I arrived at the office to turn in the application and asked the person listed as a contact person to review my application to make sure I had all the materials. We went through the portions in my application.

I said, “Here are the passport photos.”

She said, “Okay perfect, this is what I need. Just fill out the credit card authorization form and you’re all set.”

I stared. “Um, the photos are U.S. passport size, I didn’t know what to do, because they only print 2 x 2.”

She stared, “Right, I need 2×2.”

“Well, the application asks for 4.5cm x 3.5 cm.” I said, pointedly.

“These are the size I’ll need.” She responded, more pointedly.

“Okay great,” I replied.

Then I said, “I didn’t put a transcript, because it looks like they only wanted transcripts for undergraduates.”

She said, “I need a sealed transcript.”

I said, “Well, oh, um.”

She said, “You can bring it Monday.”

I said, “But it’s due today.”  I have no idea why I said that. Who says that after someone says you can bring it in Monday?

She said, “Right, but if you’re missing one piece, that’s fine. I’m not going to reject an application for that.”

At this point I think about pointing to the line that says, “We will not process incomplete applications,” but I restrain myself.

Then she says, “It’s pretty easy to get a transcript – you just pick it up from the registrar.”

I said, “Okay great, they give you one right away? Do they require a sealed one?”

She replied, “Yes, it MUST be sealed.”

So I said, “Okay.”

And I was off, running to the registrar, to get me a sealed transcript.

When I got to the registrar’s office, I asked for two sealed transcripts.

And then, I was off, running back to the administrative office, to get her my sealed transcript.

I got to the office, huffing and puffing, and I handed her one sealed transcript.

She then proceeded to tear it open in front of me.

I was taken aback.  I said, “Uh, now that you’ve opened that transcript, would you like a sealed one?”

She stared at me, like I was a dumba$$.  “No, this is fine.”

It then occurred to me that she was the one reviewing the application.  She wasn’t the person packaging the applications to send them to the people abroad. She was the decision maker! I was pestering the decision maker!

So anyway, on my part, I suspect…FAIL.


I sent her an email after the whole in-person exchange. I told her I found some place on the internet that says I was supposed to include a copy of my insurance card too.   She didn’t write back.

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The Sandwich

Blog, I just ate the most delicious sandwich.  It had sour cream, tomato, pepper jack, brie, pastrami, all bunched between a fresh challah dinner roll.  Encroyable.

I knew, even before I took my first bite, that it would be a delicious sandwich.

While I was gathering the materials for the sandwich, I suspected I was going to be making a good sandwich.  But as the pieces started to come together, it became progressively more apparent to me what a treat I was creating for myself.  Soon, my suspicions turned to absolute awareness.  The first bite affirmed all of my previous thoughts.

I realized that everything in my life had been leading up to this moment, with this sandwich, in my hands.

GLORY! I thought, as I chewed the second bite.

I LOVE CHEESE! I mentally declared diving into the third bite.

Tomato. A wise decision.  I congratulated myself on bite number four.

Now. The sandwich is gone.
I don’t really know what to do.

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Overcoming Obstacles

Today I did not have my cell phone.  And in an inspiring story of overcoming defeat when faced with an unanticipated obstacle, I brilliantly conquered my dependency on my cell phone.

That’s right, blog, today I figured out how to tell time using the analog clock on the wall instead.  (Drum and cymbals.)

Let me tell you what happened today.

The day started out like any other day, with me rushing out the door with my work bag and my lunch bag and my purse… or so I thought.  (Cue dramatic music.)

Little did I know, I had forgotten my purse.  (Raise volume of dramatic music and then bring dramatic music to abrupt stop.)


(More silence.)

(Look around.)

I didn’t know what to do blog. While I was driving, I glanced over to my regular purse spot, and I thought, “I, uh, guess I forgot my purse.”

Then I thought, “Man. I put my cell phone in my purse.”

(More looking around, some frowning.)

“My wallet is in my purse. I have no money.”


“If I want to buy something today, I must flirt my way into receiving it for free.”


“That probably won’t work. On to plan B – no spending money today.”

(More frowning.)

“My driver’s license is in my purse.  If I get pulled over, I will have nothing to show the officer.”


“Maybe I can say, ‘Officer, I left my purse at home. But I have a driver’s license.  So today, I am driving with a license, figuratively.  Most days, I am driving with a license, literally.’  The officer will be understanding.”


“Or maybe the officer will say, ‘Today you are driving, illegaly.’”

“Focus on your driving. It’s best to not get pulled over today. Drive carefully.”

(Focused driving.)

When I arrived at work, I was too busy to care about all of my important cards left behind in my wallet.  My mind wandered throughout the day, and I soon started to realize the implications of not having my purse.

For example, around 2:30pm, I got a craving for a hot dog. I thought, “I want to buy a hot dog. I will buy a package from the store and heat one up. It will be made of beef. Maybe I will buy relish.”

Then I remembered I didn’t have money, so I moved on to plan B – no hot dog.

Around 6pm I thought about checking the battery life on my phone to see if I would have to charge it on the way to class.  Then I remembered I didn’t have a phone, so I moved on to plan B – do not check battery life on phone.

When I was driving to class, I thought about playing music loudly and weaving in and out of traffic, all the while honking my horn.  Then I remembered that was crazy.

Anyway blog, I’m pleased to report this story has a happy ending. I’m home now, reunited with my purse, my phone, and my wallet.

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Psssst. Blog. Are you awake? I am awake!

Blog I love Ingrid Michaelson’s music. I recently discovered her this winter season, and I want to listen to her all day long.

I just ventured over to her blog and read this entry. It made me feel less alone to know that there’s someone else out there that shares my dreams.

Blog, here is one of her songs. It’s called Be Okay. Enjoy.

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New Year, New Us, Blog

Hello Blog!

I’m back. I was gone for a while, and I owe you an explanation.  Are you ready? Here it is: I uh…I….uh.

I thought about you blog, I did, and I crafted some entries, blog. They were compelling. One entry was about burgers; one entry was about the New Year and my plans to blog all day, every day. That’s about it.  I never got around to actually publishing those two. I don’t even know where I saved the latter.

Actually, blog, maybe the entries weren’t good enough. Maybe I hold the entries I place in you to such high standards that I refuse, absolutely refuse, to post words that don’t invoke the kindness of the human spirit and stir feelings of emotional strength, while at the same time subtly recalling the works of William Shakespeare, Michael Crichton and Elizabeth Bishop.

Oooh, yeah. I like that explanation better.

Blog. Tormented by the standard set by all previous entries, I could not bring myself to post anything that was less than inspiring on you. Struggling between the capacity for greatness that I have effortlessly achieved in every other entry and a state of several-levels-above-mediocrity-but-still-not-positively-divine-like-the-usual-entries, I opted for silence.

I feel a lot better now that I have explained the truth behind my absence, blog. I’ve lifted the veil of dishonesty to reveal my true feelings about why I do and do not post in you.  If you forgive me for not posting, I will forgive you for imposing such mental pressure to succeed on me.

Anyway! Hi Blog! I’m back! I’m going to post in you all the time! For realsies this time! I mean it, this year.   It’s you and me, kiddo.

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