Sunday, January 22, 2006

One Down (A Weekend in Philly)

My first interview weekend is now officially over. Man, this is an exhausting process. Penn was great - it's somewhere I can really see myself feeling at home. The environment is very friendly and cooperative, without mean-spirited competitiveness. The administration and faculty seem very supportive of the students. Philly is a fabulous town - not too huge of a city to be unmanageable but still clearly has a lot to do.

Next up: Baylor.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


I'm packing for my visit to Penn, and now I'm starting to get a little nervous. I feel like, on some small level, tomorrow I have to admit that I'm getting to be a grownup. I'm just terrified of looking like an idiot, seeming like I don't belong...aaagh!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Something new

So, I'm going to spending more days than not out of town for a while, and to sort of consolidate and record this experience of interviewing and selecting a grad school (then moving my whole life God-knows-where), I've decided to do the completely rational thing and blog it. Maybe the air in Michigan got to me. Who knows?

It's been a week since I first started getting interview offers and such. And what a week it's been.

Last Thursday, I got my first interview offers around noon. Actually, one had come via email at five the previous afternoon (Penn) but I hadn't checked my email until noon. I was shocked and estatic and accepted. Then I notice I have another in my inbox. That one was from Baylor. Again, shock, estatic, accept. Then one from Cornell arrives. Gosh. Exciting! Finally, around 2 PM, I get an offer from Duke. Woohoo!

At this point, I realize:
Maybe applying to nine schools was a wee bit of overkill.

At about 4, one of the professors on Duke's admissions committee calls to tell me about the interview (if I hadn't already checked my email) and let me know they were impressed by the honesty in my personal statement (I actually told them I once thought biology was a dead and boring subject), I think she got the impression I didn't care very much, but I was in such a state of shock it was hard to sound excited...I talked to her for a couple minutes and I think she figured out how in shock I was...and she didn't even know the whole of my day!

The next day, driving to the Detroit airport (which is a long and glorious story in and of itself), we were running late. It was 5:02, my flight leaves at 6, and we're still on the Interstate. Oh dear. Emotions and endorphins are already running high. My phone rings, and I answer it. The lady on the other end indentifies herself as a professor at Yale on the admissions committee. She says they were very impressed with my application and are calling to offer me...


I was really honestly expecting her to say interview, so when I heard admission, I was quiet for a moment then said, "Excuse me, could you say that again?". She very nicely said admission then told me that they'd like to fly me up for a visit, but it wouldn't be an interview - I'm in and should get the letter in the mail very soon. I thanked her profusely, and have been floating ever since. Really.

Tuesday I recieved an interview offer from UNC, which I'm declining.

Wednesday I recieved an interview offer from UW-Seattle, which I am declining largely because they demanded an absolute yes or no in response to their email in less than 33 hours (in addition to calling me three places), and I don't like that style. If you have irrational time demands on people you're recruiting, what are you like to your actual students who are stuck there? Blegh.

Thursday I recieved a sort of "pre-interview offer notification" from WashU St. Louis.

On Thursday I also recieved my first rejection letter, from Rockefeller. They're the school that was my first choice back in December. I'm a little heartbroken, to be honest. I feel like a horrible, ungrateful person for being disappointed, but they were my clear first pick. So, I'm chalking it up to clearly, God does not want me at Rockefeller - cause if I had gotten in, that's probably where I would have gone. Now, I'm just ready to go visit everyone and see where I fit well (though if I could fit best at Yale, that really woud be something).