Thursday, January 11, 2007

hail all, hail

Yesterday morning at work, I noticed a customer’s credit card had a New Mexico Lobos logo on it.

“Oh, New Mexico, are they in the Mountain West conference?”
He gave me a funny look before he answering. Maybe he thought I was trying to memorize his credit card number. Like I could do that, maybe if I were Cara.
“Yes, I believe they are.”
“I thought that sounded familiar. My Alma mater plays them.”

It has not even been a month, and the words just rolled right off my tongue. “Alma mater.” No correcting myself, no stammering, and I did not even have to think about it. There it was. When I first graduated, people kept asking me if I felt very different. I usually replied, “No, not yet, it just feels like I’m on Christmas break again. I’m sure in January when everyone else starts going back to school it’ll really start to hit me.” My prediction was correct.

Some of you had asked me to keep you updated on my poetry entries. A few weeks ago I received an email basically saying, “Thanks for your submission, but this is not what we’re looking for this year.” It was mildly disappointing (maybe a 2 or 3 on a scale of 1-10), but mostly I’m just thankful that I tried something and took a risk.

However, I just let go of another risk I was planning on taking. I was going to apply to graduate school at NYU. I knew it was a long shot – they accept only about 3 a year in the program I’m applying to and most of them already have their masters. But I knew if I were accepted, I’d go there in a heartbeat. This past weekend, I was working more on my application when I discovered in a PDF file a recommendation form that I was supposed to give my recommenders. Months ago, when I was acquiring recommendation letters from professors and supervisors, I scoured the websites of the schools for the specific forms they were to use. Some schools had forms, others just wanted a general letter. I never found a form on NYU’s website, so I just asked my recommenders to write me letters. This discouraged me, but I decided I would wait until Monday and call and find out if my letters were acceptable. On Monday, in that same PDF file, I came across a listing of four reasons why they would rarely invite sometime to interview, and 4 reasons why they would invite someone for an interview. Three of the four negative reasons applied to me. The first two reasons demonstrated that I am not the kind of student that NYU looks for. The final reason showed me that NYU is not the sort of the program that I’m looking for – my career goals contradict what they want from their graduates. It was because of this final reason that I have decided not to apply.

I think this was a wise decision that was made from pure motives. I did not do it because I was insecure and was afraid of taking a risk; I just realized all around, it was not right for me. I just hope I don’t regret it later. I never had my hopes up, I never expected to be admitted if I had applied, but I felt it was just a leap I needed to take, just to see what would happen. Now, I think I know what would have happened. Just to apply, I would have had to alter completely my dreams and goals. For what? To go to a top rated school? To live in New York for a few years? If my heart is really set on living there, I can move to New York after I graduate.

I have several posts rolling around in my head, and I plan on posting more often – as time allows. Sadly, I haven’t written any poetry in a while. When I was writing poetry, it usually just came to me or was something I felt compelled to turn to when going through a difficult situation. I want to continue writing poetry, but I also don’t want to push it. Oye vey. Any suggestions? Also, I have noticed in my verbal story-telling, I have a tendency to give lots of details when I probably could just summarize and tell a more effective account. Did I do that in this blog? In that big long paragraph up there, could I have just summarized generally, or did the details add to the tale? I enjoy writing, but I don’t want to just write for the sake of writing. I want to write when I actually have something to say.


Cara said...

i liked this post, kelly, and i think write for you. you want the details, throw them in. (damn that preposition at the end of a sentence! that's me writing for me and not mrs. morgan.) don't kick yourself about the nyu application. i've known you for almost three years now, and i've seen you stand at the edge and jump and succeed, and you're going to have a lifetime to jump and succeed (or not succeed), to just take that leap that so many of us are afraid to take.

Martha Elaine Belden said...

i like you're writing, kelly... and i think you should include the details. you're not writing an essay or news-story for school... just let yourself go... it's the best way to do it, especially now when you have the freedom to

and good for you on the NYU thing... i think it was a good decision. like you said, if you really want to go there, you can go there. keep yourself focused on programs that fit what you're looking for... don't try to go somewhere simply because it's elite... you'll regret it. follow your dreams and look for the best vehicle to take you there

:) (not that i know what i'm talking about, really... just my thoughts) :)