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25 July 2008 @ 01:05 pm
Back in Philly doing the apartment hunt--and I've found one. Yay me. Anyone in the area reading this, if you want to rock, Priscilla Queen of the Desert's playing tonight. Drop me a message. Maybe I'll have that wireless thing figured out by then.
 
 
blankbooks
23 June 2008 @ 05:42 pm
Via the Bulldada News Blog:

Saint George Carlin's soul has been flung up onto a roof somewhere. The National Cynical Network is broadcasting a tribute: [1]


"I'm a little bit like herpes, I keep coming back." -George Carlin
 
 
blankbooks
24 April 2008 @ 01:25 am
Just a quick, final final update. Saint Mary's offered me a slot and I turned them down because I've accepted it at Temple. Look at that list though. The bottom three, in alphabetical order, all accepted me. That's a bit of an odd distribution. Still, exciting. Hopefully I'll be getting my orientation packet soon. I'm actually very nervous about not having it yet. After all, I did turn down two other offers for Temple and I obsessively over-think every decision I make. So that's fun.

Application Status:
U. Alaska Fairbanks: REJECTED!
U. British Columbia: REJECTED!
U. Houston: REJECTED!
Indiana U.: REJECTED!
U. Iowa: REJECTED!
U. New Mexico: REJECTED!
Penn State U.: REJECTED!
Portland State U.: REJECTED!
Saint Mary's College of California:: ACCEPTED!
U. Southern Maine: ACCEPTED!
Temple U: ACCEPTED!
 
 
blankbooks
20 April 2008 @ 05:12 pm
Just for the sake of completeness. Received the official rejection from U. Alaska. Don't care. Got rejected from the University of Houston which is neither here nor there but I keep getting emails from their financial aid department telling me to fill out more forms so I can get all of my financial aid. That's an odd records system. They are carefully monitoring which financial aid forms I've filled out so they can give me as much money as possible when I go to their program, but they've failed to note they rejected me from their program.

Both PSU's rejected me, Penn State once again having the nicest rejection letter. UAF and Portland were rather bad though I think UNM keeps the title of worst rejection letter.

Finally, Saint Mary's has waitlisted me. I'm rejected unless enough people they offer a position to decline. Then I'll be offered a spot. Which I'll decline cause I'm going to Temple.

I looked Temple up on Google Maps and just started giggling. It was unbecoming. Suffice to say, I'm very excited. I'm trying to refrain from starting the countdown because the leave date is far enough away that I'll just be increasing the sense of misery that is the definition of living in Houston, TX.

Application Status:
U. Alaska Fairbanks: REJECTED!
U. British Columbia: REJECTED!
U. Houston: REJECTED!
Indiana U.: REJECTED!
U. Iowa: REJECTED!
U. New Mexico: REJECTED!
Penn State U.: REJECTED!
Portland State U.: REJECTED!
Saint Mary's College of California: Waitlisted
U. Southern Maine: ACCEPTED!
Temple U: ACCEPTED!
 
 
blankbooks
24 March 2008 @ 12:10 am
Two weeks and there's some news to report as the little list below indicates. First the good news: the Stonecoast MFA program at the University of Southern Maine accepted me. It was kind of hard to tell them "no." Temple's the place, no question, no doubts, but USM had a semester abroad in Ireland. I offer this as proof of a karmic conspiracy trying to keep me from seeing fingertrouble perform live. Come to Philly Tim. We'll take a train to DC, get drunk and shout allegations of fornication with livestock at the White House. In America we call that "elevating the political discourse."
Continuing the parade of rejections, Indiana turned me down just like they did last year and it looks like my application to Alaska has stalled. Every school asks for transcripts from colleges where you did coursework for college credit. I only went to the University of Iowa and thus sent out (many many many) transcripts from them. I also spent a summer at Trinity in Dublin, but via a program with Iowa. I had also, and this I had forgotten, taken a course at Ball State University when I was in high school. My school was on the BSU campus and we had the option to take some college courses for high school credit. I took one on screenwriting for radio and TV at the suggestion of one of my English teachers and it was a good course and I remember it fondly when I remember it at all.
Which I didn't do while applying to grad school.
This lead-in makes the situation seem more imposing or dire than it is. I applied to grad school last year and didn't receive any comments about not sending a transcript from BSU and I've been accepted to Temple without any comment on that front either. And it's not like I'm trying to hide the fact that I took the course. It's listed at the top of my U Iowa transcripts (where it's noted that I did not take the course for college credit). Every school I've applied to is aware of it if they want to make it an issue.
And only Alaska has. They've asked for a copy of my BSU transcript which I might be more inclined to send if I hadn't already ordered about $300 worth of transcripts, had to already order an extra set sent to them because the original got lost and hadn't already been accepted by Temple. Plus the guy I talked at Alaska about this basically said I had committed a crime and was trying to perpetuate fraud on the university by not including BSU on the list of schools I'd attended. Apparently I am committing fraud by not telling them about a class they only know about because of documents I sent them. So Alaska can go eat a big frozen caribou cock. I'm sure they'll have better luck finding one of those than good students.
I've been looking at Temple on Google maps and giggling. Hopefully two more years studying English will give me the words to express my excitement.

Application Status:
U. Alaska Fairbanks: DELETED!
U. British Columbia: REJECTED!
U. Houston
Indiana U.: REJECTED!
U. Iowa: REJECTED!
U. New Mexico: REJECTED!
Penn State U.
Portland State U.
Saint Mary's College of California
U. Southern Maine: ACCEPTED!
Temple U: ACCEPTED!
 
 
 
blankbooks
10 March 2008 @ 06:48 pm
Another letter, another rejection, this time from the University of New Mexico and I have to note that this is the worst rejection letter I've ever received. I don't know why some of these letters are so poorly-composed (I had the same reaction to bad rejection letters from agents)--you work with writers, why couldn't you do this right?
It is a form letter of course, they're all form letters, but that makes the task of careful wording all the more important. The job is to say what you mean without potentially meaning something else. And yes, that's not an easy task but, again, they're a writing program. They're composed of people whose expertise is words. Instead of reading, like Iowa's, that there were just too many applicants and I didn't make it in, I read UNM's letter as saying I'm not good enough for their program.
I'm actually kind of mad about it because it's so bad. I feel like, "You're rejecting me and you can't even do this minor thing right? I don't even want to go to your program now." I'm taking it too personally. Granted, the converse is also true. I get far too excited over well-composed rejection letters like Penn. State's last year. Fantastic. May I get rejected like that every year? I felt like sending a thank-you note back to the rejecter. The letter just left me feeling so hopeful when I was in a really scary place. And I guess that's my beef with the UNM letter. These things matter. They're being sent to people who are really depending on a positive answer. And you can't give everyone a positive answer but you'd better give them a good answer. I get something like this and I have to wonder if the people behind it have any clue about what they're doing at all.

Application Status:
U. Alaska Fairbanks
U. British Columbia: REJECTED!
U. Houston
Indiana U.
U. Iowa: REJECTED!
U. New Mexico: REJECTED!
Penn State U.
Portland State U.
Saint Mary's College of California
U. Southern Maine
Temple U: ACCEPTED!
 
 
blankbooks
07 March 2008 @ 05:03 pm
Two more letters arrived today. The first came from the University of British Columbia (whose name I've been spelling wrong in these posts). It was just the official notice that I had not been accepted into their program. They'd sent me an email earlier when the decision was made, which I must note is a good system. University of Texas did the same thing last year. Sure it's a bit of a sting, like a pinprick in the heart, when you finally get the letter in the mail saying "no" after you've already been told "no" by email, but it speeds things up wonderfully. I'd rather know than wait. So today UBC reminded me that they didn't want anything to do with me. Maybe they saw the typos coming.
The second letter came from the University of Iowa, my alma mater and the premiere writing program in the world. That's not going overboard either. A degree from U of I practically guarantees a teaching job in any school you want as well as nice connections in the world of writing. They said "no" just like they did last year. There was a detail included in the rejection letter--both this year's and last--that explains why I've never felt bad about getting rejected by these programs.
"We have a limited number of openings and must turn away many promising applicants. this year, eight hundred thirty-five people applied for twenty-five spaces."

Ignoring the uncapitalized "this" (which provides hope to my screw-up heart), I did not rank in the top twenty-five out of eight hundred thirty-five people. That means I was not in the top 3 percent. I am completely at peace with those numbers. They do not hurt my feelings.
However, getting into Temple... Wow. Is that a rush. It didn't strike me until last night--I'm actually good at what I do. I'm never particularly sure.

Application Status:
U. Alaska Fairbanks
U. British Columbia: REJECTED!
U. Houston
Indiana U.
U. Iowa: REJECTED!
U. New Mexico
Penn State U.
Portland State U.
Saint Mary's College of California
U. Southern Maine
Temple U: ACCEPTED!
 
 
Current Location: Baytown, TX
Current Mood: indifferent
 
 
blankbooks
04 March 2008 @ 09:02 pm
Texas had their primary and caucus today. Yes, both, which makes Texas unique and weird in its own special way, which is kind of what Texas does. Texas has early voting so, about two weeks ago, I went down to the Community Center to pull the virtual lever for Obama (and a long list of other candidates in other races that I had been completely unaware of--and I looked up info on who was running in the election beforehand).
Two weeks later it's actually election day. I leave around 7 PM to get to the polling place for the caucus being held at an area junior high and the first thing I notice is I'm following people to the place. The school's not on a main road and you have to take a bit of a zig-zag path to get to it, but on the way I get the suspicion that the people in front of me are going to the same place I am. You get that feeling driving sometimes when you and the person in front of you happen to take a few of the same turns, but it eventually ends. This didn't. They were going to the school. And when we got there, no parking. None. Every space was filled, both sides of the road were filled with parked cars, it looked like a minor concert festival that had been over-sold. The turnout for this election cycle is energizing me like nothing before. When the campaigns started last year I wanted to die. I couldn't do a year's worth of elections. But people's reactions to this, this is new, this is big, this is weird and I want to see where it goes. I also want to know whether it'll continue on into 2010 and 2012.
Luckily I find a parking space right in front of the school (someone had voted and just vacated it). Went in, milled about, then went where I was directed for my precinct. Everybody gets into four lines and we all write our names, our address and who we're supporting, Barack or Hillary. By the time I reach the paper they've run out of official sign-in sheets and are using yellow legal paper. I put the info on the yellow legal paper and then join everybody else in the return to general milling about. After everybody's signed in, they do the count: 89 attendees, 44 for Obama, 45 for Clinton. Since there are 15 delegates to assign from my precinct, that means Clinton gets 7.65 and Obama gets 7.35. Only the rules require that all fractions get rounded down. So what happens to that extra delegate? The people running the show call up their higher-ups who, apparently, say "flip a coin." Obama wins the extra delegate. Not the most inspiring moment I've ever been a part of.
Then came the final step: selecting the delegates. Eight of the people who voted for Obama would be going to the Senatorial Convention on March 29th as delegates. So I, along with seven other people, volunteered. Hey, this show's getting strange and I want to see how it ends!
So I am now a delegate for Barack Obama and will be doing whatever a delegate does at the Senatorial Convention. Now I'm getting excited. Maybe I can finagle this into a free trip to the national convention. Then I can see some real strangeness.
 
 
blankbooks
03 March 2008 @ 04:36 pm
Got another letter in the mail today which means another update on my graduate school application process.

The letter came from Temple University in Philadelphia. It was a thin little thing and I was hoping it said something like, "We're missing a copy of your transcripts. Could you send up another one?" or "We have received your FAFSA data and have added it to your information." Alas, it did not say either of those things or anything as relatively inconsequential as that. Instead the letter said I have been accepted into Temple's MA program in Creative Writing.

Did I read that wrong? No, no, first line, "Welcome to Temple University!" Am I dreaming? I did sleep in today. No, no, Ubuntu looks fine on my laptop (oh yeah, new computer came in last week. Swanky), but not angelic so this is reality. I've been accepted into Temple's graduate program. I've been accepted into a graduate program. I have a future again!

And I will be honest, Temple is not my first choice. "First choice" implies that you think you have a chance of getting in. I applied because it's in Philadelphia and Samuel R. Delany teaches there (a sci-fi author who writes really artful, surrealistic stories in a sci-fi idiom and whose stuff I think is neat). Applying was like dropping a quarter into the slot machine--why the hell not? And I just hit the jackpot.

Material factors will come into play: what's the cost of living, tuition, etc.; how much financial aid will I get; how will it compare to other schools that accept me (if other schools accept me)? But that's all to be learned later. Right now, Temple University has accepted me to their graduate program! Woo-Hoo!

Application Status:
U. Alaska Fairbanks
U. British Colombia: REJECTED!
U. Houston
Indiana U.
U. Iowa
U. New Mexico
Penn State U.
Portland State U.
Saint Mary's College of California
U. Southern Maine
Temple U: ACCEPTED!
 
 
Current Location: Baytown, TX
Current Mood: ecstatic
 
 
blankbooks
18 February 2008 @ 04:06 pm
From fingertrouble: