Wednesday, April 21, 2010

the ringing of the division bell has begun

never go back to the hotel.

yesterday was just like any other day. my groceries were still sitting on my kitchen counter, not yet put away, i had just finished watching dodes'ka-den, which i'd (accurately) heard described as akira kurosawa's worst movie, and was on my way to the byu bookstore to pick up a packet for my brother-in-law when i decided to check the mail. amidst the weekly coupon fliers and my gas bill was another small envelope from texas A&M.

great, they want to reject me again, i thought as i opened it out of curiosity in my idling car.

Dear Jeffrey, Congratulations! We are pleased to inform you of your admission to Texas A&M University for the Fall 2010 semester....

i reread it and scanned over it, catching only every fourth word as my eyes stumbled in confusion. hmmm, that's interesting. i'll have to call them tomorrow, i thought as i put the car in gear. i made it about 25 feet further down the street before the possible implications had my heart beating so fast that my hands were shaking as i made a u-turn and was soon running up the stairs to my room. i read over the letter again and saw a name and number to call if i had any questions.
i most definitely had a question.

by 4:30 utah time their office was already empty, though i called twice just to make sure. the contact info also provided an e-mail address and i typed one out as quickly and coherently as i could manage, constantly stopping to make sure that i was making sense as i hurriedly fumbled over the keyboard.
i compared this letter to the rejection notice dated eight days earlier, hoping for some sort of explanation. it seemed that one, the rejection, was from the university at large, while my acceptance was from the department to which i had applied. i remembered that the application process had seemed a little vague at places, as it seemed that i was filling out forms on both the main university website and the department's own site. i went over it enough times to make sure that i had completed everything, but it seemed i hadn't. if that was the case, at least it seemed that i had made it through the more demanding selection. maybe i had just not finished the university application and with some appeals, could amend it and secure my admission.

my head was spinning. a week ago, the door had seemed shut for at least a year. just monday, a friend was asking me what i was going to do now and i ad libbed that i would apply again, finding a few more colleges to add and make sure everything was nicely polished. really, i hadn't thought about it much, with work being so busy, and i was grateful for that distraction. but the door wasn't yet open. maybe i had not chance at reversing the university's rejection, that i had only passed one of two criteria and would simply have to do better next time. it was maddening. maybe my whole life would be changing in four months, or maybe i was still out. i did my best to hold to hope without getting in the way of disappointment.

i wanted to keep this all quiet, just in case it didn't happen. there was no need in disappointing anyone else with me. still, i had to tell someone, so i called my sister. i made a cryptic post on facebook that i later regretted (wanting to keep the whole thing off the radar) but by the time i got around to deleting my status update, there were already comments. mark suggested in-n-out for dinner and, holding my thick chocolate shake, i chose to tell him, too, or else i wouldn't have heard a word he'd say.
thankfully, an evening of rock band and movie night and more rock band helped me forget the uncertain balance that my future was in.

i hoped to call the admissions office early this morning, but didn't have time before breakfast at ihop with my sister and then a funeral. but the first thing i did when i got home was make the call.

the lady i talked with knew who i was and when i explained what had happened, she told me i was in.

i was only partially successful in holding back my exasperation as i thanked her for the news. she said that last week's rejection letter was also from their department, but that after they had decided to look over my application again and reconsidered. she noted that in the twelve years she had been there, this was the first time she had ever seen something like this happen. hey, works for me.

so, yes, i am 100% officially in to the school. classes start august 30.

it's like going on a mission, except that i'm not coming back. while i'm taking all of my possessions (well, maybe i'll slim down some things), i'm leaving the rest of my life. the slate is getting wiped clean. just as in-n-out came to provo, i'm leaving. the international cinema, weekly trips to the orem public library, the long-running tradition of movie night, laughing with the office, rock band, meeting here for whatever's going on, snowboarding, everything. it's time for a new start.

but i've had a great time in provo. it's been wonderful. and i know it's time for a change, even one as drastic as this. it's a big unknown, to be sure, and i'm one who generally doesn't like moving. likely it'll be hard to leave so many friends behind and there will be lonely times this coming fall. but that will also be less distractions and more reason to dive into my studies and work at school. classes start august 30. i expect i'll leave a few days after my 31st birthday.

as jaime noted, the curse has been lifted. this means that at lagoon this summer, that puma is mine.


Natalie said...

Hooray! That's great news! Kinda crazy, but great! I bet you're glad you didn't mail that package of dirty diapers and rotten eggs to the department head now, aren't you? We'll miss you here in Utah Land.

Bri, Steph, Whit, Tay, James, Ben said...

So will the blog change names to yousaidyoudbakeusaTEXASSHEETcake?

Becky said...

Congratulations on being a "once in twelve years" kind of exception to their university admissions routine. We are excited for you. But of course, we will miss you.

Laurie said...

I'm just so proud. Well, well done. And Texas is pretty great.

Em said...

What an awful lot of singular experiences you are having in such a short period of time. Keep on keeping track of them. I'm glad I'll get to Utah before you leave it...

The Former 786 said...

Jeff, I'm both saddened and excited.


The funny thing is, this probably won't change our relationship the way it is now. :) We never see each other anyway.

Rebecca said...

Congratulations Jeff! So, so cool.