Creative Control

Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist

Basic reading comprehension.


And then, this morning, I decide to go further than simply checking to see if Northwestern has rendered a decision. (The answer to that question remains: “Reply Hazy Ask Again Later.”)

I look over the application that I filled out, one more time.

I click on the page about the writing sample, which caused me so much trouble a few months ago when I discovered that the sample had not made it to the selection committee when my application was processed in the first place.

For the first time I notice the disclaimer that tells me that the only programs that accept uploaded writing samples are the following; [insert long list of programs].

“Theatre and Film” appears on this list.

“Master of Fine Arts in Writing for the Stage and Screen” does not appear on this list.

I submitted the application on December 13th, and I do not have the ability to go that far back and access exactly what I was thinking, or what I was interpreting, when I read this page the first time. I cannot claim with certainty that I did read it as closely as I should have.

Did I read “Theatre and Film” and assume that the “Writing for Stage and Screen” program fell under that umbrella? Did I forget, or simply not know at the time, that this program is actually offered through the Radio/Television/Film Department? Did I make a distinction? Was I so overwhelmed, so on tilt, so in love with the idea that I was about to complete my graduate school application that I glossed over what turned out to be a crucial set of instructions?

How did I miss the text, written in bold, that made it clear that “unsolicited samples” would not be forwarded to the appropriate department?

Sure, I could be all indignant and grumble that maybe this uploading function should have been locked for people who were not applying for the programs listed. I could ask again why nobody at Northwestern notified me that I had submitted an incomplete application along with $75 in processing fees.

This would be a nicer place to live, certainly. It would be nicer to feel like this isn’t entirely my fault. I am not enjoying spending my Sunday morning feeling like an idiot of the highest order. Awash in echoes of stupid, stupid, stupid.

The names of my recommenders on the bottom of the application’s front page fill me with a wry, smirking guilt, a rueful disposition. I’m sorry, for whatever nice things you wrote about me, that I lack even the basic reading skills to have done the application correctly. I’m sorry that you backed the wrong horse. I swear when I asked you that I thought I was ready for higher education, that I had all of my rudimentary skills down cold and was ready to take the next step. I really thought that.

Now I don’t know what I think. I don’t trust what I think. I don’t trust what I read or what I remember.

Ods bodkins, what a lousy morning this has turned out to be.

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This entry was posted on April 5, 2009 by in Education, Mental Health, Work.
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