Hooked On Phonics Builds a New Wing At UNO
Ever since I got into Spalding and the University of New Orleans, I have been bombarded with emails. From reading lists and flight arrangements to financial aid and tuition structures, they both have a lot of news to share. But I’m still waiting on decisions from other schools. And by waiting I mean refreshing websites at five second intervals and converting the mailroom of my condo complex into my new master suite. Anyway, in light of my indecision, I usually just scan the mailings and then file them away for future reference. On Saturday, however, one email in particular caught my eye.
According to the subject heading, the Liberal Arts Dean at UNO wanted to offer her congratulationds. Uh huh, congratulationds. Listen, I know we’re all human. I know the last two letters of her newfangled spelling are neighbors on the keyboard and can easily be tapped in tandem. And I know that spell check doesn’t include the subject line. But a typo from a Dean sent to perspective students to a writing program?
When Southern Politeness Becomes A Blatant Act of Stupidity
On Monday I got a letter from Murray State. For ten minutes the slim envelope teetered in the palm of my sweaty hand. When I stopped hyperventilating and my knees settled into a more controlled spasm, I tore open the seal, pulled free the letter and read the note:
Your application for admission to the Creative Writing Program was forwarded to the department for evaluation. They have notified us that you are not eligible for admissions to their program. Other questions concerning this decision should be directed to the department.
Last I checked, ‘not eligible’ meant failing to meet the requirements for review. Never have I understood ‘not eligible’ to be a synonym for rejected. And it turns out this wasn’t the first linguistic curiosity put forth from this school. I had a run in with them regarding the definition of an official transcript. Anyway, with my fate certainly uncertain, I called the admissions office and asked for clarification.
“Hi Kitty, my name is Paige and I received a letter from you earlier today.”
“Yes ma’am,” she answered in her syrupy southern drawl.
“I just wanted to confirm that ‘not eligible’ doesn’t mean my file was incomplete and therefore void. You see, there had been a misunderstanding about transcripts and perhaps that was part of the issue.”
“It means you are not eligible,” she stated, her voice exaggerating the last two words as if speaking them more distinctly would magically attach meaning.
“Right, but does ‘not eligible’ mean rejected as in you reviewed my completed file and have decided to not offer me a slot in the incoming class or does it mean you were unable to review my file due to missing data. Because if it’s the second one, I’d like to rectify the situation.”
“Well, we were trying to be polite but I guess it backfired. You were rejected,” she said with a country club cackle, the kind that pairs well with tennis whites and a scotch on the rocks.
Three Feet Below Rock Bottom
I’m checking my mail so often that I’ve worn a path in the marble flooring leading to my box. On Saturday I visited the mailroom twice, you know, just in case my 11am stop was too early. Oh, and yesterday I reached my arm all the way through the box to the other side to make sure it was totally empty. So yes, I have clearly become obsessed with hearing from the remaining nine schools
Today, on my way to fetch lunch, I detoured to my residence. I double parked out front and sprinted through the lobby to the mailboxes. The contents included a new issue of Town & Country, a solicitation from a credit card company and my IRS refund check, a check for around $2000. And my response to the collection of clutter clutched in my hands? What. The Fuck. No school responses????