Monday, March 23, 2009
I did not get into grad school.
Well, that’s a little premature. I heard from two schools in one day, so it sort of feels like I have not gotten in anywhere. ODU does not want me at all, that letter was one paragraph long, so I knew I was not in before I even read it. GMU claims to want me, says my “work holds considerable promise,” and have therefore placed me and my dreams in the last place anyone ever wants to be, a waiting list. No one likes waiting, be it in line for anything, waiting for test scores, to get a paper back, or waiting for a reply to a fan letter you know you will never get. I wish they had not even told me there was a waiting list. I wish GMU had not written to me until they knew I was in or not, even if it means me being in the dark for a few weeks longer. Because, although I just expressed my hated of waiting, waiting to hear back from grad schools had not really bothered me. So to anyone know I told “I just want to know already!” I was lying. I did not want to know, because as long as I did not know, there was still hope.
So now I am on a waiting list, midway on the waiting list actually. So, that means that, in order for me to get in, the amount of people ahead of me on this list have to get accepted to GMU, and turn it down. Then I am in. This does not look good for me. Needless to say, I am a tiny bit depressed. However, I will live. Once again, my mood is saved by my mother’s insistent need to send me e-mails full of links and weather updates. Although I may pretend at times that these annoy me, that is also a lie. I guess I am a bigger liar than I always thought.
To fully understand this statement I should probably explain what is going on with me this week. On Wednesday, my friend Hayley and I are getting up at the crack of dawn to drive to Pittsburgh and catch a flight at 5:30am (ug) for Minneapolis, Minnesota. That fine city holds the Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society’s annual Convention, which I will be reading two creative pieces, one fiction and one non fiction. My maturity level is not well represented in my two pieces, the fiction piece being about two comic nerds having an argument and the other about me reading The Princess Bride for the first time, but who really cares. This will be my third and last Convention, sophomore year it was in Pittsburgh, last year in Louisville. Although this will be my first year going without either of my amazing friends Jen and Liz who got me into (or rather forced me into) Sigma Tau Delta leadership positions (I am the president of WVU’s chapter, woot!), I find my self excited like never before to go to Minneapolis. The reason for my excitement can be summed up in one name: Neil Gaiman.
I will admit, at the beginning of last semester when I found out that Neil Gaiman was going to be speaking at the Convention, I did not know who he was. The name sounded familiar, but I could not rattle off any titles. Since then I have done my homework, and now I don’t know how I have claimed to love fantasy, children’s literature, graphic novels or any book in general without having known about Mr. Gaiman. His imagination is astounding, limitless and terrifying, and I find myself a huge fan. Unfortunately, I have not had enough time this year to read as many of his books as I would have liked, but I have read enough to know I love him. Reading Coraline over spring break and then going immediately into The Sandman inspired me toward the current direction of my Capstone story, and for that I will always be eternally grateful. Inspire me and you will have a place in my heart forever.
Now, for the reason all of this has anything to do with my current mood. One of the links my mother sent me today was to Neil Gaiman’s blog and website. My mood as I was responding to the e-mail was not a good one, so sorry mom if my responses were less than polite. However, not being in any mood to start my homework, I ventured into Neil Gaiman’s blog to see what it was all about. And it in I found a real person.
When we idolize someone, be it a movie star, director, writer or any public figure, they become somewhat godlike. Not that we worship them in any creepy way or perform sacrifices to them or anything, but they become unreal. I tend to talk about my future in terms of this fantasy time in my life when I am going to be rich and famous, saying things like “well when I am at the Oscars with Tim Curry, I will put in a good word for you with George Lucas, since we will probably be sitting at the same table. Afterward, when George and I have set up the contract to make my book into a movie, I am sure I can get you in it as an extra.” Now, I know I will probably never go to the Oscars and sit with George Lucas and Tim Curry, but I still talk like this, which makes these celebrity figures more and more untouchable. They are part of my fantasy life, the one in which I live in a mansion and can actually support myself. But every so often, someone from the fantasy world steps into the light and become real. This is what happened when I read Neil Gaiman’s blog.
His blogs vary in length, from long accounts of his time on The Colbert Report and his opinion of being nominated for a Hugo award. But as I kept reading, I found other things. He has before and after pictures of his daughter the day she got her braces off. He wrote about his father dying. And the best part (not that his father dying is good, I am sorry about that) was in a letter he put in from a friend of his. His friend said he was sorry about his father and then started to talk about The Graveyard Book. I will quote the exact line that blew my mind open a little.
“Loed your appearance on the Colbert Report.”
See anything wrong? Now, I realize that this was a note from a friend writing to Mr. Gaiman, but still. Even if he copy and pasted it from an e-mail, I think most people would check their friend’s spelling. Do you see what his means? Do you see why I am so happy? That missing V in loved means that Neil Gaiman, writer extraordinaire, overlooked a spelling error. He is human! He is proud of his daughter’s new teeth, missed a V in loved, has to think about whether he should shave or not and sleeps for 13 hours in one night when he feels like it. He is real and I get to meet him in a few days.
So my mood was saved. And with my newly saved mood, I can see the bright side of any situation, especially not getting into grad school. Not getting into school does not mean I am not going to be able to be a writer, nothing can stop me. If anything, it might be better not going to grad school. I would have to torture myself grading brat student’s English 101 papers, students who don’t even want to be there, on topics I don’t have any interest in just to pay for school. Don’t get me wrong, if GMU does have tons of kids turn them down, thus letting me in, I will be thrilled. If VCU decides that they want me, I will be ecstatic, but if not, it’s no big deal. Whatever I am doing in life, I can always write.
I am in an incredible mood to blow off my books for school right now and start reading The Graveyard Book.
So there you have it, my blog about reading a blog. Can you believe that all last week, when I did not have classes and my only obligations were to read and hang out with my friends, that I did not write one blog? And yet now, when I have endless things I could and should be doing, being rejected form a grad school inspired me to write one? Strange.
I have been listening to a lot of opera lately. I have a CD set called “The Very Best of Opera” which is organized into three disks, The Men, The Women, and Instrumental. I realized, on my way back to school, that I should really pay more attention to the Instrumental CD. This one song in particular, Intermezzo From Manon Lescault by Puccini is haunting. Listen to it and I dare you not to cry. Listen to it loud. This is a common theme I have found with any song by Puccini. This is why you buy ‘Best Of’ CDs, of anything. Out of the Best Of, you will find what you think is the Best Of.
I know that seemed unrelated to the aforementioned blog, but its not. The music you happen to be listening to have a great deal of affect on your mood, so I believe that’s another reason I survived my rejection letter. Not that opera is the most cheerful of music, not the kind I like anyway, but listening to something beautiful will make you happy no matter what. So I am happy.
This turned real long real fast. Hope you reached the end without regret.
GO HERE --->http://www.neilgaiman.com/works/