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Saturday, June 11, 2011

You Call it Crazy, I Call it Crazy Romantic

They say the definition of insanity is attempting the same action multiple times while expecting different results.  This is supposed to mean the guy on my block who keeps jumping off of his roof expecting that just one of these times, he’s going to take flight.  But if I’m honest with myself, really honest, I know that I’m no saner than roof-fly guy in my plan to—gulp— reapply to grad school, dum, dum, dum! 

Your chances of succeeding with either are about the same.

Applying to grad school requires a certain break from sanity.  It has to.  It’s asking out the hottest, coolest (disregard the oxymoron you grammatical dick), most incredible girl you know.  That girl who is just so far out of your league, just so unattainable, that it only serves to drive your obsession with her to levels of ridiculousness.  Often, it simply feels better to avoid all contact with her, maintaining a safe buffer zone, to protect the fantastic delusion that she might actually, just maybe, perhaps, possibly say “yes”.  If you’re actually dumb enough to ask her, then the fantasy becomes at risk of being killed.  Existing in limbo, however, the dream can never die.  There are dumber ideas.

Eventually, unfortunately, wretched ambition creeps in and the delusion alone becomes “not enough”.   You decide to take a knife to the throat of your glorious hopes and ask her out—you apply.  You have to know.  Good or bad, you tell yourself, you have to know.  Because then you can get on with your life, right?  Then you can either begin your awesome new life strolling down Realized Dreams Avenue, or start figuring out what’s next around the corner from Crushed Hopes Row.  Either way, this is the good, healthy, progressive decision, right? 

Maybe.  In my case, when I applied to grad school this past fall, I was given a curt but polite, “It’s not you, it’s me.  I hope we can still be friends,” and like a dope, I smiled, nodded, and hoped we cold be friends too.  Don’t let her see you cry, old boy.  I retreated into my emotional fortress of solitude, wrapped myself in blankets and cookie dough, and watched  Casablanca  until the DVD warped.  But then, after much personal resolve—and a new Bogie movie—I began mentally preparing myself to try it all over again.  I would do it.  I would reapply to grad school.  Now this goes beyond stupidity.  This is insanity.

So over the next few months as I delve deeply into my own psychosis and reapply to all those schools that told me a scant few weeks ago, “No thanks, we’re good”, I’m taking you with me for the ride!  I’ll share some stories, provide some snazzy tips for applying and reapplying that I’ve picked up along the way, but more than anything, I hope reading this blog will make you feel better about whatever you’re doing while also preserving what scraps of sanity that I might have left by end of this process.  I’ll tell you who this blog is not for; all of you lucky SOBs out there who got accepted on your first try; all of you college seniors who between finals submitted pristine applications coupled with respectable GRE scores; all of you lazy geniuses who decided to crap out applications on Taco Bell-induced whims; all of you who have never been dumped, I say screw you!  This blog is not for you—actually, I hope you continue to read it anyway in an effort to learn just what a turd of a human being you really are.  Seriously, I need readers and this will probably be the last time I bash you smarties—probably.  This blog is for all the true romantics out there, the second, third, and fourth chancers, the ones just dumb enough, just crazy enough—just too crazy enough—to get back up, and try it all over again.  Screw the smarties—I lied!


  1. Now don't go all shy-flower on me and not post and not comment. This blogging thing is new to me, but I'm pretty sure that's what you're supposed to do--go team!

  2. You want comments?

    Okay, I got into law school on the first try to my first choice. Does law school count? To be fair, it was a long time ago and things have changed.

    Am I crazy to think that blogging isn't the worst thing for someone who wants to get into a master's program in creative writing to be doing in the meanwhile? Go for it!

    And do you want critique? It can be arranged....

  3. This is exactly how I feel about job applications! You are not alone in the craziness of expecting a different result from the same actions. Should have stayed in ERT forever! Good Luck!

  4. ha, i'll hold off on the critiques for now mark, but thanks for the support. and i'd say law school definitely counts.

    i wish i could have stayed on the Emergency Response Team forever, but *sigh* sadly it is not to be. keep on keep'n on.

    get psched for a new post tomorrow!

  5. I mention law school because it's the polar opposite of a program in creative writing. (Think of it as a master's program in anticreative writing.) I'm not at all sure I could have gotten into an MFA program.