Cecelia’s Triumph

On Wednesday of last week, Cecelia was accepted into Yale. Naturally, I saved her text, jumped up and down, and practically (okay, literally) leapt on her when she arrived at Foreign Language Night twenty minutes later.

Now, I’ve been told that I am not allowed to make a really huge deal about this, but I really can’t help myself. It’s Yale. It’s one the best universities in the country. My parents went there; her mother went there; most of my parents’ friends went there. (And, well, George Bush went there, but I try to forget about that and how many soldiers lives he ended by sending them into useless combat.) Her grandfather even taught there. In my mind, it’s the university to end all universities and the loveliest academic place in the world.

Every late night that Cecelia spent doing homework, the many weekends that she gave up to do work, all the times she pulled all-nighters, and the immense stress has created something. Something beautiful and tangible. She’s reached the goal that everyone has been working towards since sixth grade. Seven years of hard work has paid off. She did it. Cecelia really, really did it.

Many would argue, and I would agree, that the American educational system has devolved into one that simply focuses on the outcome of tests and getting into the “right” college. Creativity is stunted, and those who don’t fit the norm are left on the wayside. But the problems with education shouldn’t mask the magnitude of Cecelia’s triumph. The failures of our educational system can’t be changed overnight, and there is victory in surviving something that’s broken and reaching its objective.

Maybe I’m foolish for feeling dizzy and joyous–she’s much externally calmer about this than I am–but the prospect is immense. It’s very rare that you accomplish something that you’ve dreamed about for years, and it should be celebrated until the party hats lose their elastic, and the balloons stop floating and become wrinkly. So until I get yelled at to shut up, I will be blowing party horns and playing Pin the Tail on the Donkey. I highly encourage you to join me.

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity-Jig

Model Congress was exciting, anxiety-provoking, fun, and fulfilling. Xanax, crying, and deep breathing was involved, but prizes were won.

I am bursting at the seams with stories, but I’m way too worn out to spill them all tonight.

Instead, please amuse yourself with my favorite game: Sheen or Gaddafi. A good score is hard to come by, and good times and laughs will be had by all. Post your score in the comments!

In other news, I pulled a muscle in my back, and it hurts. A lot. A lot a lot. Carrying around a backpack this week should be really fun. Also, my feet are torn up from wearing pumps and walking many miles for four days straight. Tomorrow just might be a flip-flop day. In 50-60-ish degree weather.

Failure and Success, All Melded Together

Back in January I sent off an application to Pippa’s boarding school for a post-graduate year. I decided to do this for three reasons. One, I was not ready for college and hoped that a post-graduate year would ease me into the whole studying-away-from-home thing, two, I thought that it would be an academic dream come true with small classes and excellent teachers, and three, the whole romantic side of going to a New England prep school really appealed to me. Somewhere in between having a great time with my new found independence, studying subjects that I really love, comparing beach homes with the super rich kids, and wearing formal dress everyday, I thought that a post-grad year would be the best thing to ever happen to me.

So I went to an admissions event, shadowed Pippa for an afternoon, had a good interview, wrote some great essays (I posted one of them here), submitted a writing sample (posted here), and shoved it all into the mail a week before it was due. Even though I felt confident about the application’s content, I knew, I just knew, that I wasn’t going to get in. I may have straight A’s and have been taking AP courses since my sophomore year, but I also have this charming thing called an IEP. And when schools see those three letters and how much school I missed last year, they tend to run for cover. All they’re thinking is giant liability.

I heard back from the school today. I called Pippa at lunchtime to get her to check the mail, and sure enough the letter was there. She opened it and read it aloud to me over the phone while Clara held my hand.

I didn’t get in.

Sure, I was disappointed, but the voice of reason was the prodominate internal voice. This surprised me because instead of giving over to self-defeating thoughts, I was just annoyed, really, really annoyed, because that IEP has to be the reason why they didn’t accept me.

I excused myself from lunch, went to the Child Study Team and did a little crying, but there were no hysterics. Mostly, I’m just concerned about how colleges will respond to my applications next year. Because getting into a good college is a heck of a lot more important than prep school.

In a weird way, I feel liberated. I don’t have anything that I’m required to do for the coming year. I could go work for my cousin’s anti-corruption non-profit or I could spend time focussed on my writing. I could do anything. Anything at all. It’s my choice.

So here’s to success, and here’s to failure.

But most of all, here’s to my totally awesome plan to bring the rejection letter to school, make people write things that they hate on it, and then burn it in the kitchen sink.