Archive for November, 2010

Satisfaction Lies in the Effort

“Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory.”- Gandhi

I finished my applications on Thanksgiving. I think (hope) that I applied to a few too many, but I am a pessimist. I feel rejections/waitlists coming, and my fingers are crossed for at least a couple acceptances. I like Gandhi’s quote, and I hope that I can keep it in mind next March/April. I worked so hard on college applications, SATs, grades, essays, the whole process, that the results of my applications should not be in the attainment of an acceptance, but rather in my effort.

But that is a bit idealistic. I would be crushed if I was rejected/waitlisted by all of the colleges, and the peace of mind I have now, I hope to have a bit of next spring.

In other matters of life, I am back to normalcy. I can focus on being a good family member and a good friend. I’ve abandoned all organization for the past few weeks – detrimental to both myself and my family. I’m making quite an effort to be less grumpy, more organized, and less stressed! Christmas is fast approaching (our tree is up!) and I realize how much my family means to me. Sometimes, I unconciously disrespect them, and I think this season is really when I remember how much I appreciate them.

Coming soon: book review, Quicksilver; book review, The Bretheren; baking, Christmas cookies

Am I Done Yet? Please?

Every Friday for the past three weeks, I think, this is the weekend. THE one. Where I get my original twelve applications finished and in through the common application. Yet, each time, though I do make progress, I can never live up to my goal. I submitted three applications today and yesterday – but I had fully planned on four. I rewrote and rewrote the supplement for one college until I realized I really don’t want to go there. I mean, I have my dream schools. I know I love them. I see myself on those campuses. I love the students, I love the location. I love the weather, and I love the classes. I have no doubt in my mind I would choose either of them over Harvard or Cambridge (I’m not applying to them, though). But, this one small LAC should appeal to me. It’s small, rural, and in New England. The campus is beautiful. But I have an odd inkling that I wouldn’t go there, even if I had to decide between it and the local university. So, interview to boot, I’m not applying.

I guess, in that sense, I’m finished with the original twelve, with one subtracted (or at least for now). And I’ve been accepted to BigStateU, so I’m definitely GOING to college next year, the question just remains where. I still have two LAC that I added to my list. They are last minute because a friend I met at college this summer influenced me. I love Quaker values, and the academic intensity at these schools. I still have to send my apps to these schools, but over Thanksgiving. So 12/14 schools applied to, 1 more to add.

It’s finally hitting me that the college app process is almost over. No matter what I do now, I’m practically finished and I just have to wait as they judge me. My fingers are crossed, but I’m a pessimist at heart. I expect, for the most part, rejections. I hate to say, but I need to fall out of love with a couple schools. I’ve had my heart set on them, but I’ve little chance. Now, I just need to be at peace with my applications: I’ve showed who I am, even if my heart showed a bit too much. Hey, at least the SATs are over with! And it’s almost Christmas. College applications are not as much work as people say – they just take thought.

Sigh of Relief with the First Snow

Apparently, yesterday was the first snow. I did not see any accumulation, but I did notice a few tiny snowflakes at lunch.  I love snow, and yesterday made me think about how November, December, and January are undoubtedly the best months of the year. I’m so excited for Christmas this year because I have associated it with the end of college applications.

Speaking of college applications, I turned in my most important application last night. I have wanted to attend this school since my sophomore year, so I literally hovered my mouse above the submit button for three minutes. And then, the silly common application pops up a new screen, “are you positive you want to submit this application?” So I have to press submit again. I currently have turned in 6 applications – and I plan on turning in (ideally) 4 more this weekend. At that point, I’m hoping in general, life will be a bit more relaxed because that leaves only a couple colleges left (either 2 or 4, I’m a bit hesitant with a two LAC.) I can see the end in sight. Admission is another problem all together. I’m pretty pessimistic about my chances, since these colleges are ridiculously difficult to get into. No matter how high my SAT score is, my GPA, how good my essays are, many of these colleges are “luck of the draw” colleges, i.e. what time of day did the adcom pick up your file and is s/he in a good mood. Obviously, you have to be qualified (which I think I am…) but so many people apply to colleges now that the competition is high. Even ten years ago, the acceptance rate at my favorite school was 30%, and now it is 20%.

There was something else I was going to say, but now I’ve forgotten. Anyway, Keith Olbermann was suspended from MSNBC. I never watched his show, because I think it can be inflammatory. Senator Bernie Sander (I, VT) is calling for reinstatement because of free speech rights. But I have to agree with MSNBC – Olbermann violated his contract in donating to politicians. MSNBC requires employees check with them before making political donations. Not only did Olbermann not do that, he also donated to politicians who were not in his area, or had just appeared on the show. Because Olbermann violated his contract, MSNBC had every right to suspend him. I suspect he will be back by the end of next week, but I’m happy with their actions. I don’t want MSNBC to continue on the path of becoming the Fox News for the left. On Fox News, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity outright ask for donations for Republican candidates on air, and they have Republican candidates on their payroll. I think this issue is pretty clear – there was a violation of contract. Liberals avoiding this fact are being hypocritical.

The Aftermath

Full Disclosure: I cannot vote. I can almost vote, but I had to pass the polls regretfully five times yesterday.

The work of many Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, and Independents all came down to yesterday. And there is still much work to be done – like in Alaska, with 40.2% of the vote consisting of write ins. Overall, the election is a mixed bag – the Democrats will keep control of the Senate, but will lose the House. However, I still think the President can and should work with the Republicans – the losses in the midterms reflect both bad public relations and weak bipartisanship.

One of the greatest losses in this election, I believe, is Senator Blanche Lincoln. More and more, both Democrats and Republicans tend to go to the extremes of their party: case in point, Christine O’Donnell, Sharron Angle (the Republicans more so… I can’t think of an extreme Democrat.) The moderate Republicans and moderate Democrats are disappearing – fast. Senator Lincoln was a valuable asset in the Senate for us fiscally conservative and socially liberal voters. Alongside Senators Snowe, Collins, and Specter, she was a voice of reason between two sides of vacillating power. I regret her loss.

Surprisingly, I’m not that downtrodden. My school levy passed, and I believe local politics are just as critical as national politics. I’m excited for the time when I can vote. If elections are this exciting when I can’t vote, what will they be like when I can?

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