Friday, February 23, 2007

You Might As Well Jump

As most of my friends know, I applied to a few grad schools. Well, ten. Why so many? Because the programs I chose were so highly selective, they only accept 2-25 people out of anywhere from 300-800 applications. Even though it's too early for notifications from most schools, I got some good news on Tuesday.

The University of Pittsburgh admits 7 fiction writers, and so you can imagine how happy I was when they emailed this acceptance letter:

Dear Ms. Attolini,

The MFA Admissions Committee has concluded its consideration of applications, and I am delighted to report that we will be nominating you to the Graduate Dean for admission to the MFA program. The Admissions Committee was extremely impressed with both your creative and your academic work to date, and we sincerely hope that you will choose to continue that work here at Pitt.

If you have any general questions about graduate studies here at Pitt, please don’t hesitate to e-mail me. For questions specifically about the Writing Program, I’d like to refer you to its director, Professor Chuck Kinder.

Please do keep me posted about developments on your end. Meanwhile, let me say how eager we all are for you to join us here at Pitt in the fall!

Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
Department of English
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260

I was in a cafe and hadn't checked my email all day, even though it was sent at 10:30am. I think I may have screamed or laughed or maybe some strange combination of the two. Two elderly men were sitting beside me. I packed up my laptop and books to find my friends and celebrate. "Hey!" one of the guys yelled after me. "You forgot your coffee."

"Thanks," I said. "But I don't need it. I'm going to get a drink."

This is the first school that has gotten back to me, and I'm hoping that's a good omen for receiving an acceptance to the others. For now, I'm thrilled. A couple of months ago, I made an "Acceptance CD." I went to Costco and stocked the fridge with wine and champaigne. I've instructed my roommates that we will rock out and party when I am accepted. I've turned our refridgerator into a fallout shelter. Around here, we're prepared for the best.

Tonight the UPS guy brought an envelope. It wasn't for me, but my roommate said, "Maybe they're overnighting your letter!"

I had to laugh. Maybe the vibe is a little too positive around here. We never speak the "R word." I'm not sure if my roommates--all scientists--know just how fiercely competitive these programs are. "Yep," I said. "Tomorrow they're gonna send flowers."

Even though I have a dozen other things to say, I'll write again soon. I think it's only fair, in celebration of Pittsburgh's invitation, that I share my "Acceptance CD" playlist.

1. Hell Yes-Beck
2. Not Too Soon-Throwing Muses
3. Under Pressure-David Bowie
4. Le Disko-Shiny Toy Guns
5. Lazy Eye-Silverspun Pickups
6. Love Me or Hate Me- Lady Sovereign
7. Icy Blue-7 Year Bitch
8. Upside Down-Jack Johnson
9. Good Times Gonna Come- Aqualung
10. Five Star Day- Aqueduct
11. Hey Ma- Cam'ron
12.#1 Da Woman- Tricky
13. London Bridges- Fergie
14. Jump-Van Halen

It's cool if you wanna rock out a little. Nobody's watching...

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