The Art of Reading an Application
I read applications in "3D"; I create mental pictures of each person. Images of every place described are active. It is highly entertaining and incredibly time consuming. One applicant wrote about sky diving 800 times. I don’t know about you, but I think once would be enough. Still, this was her passion and it’s important to sense every applicant’s passion. Another applicant served in the Peace Corps in Bulgaria and watched drunks beat a stray dog. I pictured the whole scene. The dog was a boxer and the three drunks all wore heavy Doc Marten steel-toed boots; it was totally depressing. One resume listed a random job, “Waiter at the Winking Lizard.” That image resonated with me since I grew up in California chasing winking lizards.
What is most interesting and refreshing is what happens when I meet admitted or enrolling students. At least 50% of them are very different from the way I had pictured. It's always good to know when you don’t get it right. Admission is a profession in which we make the best guess; it is humbling and very rewarding. In every way, you are much better and more complex than my word portrait of you – and that is just as it should be.