Please do not yell at me.

Please do not yell at me for my slackerly ways. In the last 24 hours, I have had one blog comment, one inquiry at lunch from a student, and one telephone call from someone in the communications office, all gently asking if I’m planning ever again to write a blog post. No one actually yelled, but I could tell they were thinking about it. I have been blog-derailed by an earlier-than-usual and more-farflung-than-usual spring travel season, and throw myself on your collective mercy.

My travel adventures began in mid-February with a trip to Annapolis, where it has become my annual ritual to bury myself with the applications of would-be Truman Scholars. If you are interested in a blow-by-blow description of the Truman Scholar evaluation process, I refer you to the work of a much more intrepid blogger than I, the very excellent faculty representative from Grinnell. Even though we started reading between 7 and 7:30 a.m., and wound up around 6:30 p.m., he managed to dig deep and find words to put on paper at the end of every day. Electronically/metaphorically speaking, I mean. For proof that I was working hard, albeit apparently less than he, I offer up this live-action shot from the reading process—I’m the one whose body posture says, “Leave me alone”:

Leave me alone

While in Annapolis, I thought about trying to connect with an admitted student I know is in the area, but I was worried that my counterparts from Stanford and Harvard, both of whom also read Truman applications, might tail me. A girl can’t be too careful. 

Because it’s that time of year—the time, that is, when admissions officers start traveling the nation to connect, live and in person, with all the people whose files we’ve been busy reading! And so immediately upon my return from the Truman extravaganza (after ditching the competition, that is), I drove to Chicago to attend a very enjoyable event for admitted students hosted by a big group of alumni at Jenner & Block. I love these gatherings—both because I finally put faces to the applications, invariably a happy-making experience, and because I get to connect with alumni I otherwise rarely have opportunity to see (some of whom, for a somewhat surreal twist, I first met years ago at the same sort of reception. Two days ago marked the occasion of my first decade in admissions, so those alumni I’ve admitted are really starting to accumulate.).

Now, usually we hold four, maximum five, receptions a year, and usually they begin in mid-March. This year, in an excess of the enthusiasm, optimism, bonhomie, and unrealistic assessments of energy characteristic of an early part of the admissions process, I thought it would be a grand idea to have six receptions, and to begin in February. This has, to be blunt, messed me up. So while I am very much looking forward to tonight’s event in Atlanta at Kilpatrick Townsend, it is also the case that I feel a little haunted by unsent e-mail and unwritten blogs. Happily, I anticipate being able to forget all that, at least temporarily, once I get to the party. Because I like a party.

-Dean Z.
Assistant Dean for Admissions
and Special Counsel for Professional Strategies