Dear Mr. Beauregard:

After careful review by the Admissions Committee, I regret to inform you that your application for study at the Yale School of Music for the 2006-2007 academic year has not been approved.

Each year the school receives applications from an extraordinarily able group of people and this year was no exception. The Yale School of Music's fixed enrollment obliges the faculty to deny admission to a high percentage of the qualifed applicants who apply.

Should you have any questions concerning this decision, please contact the Office of Admissions at (203) 432-4155 or email: GradMusic.Admissions@yale.edu

Thank you for your interest in pursuing advanced studies at Yale. You have our best wishes for future success.

Thomas C. Duffy
Acting Dean

How do I feel about this? Simple question, complicated answer.

May as well start from the beginning.

So I'm sitting at home after work one day in November, killing brain cells with sitcom reruns when I get a phone call from Jaime. He has just learned of a huge donation to Yale's School of Music whereby all postgraduate study would be fully subsidised beginning in the fall of 2006.

Having never seriously considered graduate school, this scenario convinced me to give it a shot. “We'll see how it turns out,” I told Jaime.

I scrambled together the information I needed to compile my admissions packet, including scheduling a GRE session. Rushing through that process with minimal study time, I still managed excellent scores, timed precisely for them to be sent to Yale concurrently with their deadline.

Gathering the letters of recommendation was another task, but thanks to the internet and overnight shipping, that proved to be no problem.

Once all of that was arranged, and I selected and made copies of the works I would be auditioning with, I sent off the final admissions packet.

Begin waiting: 15 Dec, 2005


End waiting: 4 Feb 2006

The letter I was waiting for, though it fit nicely into a letter-sized envelope, was accompanied by a large package of decisions that would have to be made.

If it said “Congratulations...”, I would still have to decide whether to accept their acceptance. Just because they say I'm admitted bears no contingency on me actually studying there. There's a lot to consider if I decided to.

I would have precious little time to make arrangements to completely relocate to Connecticut: a state I've never set foot in, and struggle with spelling correctly.

While tuition and fees were to be fully subsidised, housing would not have been. A financial burden that is much greater than in Oklahoma. And chances are, I wouldn't have a roommate to split rent with or float checks off of.

Getting a job up there in addition to school would become necessary. Few things in life are more unpleasant than trying to con someone with a lot of money to give some to you.

Moving is another one of them.

The closest person I know in that area would be three hours away in Boston. That sets up a situation all-too-similar to my first semester at Oklahoma and my potluck roommate. We don't talk.

If it said “We regret to inform you...”, it gets a bit simpler. I don't have to move. I can keep my job. I can keep my apartment and my roommate and start saving for the future. I can stay close to the people I care about.

Like I said, “We'll see how it turns out.” I was never dead-set on doing postgraduate work. If they thought I was up to their standards, great. If not, at least I know where I stand.

I wanted to see if I'd be admitted. If I had never applied, I'd always be asking myself, “What if?” I've asked myself that question enough times, and this time I resolved to do something about it.

The whole process gave me something to strive for, a goal to accomplish whilst working a 9-6 where every day is exactly the same. I learned some things about myself at the same time. I now know that I am capable of doing anything I set my mind upon. That is a powerful realization.

Turns out, I'm not Ivy League material. Most people just assume they aren't. I have documented proof that I'm not.

That document is framed.

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