Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mmmm, grad school

People who know me personally know that I've spent the last two and a half months working on grad school applications.  Some of the application process has been rocky.  I learned that one of the programs I was applying to wasn't the "right" program (it makes sense in context; I should have applied through the medical school, not the liberal arts school), and several programs have been all, "Interesting, we don't HAVE your GRE scores!"  But some of it's gone pretty smoothly.  Many programs have been helpful, replying to me personally to let me know that yes, they've received my transcript, and some of them have made it easy to see if recommendations have been submitted and by whom.

Monday evening, I got my first interview invitation, from a program I was not expecting to hear back from in a positive way.  It's one of the most rigorous programs, at a university that's one of the best and most prestigious in the nation.  It's one of my two "Wouldn't it be funny?" programs, programs so elite that I figured, with my credentials, I would never hear back from.  I don't sell myself short; I'm an excellent candidate with some of the best post-undergrad experience I could have gotten.  In fact, the only problem with my applications is my GPA, which is decent, but less decent when you look at my transcript and realize, "Oh, she had a solid B- in biology classes.  It's her women's studies classes that bolstered her GPA."  I know from experience that both kinds of classes were difficult in different ways, and it just so happens that the way to test learning and knowledge in women's studies is better suited to my learning style than the way to test biology is.  I don't like to read from a textbook and memorize things.  I'm bad at that.  Plus, in the sciences, with the exception of medicine, you don't NEED to memorize things.  You don't need to know what steps to take on the fly.  You plan and read and double-check and use Wikipedia--I MEAN PubMed.

So I wasn't expecting to hear back from this school, and I did.  I'm shocked and excited.  When I got the email, I assumed it was just them telling me that they FINALLY were going to acknowledge that they had received my transcript.  I like the actual reason a little better.

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