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Mar 6, 2009

Slapped in the Face by Life, Followed by Life's Apology

Last fall I applied to a prestigious graduate academic program. I had a meeting with a professor in my field (history) and we had a wonderful discussion. I admire her work, and she seemed genuinely enthusiastic about what I wanted to study.

Early in the new year, I heard, albeit informally, that I had been accepted to the program.

Yesterday, a form rejection arrived.

As a writer, I'm used to form letter rejections, and, if it hadn't been for the rumor that I had been accepted, I would have soldiered on through this rejection too. But staring down at those words, "We know this must be disappointing, but we must turn away many applicants..." I felt a fool. Bitch-slapped by life.

I will never, ever be able to go to graduate school now, I whined inside my head. I will never be able to face my former professors to ask for recommendations a second time. I had only applied to one program. Idiot.

Fortunately, I had tried hard not to boast about my acceptance, but I had shared my joy with my family. ("Oh, good, finally you're going to stop wasting your time writing!") And even my writer's group. ("If you waste your time on that, you'll have no time to write!")

My husband, ever sensible, told me to stop moping about the house, agonizing over the letter, and to just write and ask them if it was a mistake. That's crazy, I thought, You can't write to either a school or an agent who's rejected you and ask, "Hey, are you sure about that?"

Of course, this was a little different because I had been told a contradictory message before. I emailed.

The rejection letter was a mistake. My name had been accidently slipped in with the long list of those to be sent form rejections.

Now, if only agent rejections would turn out to be mistakes too.  :)

11 comments:

Dominique said...

Congratulations!

Tara Maya said...

thanks. :)

Damyanti said...

Wow, that is some story.

Last year a friend of mine was e-mailed saying she had cleared an Italian exam held internationally. They later wrote in to say sorry, they had made a mistake, and actually she had failed.

I really prefer your story and its ending though. Congratulations!

Natalie said...

WOW! That's great news though. I'm so glad you did email. Good luck with school:)

sraasch said...

Oh my gosh. I would be so TICKED. Then so relieved. Then so TICKED. And the cycle would go on and on for days.

Congrats though :) Maybe we should try that with agents? A few, at least?

Lady Glamis said...

Wow! What a roller coaster ride! Congrats on making it in. :)

Alicia Muhlestein said...

I saw your comment on my blog. Thanks for visiting. Great to hear you are going to graduate school. I did get rejected nicely from Jodi the very next day (at least she was quick about it). The worse is when they want to see your manuscript and then you get rejected. That's happened to me four times! I'm in the process of rewriting.

Good luck with your books. I see one of your favorites is Island of the Blue Dolphins. That is one of mine too. You won't believe it, but I just re-read it last week. I love how there is hardly any dialogue, but it still holds your interest.

Tara Maya said...

Well, if people have been asking to see your manuscript, even if they evetually passed, you're obviously on the right track! :)

emilymurdoch said...

OMG, that's *awesome* news!

Congratulations, Tara!

Maybe the powers that be just wanted to make it into a really, really good story for you to tell, lol.

I'm happy dancing for you for real, right here in the kitchen. : )

Tara Maya said...

Thanks, all of you. :)

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