The unique perspective that being an alum provides for serving on the admissions review committee cuts both ways. The first-hand experience is an asset, as it allows for a particular insight on the type of student who would thrive in this setting. However, it’s also a burden once you realize that same privilege you were afforded could have just as easily been denied, and presumably, since you’re serving on the committee, you know what a Big Frakking Deal that would have been. When I think about that–and not only that, but that this had to happen for Every Single Person There–when, try as I might to avoid it, my mind attempts to ponder a life not having become friends with these Wonderful People… I can’t.
Ever since Scott moved out of the city in 2000-2001 or thereabouts, I had kept in touch with him mostly through the Internet. In so doing, he became less of a “real” inhabitant of my life and more someone who I knew through the virtual reality of ones and zeros. It’s easy for me, then, to chalk up his absence to simply having moved onto the Next Big Internet Thing, as he has done many times before; that, when I saw his Facebook profile on today, his birthday, it felt like I can still give him a ring the next time I’m in town and meet up for a drink and cheesy comestibles at NoMi, in a sort of blissful ignorance, a tacit denial of the reality of it all.
But with a blink of my eyes, I remember again.
I may run myself ragged during Jessup week, but the net effects aren’t unlike going on vacation: I get to forget about my normal life for a few days and, when it’s over, I’m loath to go back to it. This year felt a little different.
Though at the end of this year’s rounds I wanted nothing more than to be reunited with my own bed and to go motoring through some scenic, twisty roads, realizing the amount of work waiting for me in that whole “normal life” thing–the tasks at work I have decreasing patience for, the preparations for applying to medical school that I have decreasing confidence in as to my success–killed any happiness I had when I did make it back home.
On the other hand, I didn’t want to stay with the Jessup crowd, either. I dare say I was more removed than usual from the people (which is what normally makes the week worthwhile). This year’s rounds seemed to take its toll more than previous years have: added to the now-usual exhaustion that comes with helping to keep the competition running was a certain sadness, somewhat from this being Amity’s last competition as executive director, that I just couldn’t shake.
So, if I couldn’t stay in DC or be with my friends there, or go home… that left very little in the way of options. And I continue in my steadfast desire to be anywhere but here.