Thursday, June 05, 2008

I'm Sorry, Who Are You?

As you all know, I applied to various Ph.D. programs at the end of December. Most programs said they’d let applicants know by March 15th whether or not they’d been accepted. If you were accepted into a program, you were generally required to let the school know by April 15th whether or not you had accepted the offer.

I applied to five doctoral programs, and up until yesterday, I had only heard back from four of them—three declines and one acceptance. For whatever reason, University of California-Riverside is just now informing some applicants that they have not been admitted, and while I suppose it’s good to know the school didn’t just lose track of my application (which I honestly wondered about at this point), I now find myself feeling rather offended. Opening their email and reading how sorry they were to inform me that I would not be one of the six incoming students during the fall 2008 semester, I couldn’t help but feel like, “Nice try, UCR! But I’m the one that dumped you!”

Perhaps it’s petty, but it really does feel like that. The image that comes to my mind is of a snotty girl at a dance, going up to some guy whom she thinks wants to dance with her because he was looking her over an hour ago, and she says to him in a phony sympathetic voice, “Gee, sorry, but I'm not going to dance with you! I know you would have wanted to, what with me being so perfect and beautiful and all! But too bad! Sorry!” And as the girl walks off, the guy is like, “Huh? Who was that?” And due to his pride, once he realizes what’s happened, he wants to find that girl again and tell her how not interested he is, how he doesn’t even want to dance with her, but of course that would be to no avail—it would only make him look insecure, even though he really, truly, honestly doesn’t care.

I admit, I was a bit bummed not to get into UCR when I first assumed that I hadn’t, but I’ve since counted myself very fortunate not to have been admitted. Had I received an offer from them early on, I probably would have accepted it. Here’s why that would be a problem: one of the two main experts in the philosophical field that I’ve been emphasizing so far is leaving UCR. Had I known about this in the first place, I would have seriously reconsidered UCR. They are a great school for many areas of philosophy, but they are taking a serious hit as far as what I specialize in. It’s hard to be completely confident about a hypothetical situation, but I really do believe that Florida State University may have been my top choice had I know about this prominent faculty member’s departure ahead of time.

The bottom line is, FSU is turning out to be the precise school I would want to go to. And hearing back from UCR at this point strikes me as ridiculous. I’m all the more offended because I had tried contacting UCR a couple of times back in April, and I couldn’t get a response. Now that I’ve moved on, now that almost every successful Ph.D. applicant in the world has committed to some program or another, UCR shows up to say “sorry.” Psssh! Get over yourself, UCR!


  1. Sounds like the right thing happened then! I am glad that things are going well for you, even though we miss you a lot. I guess we will have to save our pennies to try and visit Florida. The company I work for is based out of Florida, maybe I can get them to send me there for a week :)

  2. Hey MacG, can I go too???
    This is a funny post Benny, although I'm sorry for your "rejection" (?not sure I should even call it that).
    Your comparison to the girl at the dance is perfect. I'm sure I've known people like that. Who do they think they are!?!
    Anyway, I'm also glad things all worked out for the best. Say your prayers and it will be alright eh? That's great.

  3. Someone is watching over you. It sounds like it all turned out perfectly. What a disappointment it could have been otherwise.