MFA Call Preparedness 101

So I made a crazy list of all the area codes from the programs I've applied to. When my first acceptance call came in, 10:30 am, I was sleeping. At first I just let it ring, but instead of leaving a message, whoever it was just called right back. So I'm thinking, Ugh, fine! I'll pick it up.

I didn't recognize the area code. Usually that means it's a telemarketer, telling me it's time to "renew" my car's factory warranty. I don't have a car---I don't even drive. So I probably sounded angry when I picked up and said hello.

When the voice on the phone said "This is #(%&^% from the University of Minnesota,"* I thought she was just going to tell me that they were missing some of my transcripts or something. When she went on to say something like "We'd be glad to have you," I almost hung up on her, I was so freaked out.

I sat up straight in bed. I was terrified. I was so worried that I was going to come across like a neanderthal on crack---I was sure that my sleepy voice couldn't be mixing well with the vast amounts of adrenaline now pumping my brain into a frenzy. I think I said "I can't believe it, I can't believe it" and "Thank you so much, thank you so much," and not much else. After saying some things I could hardly comprehend---my brain just kept replaying the part where she told me I got in---she asked if I had questions, and all I could think to say was "Um, I have to take this all in."

Thankfully, she emailed me a few days later to let me know that they'd be mailing me the official stuff. I emailed her back, asking for current student email addresses, and I think I managed to come across as a normal person.

The point being, if I'd had my list of area codes then, I might not have sputtered quite so much.

Actually, I'm sure it would have gone much the same way, but this little project kept my mind off of things for about ten minutes-ish.

Here are my area codes:

Rutgers-Newark (973)
U Florida (352)
U Minnesota (612)
U Michigan (734)
UMass Boston (617)
UMass Amherst (413)
Syracuse U (315)
UT/Michener (512)
Cornell (607)

PS---* I now know it was Julie Schumacher, and at the time I thought I heard her say Julie, but I wasn't sure. I was out of it. I'm almost finished with her story collection, An Explanation for Chaos, and I'm really loving it, especially "Dummies."

PPS---It turns out that she called right back because she couldn't understand the message on my voicemail. Stupid me, I didn't think to change it to a more professional (intelligible) message after I submitted my applications. Embarrassing! I've changed it now.

PPPS---I'm trying not to talk too much about Minnesota until all of the notifications have gone out. I posted about it early on, and I felt like a complete ass when I realized that all I had succeeded in doing was worrying my fellow applicants. I probably should have kept my mouth shut. Other people were posting, and I was so worked up and happy...But adding to people's stress was the absolute last thing I wanted to do. After all, I know exactly how it feels! The waiting, the anxiety, the hysteria.

When I realized what I'd caused, I basically tried to go incognito. I felt bad for upsetting people, and I felt like maybe the school would be mad at me for posting (some admits to other programs, like Alabama, apparently got mild talkings-to about posting.) I erased my "I'm in!" posts and decided to just quiet down and wait it out. I guess I've decided that that was a little bit silly, a little bit overboard. This process is driving me crazy.

So no more secret identities, but I'm trying not to talk about it too much until the school finishes notifying. Obviously, I'm not doing too very well at the keeping quiet thing, but I hope you'll forgive me. I figure I can celebrate about it on my own blog, at least. I'm excited. And I'm dying to talk about it with other acceptees---hurry up U of M!

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