I’ve got a problem. I scored in the top 99th percentile on the PSAT’s.
Doesn’t sound like a problem, does it? Well, by drawing a couple of properly situated graphite circles on the proper parts of a piece of paper, I have authorized the slaughter of half a dozen acres of woodland and the death-by-asphyxiation of my mailbox as it gasps between mouthfuls of eager college advertisements.
Which is fine. I wouldn’t have taken the test if I didn’t want my options right in front of my nose. But these letters make me feel like some capitally sexy girl at the bar of the club. I’m just sitting here, trying to enjoy my drink, and I know I’ll see a steady stream of at least half a dozen young drunk males blundering my way and spouting a few slurred pick-up lines. Then they’ll ogle me while I sink into my stool and pretend not to have noticed them.
You people ought to know what I’m talking about. There’s the guy who claims he’s talking to you for a perfectly legitimate reason:
The guy who asks random nonsensical questions in the hopes of sparking a conversation:
The slick creep who somehow already knows your name:
The guy with handy dollops of questionable profundity:
The guy who’s too drunk/scared to make any sense:
The guy who says one word, hiccups and runs off:
And the, um, shy one:
Not sure if anybody “got the girl”, so to speak. But here’s a few of my favorites:
If I was going for cutest guy this would be it:
But the overall winner is this weird-ass university in Annapolis called St. John’s, where majors are optional, and people sign up for books instead of classes. If you want to go into medicine, for example, you’d read Harvey’s Motion of the Heart and Blood, or if you wanted to study chemistry you’d read Euclid’s Elements, or if you wanted to study math you’d read Nicomachus’ Arithmetic and later Pascal’s Generation of Conic Sections, or if you wanted to study philosophy and English history you’d read… the rest of the list.
St. John’s promises a pretty immersing, cerebral experience. Holy God, I think the secrets of the universe lurk behind those doors.
Last but not least – I painstakingly combed through the sample size pictured at the beginning, and took tallies of all the college letters that
- Thanked me for a request I didn’t make – 2
- Said I’m a bright/talented student/stand out from my classmates – 4
- Mentioned the parents – 2 (one college actually enclose a letter to the parents, which is smart, because they’re the ones who’re actually paying)
- Stressed the brevity of their college-choosing site – 2
- Began the letter with “I” – 4 (always a big turnoff for girls; you’ve got to make the right impression)
- Included an empty return envelope – 10 (aren’t they nice…)
- Used 1st person singular pronouns and signed with a real person’s name – all of them (you’re not fooling anybody – I saw the “automatic send to AACP” note on the side)