So, I’ve really let this space go.
When I revved up the engines on this old thing I envisioned weekly updates that had readers begging for more and on the edge of their seats.
I was expecting/planning for this:
But its more like this (if you lit this match once every three months).
I will say that over the weekend I was reminded how much I love to write and I have my mom to thank. THANKS, MOM!
My mom is on a – quite literally – never ending quest to clean her house. She has a housekeeper 3 days a week (which for one person which seems a biiit excessive) but she is always organizing and going through things and closets. I never see a ton of progress but she did unearth the rarest of all gems during a recent clean out of the study – my college application essays.
For those of you who didn’t know me in high school, I was the MOST unbalanced student of all time. I was the editor of the school newspaper but so terrible at math that my school thought it best to forbid me from taking Algebra II. Like, would not let me take the course because they were that certain I would fail it. Keep in mind that this is a course that 98% of all high-school students take (and all my friends took) so that was a cool feeling.
From an early point, it was clear that math was going to be . . a thing for me. I cried learning to tell time (HOW CAN 60 MINUTES FIT IN THAT TINY OF A CIRCLE?), I failed 4’th grade math (long division are the devil’s numbers), and I have had a math tutor since I was in elementary school. My finest math moment came in middle school when I got a 41 on a test and 5 minutes later my counselor physically removed me mid class and walked me to the remedial math class that took place during the same time (one t-shack over for anyone keeping track).
Ok, now that I type that, how was that even allowed? It seems very damaging.
After I got physically removed from my 8’th grade math class (like, now I’m getting mad about it), my parents were left with a choice. Force Catherine to work and work and work at something that just might never happen (math) or encourage and feed and grow the talents that she loves (everything but math). At that point, my parents started letting me decide what classes worked best for me and this gave me the confidence to fail at things.
Fast forward to senior year in high school. There I was, above average grades and a transcript free of any advanced math of any kind. My counselor was no help at all when it came to helping me plan for college (so much so that she actually sent two of my transcripts to the wrong colleges entirely) so my parents bought a giant book of colleges (you know the one) and we pored over it nightly together. I knew there were two things that would push me over the top in the rough and tumble world of college applications:
- An in-person interview (and weirdly a few of the schools I applied to actually preferred interviews)
- A kick ASSSSSS essay
In very much of a ‘hey don’t look over at those math grades, look over here!’ move, I started crafting works of written art for each of the 8 (!!) schools I applied to.
For one school (CU Boulder), the applicant was encouraged to write an essay explaining how they ‘stand out in a crowd’. Instead of writing an essay, I created a 10-question quiz where the result was ‘Accept Catherine’ – I sent a pencil and an answer key to the school in a large manila envelope. How’s that for standing out? I didn’t even write an essay, fools.
For another school (Rhodes College), the essay could be random but you had to use three things in your submission (a tomato, dental floss, and a paper clip). I wrote a (shortish) book with chapters about a crime in Italy (tomatoes) where a detective has to sneak out of a locked room (paper clip in the door) and meets up with his partner who is working undercover as a dentist (dental floss, y’all).
My parents would read draft after draft well into the night and encourage me when I thought they were dumb and give me feedback when I was stuck. Every time an acceptance letter came in the mail, the put it on the fridge. When I received my one rejection (damn you to hell, Boston College!) they made me un-crumple it and hang it up too.
Long story short, I think I had forgotten for a while how fun it is to be a little bit different. We should all write quizzes about how awesome we are.