08/08/2005: "off the marks"
This weekend I had had enough of waiting for the university to get around to letting me know about my application. I decided to bypass the student liason and instead go right to the person that does the admissions. Now that I finally had that person's name (thanks to the student liason) I could e-mail him directly. I composed a letter over the weekend, had my wife review it, and I e-mailed it off early this morning.
Just before 11am, I got a call. There was good news, and there was bad news.
Somehow, they thought that they had already responded to my application. Why they thought so but hadn't is a question for them to determine the answers to. Either way, he had some answers for me this morning.
A formal decision regarding my acceptance into the full-time program wasn't actually made, but from what I was told it could be assumed with a high degree of certainty what that decision would and could be. Essentially, my marks from my bachelor's degree were not good enough to get me into the program, except on a probationary status in the best-case scenario. The criteria for candidate selection between the full-time and the part-time programs does differ, and the part-time program is more lenient when it comes to marks. The best I could have hoped for was to get in on probation, and be reviewed at Christmas. If I didin't cut it, I wouldn't be able to continue in the program, and where would that leave me? Out $8000 and dropped into the job market in December - a shitty place to land, to be quite frank about it.
He actually even called back after our initial conversation to emphasized that it would be the best case scenario for me to get in on probation. Implied in that is that there's a good chance that I simply wouldn't make it in at all. Based on that, I told him to withdraw my application for the full-time program.
The upswing is that he thought I would make an excellent candidate for the part-time program. I haven't heard anything about it starting up again since its cancellation, but he informed me that although they were set to launch, they missed the window on some committee approvals, and thus had to push things back. Sounds like they might launch next fall, and I intend to be there waiting for my acceptance again.
Although this sucks, it's still a relief. I don't have to buy a laptop. (Although I'd still really like my own computer, as my wife's disappears whenever she does on a trip. I'll be looking low-end used now.) We also don't have to get a new vehicle, as my wife won't be doing any home daycare. Our vehicle will be fine until we have a third child, which won't be until after our current lease is up. I also don't have to consider going into huge amounts of debt to pay for food and shelter while I'm at school. Best of all, I am now free to explore other job options. I'll be calling the contractor I worked for previously, and letting him know what's going on.
Of course, this is also going to require a major shift in my thinking. Right from the start I've been very optimistic about getting in, and have devoted a lot of mental energy to the events that would have followed my acceptance. Now I have to completely switch gears, and get back into finding a new full-time job that will be the ongoing basis for my career. One resource I'm going to really go after is to try and find employment through this particular university office. They have tons of industry partners they work with, many locally, all of whom are involved in helping students of this program be who they want to be. This makes me think that it would be a ripe place to try to find work through, especially if I'm accepted into the part-time program. Perhaps I'll have to push to have my application formally accepted for the part-time program, just so I can start marketing myself with that aspect at the forefront.
Time to compose another letter, I guess. And then start looking at job postings again. Sigh.