Ordinarily, Admissions staffers each dedicate one day a week to reading applications, and then fit in additional reading whenever they can. Our schedule this winter has been hijacked by Mother Nature, and we’ve all found ourselves at home on snow days, grateful for the ease of grabbing files from our new online reader system. Yesterday was one of those days, and Dan kindly sent me a report late in the afternoon. As the only staffer with a resident dog or cat, Dan has the most photogenic reading companion.
It’s application reading season once again! Regular blog readers know that we all have our routines to help us give quality reads to as many files as possible in a day. The biggest change in those routines this year is physical. In the past, a read day has involved an unwieldy stack of paper files, stretching ominously toward the heavens like Isengard (for those of you whose nerd alerts just went off, I swear I had to look up the proper spelling of “Isengard”). Now the entire mountain of files is reflected conveniently on my computer screen.
Having our application system entirely online is, in most ways, totally sweet. No carting around boxes of files! No paper cuts (believe me, you do NOT want a manila folder paper cut)! But with great power comes great responsibility, which in this case is that nagging realization that you always COULD read one more file. The e-pile is always there taunting us.
Otherwise, though, a read day follows the familiar dynamics. Breakfast: check. And yes, I am lame enough that I end up eating the exact same thing I bring in to the office every morning. Music: check. For some reason I find Sigur Ros to be among the ideal soundtracks for reading. Maybe I’m just hoping for a few apps from Iceland. Murray: check. Sure, he looks harmless now, but just wait until he starts making demands. It’s important to read as much as I can early, before this monster takes over completely.
As always, I’m amazed by the quality of our applicant pool. Balancing out the total feeling of inadequacy that reading Fletcher applications gives me is the knowledge that I’ll be getting to know many of these folks personally in the next year. A full day of reading is intense, and ultimately tiring, but also very enlightening and inspiring. It certainly beats a sharp stick in the eye.
With all the snow we’ve had recently, he needs to seriously suit up to go on a real walk. The only other option is to quickly pop out into the trough we’ve dug in the snow in our backyard for him. Poor guy looks like Moses crossing the Red Sea out there, so a full-on walk it is. It’s a good head-clearing break for me, too.
I always imagine I’ll dive right back into reading once we get back into the house. Murray has other ideas, though: