Have you heard? This afternoon, decisions for Tufts2017 go live. For me, more than a year of work - traveling, blogging, and especially reading applications - comes to a close in one spectacular moment. While you're frantically hitting the refresh button in your email, the admissions officers are counting down (literally) and holding our breath. My own anticipation (almost) rises to match our applicants waiting at home; later today, I'll finally be able to reach out to the students we admit to gush about their apps, after months of waiting, of biting my tongue.
Still, it's bittersweet.
For every one student that I helped admit, there's another I adored who will be disappointed. We had good reasons for our decisions, reasons I understand, yet my heart wishes for a different outcome. We don't have the space on campus – like my dean says, so many great applicants, not enough room. It was hard not to love you, even when our admit rate tells me to restrict my enthusiasm.
I can't help but...
Ok, so first... I do know what I'm doing. But, for a week, one terrible week, I've been prowling for some opportunity to use this image, this little known meme. But after 7 years of reading applications, the opportunity just isn't coming. (Does that sound arrogant? I hope it doesn't, but I do feel like I know what I'm doing).
I can't be the monster who keeps something so wonderful to himself, so completely without context, here is the I Have No Idea What I'm Doing Dog.
I love that dog. LOVE HIM. He just makes me so happy, like inexplicably happy. And I have no idea why. Is it the expression? The caption? The weirdly appropriate and totally unfashionable necktie?
Ok, now let's trade. I share an absurd internet thing, and you share one with me. With 900 applications to read, I'd welcome some irrelevant internet ridiculousness.
With the Tufts deadline sitting just a few days away (and some other deadlines occurring in just a handful of hours), I thought it might be helpful and fun to jump onto the "Front Page of the Internet" for an AMA (stands for Ask Me Anything). Seriously, AMAs may be the most fun you can have on the internet.
If you've got a LAST MINUTE question, or are looking for something to distract yourself with and you'd like to ask an admissions officer a random question about horses or ducks, consider this your invitation to come on over. Here's the link! http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/15s9zu/iama_college_admissions_officer_on_the_precipice/
Go ahead. Ask me anything.
This is a strange moment. The first chunk of work for #Tufts2017 is over, and decisions (as of moments ago), are out. There's clapping in the room next to me, literally. And I, in my own office, can't stop smiling.
But, not everyone will get happy news. I know there isn't a lot I can say to make any of this easy if you're disappointed today. What I can share is this... It's hard to express how amazing all the ED apps are, even the students we could not take, or what a privilege it is to be your first choice. I'll speak for everyone here, we hope we can live up to that esteem and that we read your applications as thoughtfully as we could.
Ok. I'll wander back over to the happy now.
There are a two dozen shout outs I want to make to students whose applications I read and helped admit, just to tell you that I am SO EXCITED. Like... Muppet excited. I'll offer just two in this space, a symbolic offering to the rest of you who should know you are loved just as much. To the trilingual...
Ah, committee. A noun that in the admissions world denotes both a group of people and a period of time. For the uninitiated, which is nearly everyone: committee is where the admissions officers get together as a group to discuss applicants and vote on the Tufts’ class of 2017. When an admissions officer reads your application, that is undoubtedly important, but Committee is where decisions get made.
Every school has their own set-up, their own rules, but here is how ED committee works at Tufts… There are three committees, each with either 7 or 8 admissions officers present, presenting applicants, and voting. Each admissions officer is responsible for evaluating the applications for a specific geographically defined region; my territory, for instance, is Lexington, MA; Maryland; and South East Asia. In committee, we present the students applying from our territory (for a breakdown of who has what territory, you can click on this). Presentations are done broken down by geography...