March 19, 2010

Internet Idiot Compassion

People are trying to be nice to me. I don’t really appreciate it much. You’d think people trying to be encouraging and positive would be more welcome, but the methods being employed are the kind that create blame, feed delusions, and prop up the ego. Some Buddhist teachers have called this phenomena idiot compassion. (Not to say my friends are idiots, but we all have the ability to act that way sometimes.)

“University of DUMB!!! There are bigger and better things for you.”

“Meh, they're stupid anyway!”

“thats ok u dont need them they need you . its their lose. [sic]”

Maybe I’m just sad and taking out my bad mood on these friends who cared enough to send warm thoughts, but every time I read one of these comments I feel worse, not better. It doesn’t help to think the faculty at the schools I was so looking forward to attending are all idiots. Nor do I necessarily think it’s their loss. I’ve seen the profiles of the PhD students at these schools. They’re awesome people, with lots of great accomplishments, well traveled and well educated. I really can’t compare myself on paper to a lot of these folks. I’m confident in my own potential and intelligence, but I simply don’t have the accomplishments or experiences of some of these folks.

I’m not going to try to promote myself over them. I’d like to think the person who got the spot is better and more qualified than I am and they’ll make the most of the opportunity they’ve been given. The universities have a lot of experience sifting through these applications and choosing the right people. Design has the ability to make a positive impact on the world and I want our designers to be the best people for the job, not just the people who want it the most.

If I’m not admitted to any of these schools, that’ll be okay. I’ll be disappointed, but I can go out, get some work experience under my belt, and try again in a few years. It might even be in my best interest in the long run to do just that, which more than one professor has suggested.

There have also been some good remarks from my friends, things I take heart in.

“Well good that you are starting to hear back from some of the places that you've applied. I'm excited to hear what happens!”

“One door closes but keep an eye out for another opening. Just remember it might not look like a door at first. [smile]”

“Sorry girl; MIT is one of my dream schools - keep your chin up ;)”

My favorite so far, from my friend Lacey was beautiful in its brevity – “:(“ – like an emoticon haiku.

I have yet to hear back from Cornell and Penn. I always felt Cornell was a long shot. I’m trying to avoid pinning all my hopes on Penn. I have a notification from them saying I can log back into their application system at noon on Monday for my answer.

In the meantime, back to building this model.

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