College app essays are TOUGH. Tried my hand at one as a writing exercise yesterday, on my granddaughter's behalf. It would guarantee her application never saw the light of day. First part goes like this....
Reunion with classmates, garrulous friends, geekie book wonks and nondescript hallway passersby equated to anticipation. Anticipation felt by the one-time Rutgers student formerly known as M--, class of '15. It was both a gleeful countdown to a birthday party and furtive calendar glances at an approaching dentist appointment. The year clicked over to 2025, then marched downward to June, zeroing in on an appointment with her return to New Brunswick. It was Au recherche du temps perdus with no petities madeleines.
Was there no way to stop the clock, tear up the calendar and hold back the moon?
The M-- who showed up at the meet-and-greet was nonplussed. The room exuded an eerie, surreal quality, like being in Chicago and finding House comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 8:00. The air was scented with cocktail franks and cheese plate hors d’oeuvres, the hum of chatter and buzzing conversations were akin to the sound of a dentist’s drill. What had she been thinking?!
“So you’re M--,” a man said, squinting at her name tag. Or was he staring at her breasts? Half a container of gel made his hair glisten like nose hairs after a sneeze.
“Formerly M--,” she said. “I’m incognito, masquerading as an alumnus.”
“Alumna,” he corrected her. “I remember you from…oh, who was that professor who kept looking at the clock, waiting to get out for some mysterious appointment? Our class in history, archeology. One of those old things.”
“And you’re…” She squinted too. “Frank. Let’s be frank, Frank. What are you doing now that you’re not throwing water balloons?”
He flinched. Just a bit, a tightening around the eyes, as if he had bitten into a jalapeño pepper and didn’t want to cry. “Real estate. I do condos. Make ‘em, sell ‘em. Land is the only thing they’re not making any more of.”
“Never end your sentences with a preposition, Frank. But enough about you, what about me?” Frank was growing on her like he was a colony of E. coli and she was room-temperature hamburger.
Drop me a line if you want the rest of this exercise in academic futiliy.