Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I wake up in the mornings to the sound of my cellphone alarm. As soon as I turn it off, I usually check my e-mail.

This morning I was greeted by two messages of interest. One notified me that a decision had been rendered on my application to SAIS and could be found online. The other was less cryptic. "Congratulations from the Fletcher School!" was the subject line. I was pretty sure I was dreaming.

When I decided to pursue a master's degree in international affairs, I researched the top programs in the country. I selected three from the top five and applied without any regard to my less-than-stellar academic and professional background. (I went to a state school for only 2 years, and Peace Corps is the closest I've ever come to a real job.) My hopes were not high.

So being accepted to Fletcher was ridiculously exciting. I went through the whole day with a smile. "Ma'am, why are you so excited today? Did you get married?" my learners asked.

"Nope, I'm going to school!" They faked appropriate enthusiasm. I got a few high-fives.

When I wasn't in class, I daydreamed about Fletcher, moving to Massachusetts, seeing the Boston-area side of the family. It was a pretty rosy picture. The SAIS e-mail was all but forgotten.

I couldn't access the SAIS website through my pathetic excuse for an internet connection. I thought about waiting til the weekend, but on a whim I called a friend to see if she would check it. She did. She called back.

"I regret to inform you," she said.

"Okay, whatever, Fletcher rocks!" I thought.

"Nevermind," she continued, "You're in!"

And how! I was not only accepted to the school, but the capped international development program, and a first year of study at the campus in Bologna, Italy.

Looks like I have some big decisions to make in the month of April. The decision-making process is looking difficult as I'm still in South Africa. I means, thanks for inviting me to "Accepted Students Day" but a campus visit is pretty much out of the question. Any advice, folks?

If you're happy for me and you want to show it, please consider a donation to KLM. See older post.

I'm off to celebrate with a semi-warm Coke from the tuck shop. Best of luck to those still waiting to hear.

Oh, and I have not heard from the third school, Georgetown, but 2/3 so far is pretty good for me!

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