More than a quarter century ago, when call waiting was still cutting edge technology, I was a senior in high school on the east coast, and I wanted to go to college far away. I visited my high school guidance counselor and told her I was thinking of computer science.
"Great field," she said. "What colleges are you thinking of?"
"Stanford or UC Berkeley," I said.
"Ha ha ha HA HA HA HAHAHA >snort<," she said.
At this point in the story, you expect me to say I took that as a challenge. That I dedicated myself to proving her wrong. But I'm not a liar, so I won't say that. I basically just went back to whatever I was doing. (But I also picked a sure thing as my break-glass-in-case-of-emergency school. On the off chance she actually was good at her job.)
I applied early admissions to UC Berkeley. I boasted pretty good credentials--over a 4.0 at a good high school, some respectable if not astonishing SAT scores, participation several clubs, varsity letter in four events on the track team. And Berkeley let me in.
For years and years, because of that meeting with my guidance counselor, I thought what really got me into Cal was the essay I submitted with my application.
That is, until I stumbled across it in a box of old papers the other day. And I read it. Now, I can't really tell you what got me in. Luck, probably. Clerical error, maybe. Or maybe they thought I'd make all the other students look good by comparison.
Whatever it was, I don't think it was the essay itself, unless they were impressed by my 24-pin dot matrix printout. They probably saw that and said, "This kid knows computers."
But you be the judge. I give you, at the risk of losing the last tiny bit of respect you might have had for me, the full text. (Typos have likely been introduced during transcription.)
technique sports, because they offer me a greater challenge. I like to be challenged. Competition is very important in my life.
Still here? Cool. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Or where you went to (or will go to) college. Or whether you can read. Or if you did any of the things I did, or whether you think I was right about anything in the essay.