After the widespread effort to rig the college admissions process for children whose parents were willing to pay bribes, here is lighthearted take on the fascinating world of the Gatekeepers: Those in charge of accepting or rejecting students who, in a distinctly American rite of passage, apply for colleges all across the United States.
Dear University of Southern California Admissions,
I will be graduating in May from Edmund Muskie Senior High in Rumford, Maine. I had not planned to attend college but now that I see there are two openings on your crew team, I informed my parents last night I wanted to apply.
They both said, “Rowing? That’s not a mainstream (pun intended) sport.”
“True,” I answered, “but the YouTube videos I watched mentioned it was a great sport that offers a chance to start at an older age. I mean, no one has been rowing since childhood. I was thinking maybe that’s how a Hollywood celebrity was able to get her children on a crew athletic scholarship. They never rowed before. It also provides overall body conditioning and I can get in great shape since you always say I spend too much time in front of my computer and not enough time outside. I can make new friends since you don’t like the ones I hang with anyway. You think I stay so isolated in my room so this is an opportunity to learn teamwork, too.”
They continued, “Honey, remember all those times when you and your dad went deep sea fishing in Destin when you were a little boy? You had to take Dramamine to keep from getting sea sick on the boat.”
I reminded them, “I grew out of that.”
They reiterated, “That’s because you stopped going.”
“Well,” I interjected, “What’s your point?”
They pointed out, “That’s just one reason. Another is you don’t know how to swim!”
I commented, “That used to be true. But I am mature now and would like to learn. I never liked to get wet and I don’t have to being a crew member. I mean, sure, they’ll be splashing oars and wet boats, but since I’ll be wearing a spandex, not cotton, unisuit, that shouldn’t be a problem. And when I finally have some chiseled muscles from the year-round practices and the girls see me in that spandex, watch out USC!”
My mother and father asked, “We don’t want to discourage you finally wanting to go to college, but can’t you pick another direction and another school?”
“Rowing is the oldest intercollegiate sport in the United States starting in 1852. Who doesn’t want to feel like a Viking on the open sea?”
And with that, they gave up. But not me.
I hope you will see my determination to row at your fine university. I plan to study pre-law because as you can see, I made some pretty good arguments with my parents.
P.S. Do you have to see my grades or can my parents just pay for it since there is a precedence set?
P.S.S. I am also applying to UCLA, Wake Forest, and other Operation Varsity Blues universities. But since you are my first choice, I hope to hear from you soon.