Monday, September 15, 2008

Drexel University College of Medicine Thinks I am un-smart

Dear Drexel University College of Medicine,
I got your letter. Thank you for sending it to me. I was eagerly awaiting a phone call from you so it was disappointing to get this version. Even though I am here and going to a medical school already, I pretty much had my life on hold for you. I can finally exhale because I was still packed in anticipation of 'the call' at which point I would have left my life here for you. In my head I imagined 'the call' going something like this:

YOU: "Hello, this is Cheryl A. Hanau, assiciate dean of admissions at Drexel University College of Medicine. I know we have not interviewed you, but we feel we really got to know you by the way you answered our loaded questions such as 'Describe yourself' and 'Tell us about your activities since graduating from college' and 'What are your weaknesses'. I mean, even though we made you keep it under 250 words, essentially feeding us lines we wanted to hear, we feel that was enough to offer you a seat in our class of 2012."
ME: "Wow...uh...that's great, except I already started medical school."
YOU: "So did we, two weeks ago." (Notice the date difference in the letter)
ME: "Ok, great. So should I be there tomorrow? I will spend all night driving, if it means being there, with you."
YOU: "Yes, we are so excited for you to come."
ME: "You sure it isn't because you didn't have enough seats filled to make budget?"
YOU: "Don't be foolish. We got your AMCAS fee and your secondary fee. We have 12,000 applicants per year, which gives us our budget, everything after that is all gravey!"
ME: "So you really do want me there?"
YOU: "You bet!"
ME: "Do you have anywhere I can stay while I find a place to live?"
YOU: "No, in fact you owe us $40,000 by tomorrow. Good luck and welcome!"
ME: "Great! I will be there tomorrow, cash in hand."
YOU: "I like 100s."

Did you really think I was waiting around for you? How stupid do you think I am?  I understand a courtesey letter back when you filled the class, I don't know, maybe in March, but this is just an insult.  Apparently I am too stupid to know that the medical school semester is well under way and that I have about as much of a chance being a part of your class as I do leaving medical school free of debt. Maybe you think that I didn't get into a school anywhere and am just waiting around for something to happen?  I am such a kidder, because the truth is, I gave up on you the moment I had this conversation with one of your staff members back in July, 2007:

ME: "Hi, I looked online, and it says that my application says incomplete, but you cashed my check, which means you have processed my application."
YOU: "Oh yes, I see here [most likely looking at nothing more than a blank piece of paper as my application was already recycled and made into a milk carton at this point] that you are complete. You see, when you send us your application via snail mail, it will never get updated online. [wincing in anticipation of me calling 'SHENANIGANS!!]"
ME: "So you have my application?"
YOU: "Yes."
ME: "And it will never say that my application is complete online?"
YOU: "No. You will receive everything by snail mail, not online."[beginning to snicker]
ME: "So despite what I see online, I can take your word for it?"
YOU: "Yeeeees." [Flashing menacing smile]

I mean call me stupid (oh wait, you already did), but what is the point of having the online status check if it never gets updated? Do you enter through your exits and exit through your entrances as well? Do you make everyone walk backwards on campus, or is it just that way in admissions? Oh well, I hope you enjoyed my $120. I know, in your defense, that not charging people to apply to your school might diminish the respect you gain by making us broke before starting there. I respect that. But I do not understand why you would assume your applicants are this stupid. That's just bad for business. Maybe you just talk down to the rejects, and the people who get in actually get a letter that makes sense. I bet it has big words like confluence and extraordinary. Words I would have to look up before I could make sense of your letter.

I also knew to give up on you back when you started sending me your capitalist propaganda that said, "You might be interested in our school of nursing!" Save it, Drexel. Apparently you didn't read my personal essay that basically laid it out that my dream was to be a doctor and nothing else, whatever it takes. Seriously, this isn't and I am not shopping for books so do not try to sell me more stuff. Maybe your ploy was to make me watch you waste all $120 of my application fee, one postage stamp at a time, by sending those letters. I do not want you to try to guide my life. Do you really think I am stupid enough to think that I had a chance after the whole "we cashed your check, but your application still isn't complete" episode? Apparently you do. Or maybe you felt that I was going to fall for your "maybe you want to do something other than be a doctor" shell game. Yeah, you are right, forget the past four years and all the science I could cram into a semester, I should do something else.  Here is another application fee for you to insult me some more.  Do you maybe have a pyramid scheme I can join as well?

You should be careful, Drexel, because one day I might be in a position where I have to decide whether to hire the Drexel Graduate or someone else. I will think long and hard about how stupid you think I am and probably go with the other candidate, because, let's face it, hiring your graduate might be bad for business.  

Really though, thanks for bringing a smile to my face and allowing me to laugh a little.  When I saw the letter in my mailbox and saw it was from you, I shook my head and smiled.  I picked it up and shoved it between two medical school books I had with me FROM CLASS.  Only Drexel.  Only Drexel.

p.s. I know this pixelated 'signature' isn't really yours. I know you didn't actually put the pen to the paper. You didn't fool me there either. 'A' for effort though.

p.p.s. If I could somehow figure out how to make this post the first google result that pops up when you type in "Drexel University College of Medicine" I would.  Copying and pasting your double descriptive title 1000 times on my blog didn't do the trick.  I tried.  What is a university college anyways?  Your attempt at Jedi mind tricks?  Usually schools settle for X University SCHOOL of medicine.  Abraham Flexnerwould be rolling over in his grave.


  1. at least you're not bitter.
    Wow. Talk about therapy! I LOVE this post and I PRAY that it ends up in the hands of Ms. Hanau...
    You're an excellent writer Travis. Seriously...brilliant.

  2. This is the funniest thing that I've read in a loooong time! Good for you T! I'm proud that you saw through the BS and called it out.

  3. Comedy Central has nothing on you! You're teaching us all a few things about the power of laughter! Keep it up!

  4. My buddy wrote the Schools rejection letters, just reversing the verbiage. Good on ya, I was too much of a Pussy to do that, convinced the schools shared all derogatory information and it'd come back to bite me in the ass.

  5. Acceptance / Rejection letters are too contrived to sound sincere.

    I heard Princeton used to offer letters with the only a giant word YES! on it.

    Med schools need to catch on.