I wish I could say I’m having fun putting together my grad school applications. I hate those stupid forms where people have to rank different aspects of your academic work and demeanour and then provide terse remarks as to whether or not they’d recommend you.

Each one for each program is a little different so I feel bad handing people a stack of them and making them fill them all out for me. Okay, not a stack. It’s more like three or four, but I don’t like feeling like I’m a burden and that’s exactly how I feel when I ask people to take time out of their evenings and weekends to write nice things about me.

Why can’t they just write one nice letter that says:

Erin is very pleasant to be around. She likes being at school. She plays nice with the other students.

She comes to every single class. She’s never intentionally skipped any ever. Even when she feels like total crap and hasn’t showered she will drag herself to school wearing a blanket and stay awake during most of it.

She does every single assigned reading, even when it’s the end of the semester when nobody does the readings. She reads the recommended readings too. She rereads them over the summer and Christmas holiday because she actually found them interesting.

She contributes actively to class discussions. She likes giving presentations. They’re usually well rehearsed because she couldn’t sleep the night before because she was laying in bed, talking to the ceiling.

She is very low-maintenance. She won’t bug you with stupid questions all the time because she kind of just gets stuff. If she didn’t understand she will assume it was probably obvious and she’s too stupid to have noticed so she’ll read it again.

She writes all her notes on paper. She does most of her research at the library. With books. She’s totally old skool like that.

Her academic writing is really concise and to the point. Her bibliographies, they are looong.

She can be pretty creative when she wants to be. She could not be unoriginal if she tried. She’s tried. It didn’t work.

She would make a really good TA because she really likes telling you about stuff she’s learned and she has a weird way of rephrasing things so that they make more sense.

She is perpetually scatterbrained and disheveled. She does most things last-minute in bursts of manic energy and inspiration.

She always hands things in on time, even if it requires massive amounts of sleep deprivation, backflips and writing it on her laptop on the bus on the way to hand it in to you. You will have it on time.

She’s totally fun to have a pint with after class. She’s a cheap drunk. You’ll have her reenacting Monty Python sketches in no time.

Photocopy multiple times. Add signatures. Send them off.

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