I've decided to mentally just resign myself to the fact that this isn't going to work out.
I called UMD and Princeton yesterday and both people I spoke to asked me for my name, did some typing, and then said that the admissions committee was still making decisions. [crazy-person response: does that mean that there's deliberation out on me still and that I may be accepted but just not as one of the star people they really really want? or does it mean that I've been rejected, but the person saw that and didn't want to tell me and so just did the whole "decisions aren't made yet" thing?] Stanford is apparently not answering phone calls at all, and the nice woman at USC whom I spoke to today broke the rejection to me gently [I didn't want to live in LA anyway ... ]
On my drive home from the pool this evening I realized that the longer I hoping, the more painful each day is. So I'm going to go by what I've read on those perfidious "who is luckier than me" sites and assume that my rejection letters from UMD, Princeton, and Stanford are all in the mail.
Another one of my crazy-person responses has been to remember back to this post, when I described how my vaguely superstitious nature cannot accept a fortunate occurence without expecting an unfortunate occurence to follow. And if we follow this illogical assumption out, the irony is just astounding -- in the process of gathering materials for my graduate school apps I am offered the chance to teach one semester as a visiting tutor [ie adjunct professor]. This offer is completely unexpected and fantastically uplifting. I'm rejuvenated, confident, etc etc. As the months of waiting slip by, I find myself beginning to have a "life of the mind" again, doing personal research and inquiry alongside my class preparation. And then I discover* that I have been shut out of graduate school and will, in fact, have another year to wait and worry and fall back into mental lethargy. [* = the anticipated outcome]
And in a slightly related vein, I've been gathering some reading material on theory of action -- in the effort of coming to even a cursory understanding of a topic that I think will have much to do with both Whitehead's process philosophy, as well as the Gilson/Valéry philosophy of art. Perhaps I just need to regard this entire episode with some wry sense of humor -- and return to my readings, begin to write a bit more [and with more focus], and continue to do what I love without the gleaming columns of academia sheltering me.
My family and friends have been very supportive during all of my panic, anxiety, and general craziness, so for that, I thank you, you lovely people. I hope to return to my regularly scheduled self by mid-March.
[see below link]
And on two completely unrelated notes, I found this delightful link today -- building a bookcase fort [umm can I have one please?], and this wonderful quote from Walden about my most favorite bird:
I rejoice that there are owls. Let them do the idiotic and maniacal hooting for men. It is a sound admirably suited to swamps and twilight woods which no day illustrates, suggesting a vast and underdeveloped nature which men have not recognized. They represent the stark twilight and unsatisfied thoughts which all [men] have.