Received this letter today,
“Regarding your application for the Japanese Language Program, Fall Semester 2010. Thank you for applying for the Japanese Language Program. To our great freaking regret, we must inform you that your application was not successful.
Admission to the program is determined by the Admission Committee after thorough evaluation of all documentation. Admission is offered to those applicants who demonstrate a strong overall academic background and potential as reflected in their past academic records, their study plans, and stated reasons for applying to the program.
Please understand that we have to limit the number of new students as we aim to provide intensive Japanese Language education in a small class setting. Your understanding would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you again for your interest in Keio University. We do hope that you will not be overly discouraged by this result, and will continue to pursue your academic goals in other ways.
I like the “to our great regret, we must inform you of blah blah blah” part. If they genuinely regret it so greatly, why reject me? Oh yeah!, that obviously shallow façade of empty politeness thing. Ok be polite, but don’t be dishonest. I’m happy for whoever got in instead of me. And I’m satisfied because I was accepted to every other program I applied to.
I am much more impressed than disappointed. I want to meet my competition. They must be insanely impressive students studying concurrent masters and doctorate degrees with beyond perfect GPAs and perfect lives attending ridiculously famous educational institutions ever since they were in elementary.
The application does indeed ask for your educational background that far back into your insignificant past. And they want to know exactly what you’ve been doing at every year and moment of your life with no gaps whether you were in school, working or otherwise. It’s a very detailed application that I struggled to perfect regardless of how annoying the process was.
I also requested a letter of Recommendation from the International Student Advisor in the US who agreed to be advisor for the International Club I co-founded at my university there. It was an incredibly impressive letter and I believed it would carry the weight of a knockout punch in getting me accepted, but according to my new favorite letter of rejection, “Admission is offered to those applicants who demonstrate a strong overall academic background and potential as reflected in their past academic records, their study plans, and stated reasons for applying to the program.” The letter of recommendation is not in that list is it?
But I did my bestest. Doing my bestest my whole life just isn’t goodses enoughses. I merely encountered the bad luck of applying to Japanese Language Program the same semester 100 applicants each with multiple doctorates in linguistics and Japanese decided to apply. It happens. I understand. Because they said, my “understanding is greatly appreciated.”
Me: Actually, I don’t understand. I’m still a bit confuzled.
Them: well then I guess we can’t greatly appreciate your understanding yet can we.
Me: yeah I know, bu..bu..but didn’t my academic records impress you at all? I..I..mean, I have nearly perfect grades, and I even spent a whole year studying at the third most prestigious university in China, all that counts for nothing? Really?
Them: yep. ‘fraid so.
Me: and and and what about my study plan? I have meaningful, unique, achievable goals directly related to what I would be studying in the Japanese Language Program. I thought I wrote it well
Them: we’ve seen better composed and more believable writing on Japanese TV.
Me: wow… I’ve never been more insulted in my life.
Them: to be completely honest, it came down to a decision between you and another guy with 3 degrees from Harvard, Yale and some French patisserie academy, he plans to found a pastry empire throughout Japan. Also….He’s a boss on a mothaf****n boat!” …..We like guys on boats.
And so here it is, a slightly edited version of,
A study plan that will NOT get you into the school of your choice:
University’s Japanese Language Program is the first step to my goal of fluency in Japanese necessary not only for communication, but also for pursuit of my career goals in Japan. After completing the JLP course, I intend to eventually pursue a graduate degree in journalism and online media. This educational background would provide me with the knowledge and skills necessary to fulfill my dream of creating and reporting meaningful media for an international or Japanese news agency within Japan.
To pursue a career contributing to intercultural understanding through media in Japan it will be necessary for me to vastly improve my formal and academic Japanese. For the past four years, I have been studying Japanese independently, and occasionally with a teacher. Although I am capable of simple conversation in Japanese, I still make careless mistakes. I hope their JLP will provide my enthusiastic motivation with the direction, focus, and opportunity to refine my currently limited abilities into a fluency I can apply to all aspects of my life in Japan.
If accepted, I would make use of not only the academic resources at the school, but also its social resources in order to incorporate Japanese into my life as much as possible. I would like to join one of the many clubs and I look forward to being involved in student organizations and their Conversation Partner program.
I am also excited by the courses taught in English by the International Center, especially the cross-cultural studies courses such as, ‘Culture, Culture and Adjustment and Identity,’ ‘Discovering Culture through observation,’ and ‘ Culture and the Unconscious,” as well as the ‘Intercultural Communication,’ and ‘Japanese Psychology,’ courses.
Taking such courses would be an ideal step towards an in-depth understanding of interpersonal and intercultural communication in Japan which I consider a valuable asset for my future career goals of combining a thorough understanding of intercultural communication with mass media skills. The undergraduate major I designed for myself at ******** ******* University, Intercultural Mass Communication, also represents that goal. My desire is for these aspirations to be connected to something meaningful in my academic and professional future. Participating in JLP would be that connection for me.
And most of that is true 😉
I do in fact want to pursue a career contributing to intercultural understanding through media production, though not necessarily in Japan. And I have occasionally studied Japanese off and on beginning from 4 years ago, as well as several other languages I am interested in. So I am no japanophile, accuse me of that again I’ll slap you. Hey maybe that’s why I didn’t get in.