I de-constructed the transcript. I read, evaluated and summarized the recommendations. I read through the interview evaluation. I summarized the extra-curricular activities.
And then I got to the essay.
It was at that point that I turned the calculator off; I pushed my laptop to the side. I minimized the spreadsheet and put my pencil down.
I sat back in my chair and I read.
Up until that point, I’d been evaluating data and building a composite of who this student is, using a collection of sources, mainly other people’s voices. The essay was my first chance to hear the student’s voice. I was making a painting of the student and all of a sudden, the paintbrush was in the student’s hand.
Suddenly, the rest of the file made sense. Suddenly, I had a sense of who this student is. Suddenly, it was time to pick up the pencil, turn on the calculator and move on to the next application.
Andrew N. Carter
Associate Director of Admissions