Monday, March 28, 2011

We Regret to Inform You

Two of my top students from last year are seniors this year. From September until January, I coached them through the college application process: from prepping for the SAT to essay writing. I wrote a short post about how excited I was to help these students through the process here. I've actually written about one of these students, Kareem, previously as well.

It's the end of March now and their decision letters have started coming in through the mail. Unfortunately, there haven't been any positive ones yet.  Both students started receiving rejection letters a few weeks ago. Kareem texts me every time he hears from a school:
Hey. I didn't get into [college name].
Well that's one great fucking way to wake up on a Saturday morning: good morning Mista, thanks for encouraging me to apply to all these schools that never wanted me anyway. God-fucking-dammit.

When they received their first few letters, I told them to remain positive and upbeat. Don't get discouraged. You wrote great essays and you come from a pretty damn diverse background. Sure, your SAT scores weren't stellar and your cumulative GPAs weren't terrific, but you guys maintained an A average while turning your lives around in a transfer high school. This shows you are recommitted to education and actually appreciate what you have, as opposed to those who suffer from senioritis at this point in time.

Apply to the best of the best. Then apply to the 2nd tier schools. Then apply to the back-ups. You're bound to get in somewhere. Right?

Well, most colleges have rejected them thus far. I don't get it. Their essays were good. Their grades at my school were incredible. Their essays provided the rationale for their prior academic performance. They applied to liberal arts schools and argued how the one thing they've learned from their experiences is that an education is one thing that can't be taken away from them. And now they get the news to go fuck themselves. God dammit, I don't know what to do.

At this point, I suppose I need to grow a pair and have a sit down chat with them over lunch about why life isn't fair. Well, I guess they don't really need me to explain that to them, but they do need me for encouragement.

There's nothing wrong with going to a community college and applying for a transfer. But that just means you need to have a strong fight within you. I'm confident they can do it, but will they choose to? I'm not sure.

Do they think I betrayed them? Do they think I had them apply to shit tons of schools for nothing?

For me, it's a lot easier letting myself down than others. This wasn't supposed to happen.


Anonymous said...

Don't be discouraged. You did the right thing. Let's talk in the morning.

Anonymous said...

Part of being a good educator is also coaching students through let downs and disappointments. They'll thank you for helping them take chances. Maybe not now - but definitely later.

Yo Mista said...

@ Anonymous 1:
Thanks. Look forward to it...

@ Anonymous 2:
Thanks, I hope so.

Miss G said...

the life's not fair lesson suck.

Yo Mista said...


Thanks for the e-mail response.

"It's nice to dream for better, but within the realms of realism."

I have yet to learn this buddy.

Keep on fighting!

Christian B said...

The others are right, there's no point in blaming yourself over something you cannot control mista, but i think as a former student of yours that you do all the right things in helping your students in their time of need and help them move forward with more assurance and positivity in what they hope to do and goals they hope to reach. Keep doing what you have been doing, it's not you who's doing the wrong here.

Yo Mista said...

@ Christian:
Thanks man, I appreciate it. Nice to hear from former students...