Ask, and then answer, an important question you would have liked us to ask.
“Relate a clever anecdote from your life in which you make veiled references to your academic abilities, talents, and personality in the fashion of a college admissions essay. Be neat.”Last summer, I was accepted to attend Brown University for a four-week creative writing program. However, there were a few more bureaucratic hoops I had to jump through before I could get on a plane to Providence. For starters, I needed to provide evidence of immunization.I went straight to the source on this one: my parents. “Mom, have I been immunized?””Yes.””May I have the records to this? Preferably notarized. And mailed to this address by four p.m. today. Oh, and here’s 37 cents. Thanks in advance.”Unfortunately, my mother had no such records. But perhaps my doctor did.So, I called up the only clinic in the Sunbelt covered by my HMO and asked for my records. They informed me that only a doctor could access my records, because they apparently require Level 50 Pentagon clearance.Unluckily for me, my HMO doesn’t cover medical expenses incurred as a result of “injury” or “disease.” Furthermore, the operations that they do cover (currently limited to animalist rituals and blood donation) requires co-payments most third party campaigns couldn’t afford. However, these records were vital, so I asked my parents for money, and drove down to the clinic.After a brief wait during which I read an outdated “Newsweek” highly critical of the McKinley administration, I met with Dr. Franklin, whose first words were “You’ve lost weight.”I realized then that in my fervor to obtain the records, I had overlooked the fact that my doctor had the silly notion that I was anorexic. Whoops. And I thought it was a bit suspicious that they weighed me before going in.So, we got into an argument. She pounced on me for being “anorexic,” and I sort of sat there and acquiesced. Then she wrote down on a little pad “Anorexia Nervosa” very patronizingly and slid it over. Again, acquiescence.Fortunately, the mood changed, and we got into a discussion about literature. (The flow was: anorexia –> repression –> social norms –> iconoclasm –> 20th century authors) Apparently, she personally knew Kurt Vonnegut many years back, which I thought was pretty interesting, since I loved Cat’s Cradle.In the end, she suggested I read Siddhartha (which I would find interesting, but not astounding) and said the Brown trip would be “therapeutic” for me. And she didn’t have the immunization records.That left me out a $20,000 co-payment and several hours of my time, all for a sticky note. In a final show of defiance, I placed the anorexia note on my breast and drove to my school, which would certainly have those useless records.The dramatic irony of this final scene exists in that I did not know I was still wearing the note. But it all worked out, as I would go on to successfully attend Brown without spreading my horrible infections to very many people.