March 11, Wednesday

I still haven’t bought my tickets yet.

I started going to some classes at the University of Utah Institute of Religion last month.  It’s a nice place.  I just finished reading a short book about Muhammed that was cited in one of my world religions classes.

On Monday I got an e-mail regarding Idaho admissions, saying that a "decision has been reached", and yesterday, one for Provo.  I checked my status on the application website on Monday but couldn’t find anything.  I did notice that my bishop’s form had been received… and dated March 2, a day after the deadline rather than the month earlier that I’d intended.  Well, that’s the lot I settled for, and I’m trying not to feel bad about it.  I don’t dare check the status again yet… but I’d better soon so I can go ahead and apply to the U of U, my 3rd choice.
I guess the U won’t be so bad.
Oh well…
I’ll edit the results in here.
[Edit (3/12 10:07 PM):
So it is… that God…
…Smiles upon even the lowliest of his children.
A day of penance, and I visited the application site.  I caught the note today that materials must be "postmarked" by the deadline, not received.
My Idaho application is still "on hold", as I remember that it was when I checked it on Monday.
The Provo one…"admitted".
10 Mar 2009

Steven Tanner Foster
My Address

Salt Lake City UT 84124

Dear Steve:

The Admissions Committee is delighted to inform you that you have been admitted to Brigham Young University to begin Fall 2009. Through your preparation and personal achievements you have distinguished yourself from a very strong group of applicants. We believe you will make a positive contribution to the BYU community. It is a great pleasure to welcome you to our campus to pursue your educational goals.

Please click on the links below to find answers to frequently asked questions ranging from scholarships to housing. Please review the information carefully.

We look forward to having you on campus. We encourage you to maintain the standards outlined in the University Honor Code. Congratulations on your accomplishments!

Warmest regards,

R. Kirk Strong
Director of Admission Services

…So be it.
Forgive me, dear Idaho, and the BYU-I girl I surely would have met there; I bless you to find better.  Prosper in my absence, U of U, whom I’ve finally come to appreciate.  And Provo… you did well to reject me the first time, that I could come to you with the maturity of years.
[Edit 2 (3/12 10:29 PM):
Other than the GPA factor that I have already presented here, I can think of three [eh, five] other possible contributions to this decision:
 -the comment attached to my file emphasizing my recent academic improvement that was promised by the BYU counselor I met with two months ago;
 -any favourable words my bishop or stake president may have chosen to add;
 [-consideration of my successful visiting studies at BYU last summer;
 -a possible decrease in enrollment due to financial instability;]
 -and my updated application essays, as suggested by that same counselor.
I will insert them here.  I had hoped that my second essay hadn’t seemed critical, as I was unwilling to submit it again.
Part 7: Student Essay & Other Information
Please respond to the topics listed below.

1. What sets you apart from other applicants, based on unique educational or life experiences, personal or family circumstances, obstacles overcome and/or achievements? (200 words or less)

My education is unique in its duration: I’ve spent 3 full-time and 5 part-time semesters (and one summer term of each) earning an associate’s degree at LDSBC, generating roughly 50% more income for the school than the average student with only a negligible increase in marginal expenses. My life is unique in its location: I’ve spent two summers studying language (not for credit) and touring in East Asia, with a third coming this or next year, and these travels have made it far easier for me to view "strangers and foreigners" as my "fellowcitizens". I can’t predict exactly what, but I intend that my future work will have something to do with international involvement. My family is unique in its size: I was born with 21 blood-related aunts and uncles and now have over 100 first cousins; I think I know most of them. My obstacles and achievements have had more of an emotional aspect and I’m unable to say how unique they are. They may be unique in their intensity: I’ve survived at least two very saddening break-ups to finally regain some sense of direction, self-worth, and personal ambition, which I now hope to further at BYU.
2. Describe why you want to attend an institution within the LDS Church Educational System and what value you will add to that institution. (200 words or less)
Previously I wanted to go to BYU because of the spiritual environment — in other words, I couldn’t bear the alternative of learning about the universe at the hands of infidels who comprehended only the tiniest parts of it, or of being drowned out by the boisterousness and bawdiness of my so-called peers.
Having seen some secular instruction and having watched several LDSBC cohorts come and go, I’ve been sobered by the following facts: (1) CES faculty are admirable but imperfect; (2) unchurched instructors can be charitable, skilled, and worthy of study; (3) lower-tuition CES students can be as noisy, self-absorbed, vacuous, and underdisciplined as they can possibly get away with being; and (4) students yet ignorant of God can be exemplary in their conduct.
Obviously, BYU is still institutionally supportive of faith, but my reasons have changed: BYU is a top language school with a diverse international student body, and is affordable, beautiful, and familiar.
There are surely many better students than me, but if I added any value to BYU, it would be the value of a wider perspective, independent thought, and a commitment to unpopular truth, even here. Above all, though, I would be another degree-earner.
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2 Responses to March 11, Wednesday

  1. fanny says:

    cheer up….아자아자 하이팅~~~O(∩_∩)O

  2. Steve says:

    Very kind of you. 🙂

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