Peabody is the building, Jack is the dog, and I'm Dean J (she/her, btw).

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Frequent, repetitive questions

An anonymous reader asked a question today that I think I'll turn into a full post. The question:

Dean J -- Do you ever get frustrated with the constant, and I'm sure, repetitive questions? I imagine you get all sorts of e-mails and blog posts of students freaking out about this time of year.


In a nutshell, the answer is no.

Application review season is definitely stressful, but I come to the blog to take a break from that. I get email updates when any of you comment and there are times when I'm tempted to take a break sooner than I should to come see what you all are talking about. I enjoy this! If I'm frustrated about something, I usually won't post at all. There are times when I think that I should be using smiley faces and "LOL" to show you all that I'm not annoyed.

The repetitive questions don't bother me all that much, but they sometimes make me wonder if some of our applicants are ready to move on to college, where deadlines aren't as soft as in admission and professors might not be so amused by having to repeat themselves (how many times have I written the words "you will not be penalized" in the past month?).

I really enjoy the comments posted by readers who use a consistent alias (hit the "Name/URL" button when you post a comment and you can pick a name). In past years, I've had a few students come up to me at Days on The Lawn and introduce themselves by their nickname. It's always great to put a face with those names.

I should add that I used to add nice language to "frame" my answers when I emailed or chatted with students online, but feared that my answers got lost. That's why my responses to questions are in the format they are: reader's name in bold, short answer to question. I want you all to be able to zero in on the question right away, without a lot of extra fluff.