Tennis Shoes, Surfboards, and Bottle Rockets

In my office sits a pair of Chuck Taylors, the head from a lacrosse stick, a life size replica of a young woman made out of paper, and a pair of really old ballet slippers. I have never owned any of these pieces. In fact, I really would not play lacrosse or twirl across a stage if you paid me.

Down the hall, another Dean has a self-portrait painted with great detail and thought. Across the hall, another office is now home to a single roller skate. Another office feels a bit homier with a knitted green and gold blanket.  Each office is a sanctuary for random, gently used, and what would appear to be completely misplaced items.

As random as they might appear, these objects are not misplaced at all. They are items students have sent with their applications to the College. They take the place of a 500 word essay designed to give us a picture who you might become. They are representations of the applicants as individuals. True, I might not be able to tell exactly how adventurous or passionate you are about English from a pair of tennis shoes, but I do know that you have a bit of flair if you can sport bright red high-top shoes in public. I might not know every detail of an applicant’s life, but her worn ballet slippers tell me she is dedicated to and truly passionate about an art form. No matter how random, small, big, bizarre, or beautiful, the items give us a glimpse into your personality that your application might not reveal.

These items are not only informative, but make our jobs as readers more interesting. I love knowing a student enjoys horseback riding from a decorated tack box, or that a young man is a free spirit who doesn’t give up from his broken surf board decorating my neighbor Dean’s office. They help us decorate our home away from home and paint a picture of a captivating young person.  Some what like killing two birds with one stone. In fact, I bet those Chuck Taylor’s are just my size…

– Amanda Norris

Categories: Admission, Faculty & Staff Blogs

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