The reading time of year

By Tom

Well, my posts have not been as frequent recently. And that’s because we’re in the thick of reading season here. My colleagues and I are sequestered away in our offices, busily and thoroughly making our way through the 2009 applicant pool, reading and second-reading every application we’ve received, and preparing for the admission committee. We pride ourselves on the holistic and personal nature of our review process, but to accomplish this requires a great deal of time, effort, and focus on our part.

If you call our office these days, don’t necessarily expect to speak with your regional officer right away, as you may have at another point during the year. Our main job right now is reading applications. In order to do so as throughly as possible, we all have dedicated reading days – days when we don’t answer the phone or even check our e-mail, so we can focus exclusively on the task at hand without interruption. Each day there is one officer – we call this person the “Dean of the Day” – who is assigned to handle all phone calls. (When you’re Dean of the Day, you can pretty much count on being on the phone all day long.) This gives the rest of us the freedom to buckle down and immerse ourselves in applications.

So, basically, we would ask for your patience and understanding as you contact us at this time of year. I trust every one of my colleagues to work with you as closely and helpfully as I would – we truly do work as a team – so please feel comfortable working with any one of us, whether or not we are your designated regional officer. It may take a few days longer than usual for us to get back to you via e-mail; we’re not necessarily checking it every day.

In many ways I miss working with people more – after all, that’s really the highlight of this profession. But at this time of year, the reading time of year, we have a job to get done and to get done well. We’re building a class, and we’re on a mission!

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