Tuesday, April 27, 2010

And it came to pass that I did receive an email

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dear Britny:

The decision regarding your application to Music MM is now available.

Please log in to the online application system ... blah blah blah ... Once you have logged in, you will see a link to view the decision. If you have been admitted, you will have instructions to indicate your intent to enroll.

Graduate Studies

And so I logged in.

And I saw this:

Decision Status: Available beginning 4/27/2010

  • Your application decision is now available online

  • Ah, the suspense.

    I clicked.

    And this is what I saw:


    Dear Britny,

    I am pleased to inform you that you have been admitted to Brigham Young University as a graduate student. We look forward to having you join us for your graduate studies and trust that your graduate experience will be both challenging and rewarding.

    Other stuff.

    Wynn Stirling, Ph.D.
    Dean, Graduate Studies


    Hooray!!!!!!!!!! Much relief and happiness.

    But have no fear, inhabitants of the mitten state: I will be back.

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    An update on life

    My Europe-o-meter just crashed again. I literally didn't know Europesickness (as opposed to homesickness) could be so concentrated and extreme. To make my plight worse, three BYU students are going to Czech Republic this July to study at the Plzen Conservatory, and I am not one of them.

    Thou shalt not covet. Thou shalt not covet. Thou shalt not covet.

    My dear mother has reminded me that I have already had the privilege of spending two most excellent summers there, a valid and truthful claim. But... Now that I have to wait another year to see the inhabitants of the mitten state again, Europe and a steady dose of nothing but piano piano piano (with a dash of occasional road trips to Switzerland), not to mention an escape from all the past month's drama, seems to be all the more inviting...

    And speaking of the past month's drama.

    As I have not died, I have indeed been seriously contemplating the direction my life should take at this point on the map.

    Enter yet another miraculously unfolding story in the life of Britny Clark.

    Friday night after my senior recital: My teacher asks me if I'd like him to push for me to be in the master's program at BYU. I say yes. [Getting into the master's program at BYU--for which I was a tad too oversighted and, um, cough, high-minded (from which I have been repenting), to apply a few months ago, at the proper deadline--means: 1) I get to keep my fantastically flexible, by now decent-paying on-campus job; 2) I can continue to perform, take classes, "learn and grow" so to speak; 3) I can teach a class for BYU--very ideal when planning to audition for a pedagogy program; 4) and if for some awful reason I were to be rejected once again next year, I would have only a year left at BYU, and then at least have a master's degree to show for my efforts.]

    Monday afternoon: Yes, I am practicing. New repertoire. Enter Dr. Holden. Shuts the door, sits down. Tells me he has been busy all morning talking with the piano faculty who are all for me being in the program. (*warm fuzzy feeling*) There remains one obstacle. Well, technically two. 1) I have not applied to the program. 2) The director of graduate studies in the School of Music is one of those letter-of-the-law kind of people, and the graduate piano program is already full over capacity. Dr. Holden tells me to email Dr. Peery-Fox (who is head of the graduates in the piano department) to see what I can do about taking care of problem number one. I do so that evening.

    Tuesday morning, 6:30am: I awaken. Go downstairs and check my email. A message from Dr. Peery-Fox instructs me to fill out the online application. I log on to BYU's graduate studies website and begin the long and arduous process of graduate application submission. But, aha! Those thousands of dollars weren't spent applying to four other schools for nothing! I finish my entire application (including resume, complete repertoire list, statement of intent, etc.) in record time, and submit it all at 8:15am.

    Next hurdle: ecclesiastical endorsement. Lucky for me, today is Tuesday, which happens to be the day the Bishop has appointments. I call and somehow manage to nab the very last one available.

    Next hurdle: application fee. Slightly less hefty than the other schools, thankfully. But still not pleasant. Only payable online with credit card, which I do not own. (Yeah, I know it's high time I get one.) Call Dad. Dad answers. Phone drops call. Repeat 5 (five, yes five) times. Finally works. Dad is awesome.

    Next hurdle: three recommendation letters. I pick three professors. I corner the first one after class (okay, that sounds somewhat hostile...I actually found him in his office, with the door wide open). He gives me his condolences (about not being accepted to the other schools) and then totally makes my day (WARNING: major bragging moment straight ahead) by telling me that my senior recital was one of the top two or three he has ever attended. Within the next hour, I talk to my other two choices of professors who also both agree to write letters for me.

    6:00pm: I check my application status online. All three letters have already been submitted. (!!!!!!!!)

    8:20pm: I go to my appointment and have my ecclesiastical endorsement signed.

    Wednesday morning, 8:15am, a mere 24 hours after beginning this whole process: my application is officially complete as I figure out what in the world the FPH is (the building where Graduate Studies is located--'Former President's House'--the BYU operator whom I called for help thought I was a sadly-mistaken freshman, trying to convince me that I really wanted the SFH, which is to say 'Smith Field House') and drop off my signed endorsement. I am officially now the record-holder for the fastest-ever completed graduate application to the School of Music.

    Thursday: my file is circulated for signatures. 4:20pm, I talk to Dr. Holden. He says my chances are looking up--60/40. There is even scholarship money set aside, waiting for me. Now I just have to be admitted by Mr. Head of Graduate Studies.

    And now: I pray.

    And wonder if a certain person likes cookies...

    Friday, April 2, 2010

    When life gives you strawberries and whipped cream...

    ...for five years in a row, I suppose the lemons eventually have to come.

    Yes, this is a metaphor.

    And yes, this metaphor is in specific reference to a certain university in Ann Arbor, Michigan.


    Sonya Schumann is her name. The person who bested me and accepted the one shining, glorious spot that was available this year. (Very appropriate name for a musician, I do have to say.)

    So, what comes next? I am not a person who believes in fate. I am a person who believes in hard work. Hard work. Hard work. Courage. Determination. However, I also know that our lives are directed by a hand greater than our own.

    And so.

    I'll eat these lemons. Because even lemons are good for the health.