Writing and speaking

I wish ideas for every letter flowed so easily, took as little time to write, as the one below. I didn't expect it to be such a time consuming task. It took me at least a full day of concentration, to write each letter. Full days of concentration are hard to come by, so that really means many days. Fortunately, I had less than a handful to write. I shouldn't be complaining. I chose to play this game. Also, I feel deeply for those international classmates students who are applying to >10 hospitals in this state, and more elsewhere.

Having a previous year applicant's letters in front me, I felt I couldn't send in a piece of writing (even if you substitute it with the relevant career aspirations, achievements etc) that wasn't "me". Is that arrogant? The letters were well constructed, they just weren't an accurate representation of the way I express myself. Then, although I complained about every hospital being similar in values education and support, I felt too dishonest to give the same generic praises in each letter. So that stopped me from copying and pasting paragraphs of text. When looking for something specific to say about the hospital, I found it hard to write down that I was interested in a education program, or specific specialty rotation, that I was actually not very interested in it. No wonder it took so long.

Same sentiments as the fake letter, but the product was very different. But even if I sound interested on paper I wonder if I can muster up any real interest in face to face conversation. I'd happily talk animatedly about B, but that's all. Monotonous, you need to be more interested, you mumble. What unfortunate but probably not untrue phrases people use. Pah, this discussion has taken us to dark and distateful territories. I don't feel like writing anymore.


Ziph said...

I agree letters take way too long, but on the flip side it does force you to make the effort to find out what's so appealing about certain hopsitals. For some, I already had reasons for wanting to go there so it was semi-enjoyable finding out what else was so good about them. For others, I learnt things I didn't know and now wouldn't mind going there. But a few, I struggled to find ways to flatter them and they're not as great as I thought they were.

I felt too dishonest to give the same generic praises in each letter

I felt the same way but I wonder if I was actually worried about being dishonest.

It was more a case of, me feeling if I have the same praise or phrase for two hospitals I was not showing that I know what's so special about the hospital.

But I think, when you short-list a few hospitals obviously the ones you most want to go to will have things in common. So its to be expected that your letters start becoming generic.

I guess, if the hospital reads it and thinks "hey, we're not like that. That applicant's an idiot!" and then dumps you application in the unsuccesful pile, which is then take to a confidential bin, which is then shredded and then burnt- it's a good thing because you probably don't want to go there because they should be recycling paper.

Winnie said...

Thanks ziph, some good points. I agree there was things I found out, or maybe even managed to convince myself of. But even when I find something I like, I wonder how good the correlation is between what sounds great in a hospital'S values / teaching / support program to how they play out in real life. So in practice I'm not sure they are that different. Oh well that's okay, I don't mind tricking myself into thinking otherwise, temporarily, for fun.

Haha what's the point of going electronic then. Except B, good old snail mail. You reckon they still print them out? We need to start advocating for sustainability, dare you to bring it up when they ask "do you have any questions?" :P


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