I couldn't do any work last Friday. I sat in school, my mind a stone wall to any information coming my way. I thought about why I might get in, or might not get in 1000 times. I listed all the pros--I work at a nice restaurant, I get good grades, I'm really into business--and cons--I'm not that strong in math, I don't have many school-related extra-curriculars--then back to pros and back to cons again. I thought about getting in and what I would do. Jump up and down? Run around the block? Or would acceptance not elicit that much emotion. I couldn't tell. Then I thought about getting rejected. Would I cry? Would I lock myself in my room for the week? Would I hit the cheesecake? Or would I brush it off? I had no idea.
The day dragged by thusly, me envisioning both circumstances, accepted or rejected, embraced or eschewed. I knew that I would be able to check exactly at 3 pm--that's what the website said--and so I rushed home after school. I got there at 2:58 and stayed in my car. A slow, sad song came on the radio. Was it an omen? 2:59. I was going to stay in here and check. I didn't wanna look in front of my mom and grandparents. My heart starts beating out of control. I begin to type in my user name and password. My hands are shaking. It's difficult. 3:00. I log in. Congratulations! You have been accepted to the class of 2015.
I ran out. I screamed. The neighborhood knows I'm into college because of that scream. I started running. I told my mom. Then I ran back outside, unaware of the freezing cold. I was yelling again now. A lady walking her dog was staring at me. "I just got into college, sorry."
And so two days later I went into Lacroix working front of the house. I went behind the host stand and took a look at the reservations. Miller, Condron, Gutman, pause. The first name was Amy, party of two. Amy Gutman.
"Is that Amy Gutman, as in the president of UPenn?" I asked the manager. "Yes I just made the reservation a minute ago." I couldn't believe it. What a coincidence. The day dragged on, like the day at school before I discovered my acceptance. And then at one o clock, she came in. I sat her at table 9 in the back by the window, and following right behind me was the manager. I gave her her menu, but before I could say another word the manager was at the table.
"Good afternoon Ms. Gutman this is Nicholas, he just got into UPenn two days ago. He's been with us for four years. He's a hard worker and we're very proud of him."
Wow. Haha. That was more than I could've asked for. I work with good people.
"Nice to meet you, you must be very special, we had more early decision applicants than ever before. Where do you live?"
"Great. I'll see you around campus."
What a treat. Really. That was great. Later I was making coffee, and she called to me.
"Nick (yes she remembered my name) I have someone I'd like you to meet"
And she introduced me to Eduardo Glant the dean of engineering. I told him that I was actually admitted to Wharton but that I knew some people admitted to the engineering school.
"Well we like you anyway" he said jokingly.
Gutman was so pleasant. She wasn't the least bit condescending. She acted like just an average human being. She didn't need to display her power.
I went home amazed at the fortuitous meeting. It was a very special weekend.