my governor fails to appreciate me

I’m pissed and upset.
I took the ACT today. Spent four hours on the blooming thing. Woke up at 7:00, got to school at 8:00, finished at 11:50. Come home, I’ve got a letter. Oh, boy! It’s from the Governor’s Scholars Program. I’ve been waiting months for this thing. I may have been
selected to attend the camp for 5 weeks this summer. Great things may have been planned for me.
I’m all excited. Yay, yay! It’s finally here!
Yes, it is a rather thin envelope. But that probably means the bigger packet is still on it’s way.
I run to Mother, carrying the letter. Let’s open it together!

Well, shit. I knew my talents and great intellect were vastly under-appreciated by the world, but don’t this take all. Let’s see, I spent three weeks slaving over the essay. Three frigging weeks! I researched the thing! I obsessed! And this is how I am repaid. I made in the top 1% in the nation on my PSAT. And this is what I get. Well, sure, my ACT score did leave a bit to be desired,
being just a 24 and all, but I took that test in the 7th grade! I hadn’t even had Algebra yet. Surely that makes up for something.

What really makes me mad is the letter itself. More space is taken up by the letterhead than by the letter. A third of the page is taken up by the letterhead. Also, the letter is dated April 9th. The letter is postmarked April 5th. Today is April 6th. Something is wrong here. They didn’t lick the envelope. They taped the thing shut. Lazy! I will forgive the not personally signing it. A lady’s hands do get tired, after all, but didn’t even bother to use a stamp. I put stamp collecting down as a hobby. They don’t care.

This is one of many reasons why I am not going to a Kentucky university.

My day sucks. But it can always get better! (Put on a happy smile, Stacy! Go outside, pet your puppy! Oh, yeah. Cycilia hiding because the boys are shooting pellet guns at each other. Never mind.)


Don’t feel bad. When I graduated from high school, the representative from my county sent me a letter. Congratulating me on graduating from our rival high school.:wally

That sucks. You spent all that time on the essay and they can’t spend four seconds to lick/moisten with a sponge the envelope? Jerks.

Anyway–Did you get to be a national merit scholar with that PSAT score? That would totally rock! Of course, if you merely got to be a commended student, prepare for another month of pissed-offed-ness. It goes from NMS = big, fat full-ride scholarship, to CS = nice piece of paper. :stuck_out_tongue: UNcool.

Ah, the National Merit Scholarship. When I was 14, I took the PSAT and got a perfect score on the math section and within one wrong answer of another on the verbal. In due course, a kudo-riffic letter appeared, announcing that I “was a semi-finalist for the National Merit Scholarship” worth a minimum of “$10,000.” Big excitement all around, appearance in the local yokel press, etc.

Two weeks later, another, not so nice letter from the NMS people. “It has come to our attention that you have taken the SAT exam in previous years” (I’m paraphrasing a bit here). True, I had taken it as part of the Johns Hopkins CTY program. “As a result, you will not be considered for the NMS. We apologize for the previous letter.” Goodbye, $10,000, and, as an indirect consequence, goodbye private university I was thinking of going to.

Another voice chiming in to say National Merit is a sack of crap. Years ago I scored highly on the PSAT, was the only kid in my high school to make Finalist status, but then found out I’d only receive scholarship money if one of my parents worked for one of a long list of employers. Nope, neither did, so nothing for me but a crappy certificate saying “Finalist.”

I’ll know next September if I “qualify for program recognition” in the NMSC.

It’s not so much that I didn’t get in, it’s that they had me sign a form saying that, if accepted, I would go to the program and my senior year of high school. This meant that I could not apply to other summer programs honestly. If accepted to both programs, I would feel very guilty turning down the second.

I’m going to be very charitable and assume that the reason it took them so long to reply was that I was in the last batch to be winnowed out.
Now I’m off to apply to Worcestor Polytechnic Institute’s summer program. Their deadline hasn’t passed.


What’s your composite score? I take it that you’re from Kentucky, I’d figure the cutoff for NMSC is around 210. I’m from CT so it was 220, luckily I got 227.

  1. Math is my problem subject. Where do you find out what the cutoff score is?

You don’t find out at any website, you just guess on past performance. Generally the cutoffs range from 210-220, depending on how good of a state you’re in. I think you’ve got a good shot. Good luck!

210 - 220 as cutoff scores? Did they renormalize the PSAT at the same time they renormed the SAT?

Anyway, good luck but don’t sweat it so much if you miss out on teh merit scholoarship. Lots of good schools offer scholarships for merit to anyone who is a NMS finalist. Just remember that financial aid folks will never tell you about every scholarshiop you might qualify for–you have to do some legwork and prompting on your own. Financial aid workers are very good at finding just enough money to get your bill paid–then they stop. If you want more, it’s personal initiative time.

I was an R.A. at the Centre campus of GSP in 1996. (I was also a scholar there in 1993.)

I never got along very well with the other staffers, mostly because unlike them, I actually liked the kids. I was the only one who spent any time at all with the guys on my floor, while everyone else got them tucked in and then slipped out to drink in our staff apartment.

By the end, the head RAs started to realize that I had markedly fewer disciplinary problems on my floor than anyone else did. They asked if I did anything different, and I told them that I usually saw such things coming and headed them off. These are bright, ambitious kids, and they are their own worst critics–if you just let them know what they’re doing wrong, and that you’re paying attention, they’ll shape up.

In my “exit interview”, the head RAs told me that they had been wrong about me at first, when they had labeled me a troublemaker, and they encouraged me “in the strongest possible language” to return the next summer. I planned to do so.

In the meantime, the program got a new dean. After submitting all my paperwork to return the next summer, I got a call from him in February telling me that I would not be hired back after all. The reason he gave was that they wanted people from a more diverse background of colleges, and they had too many people from UK. I later found out that this was utter bushwa, since not only had some of the previous UK people quit, they hired new ones.

In a later discussion with a GSP teacher who was also rather unceremoniously let go, I learned the real reasons. I was part of a hand-picked group of employees chosen by the previous dean, because he liked people who would run things their own way. The new dean wanted to avoid any trouble whatsoever, and instead preferred people who would shut up and do as they were told. My success made no difference; my early reputation as a “troublemaker” put me in the “no” pile. It was far too late when I found this out to apply to work at any other programs, so I spent the summer working at Cracker Barrel.

I wouldn’t trade either of my summers there for anything, but what you describe doesn’t surprise me in the least, and appears to be the direction they’re heading in. They shouldn’t be keeping you on the line until April. If I were you, I’d write a letter in reply and tell them so.

Dr. J

Also, to chime on on the National Merit Finalist thing…it may not be worth much elsewhere, but National Merit Finalists get a great deal at UK. I can’t remember the exact details, but it was dangerously close to a full ride.

I know you said you’d be going to an out-of-state university, but don’t write off UK. I’d recommend it to anyone, and with our new president making changes that actually benefit students, it will only get better in the next few years. YMMV, of course.

Dr. J

At least you had the option to apply. ::grumbles about Tennessee sending its governor’s school program to the budget chopping block:: Me? Bitter? Never. Just kicking myself for choosing not to apply last year.

And standardized tests suck. I took my ACT Saturday as well. I hate getting up at ungodly hours of the morning, especially if I’m getting up for something ever-so-thrilling as a test. And yet I pay for this “privilege”. I’m just going to be a bum and live under a bridge when I grow up. The bridge won’t care what my SAT scores were.

jessica, grumbling still

I wouldn’t get your hopes up for the National Merit scholarship if you are middle class. When I took the PSATs, I scored quite well and got to Finalist status, but was told that I would not be considered for a scholarship as they are partially need-based (parents’ income).

The National Merit Scholarship is a load of hooey. I’ve ranted on this before. They just want to make money, and they will do whatever it takes to ensure that they pay out as little of it as they can.

Actually, UK is still on my list. Somewhere… my list is very long and contains most schools which have sent me information. Except University of Louisville. Mom just doesn’t like them, for some reason, and there are enough schools out there that I don’t have to go to one Mom doesn’t like.