Posts Tagged ‘Oops!’

I guess I will continue with the letter theme until I run out of letter stories!

Many years ago, when I was in high school, I was recruited to apply to Stanford University. I was a senior ad I had not yet figured out or even thought of where I would go. I figured I would go to the local state university but no one had told me anything about applying. So I hadn’t applied anywhere. Then in December I got the call to the counselor’s office to meet with the recruiter. I have written about it before. I will see if I can find it so I can link you. In any case, I reluctantly went to the meeting. I say reluctantly because I didn’t think I would ever get into a school like Stanford and even if I did, there would be no way for me to go because of the finances. I was guided to ask for waivers for the application deadline and the fee and I received both.

Once I applied, I got on their list and go a lot of mail from them. Most of the mail was from “Uncle Fred” who was actually Fred Hargadon, the Dean of Undergraduate Admissions. He wrote about how decisions would be made and although the traditional date for admission notifications was April 15, that year (1974) he was making a promise. That promise was that we would all be notified by April 1! Yay! For applicants anxiously awaiting admission decisions, the two weeks would make a huge difference.

So I waited. April 1 rolled around and there was no letter! I was sure I had not been accepted and that was why there had been no letter! Then on April 2 there was a “thin envelope” from Uncle Fred with what has since been called “the oops letter.” He explained and apologized. He started the letter with the word “oops” immediately following the salutation. It seemed that they had mailed out all of the decision letters in time for April 1 delivery but the post office had just notified him that the huge bundle had been misplaced and had not gone out. So they frantically scrambled to send them all out again! He promised we would get them within a day or two as they were working day and night to reproduce them. (Remember that this was in the days of typing letters out, not just printing from a computer file! The letters had to be re-typed and signed personally by Fred Hargadon. I think that year there were about fifteen thousand applicants that had to be notified! They were working round the clock!)

Sure enough, by April 5, I got my “big, thick envelope” with acceptance notification and financial aid grants info and room mates selection information and all those other papers they sent!

That snafu kind of haunted Fred Hargadon and he when it was spoken of, it was always referred to as “the oops letter.” I kept my copy of the oops letter for many years but I think now it has been lost due to too many moves! But I remember it well and it always brings a smile to my face!

Have you a letter you remember from your past? Tell us about it!


And a peek at the exterior of Memorial Church.

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As some of you know, I recently moved from California to Oregon. During the recent political campaigning, I had a lot to catch up on to be able to make informed choices when it came to filling out my ballot. I did what I could on the state measures and local issues. There were a lot of them and it was difficult to know ahead of time which ones I would actually be voting on. One office on the ballot was for U.S. Senator. I didn’t know much about the candidates. By the time I came to Oregon, it was difficult to sort out what was political rhetoric and what was real when it came to picking my candidate. I didn’t like either candidate, however one came off as being smooth and polished while the other came off as being anything but polished. I will have to admit that something struck me as familiar about him. His face looked vaguely familiar. But he actually came off as a bit of a, well I won’t go into that but suffice to say that he did not look like anyone I would want representing me. So I didn’t vote for him. I didn’t vote for the other candidate either, you know the smooth, polished one. I didn’t like the nasty ads and the dirty campaign. I didn’t want either of them to be elected so I voted for a third party candidate.

After a very long post election period in which it took several days to declare a winner because the vote was so close, Mr. Unpolished won the election. That’s all fine and dandy. He’s a Democrat and so am I. So fine. Fast forward to Friday night…I got an email from a college classmate. It was a group email to everyone in our freshman dormitory, congratulating Mr. Unpolished who was a fellow classmate and member of our freshman dorm! That’s why there was something familiar about him. The face. He has certainly aged in the past 34 years, as have I, but the face is very familiar. I could just slap myself for not recognizing him. He not only lived in my dorm but if memory serves, he lived a couple of doors from me.

I don’t know if I would have voted for him if I had known who he was before the election. I like to think I would have at least learned more about him and then made a more informed decision without letting anything else sway my mind.

It’s a small world afterall!

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