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Decisions, decisions

Stanford University, in their best and most critically honest judgment, decided that I do not make a suitable a candidate for their online writing certificate.

For the record, there are three types of emails sent out to potential candidates.

The first is “congratulations, you’re in!”.

The second is “congratulations, you’re on the waiting list!”.

Then there’s the email I received, which I will paraphrase for you now: “don’t even think of parking here, and your writing sucks…”

As you probably know and are fatigued of hearing, this writing gene was awakened within me because of my wife’s battle with cancer. Over time, it has become an integral part of my new self-identity, and that’s why Stanford’s decision hurts a little.

Music doesn’t get even a small percentage of the energy it used to; I can see my camera collecting dust on the shelf from where I sit. I enjoy writing, and I like being thought of as a writer who writes in an honest and sometimes painfully moving way.

I want to get much better at this before I shuffle off this mortal coil, and I feel as if I am running out of time.

Stanford disagreed.

I respect Stanford.


Cancer has wrought changes to our lives that we could never have imagined in a thousand lifetimes. Stanford’s decision feels for me like a rejection of our survival, which of course; it is not, but it does feel like we deserve some kind of recognition for what we have done. Veterans of the military get preference when applying for certain jobs; people who come out of the closet have parades. I’m just a little bitter that we have lost so much and been forced to redefine ourselves continually without respect from the outside world.

The decision at this point is brutally easy.

We will do what we do everyday, which is to persist, heal, and survive, and I will continue to write about the struggles and the successes.

That’s MY decision.

3 Responses to “Decisions, decisions”

  1. Rick says:

    As this post shows, you can write. And the best way to improve your writing is, unsurprisingly, “practice, practice, practice.”

    You know all kinds of things go into a school’s decision.

    And — ask any real professional writer — the road to success is paved with rejection.

    Congratulations: you’ve one more cool paver toward your destination.

  2. Paul Fountaine says:

    Bob – I read maybe 40-50 books a year. I read probably 50-60 articles a day. Not only are you an excellent writer in my opinion, you are a very good writer. When I read your posts, I typically do so when it is quiet in the house. This gives me time to consider and think.

    Last night I was reading I Corinthians Chapter 1, where it talks about the foolishness of man and the wisdom of God. I would encourage you to view the Stanford response in this light. vs 20 says (in New King James version) Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made the foolish the wisdom of this world? and on to vs. 25, Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

    I appreciate and respect your writing, your work, as it is far above the world’s standards.

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