I submitted the online application a week ago, but still had to send some forms in by post. If I had been more organized, I could have finished everything while I was still at school and mailed it off so easily, but being a chronic last-minuter, I ended up having to do it while in Chicago, and it turned out to be a multi-day endeavor.
I only had to print out two things: my statement of purpose, and my resume. Trent offered to print them out at his City Year’s office and I gladly accepted. I walked into the computer room and was a little amused: They still have those enormous computers that I hadn’t seen around for the last 3 or 4 years. But they were probably functional, or so I thought. It took literally 20 minutes to start up, another 20 minutes to install Microsoft Word to open my documents. Just then, Trent’s boss walked in to announce that the common printer wasn’t working and that we’d have to send her the documents to print out. Since they were not work-related, we used our better judgment and decided to ask Jordan to print them out at work instead. But that was not the end of it; it took another 20 minutes with a lot of frantic key tapping to shut down the computer.
Jordan did manage to print out my documents for me, except that she had to do it html instead of doc, so all the formats were messed up and I couldn’t use them.
The next day, we went out on a hunt for a public library. We ran into a small one down on the Magnificent Mile (a strip near downtown Chicago with haute couture boutiques). We were told that it would cost 15 cents per print, a little pricey – at Wesleyan, it’s 5 cents for black and white, and 15 cents for color – but acceptable. Trent was going to pay off the fines in his library card so that we could print when I found out that there was no softwares to open my .doc documents. The girl, however, was nice enough to look up the address of the nearest FedEx Kinko for us. We ran up and down, back and forth the Hancock Center and finally located the office – it was pretty well hidden on the basement level – only to be told that they did not offer printing services. But there was another office six blocks away, in the business center of the Marriott Hotel. We rushed to the Marriott Hotel. I felt overwhelmingly triumphant walking into the office, passing by a row of computers and printers. The unfriendly attendant then told me that it would cost 75 cents per page. 75 cents! Plus tax, as I would find out immediately, plus 40 cents per minute to use the computer. It was outrageous, but I was desperate and determined to get this over, so whatever. I have to say, to their credit, they had the best printing paper I’d ever seen. It was pure white, lush to the eyes and smooth to the skin. I hope the admission committee members won’t think that I was being bourgeois.