The college results are all in - but we're not yet done with all uncertainties. T was accepted by 6 good schools, waitlisted at three. She'll need to visit a few that she has not yet seen. Of the four rejections she made an interesting observation. There is a broad variation in communication style, and she wonders how a fine institution could fail to make the effort to turn a hurtful rejection into a gentle one. It is an easy job to turn a letter from slap in the face to congenial diplomacy.
Some say "your application for admission was denied." Others say, "We are unable to offer you admission at this time." One even wrote, "We are truly sorry that we are not able to offer you admission..." So simple, and such a difference in reception.
Words matter. It is one of the primary things that I hope my four children will learn (have learned!) through their college education process. There are many ways to say a thing -- some sting, some are kind, some elevate, some crush. Whether you are writing a speech to deliver to thousands or tapping away at a tiny keypad, you should always keep this in mind.
Photo essay today--foggy dawn: