Finally, an e-mailed letter…

For the first time in a long, long time a letter was attached to an e-mail and sent to one of the kids.  The only other times I recall caving to e-mail “attachments” were when our pair were overseas for their obligatory “semesters abroad.”

The reason for this most recent break in tradition had to do with a legitimate need for speed: Reid got his acceptance letter to The New School in New York yesterday, which is a few scant days after accepted his new job at a big Chicago digital agency.  He has earned his shining day with his persistence and never-say-never enthusiasm.

Now he faces a decision that on one hand must be well thought through yet he can’t dawdle either.  He has to decide – soon.  An advice letter with fatherly thoughts and hearty congratulations sent by snail mail would arrive well after he would have probably made up his mind.   The letter was written perhaps too quickly; Ellen and I talked a couple of times on Wednesday, and I wish now those conversations had been earlier because she brought up multiple good points that went over her old man’s head.

Rest assured, though, I still sent the letter by mail (in part to not break the string) which also included his $25 bonus for guessing my recent medical costs.  Anything to keep the streak alive.


March 16, 2011

Reid: So much for hearing about the New School at the end of the month.  Last time I checked, this is mid-month.  But to their credit they didn’t waste time and accepted you with all speed.  Here’s your $25; you can apply it toward their down payment or a celebratory cold one.  I’d go with the cold one.

This is incredibly good news.  By the time you get this your decision will probably be already made.  Man, these are two incredible positives.

The one thing I’d emphasize is to keep the emotion factor out of this if at all possible.  That is much harder said than done, and coming from me it’s the equivalent of do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do.  Here’s a laundry list of how you might process all the information that’s rushed into your brain:

  • Is your decision to apply to the New School borne of frustration with your situation at your old agency?  If it is, to simply escape your current environment is not the best reason to go to school.
  • If your decision to apply to the New School was borne out of a legitimate interest in furthering yourself in the digital world, then more power to you.
  • What will happen once you graduate?  What degree will you have and what value will it bring to you in the marketplace?  What does the New School tell graduates about job placement or job prospects?  You might talk to Andy and Tim about that since they’ve been down this road.
  • Do you have the pockets to pay the fees and all the costs at the New School and still be able to afford the high life in New York City?  Your mom and I likely won’t be in much position to help you, and I don’t want you to be needlessly in hock for the foreseeable future.

That said, there is a hell of a lot worse things than the honest pursuit of a higher education.  In today’s world an advanced degree is a good thing.  Speaking of that, what degree will you have?  Master’s?  Doctorate?  Other?

But I am very proud of you for seeing this process through all the way to the end.  You will singlehandedly raise the educational profile of the Bradleys far beyond what your grandfather, your uncle, and your BA degree-only father.  A final thought is that I have rued my decision to ditch my Masters in journalism after completing 20+ hours.  Years later that inability to finish it off continues to bother me.  Perhaps this is your best chance to pursue educational, and personal, greatness.  Either way, kid, you will come out smelling like a rose.


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