Letter of Rejection

Flash back to senior year of high school…

This was a time of best buds, of easy classes, of picking on stupid freshman, and most importantly, of applying for college. Throughout high school I prided myself on my ability to scrape by doing slightly less than the bare minimum. I would do my homework about one minute before it was due, I would take as many study halls as I could, and I would take any presentations as opportunities to ridicule my friends in a public forum. High school was an awesome time for me, until I started applying for college.

I figured I was a shoo-in at any world renowned university. As far as college applicants go, I was essentially at the tippy-top of the A-list.

  • Multi-sport athlete (receiving about 140 seconds of meaningful playing time in each of them)
  • Extracurriculars such as designing a line of “Guenther Security” shirts and drinking UV vodka on the weekends.
  • A 2.5 cumulative GPA, proving that I wasn’t just average… I was average PLUS.
  • A 26 on my ACT, which actually shocked a lot of people.
  • Author of an informational Holocaust rap titled “Anne Frank Baby” sung to the beat of, you guessed it, Ice Ice Baby.

After receiving multiple letters of recruitment from colleges such as: East Burlington Community College in Colorado, Madison Tech in Wisconsin, and Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, I figured it was time to start choosing where I would T.C.O.B. (take care of business) next year. I had limited my choices down to the following three schools: The University of Wisonsin-Eau Claire, The University of Wisonsin-Eau Claire and The University of Wisonsin-Eau Claire.  I had toured the school with some of my best friends and we had all pretty much decided we would tear shit up as blue-golds the following year. There was just one problem. After my buddies had received their respective letters of acceptance from The University of Wisonsin-Eau Claire, congratulating them on trying so hard in high school, I received the following letter.

Dear Jacob,

Please have your parents or a literate friend read this letter to you, and advise them to skip over any big words.

We regret to inform you that you are far too stupid to be a student at The University of Wisonsin-Eau Claire. Typically students at our prestigious university go on to become C.E.O’s of major corporations, astronauts, Nobel Prize winners, and close personal friends of Leonardo DiCaprio.

After reviewing your application, we recommend that you consider ending your education with high school. Assuming you don’t end up in prison, we recommend that you pursue a career in jizz-mopping, break-dancing or dressing up in a Little Caesar’s costume and waving a sign around outside the restaurant.

Thank you for wasting our time with your application,

The University of Wisonsin-Eau Claire


Now this was around four years ago, so I may have mixed up a word or two, but the essence of the letter is there. Having never experienced adversity, or even stress, I did not take this letter too well. I had always figured that college recruiters would understand that high school is kind of a joke, and that despite my awful GPA, I was decently smart. I was sadly mistaken.

Unable to cope with the rejection, I responded to their letter. I figured that they would take my bold response as proof that I was resilient enough to be a blue-gold. I explained that I had been going through some stuff during my underclassmen days at Henry Sibley High School, and that I had turned it around and essentially pulled my head out of my ass. I received the following letter:


Dear Jacob,

It appears that you did not understand the previous letter, so here is a picture to better explain our response.

Stop sending us letters,

-The University of Wisonsin-Eau Claire

Attached to the letter was a picture of a dog pooping on another smaller dog.


It’s crazy to think about what could have happened in an alternate universe, where I was accepted to the UWEC. I imagine that I would have gotten deeply depressed when I realized how terrible Wisconsin is, and would have lost all my teeth in an effort to fit in with the locals. Eventually, through some type of butterfly effect, a series of cataclysmic events would have resulted in a zombie apocalypse and I would be left as the leader of a bad-ass gang of zombie killers, but eventually killed and eaten by my number-two guy.  All I can do is look at my life now, and appreciate all the great things that happened after I received these letters. I am six days away from graduating from the University of St. Thomas with honors and as a member of the Delta Epsilon Sigma National Honors society and I want to say, Thank you UWEC, for rejecting me, because you sent me down the path to where I am right now.



Dear Burglar

I hesitate to call you a burglar, simply for the fact that you did not actually burglarize me, well I guess in the strict, legal definition of the word “burglary” you did burglarize me, but you didn’t actually take anything so I will just call you an invader.

Dear Invader,

First of all, I would like to applaud your sharp eye for unlocked doors. Typically I am very diligent when it comes to locking my car door. This probably stems from a past experience where my car was burglarized in every sense of the word, but I can’t be too sure. I assume it was my remote key that is to blame for your invasion of my property, lately it has been under-performing and I have been forced to click the lock  and unlock button several times before my car responds. Regardless of where my habit of routine car locking came from, or why I failed to secure my vehicle last night, you managed to catch me the one time I slipped up. So, kudos to you.

The real question here is: why did you break into my car, empty out my backpack, rifle through my glove compartment, and remove my stereo deck/dashboard from its original place, but proceed to not steal any of it? This, I have been speculating on all morning, but I simply do not understand.

My first thought was that perhaps someone caught you in the act. This is definitely possible, because if I were breaking into someones car and got busted I would have also probably stopped. However, based on how thorough you were in your search for valuable items, I can only assume you left on your own terms. I mean you found the secret compartment that took me like three weeks to discover, so either you are an expert on the subject of 1997 Honda Cr-V’s, or you had a considerable amount of time to raid my car. I am going to assume the latter.

The problem now, is that your decision not to take anything becomes a complete mystery. Maybe you saw that I had a butter knife holding my glove compartment shut. This ghetto problem solution/brilliant display of resourcefulness would have indicated to you that I,(and I can only assume) like you, are in a sticky financial situation. Perhaps you empathized with me and had a change of heart mid-burgle. If that is the case, then thank you! I appreciate that you understood how much I needed my backpack, sunglasses, graphing calculator and stereo. In fact, I would like to buy you a beer and you and I can have a long discussion about graphing calculators and stereos, or maybe we can just joyfully reflect on what a funny word “burgle” is. I truly want to believe that you only half-robbed me because you had a fundamental change of heart during the course of your break in, the only problem is that I am kind of a cynical guy. In other words, I understand that you are the type of person who would break into a stranger’s car in the first place, which leads me to believe that you are a pile-of-shit. (sorry, the curse words may have been unwarranted)

If that is the case, and your decision not to rob me did not come from a place of empathy, then that leaves me with two options:

1) You had the full intention of robbing me, but after examining the contents of my car, you found nothing that you believed to be valuable or worth stealing. If so, I am deeply offended and I urge you to please reassess the monetary value of my belongings. Because unless you are one of the rare highbrow car burglars, I don’t understand why you would leave my graphing calculatorstereo, or sunglasses… I mean their Tommy Hilfiger for Christ’s sake.

2) You have been following me for weeks, maybe even months, and have discovered that I am a neat freak. This is the most disturbing possible motive for your half-burglary, not only because it means you have been stalking me, but because it means that you trashed the interior of my car for the sole purpose of terrorizing me. You knew that the mess you made would give me a considerable amount of anxiety, and would then force me to be late to class because I had to tidy it up a little bit before driving. This also means that if my suffering brought you some kind of happiness, then you are probably a maniac and you are also very likely to strike again. The question is, how?

Will you break into my room and reorganize my Harry Potter book collection so that it is not in numerical order?

Will you remove the batteries from my remotes and hide them?

Will you go into my text books and write believable, but incorrect answers and tips in the margins?

Will you switch my pillow covers so that I can’t tell which one is the comfy one until I put my head on it?

Will you displace one of the slats under my bed so that if I sit down too hard on my bed it will fall and my mattress will be lopsided?

I guess the purpose of my letter, Mr. Burglar… or sorry, Mr. Invader, is to get to know you a little better. I hope you write me back, and tell me all about you. I’d like to know so many things, like do you live in the area? Is burglary a full time job for you, or more of a hobby? Do you have kids? Do they burglarize cars? Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever been in a fight? What’s your sign (in the zodiac/ astrology sense of the word)? Did your horoscope tell you to break into my car and not actually take anything? Do you also dislike gluten-free people? No rush and no pressure, all I want to do is try to better understand the events that transpired May 1st sometime between the hours of 12:00 and 7:45am. Just send me a letter, I’m sure you know the address.

Look forward to hearing from you.