Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Oh Yeah?

To get accepted to optometry school, you have to go through an interview process.

You sit in a room, across from a panel of school faculty, and for an hour they drill you with questions to determine if you are worthy of being let into their school.

During the most horrific of my many interviews, the follow conversation occurred:

Interviewer, "What are you doing here?"

Me, "Excuse me?"

Interviewer, "Have you ever looked at your transcript?"

Me, "Um? Of course."

Interviewer, "Then you are aware of the fact that you have gotten an A in every class you have ever taken that is not a science class?"

Me, "Uh. Yeah. Ok?"

Interviewer, "And you are also aware of the fact that you have gotten a B or a C in almost every science class you have ever taken?"

Me, "Yeah?"

Interviewer, "And you do realize that you are applying to enter a school where the curriculum is entirely science based?"

Me, "Yes. Of course."

Interviewer, "Well it is extremely apparent that science isn't one of your strengths. So why exactly are you here?"

Me, "Oh. Well. Um. Just because English, and math, and psychology come easy to me doesn't mean I enjoy them. I may have to work harder at the sciences and they may not be as easy for me, but it is where my heart lies. It is what I want to spend my life doing. Therefore, I am willing to do the extra work, put forth a little more effort, because a life as an optometrist is what I ultimately want."

I walked out of the interview and literally broke down in tears, sobbing for half an hour. I'd deemed it a failure, the trip a waste. I was devastated.

I was shocked to get an acceptance letter a few short weeks later. My interview was on the first day of a 4 or 5 month interviewing process, where hundreds of applicants would be questioned. The school accepted 40 students into their program, 6 of those from out of state. They offered me one of those coveted 6 spots before they even spoke with a vast majority of the other applicants.

I have always wondered why.

I have always guessed that it must have been my answer to that one question. That my passion for my chosen career path and my blind determination must have come through in my answer and the panel knew that I'd never give up until I was successful.

That's great, runnergirl, but why are you telling us this?!

I'm getting to that.

Below is an excerpt from a previous post :

"... I run because I hate it. Huh? Say What? You heard me... I run because I hate it. It is my enemy, and I am going to beat it. The things with the most value are the things that I have to work the hardest for. I value my running because it doesn't come easy, because some days I do want to quit, because after some runs I swear I'll never lace up my shoes again. But it keeps calling me back, taunting me, begging me to defeat it, to prove that I'm not a quitter, that I can and will succeed... "

The running is like the science. I may not be good at it, but that is why I like it. I need the challenge. I need to defeat it. I need to prove to myself that I can do it. If it were easy for me, I wouldn't be interested in it. I wouldn't value it. I have a need to set my sights on a goal that seems just out of reach, and then work with everything I have to reach out and grab it at the last minute.

All of these struggles that I've been facing is just the running taunting me. Teasing me. Challenging me.

The miles are talkin' a little smack.

And you know what I have to say to that...

"Oh yeah?"

"We'll just see about that!"


  1. you go girl! your attitude is getting better and better and making me so pysched for you!

  2. Right on! That's a great post. It makes me want to go out and run.

    I would have probably cried after that interview too.

  3. I understand the comparison, and it's a good one. Just because something is difficult doesn't mean we don't want to tackle it and defeat it.

    Nice post.

  4. This is a brilliant post.

    Conquer those miles and show 'em whose boss (and it's not Tony Danza!)

  5. Way to go! I was have definitely broken down after that interview!

  6. I recently read somewhere that marathon running was 10 percent physical, 90 percent mental.
    Your post is strong, you've got focus. You're well on your way! Inspiring.

  7. Great post RG! Enjoy your run!

  8. Sounds like my journey through my Law Enforcement degree. It has hit many bumps and challenges, but I have pressed on. It involves a lot of thinking and challenges. You need to outwit the criminals or even think like them to oversmart them.

    Way to go!

  9. What a passionate reason to follow your path, you are to be commended for not taking the easier path.
    I am now, as I hit a certain age, similarly finding myself standing up to the things that have always kicked my butt (running, public speaking, finishing Masters, etc.) and facing them, too. How cool.

    You are going to be great in Chicago, GL!

  10. Awesome!

    This is how I feel: to be a runner, you have to have respect for running. You can't just be some nimrod that laces up shoes and runs just cause he/she can. That's not a runner. A runner is someone who lives, breaths, and sweats by how his/her running is evolving, progressing, and eventually plateuing. And then you step it up. Cause that's what it makes you do. And once you earn the respect of running, running has respect for you. You both can live as one, and move together. But you never beat it. Never ever. The running always trumps you. Forever. As long as you are a runner.

    But that's just how I feel. And besides, I sucked at science AND english!

  11. What a great post! I can't believe that person had the nerve to say that...but you must have just blown them away with your answer and your description of your passion!

  12. Great post! I know that feeling...I hate running too...of course, I keep coming back for more! :-)

  13. Yeah!!! You are winner! And you have all the support of blogland behind you!

  14. Good answer!
    Now get out there and run!

  15. Your post was what I needed today - a reminder (and swift kick in the butt) not to give up.

    You're awesome and your words will be remembered.

  16. I love it! Love the post, love the backstory. I know exactly what you mean - some days, it is such gruelling, dirty work when you go out for a run... it feels so damn awful, and yet, it feels so damn good!

  17. boy maybe that explains why i keep doing this thing that i um, don't really like. ('m afraid to say hate: running might be listening.) very thought provokking post! and great job getting into optometry school! now you make me want to try something harder!

  18. Congrats on the acceptance!! Can you send some of that luck my way as I apply to nursing school?? PLEASE

  19. I'm sure you will defeat your running. Thanks for the motivation.

  20. congratulations on getting accepted, that is beyond cool! way to rock that interview in spite of the attempt of intimidation...

    never, ever give up!

  21. Congrats! Way to hold your poise during the interview.

    Happy running!