As I head into the final stretch of the Grad School Application Marathon, I find technology is less helpful than previously assumed.  All the applications I have done are filed on-line – once you pay the fee and click “submit,” you have applied.  No stamps, no semi-unreasonable fears that the Postal Service will lose your application, thereby ruining your life.  That is, in theory.  In practice, it is a little complicated.  Some applications have you upload pdf files of unofficial transcripts, your personal statement, and/or writing samples.  The people you have conned into writing recommendations also get an e-mail and upload the recommendations to the school in question.  Other applications do not.  So here I am, e-mailing cover sheets to professors, preparing hard copies of my writing samples or personal statements to be mailed (that’s right, mailed).  And I curse the insanity of having a half-electronic application.  I mean really, what’s the point of that?  Maybe it is a test to see how skilled you are at following directions.  Maybe I’m just paranoid.  And don’t get me started on the “fine” folks at ETS and the total lack of on-line score reporting.  I have to call my order over the phone?  And you’re still going to charge me a fee to do so?  (Okay, maybe I am going to get started on that.  But I’ll do us all a favor and stop now.)

Actually, a completely on-line experience doesn’t preclude insanity.  The Ivy League School e-mailed me today to let me know that they couldn’t access my writing samples.  I sent an attachment.  That didn’t work.  I sent a link.  Snake eyes there, too.  I was almost reduced to sending hard copies by Fed Ex (how low tech), but a final attempt at attachment sending worked out in the end.  But oof, what a hassle.