Hi, my name is Jill Johnson, the Ada Recruitment Intern for this 2012-2013 school year at Smith College. Happily, I can say I am a senior. My home is 40 minutes away in Brattleboro in southern Vermont, and I commute three days a week, or more, when an event like a poetry reading or a lecture or a social gathering calls. My major is English Language and Literature - I love to write, and I know I have a book or three in me. I need to get going on this writing because I waited thirty years in between colleges to finally get my degree. All possible because of the Ada Comstock Scholar's Program.
Want to join us? We are a stellar group of women of all ages and sensibilities with a myriad of interests and excitements and talents. My journey has been fabulous, and your's will be too.
I am here to help you with questions and any ponder-ings.
Hi, I just finished completing my application to Smith as an Ada. I'm so nervous and worried and excited and scared. Scared that I have gotten my hopes up and I will not be accepted. Worried that they won't want me and nervous just waiting on pins and needles. Excited because OMG what if I did get in. Anyway, What did you do passing time? How to know if I'm delusional thinking I deserve this chance.
First of all - you are not delusional. We all deserve any chance we can grasp, and good for us for going after what we want! I think that every Ada I have spoken with goes through the same anxiety which you are experiencing.
For me, I knew going to Smith would change my life in so many ways - I also knew that if I didn’t get in, another path would unfold leading to a different, not better or worse, future. That being said, it’s crazy-making, this waiting. I worked at my job so that helped, and I kept to my usual routine, and the days and weeks passed. I made alternative plans because I knew I wanted that degree. And you are right, it’s almost as frightening to think about being accepted. It’s hard work. And rewarding. Whatever the outcome, pat yourself on the back for coming this far, and think how far you will go, no matter where!
All the best to you, Jill
I am 64 years old and retiring in 2 years. Never been to college or even taken college courses. My dream job would be working with women in my age group as an Alcohol Counselor after I retire. I currently work for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts at the Massachusetts State College Building Authority. I don't know where to start, it's kind of scary and exciting at the same time.
It is exciting and scary at the same time, but all wonderful. If you have this dream, pursue it. I would either talk to someone who does this kind of work or to someone at the community college near you. That’s where most of us non-traditional students start in order to earn the credits needed to transfer to a 4-year college, or you can earn an associate’s degree keeping your end goal in mind. It’s all about gathering information so you know what you options are. Good luck to you!!!
Hello Jill, I am just starting the process of applying to Smith as an Ada. I have a dear friend and fellow single mother who graduated from Smith a couple of years ago and she is cheering me on! My question for you is, and I feel that the 30 year span between colleges qualifies you to answer, what if I cannot think of a past instructor to write a letter of recommendation for me? I haven't been in school for five years and the faculty I connected the most with were from TEN years ago. Advice?
Hi - sorry I took so long to answer, but I have been busy graduating!
I had been out of school for 30 years before attending Smith, so I enrolled in community college to get myself up to speed. Plus, I needed more credits to satisfy the requirement for the Ada Comstock Program. Therefore, I was able to get a recommendation from a current professor.
I mentioned your question to Sid Dalby and she suggested you give her a call in the Office of Admissions. Good luck!
Farewell, sounds dramatic, but the close of my last week of classes warrants the sentiment. Graduation looms as a bittersweet moment.
It’s been my pleasure to assist many of you through the Ada application process, to chat on-line and in person. I will miss my intern job, and all of you.
However, time to move on….I know everyone will be in good hands next year with the new Ada intern and, as always, with the fabulous Sid Dalby and the staff at the Office of Admission. Find me on Facebook and keep in touch. Cheers!
Hi, I'm anxiously awaiting news of the wait list, and working on getting supplemental materials ready to mail tomorrow in support of my application. I don't even know that I have a question for you, but I am on such tenterhooks that I am reading your blog as reassurance that it really is possible to get in and be a part of the Ada program at Smith.
Oh, I know the feeling. It’s as if your life is on hold. I don’t know what the timing is regarding the wait list, except if all decisions have to be sent in by May 1, we are almost there. I would call the Office of Admission on May 1 and see what you can find out.
Another marker of my last days at Smith College –Senior Celebration for Adas. Champagne. Chocolate-dipped strawberries.
Our dean, Erica Laquer read Maya Angelou’s poem “Phenomenal Woman.” Who knew Ms. Angelou wrote a poem about Adas!
At our celebration, we were each given a sealed envelope containing our written ruminations reflecting our feelings on that long-ago day at orientation, with our sister first-year Adas, all about to embark on a Smith journey. Here are my reflections written 6 years ago to Erika’s prompt: Today I feel:
tired, but I am drinking coffee and I will soon perk up to the reality that I am here at Smith, a Smithie, embarking on an adventurous journey,and god knows where I will end up, but it will be right and true and the fulfillment of a potential I am yearning for, something I’ve always known lurked right around the corner, a glimmer out of the corner of my eye, an intangible which is now finally tangible, as I sit here writing in this comfortable chair, feet firmly planted on the ground, in Room 106 in Seelye Hall, where many young, and not so young, women before me have soaked up an incredible education here at Smith College.
Okay, the language could use a little work, but the sentiment shines through.
Special water bottles to keep our brains hydrated, and me with lovely Ada (yes, it’s her real name) Chupp pouring bubbly in the background. I am wearing a pin with the face of the original Ada Comstock.
Open Campus last week rocked! No one is luckier than me - meeting and getting to know a brilliant group of women. It sounds like most of you are going to say ‘yes’ to Smith, and I know it can be a difficult decision, for many reasons—other good options, or the huge transition such a choice makes in a life.
As I look forward to graduating, I must say that I do not regret one moment of my decision to become an Ada. I am trying to slow down these last two weeks of classes, to savor them. However, let’s be real—I will be happy to turn in that final paper, get that final exam sealed up in its big white envelope, and look back at my experience will a sigh of relief and gratitude and pride in my accomplishments.
As my advisor Bill Oram writes at the bottom of drafts: Onward!