By Monia C. Estima, Senior Assistant Director for Music Admissions
Once upon a Monday dreary, while I pondered, gaunt and teary,
application edits given me the May before
while I grumbled, nearly snapping, suddenly there came a tapping,
a peculiar, ghostly rapping, rapping on my office door.
“‘Tis a work-study,” I muttered, “tapping on my office door,
only this and nothing more.”
Ah yes, what a massive bummer, in that wet and humid summer,
to be stuck inside my office doing edits–what a bore!
Music application pages, fraught with minute, nuanced changes,
marked in red. I rearranged this massive doc in Word once more.
This hulking, wordy document I did update once more.
Over edits I did pore.
And the timid, gentle knocking set my office door a-rocking.
Thrilled me–filled me with a slip of hope I hadn’t felt before.
Maybe there lay some distraction, a surprise to break a fraction
of my tedious inaction. Thus I sprinted to the door.
(Nearly put myself in traction racing to my office door.)
How I skipped across the floor!
Hand upon the knob and turning, happy fire within me burning,
“Dude!” said I, “or Lady, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was snapping and so softly you came tapping,
and so quiet was your rapping, rapping on my office door
that I scarce believed I heard you!” Here, I threw open the door.
Terror pierced me to the core.
For no student stood there waiting, nor co-worker hesitating,
nor the Boss deliberating if they dared disturb the Boar
all these music edits made me. No! Instead a “Hello Kitty!”
folder lay, so bright and shiny, it just lay upon the floor!
Winking up at me grotesquely from its place upon the floor.
Hello Kitty! Nothing more.
Blood within me growing colder, I bent down to grab the folder.
Sweat poured down my neck and shoulders as the thing I did explore.
Not the least obeisance made it, not a moment paused or stayed its
smug complacence as it winked at me, as if it knew the score.
Yes! The creature smiled and winked at me, what sauciness it wore!
And my nerves could take no more.
For inside that heinous folder lay, like Sisyphus’ boulder,
some more edits to be made, my very own ancient Greek chore.
This and more I stood divining, and my bloodshot eyes were shining,
from within me came a whining, “No! This Kitty will not soar!
In my gloomy little office Hello Kitty will not soar!”
Then I knocked on Boss’ door.
“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil, brought to me by some pure devil,
whether done in jest or not, this thing was left outside my door!
I thought I was nearly finished but the sight of this diminished
all my hopes of wrapping up so I could hit some sandy shore!
Tell me; with this when may I go rest upon some wind-swept shore?”
Quoth Lee Cioppa, “Nevermore.”
And that word served as our parting for I humphed and then, upstarting,
got me back inside my office, throwing Kitty on the floor.
“Leave no paw-prints as thy token, let’s pretend her word’s unspoken,
leave my loneliness unbroken! Quit thy spot upon my floor!
Take thy wink from out my heart, and take thine edits from my floor!”
Quoth the Kitty, “Nevermore.”
And the monster, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
looking up, obscenely grinning from its post beside the door.
And its eye has all the seeming of a demon that is dreaming,
and from it hell’s light is beaming, casting shadows on the floor.
And my soul from out the shadows that lie painted ‘cross the floor
shall go tanning–nevermore.
PS: The music application updates weren’t actually all that bad. And, in the nearly ten years I’ve known Associate Dean of Admissions Lee Cioppa, I’ve yet to hear her utter the word, “Nevermore.” Anyway, the updated entrance audition requirements for the 2010 academic year are live on the Juilliard Web site.