My niece (Since I have one niece who is older and one who is younger, let's call her Niece II) is a senior in high school, so she is in the throes of the college admission process. Back in May, a documentary team asked if they could shadow her through the process and she said "yes," so she has had company as she goes on visits, fills out applications, and thinks through what she wants to do.
She finally decided to apply to my sister's alma mater (Prestigious Women's College) early decision. Getting the application, transcripts, and all the other stuff to PWC took some effort, but it all got done. A few weeks ago, the documentary folks called my parents and told them that they want to film Niece II opening her letter of admission or rejection, but they can't get a film crew out here until a week after letters are mailed. As a result, they asked my parents to intercept the letter and hold it until the camera crew arrives.
This information delay would have been tough enough 25 years ago, but is impossible these days. PWC sent the letters last Friday, so Niece II started to hear about girls getting in on Monday. She heard about a girl in MA and a girl in France. Eventually, she saw the letter that goes to girls who were accepted. In part, it mentions that the class of 2012 includes a diverse bunch including a girl who is currently doing nuclear genetic research into the markers for autism. This is Niece II's senior project (she is at a science and tech magnet school.)
Anyway, Niece II knows she got in. My mother knows she got in (the letter is apparently "the size of a calendar"), and just about everyone else who knows her knows she got in, but everyone needs to look surprised on Friday when the film crew rolls. The Wife and I already bought her a PWC sweatshirt, so she'll have something to wear at school the next day, but it will be somewhat anti-climactic.
We are all incredibly proud of her. My only regret is that her mother is not able to enjoy the amazing achievement more fully. Niece II is a great kid who has worked really hard for this, but it is also a team effort. Her mother worked really hard to make this possible and my parents have worked hard to keep it going as my sister's abilities (though not her strong will) have waned. This is the culmination of everything my sister hoped for her daughter and yet the dream was not crushed by its own weight.
My sister would be so incredibly proud of her daughter that it would have made her cry for days on end. I am so proud of both of them that I get emotional myself.
BTW: If you see Niece II this week, don't tell her about this post until Friday. I'd hate to spoil the surprise.