Sunday, April 13, 2008

Help Frank Trampe Get into MIT

Recently an article in the New York Times chronicaled the "perfect storm" of Baby Boomer offspring trying to get accepted into colleges and universities. Seems the Echo Boom will peak this year with a record number of qualified, high-testing applicants all attempting to matriculate.

One of these is my son Michael's classmate Frank Trampe. When turned down by M.I.T., Frank did not give up. He sent this letter...which I think should be enough to gain him admittance:

Stuart Schmill
Interim Director of Admissions
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue, Building 3-108
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139-4307

Mr. Schmill,

I was disappointed to learn of your choice to refuse me admission into the Institute's Class of 2012. I found this to be somewhat peculiar given my outstanding accomplishments and my even more outstanding modesty about those outstanding accomplishments. I also found this to be extremely disappointing given my love of the Institute and my desire since I began high school to attend there. I know that the situation must be equally painful for you, and, happily, I have devised a solution to the problem that allows me to attend classes at the school I so love and allows the school to benefit from the classy good looks and witty charm of this master of document imaging.
Your letter seemed to indicate that the primary reason for my rejection was a lack of space. I see that making space by removing one of the less qualified applicants from the roster could have negative legal and public relations implications, but such action is not necessary. Unlike most well-pampered, spoilt applicants, I have no need of this so-called space of which you assert such an unfortunate lack. I require no room, no bed, no parking space, no computing time-share, and no Internet connection. Ever the skilled and experienced nomad, I would be quite happy to live in the streets of Cambridge, foraging for food and occasionally attacking a McDonalds take-out customer. My grand-mother has an extensive collection of card-board boxes, and I am sure that I could find one in the collection that provides adequate shelter for me and at the same time does not block the entire side-walk. If given weekly access to bathing facilities, I could keep myself tidy enough for infiltrating Starbucks for free electricity and Internet access for my trusty notebook.
As for space in actual classes, I can assure you that my unusual tastes (even for an Institute student) should generally keep me out of classes that tend to fill to capacity. If I do happen to enroll in a class filled to capacity, I would be quite happy to stand or to hang from a light fixture by one hand as I attempt take notes.
If you disclose the location of the parking for the admissions staff, I would gladly offer my superb vehicle cleaning services on a weekly (or daily) basis for the term of my enrollment. Aside from renouncing God, giving away my dog, or selling my electric notebook, I can think of few things that I would not do for an opportunity to attend. As for payment, I could begin to implement a comprehensive document imaging system for various offices at the Institute, or, I could just empty trash bins. Although the first option probably adds more value and gives better long-term job satisfaction, the second does offer many opportunities for me to feed my ever-hungry stomach, and I would not find the job to be at all undesirable. Either way, I could certainly make my attendance more than worthwhile.
If you accept the offer, I cannot ask much more and certainly don't request a response to this letter. Unless I hear from you before then, I'll see you in the fall.


Note that I added Frank's photo--and I deleted his home address. Frank was too classy to add his own picture, and I'm too concerned about his privacy to add his address. (Although I do have his permission to share this letter with you.)

Well, my husband was talking to a customer at a local hospital, and it seems Frank's letter has taken on a life of its own. Somehow, the medical staff saw it, and they've all been emailing M.I.T. suggesting Frank be given a chance.

I feel the same. I think there's room at M.I.T. for one more student, particularly one with a sense of humor, creativity and of course, document imaging skills.

If you agree, send an email to:

By the way, I have it on good authority (my son) that Frank is a terrific student. MICDS, the school Frank and Michael attend, is one of the most difficult and prestigious in the area.


Kathryn Lilley said...

How about a T-shirt drive? Sell it on the corners of Harvard Square, "Let Frank In!" Hysterical. And not a bad idea, either! When I was wait-listed at Columbia J school years ago, I went to see the admissions person, and somehow talked my way in.

Camille Minichino said...

I'm on my way to the MIT site to make my voice heard. Go Frank.

Barbara D'Amato said...

Why is this kid not applying to some school famous for writing?

Camille Minichino said...

He can do the writing later. First he has to get his string theory straight.
(vested interest here)

Joanna Campbell Slan said...


I agree with you. But I think what makes this outstanding is Frank's ability to think "outside the box," the cardboard box in this case. The world is full of people who accept "no" and give up. What we need is a world full of people who find a way to make good stuff happen.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Kathryn--Or how about
"Let Frank Go!" and underneath
"To MIT"?

Joanna Campbell Slan said...


I'm sure Frank will appreciate the vote of confidence. Seems the local media have picked up this story, but remember--you read it here FIRST.

Kathryn Lilley said...

Good idea, Joanna! Or, "Release the Frank 1" "To MIT!"

Susancnw said...

Please let us know when Frank gets in.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

I'll ask Frank to keep us informed. I did notice that there's an "interim" admissions person who fielded his request. I wonder if the permanent position, when appointed, would help him.

dksbook said...

It would be more effective to sell the tee shirts in Kendall Square, closer to MIT.