Well, not quite...

The new and improved version of The Common Application, $8 million dollars and more than a year in the making, launched at Midnight on August 1, giving entree to some 500 of your favorite college applications, and serving as starting gate to the great college admissions game.

And so, at 1:10 AM, your intrepid blogger excitedly clicked on CommonApp.org, in the hope of creating a login, perusing the application, and reporting back to the masses on the highlights, insights and foresights of this colossus they've been calling CA4.

And create I did.
 Email address. Re-enter email address. [Kinda like Lather. Rinse. Repeat.] So far, so good. Create a Password. [Now comes the fun part. You cannot use the same Password you've had since birth, or even the one you created for Naviance. Common App insists on a combo (minimum of 8 digits) of letters (at least one of which must be capitalized), numbers, and "special characters" -- %^$&$#*! You are now reduced to a glyph. The artist formerly (and once again) known as Prince would be proud!]

Okay. At 1:20 AM I'm on a roll. Email address and glyphified Password having been accepted, I am asked to enter my name and address (so I can become a glyph and a Common App ID). Done!

 I receive a perfunctory email from Common App, congratulating me on my registration prowess.

1:30 AM. Eyelids heavy. Brain numb. I lay both laptop and Common App aside, figuring I'd return later in the day to check out the sundry changes certain to drive every student bananas. Of course, like the fella who just has to check to see that the light went off in the fridge after he had closed the door... Let me try to log in again, just to see.

 noooooooooooo. For reasons known only to the techies at Common App (or maybe not), the system didn't recognize my email address and/or Password (glyph notwithstanding). Try as I might to log in, I am stymied at every turn. Forgot your Password? No. You forgot it. I got it right!

Finally, a reset (to my original Password, glyph included). I was in. So, while I'm here, might as well have a look around, right? No sooner did I attempt to navigate to the application itself, I was summarily kicked off Common App (not so much as a Goodbye or Farewell) and greeted by a message reminiscent of the dreaded blue screen -- System temporarily down for maintenance

Maintenance? For goodness sake. You've only been up for two hours? Was there a spill in the Writing Section? Did the server overload from the handful of crazies like myself who just had to have a look see at Common App immediately after launch? Sure, we expect a few glitches, as with anything new, but didn't you guys kick the tires and take this thing for a test drive before rolling out the much ballyhooed CA4? Gee. The Titanic was launched with less fanfare.

Okay. Okay. Off to bed. This can wait. After all, no one of reasonable mind will be submitting his or her application today. Why, even many of the Common App Supplements themselves are not ready, colleges having flubbed the deadline. [They can. You can't!]

So, here it is, later that same day... Wide awake. Eager to get started. Ready to take a fresh look at the bold, the brash, the much anticipated CA4. I plug in CommonApp.org into my trusted laptop browser and... and... and... and... A blank screen with the following message: 

We're sorry. It seems you've encountered a part of our system that is under maintenance. We're busy adding system enhancements, and ask that you please try this action again later. We appreciate your patience. 
The Common App Team  

Enhancements? You just spent a year enhancing. Patience? Mother Teresa wouldn’t have had this much patience. If this is the Common App version of "live," someone please call for a crash cart!

You expected miracles? Yeah, they've been talking up the new fangled Common App like it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. [New meaning to the use of drones.] A new world order. Where's Rube Goldberg when we need him?

Looks like The Common Application is not quite ready for prime time. Guess $8 million doesn't buy what it used to. As they would say in the early days of television, when the signal was temporarily lost and you were left staring at a test pattern: "We are experiencing technical difficulties. Please stand by..."

Please stand by, indeed!
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Plan. Prepare. Prevail!  

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