I applied to these schools:
Harvard (international development)
Stanford (process engineering)
Berkeley (industrial engineering)
Duke (international development)
Washington University (economics)
London School of Economics (mathematical economics)
University of Michigan (economics)
University of Iowa (economics)
University of Southern California (economics)
I also applied for an NSF grant. My mission statement, in a nutshell, stated that I want to do game theoeretic computer modeling of complex social systems in economics. The engineering programs would both allow my to take a lot of statistics courses with econ electives on the side, and transfer to an econ program after a master's degree. Washington University and Duke have grants for returning Peace Corps Volunteers, and even in those places, I'm looking at most likely living a lot poorer than I have been in Kazakhstan. At least I can save laundromat money with the plunge-o-matic.
And today I got an offer from LSE, which to be honest, was my first choice because (1) it has a special program for engineers who want to become economists, (2) it's a great school, and (3) it's in London, and as everyone who watches the Harry Potter movies knows, studying in England is really cool. I can't wait to get an owl. But they haven't offered me money, and I have not yet begun the LSE grant applications, so whether or not I go there is still far from certain, and there is still a road paved with paperwork stretching out farther than I can see. And whatever grad school is at the end of the road, I am certain of one thing that will be there: a bottle of certified Chianti Classico I've been saving.
(That reminds me, can you think of anything cuter than baby owls and baby skunks? I can't, except this: just imagine a baby skunk RIDING on a baby OWL. Because they're best friends. At the baby owl and skunk preschool! Damn, that would be cute. You know, whatever grad school gets me will sure be in for a treat. Not everyone can think this stuff up.)