Jessie's Blog

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How You Can be a Rock Star at Whatever—A Lesson Brought to You by Jimmy Kimmel

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 Jimmy Kimmel failed a test as an undergrad at Arizona State. It wasn’t because he hadn’t prepared. Or because he skipped a bunch of classes in favor of playing Grand Theft Auto with his roommates. You will likely never guess the reason why. It was because he didn’t have a pencil on him and couldn’t bring himself to ask a classmate to borrow one. Yes. Jimmy Kimmel. The guy who was on the cover of the February 2018 GQ and hosts a daily show that more than 2 million viewers watch. A pencil? Wait, …

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Choosing Resilience Under Unfortunate Circumstance

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On a Sunday afternoon in January, I got the call from my husband who had been skiing with our youngest two kids.

“Aaron crashed,” my husband said. “Come quickly. I don’t know how bad it is.”

I sped to the ski area. By the time I arrived Aaron had been discharged from first-aid and was propped up in the passenger seat of my husband’s car. As his Dad carefully removed his ski boots and slid on his winter boots, he said, “It’s his right shoulder.”

Aaron sat, tears running down his face, right ar…

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Challenge: My GPA Sucks. Now What?

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Delia, a bright-eyed high school junior, sat in my office. “You saw my transcript?” she asked in a cringing tone. “I’m trying harder. I’m working on that.”

I had reviewed her transcript. She clearly had the best of intentions. Her freshman year, though, was killing her confidence, not to mention her GPA. One B, 3 Cs, and 2 Ds. She had a 2.3, brought up only by a solid B in an elective. Her sophomore year she had brought up her average to a 2.6. As Delia planned on applying to highly competitive…

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He did it. On purpose.

Photo by Mitchell Orr on Unsplash

“He did it.” I don’t know about you, but when I was little, this was a go-to if I was trying to get out of the blame for something. Like eating the entire roll of refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough or leaving my dirty mac and cheese bowl in the living room or not putting the hay out for the horses by 6 pm. It must have been somebody else. Except, as an only child, this got kind of tricky. So a lot of times I had to blame it on my dad; luckily for me, Mom b…

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DON’T CALL ME AVERAGE!— Accepting Your Best, Unique, and Totally Awesome Average Self in a Culture of Extremes

At the Boston IECA convention, Dr. Ellen Braaten opened her keynote speech, “The Curse of the Average Child,” with this slide.

Walmart or Harvard. All other high schoolers should just go home, settle in with their iPads, hide under the t-shirt quilt Aunt Donna had custom-made, and binge watch Game of Thrones. If these are the only options, then it’s winner take all—because stocking shelves doesn’t play well on Instagram.

My yoga instructor had a similar idea nearly a decade ago. “We are a nation of extremes; moderation is no longer respected. Sodas are bigger. SUVs are bigger. And some family named ‘Kardashian’ is on TV.…

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Big Decision? Creatively Blocked? Mind in a Bind? Try This.

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Pregnant with Natalie, I found myself on an incredibly demanding project that required me to come up with multiple creative interactive storyboards that would be produced as computer games to explore math concepts.

I’d storyboard hour after hour, and when I found myself exhausted, frantic for an idea, staring at the cursor on the screen, scribbling word webs and making paper chains, knowing all the while I was getting paid for the storyboard, not for my paperclip chain–making prowess, it would …

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Got Testing Stress? Having a Crisis of Confidence? We've Got Your Back.

Got Testing Stress? Having a Crisis of Confidence? We've Got Your Back.

Lauren Cardinale, CH, CPC, Life Coach and Board Certified Hypnotherapist

When you think of the SAT or the ACT or the AP Exams or the SAT Subject Tests, what's your response? What's your teen's response? Can you feel the weight of all that PRESSURE?  What do you think this stress is doing to your student's performance? (Let's not talk about the mood at your dinner table.)

Many students, of all ages, including my own kids, have…

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The One Thing Every Admissions Officer is Looking For

Image Source: Public Domain Images

At a recent college admissions event, a prospective student got up, and a bit nervously asked a panel of admissions officers, “What do you look for in a college admissions essay? What makes one application stand apart from others?”

I could feel this teen’s heart beating in his rib cage, the look on his face that begged the panel to help him hone in on which of all of his experiences he should write about, what he should share, to make these people see he was a s…

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A Student Named Liv That Contracted an Acute Case of Senioritis

Did you know that college acceptances are "contingent" on your performance?

After the rush of applications and push to bump up your GPA, some may succumb to the lure of leisure, of showing up a little less academically. Of posting on social media sites sharing about your "in-school" staycation.

A few years back a student named Liv shrieked with excitement when she received her acceptance letter to Super Selective College. She had taken the hardest classes, written dozens of papers, prepped for…

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