The One Thing Every Admissions Officer is Looking For
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…
When we dip our toes or perhaps a foot and a hand, choosing to not wholly commit the universe responds in kind, partially. Is there a goal that you've been only willing only to dip a toe? Accomplishments, small and great, require a willingness to let go of the uncertainty of outcome and the courage to dive in, headlong, knowing that sometimes the water will be chilly but the swim exhilarating.
Why I Was Denied Admission
“The irony is that we disown our difficult stories to appear more whole or more acceptable, but our wholeness—even our wholeheartedness—actually depends on the integrations of all our experiences, including the falls.” —Brene BrownExperiencing, in totality, and accepting all of ourselves, —yup, the good, the bad, and the ugly: this is the toughest, and the most important, work of all.
I was denied Early Decision from Trinity College in December of 1984. The envelope, although of nice card stock…
"Hot & Cold:" The Best Game to Master
Source: Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon
The red “Sorry” player piece had been hidden somewhere in our grandmother’s living room. My heart would beat faster with anticipation and thrill every time my cousin Jennifer said, “You’re getting warmer. Ooh, warmer still. You’re burning up. You are on fire!” “You’re getting cooler,” had the opposite effect and I’d feel my mood slump a bit as I pivoted toward another area of the room.
Living an auth…
I’ll Only Be Happy if I Have GASS Earth Shoes & Get Into the University of Wisconsin
There were 26 kids in my fourth grade class, and I am pretty sure that Adam G. and I were the only ones without GASS Earth Shoes when we started school that September.
Mom would ask, “Why do you need a pair of those? You have sneakers. And a pair of clogs.”
“I’m can’t wear the clogs to school; they are made out of wood. Grandma brought them back from Holland. They’re a decoration.”
“How will you play football at recess if you wear dress shoes?”
“They’re not dress sh…
Focus on Normal! Not.
This holds a prominent place in our kitchen. I wouldn't want anyone to get any crazy ideas. In August, we attended a family reunion in Ocean City, New Jersey. To prove that we were all in the same place at one time, we took the group shots. I also managed to get a few of my nuclear family — that I didn't have to take! But some things remained the same: Aaron poked Mary. Mary squealed. My husband’s hand squeezed my shoulder, and I felt Bryn aiming to bolt. Through a quickly fading smile, I plead…
How Drinking with the Buddha Helped Me Survive This Year’s Back-To-School Churn
“Mom!!” rings from every corner of my small world. The couch, the top of the bunk bud, the bathroom, the kitchen table, and via Facetime and relentless texts.
The 10 year old: “We have two book reports. I thought we only had one book report, and I have only read fiction. I need to read a nonfiction. I like fiction. And my backpack is ripped. I found a new backpack on Amazon; would you look at it now?”
The 12 yea…
News Worth Sharing — Published in IECA Insights
At the IECA Spring Conference in Boston, Dr.…
Links Worth Sharing — Lessons From the Olympics for Students Writing the Common App Essay
"I just have to write ONE ESSAY, right?"
This is the question I hear from parents, from students, and just about anyone that hasn't been through the admissions process lately.
"Well, that's not usually the case," is my typical response before I go into the ACTUAL number of essays. This recent Huffington Post Blog by Stacey Brooks highlights lessons that the Olympics can offer to students as they wrestle with just what to write. Brooks takes on each of the prompts and of…