Author Archives: David

I Just Read about a Man…

“Mom? It’s me, Joel. Yes, everything’s fine. The kids are great. They’re looking forward to seeing you when you come up next month. What’s that? Yes, my practice is fine. Thanks for asking. Removed three gall bladders on Wednesday. What? No, arthroscopic. It’s called arthroscopic surgery. Yes, I think all the patients were covered by…Read the full article

The “Ifs,” the “If Onlies” and the Firing Squad

The “Ifs” “Daddy, if we had a bigger back yard, could we have a pony?” “Yes, dear, in the sense that if your father had wheels, he could be a trolley car.” — “If I put down on my college application that I am an under-represented minority, would it improve my chances of being admitted?”…Read the full article

Write All Your College Essays in One Day!

Forty pounds overweight, mildly depressed and majorly dissatisfied, I decided to make some significant changes. I joined a gym and worked out for an hour. But when I got back on the scale, I hadn’t lost any weight. Still depressed, I made an appointment with a therapist. But she spent so much time getting background…Read the full article

The Fuzziest Dice

Harvard admits some 3000 students each year. Here’s how William Fitzsimmons, the director of admissions and financial aid, described the process years ago. He asked us—a room full of counselors—to imagine the computer making a mistake. Rather than sending 3000 “yes” letters (“Congratulations. It is with pleasure that the admissions committee welcomes you to the…Read the full article

Come back, Shane!

“No matter where you go, there you are” applies to college students and cowboy movie heroes. Shane, the gunfighter, cannot escape his past. Can college applicants create their own future? Parents’ stress surrounding admissions to highly competitive colleges (hereafter “HCC”) is as misguided as it is unfortunate. Kids who can do stuff–read, write, think–do better…Read the full article

Admissions Scam

“Psst” says the impeccably dressed gentleman at the reception. “I can get your son admitted to Princeton. Guaranteed.” Horrified, yet fascinated, you cannot help but respond: “No one can do that,” you begin. “Princeton routinely rejects 90% of their applicants. They turn down valedictorians with perfect SATs, captains of the football team, students who speak…Read the full article