Category Archives: College Admissions


After Hurricane Andrew knocked my South Florida community back to the Pleistocene, my commute became surreal. It could have been worse. Hundreds of people lost their homes. I lost only my patience as my drive home was measured in geological time. At least I had a roof–even if that roof was over an hour from…Read the full article

Man Bites Dog!

Planes that don’t crash are not headlines. “Sun Sets in West” will not appear in 72-point type above the fold. “Man bites dog,” instructs that uncommon stories are the ones reported. But what is to be said of an adolescent biting his father? Admittedly, the young man also allegedly punched and kicked his dad. Still,…Read the full article


Jim Lovell’s rejection was based on a medical condition which, as it turned out, he didn’t even have. Nonetheless, rejected he was. The Mercury Seven astronauts were seven somebody elses. John Glenn, Alan Shepard, and Gus Grissom made the cut. Jim Lovell did not. Lovell had experience with rejection. He had wanted to attend MIT…Read the full article

The Lottery

It’s all so simple in retrospect. Maybe I shouldn’t give away the secret. But I feel an obligation. Why should I be the only one to win? Everyone can win! It’s so straight forward. Here is exactly what I did. If you do the same thing, your results will be the same. Obviously. You can…Read the full article

Two Questions

One of my son’s friends consistently sets the curve in their medical school class. Ellen scored in the 99th percentile on STEP 1. Ellen scored in the 100th percentile on USMLE. (On the United States Medical Licensing Exam scores above 99.5 are rounded up.) Arguably the hardest and most competitive exam there is, USMLE determines…Read the full article

The Scarlett Pumpernickel

That the Scarlett Pumpernickel was voted the 31st best cartoon of all time by members of the animation field is no surprise. Every frame is beyond brilliant. Daffy Duck portrays the title character, a swashbuckler replete with bandana. Sylvester the Cat plays the stuttering malefactor. Note the plume on the hat! Their sword play is…Read the full article

O Bitter Victory

Robert was, by his own admission, in trouble. His trigonometry final was eight days out. The exam covered logarithms and conic sections as well. With the ink still wet on my undergraduate math degree, I considered myself something of a F-15 pilot: I can communicate anything to anybody in any brief amount of time. I…Read the full article

Bag Lady

“Res ipsa loquitur” means “the thing speaks for itself.” A Miami woman buys knock off pocketbooks and returns them to a designer store. She keeps the real pocketbooks in her closet. This thing speaks for itself. But I don’t know what it is trying to say. The fake pocketbooks are indistinguishable from the real ones….Read the full article


In the late 1960s, bus station food impressed us as having more to do with “bus station” than with “food.” Our perception was corroborated across days, states, and bus stops. Rather than suffer the gastronomic indignities of yet another questionable skillet, my buddy and I determined, in the decades before GPS, to find a good…Read the full article