When I was growing up, it was not uncommon to find myself on the wrong end of a lecture. Don’t get me wrong—I was a pretty good kid. The problem, at least as I saw it, was that my parents came from the old world where long [and often boring] talks were used to address missteps, wrongdoings, and of course, to occasionally secure [or was it manipulate?] good behavior.
In a modern world, us parents are encouraged to instead start conversations with their children. Why? Because asking Timmy why he pulled the cat’s tail [again], puts the focus on the mentee, not the mentor, where assumptions [Timmy is a mean kid who will grow up to take his feelings out on innocent cats] are delayed rather than made.
Now it would be unwise to suggest that a parent comes to a conversation with his or her child as a blank slate. In fact, having a theory or two about how your child might be feeling [Timmy is feeling jealous of his baby sister or Timmy needs a nap or Timmy...
On the first day of classes at the University of Portland, I routinely asked my freshman students to free-write about a series of questions. Before I gave them the list, I’d ask the class just the first one:
What is your relationship to writing?
Our class was an introduction to college writing, yet despite this emphasis students were often surprised by the question. I’d give them a few minutes to take out their paper and pens, before I invited them to begin. Most first days looked like this: two students furiously writing, a few whispering for more instructions from a peer, half of them staring at me in bewilderment, and one student bravely raising her hand for clarification, “You want us to write about what exactly?”
If I knew this scene was likely to replay, semester after semester, you might be wondering why I continued to let...
When it comes to applying to colleges across the country, every senior and their family has a strategy. For Emma, waiting to visit colleges after she received acceptances just felt practical. After all, she spent the summer before her senior year working a paid internship with Intel and writing her common application essay. Between writing more supplements, playing volleyball, and juggling her honors classes in the fall, letting the college acceptances introduce and eliminate her real options gave her just a bit of breathing room.
With merit scholarships ranging from $6000 (UO and OSU) to $20,000 (Brandeis) to $23,000 (UVT) per year, and the WUE scholarship at Colorado State, she didn't know how to pick. “After hearing back from all my schools, I wasn’t...
Why can’t Harry Potter just go to Hogwarts when he receives his acceptance letter?
Why can’t Dorothy get back home to Kansas?
Why don’t the townsfolk believe the little boy who cried wolf?
When Talya began applying for schools in the fall of 2018, she was far ahead of most of her peers. And that’s not only because she chose to apply early.
Talya is a parent’s dream. She operates on plans, checklists, note-taking, spreadsheets, and networking. If it’s important, Talya has seen it coming and she’s working on a strategy. These tactics are not new acquisitions either.
Talya, who grew up competing in sports, elected to attend a rigorous private high school, has volunteered hundreds of hours to Youthline, a crisis helpline with teen to teen support, and even sat on the Planned Parenthood Council before she was 18, is well practiced in getting her ship in order and aiming her sails at the high seas.
As she toured schools, tried on majors, and devoted herself to passionate causes, there was just one little thing (okay, it’s kind of a big thing) that kept Talya awake at night, worried that she might not be accepted into her dream school. That...