Posts tagged with "D.C."

Rethinking Summer Plans for Teens

red tulips istockIMG_3126Do you think that sending your child to Stanford or Oxford or Johns Hopkins will help him or her get into an “elite” college? This excellent article debunks that myth.

Instead, I’m a huge fan of letting your child drive the summer bus. What does she never have enough time for? In what does he lose himself? Summer is the time to ease up on the classroom stress and let your teen explore outside the usual boundaries. And any summer job — however menial or “unimpressive” — can be a wonderful learning experience. Check out this amazing essay by a Johns Hopkins student who worked at a bakery for the summer.

Of course, if you’re a rising senior, this summer is an excellent time to start working on your college essays, but not in a stressful way. Writing your college essays should be a time of introspection and exploration. If that scares you, then come to my free talk, Writing YOUR College Essay, at Arlington Central Library, Arlington, VA, on 5/22/16 at 7:30 pm.

Or you can hire me. I work with students in the Washington, D.C., area in person and all over the country via Skype and do prefer to get started over the summer. I’ll make you work very hard on these essays, but they will be some of the best, most reflective words you’ve written.

[This photo is from an Ai Weiwei exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. Museum excursions are a fabulous part of any summer.]

Writing YOUR College Essays – My Free Talk

admission imageI’m happy to announce that my FREE annual talk on how to writing your college essays will be on Sunday, May 22nd at 7:30 pm at Arlington Central Library in the auditorium. I will be covering how the personal essays fit into your whole application, what admission officers say they want in these essays, and how to make your essays stronger. I’ll also share some examples of great essay hooks to inspire you!

My talk is designed for high school juniors, but parents are also welcome to attend. Please arrive early to get a seat. I look forward to seeing you!

Common App Glitches

admission imageLike the rollout of so many new or revised products, the latest version of the Common App has experienced lots of glitches.  (See this recent article in The Washington Post for an update.)  All of this is occurring with the early application deadline of November 1st looming.  While a very few schools have extended their early deadline, it’s best to be prepared.

I just sent an email reminding all the students I coach to send their early applications in a few days before the November deadline to avoid tears and hair pulling. Chances are that the Common App system will be overloaded on 11/1, so it’s best to be prepared.

As they say, the best defense is a good offense.

 

“Empowered”

CoachSkills_400On the advice of several friends and colleagues, I’m expanding my business into a wider array of essay coaching.  I’m now offering coaching on everything from the Thomas Jefferson High School admission test essays to scholarship essays to graduate schools essays and everything in between. Why?  Because there’s a definite need and because I love it!

It’s great fun to get to know my students and help them find their authentic voices.  One Washington and Lee High School mom, whose son is applying early, said that he left our session feeling “empowered.”  Isn’t that the word that every coach and teacher wants to hear?  I sure do, and that’s one of my primary goals:  that my students walk out of our sessions knowing they have the skills, understanding, and talent to tackle writing in a new way.

My students are some of the best and brightest around, yet they have no clue how to write a strong personal essay.  It’s completely different from writing DBQ’s or a five-paragraph essay or an Advanced Placement analysis. Many of their first drafts are formulaic snoozers that will be easily discarded by an overwrought admissions officer.  I tell my students clearly that I’m not being mean, but honest.  They need to take their writing to the next level, and it’s been tremendously satisfying to watch them do just that.

Happy writing!