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Saturday, December 8

THE COLLEGE ESSAY.....a few suggestions

from my best boy Bill Bonner at TheDailyReckoning. He was my first! (The first on my favorites, the first link I ever clicked on when I turned on our first computer and took my first internet cruise -- way back in the day.....I think it was a Wednesday!)

His advice to his son:

The 17-year-old has to write his college essay. He's applying to various American universities…and to Cambridge in the United Kingdom. But he's also going to one of the toughest schools in France…where he is doing math that bears no resemblance to anything tackled by the Class of '66 at Southern High in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

The problem for Henry is that he has to try to keep up with his work in school…while also figuring out where to go to college and getting together his applications.

"Sorry, Henry, I have no idea what any of this stuff means," we had to tell him…after trying to figure out one of his math problems. "But maybe I can help with your essay."

"Well, I'm supposed to write something that tells a bit about who I am…about something that influenced me…or a book that made a big impression on me. I was thinking of writing about To Kill a Mockingbird."

"Don't do that," was our advice. "They must get thousands of kids writing about To Kill a Mockingbird. And what are you going to say that hasn't already been said a thousand times? Instead, I would choose something that is specific to you. Original. Don't try to talk about big themes…don't try to sound smart…or wrestle with global warming or ethical issues. Just tell a story. Write with your eyes and your ears. Tell it as it happened. Tell what you heard. What you saw. What happened. Let them see who you are…by seeing the world that you see…through your eyes. Don't try to explain who you are or what you think. Don't come to a conclusion; let the reader do that. Don't use big words…and no Latinate words; stick to Anglo-Saxon words."

"Hmmm….then maybe I should tell about that time I helped Damien. That was an experience. We were working with power tools in the rain. It was shocking. Heh heh. And Damien practically cut his finger off."

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THANKS BILL -- I'm gonna use this advice -- I HOPE
We are just starting the college application process.

Unfortunately, my precious baby boy is having a difficult time understanding the concept of the "self-addressed stamped envelope" that he needs to give to the teachers, guidance dept., and those writing letters of recommendations on his behalf.

I'll keep you posted.......

(I may be sending him to the "yawning black pits of the Alberta oil sands" - along with a few of my own self-addressed stamped envelopes for him to insert those huge paychecks!)

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