Teaching the admissions essay

At a very high-scoring public school in southern California, writer Edward Humes offered to help students with their college admissions essays. “Have some fun with it,” said the principal.

When I parroted this notion to the kids, suggesting they look at their essays as a chance to relax and have fun with otherwise extremely formal applications, they stared at me as if I were insane. “Why don’t you just ask us to take off our shoes and have fun walking on broken glass?” one young man finally replied. It would have been funnier if were smiling when he said it.

Stress is a constant at Humes’ School of Dreams. So is success.

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