Lunch “brakes”

No one in the history of my hometown could drive from my high school’s parking lot to my family’s house faster than I could.  It wasn’t easy, safe or completely legal, but for three months during the spring of my senior year, I drove home every day at lunch to check the mailbox hoping to […]

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Knowing your path vs. finding it

20 years ago, the student body president of my high school went on to UCLA as an economics major.  He said he might want to be a politician someday, which made sense at the time.  But today, he's an emergency room physician and the Associate Medical Director for NBC Universal.  In first period Spanish, our […]

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A fundraising idea for high schools sports teams

If you're a high school athlete (or the parent of one) and your team needs funds for uniforms, travel, or new equipment, you might consider re-evaluating your usual fundraising and trying something a little different.  Instead of selling candy bars or getting businesses to purchase ads in a team directory, I think there's a huge […]

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SAT vs. ACT

Here's something my friend Paul from The Princeton Review taught a group of students and parents at "College Night" last week. Kids who like math much more than English tend to prefer the SAT.  Kids who like English much more than math tend to prefer the ACT. Why?  As Paul put it, "Because the SAT […]

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Looks can be deceiving

My accountant is the most responsible and successful people I’ve ever met.  But he used to spend spring breaks with his fraternity in Rosarito, Mexico sleeping in tents on the beach.  That’s nothing compared to the college shenanigans of my lawyer and my liability insurance agent.  Sure, they’re buttoned-down, successful family men today.  But I […]

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Information seeking

Have you visited the websites of the colleges that interest you (or that interest your kids)?  I'm often surprised by how few families have.  It's good to be an information seeker when it comes to colleges.  You can't sit back and wait for people to hand you the information you need to find, apply and […]

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No excuses

I worked with a student who once lamented to me that the police in his neighborhood were so "bored" that they'd given him three speeding tickets in one month.  What?  You're blaming the police? Then his parents told me, "Can you believe how unlucky he is?  To get three speeding tickets in one month!" Again…what??? […]

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Moving the goalposts

Exclusivity breeds popularity.  The more exclusive the night club, the more we wish we could get inside (and the longer the lines outside will grow).  The popular kids in high school aren't necessarily the nicest or the smartest–it's the air of exclusivity that makes them popular (an air that disappears approximately two-and-a-half minutes after graduation, […]

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Can you teach it back?

The best way to learn something is to get to a point where you could teach it to someone else. When the University of California first announced their new eligibility requirements, I was asked to explain them to a group of students and parents at a local high school.  I'd already read all the material […]

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