I'm alive.

<p>Hello friends,</p>

<p>Though I was so blatantly censored (very un-Haverford-Honor-Code-esque) about 2 weeks ago, I have returned to give you a little update, in case you were wondering:</p>

<p>-Princeton application has been sent: Protest Essay (Main), Dad Essay (short), Mail Essay (short), Internship Essay (optional), Congressman Israel (optional recommendation), Principal (optional recommendation), Slides (Arts Supplement)</p>

<p>-Current list:</p>

<p>Haverford, Middlebury, Bowdoin, Tufts, Georgetown, Chicago, Williams, Dartmouth, Trinity, Harvard, Columbia.</p>

<p>I truly only LOVE Harvard, Georgetown, Princeton, and Haverford - but combined the average acceptance rate is probably 20% so I'm screwed.</p>

<p>I don't know what I am going to do with my life, I just want to go to college and love it there, but for some reason I have my doubts.</p>

<p>Anyways, thats my update...I don't think I'll be posting for a while, cause you can't say much around here. I'll be back in December...</p>

<p>Don't be a stranger. I recall each draft of the protest, mail, dad, and internship essays. You were one of the few I responded to, because I saw how you truly listened to people's comments and tried to incorporate their ideas into future drafts. Also, your passion was contagious. Your mail essay remains one of my favorites; it was so original and spoke so much about your intellectual curiosity.
I'm old-fashioned, but have a hard time with people "falling in love" with a college or two, based on a visit. To me, this sounds like infatuation. So much focus on the superficial qualities, like state of dorms and architecture. You are applying to only top colleges, and will find quality staff and students at each one. (You did apply to NY state schools, right?) Falling in love takes time, and so much depends on the attitude--focussing on the best, accepting the flaws.
I worked in rural LAC, suburban LAC, then city university, and found things to like about each, and was always reluctant to move on. Ultimately, each move turned out "to be for the best". I think you will find college to be an exhilarating experience, wherever you go.</p>

<p>Hey, ilcapo, I was wondering what happened to you too. I also think you are a very interesting person and have a great chance of getting in to many of these colleges. Many of us here on the parent's forum followed with interest your activities and essays, so keep in touch and let us know how things are going.</p>

<p>Hey, ilcapo....good luck!</p>


<p>Every single one of the colleges on your list is great; I won't worry about your chances of being happy at any one of them. I,too, enjoyed your essays. Let us know what happens.</p>

<p>I also was wondering what happened to you as you were a frequent poster. I think you are an excellent candidate for selective schools and put a lot of effort into the application process. I am someone who feels there are way more than one school in which a kid could be happy and thrive and urge you to not hone in on any one particular school (or else) kind of thinking. While my own kid is so happy at her college as a freshman and says she is glad she picked it, I feel certain she would have said the same thing had she gone to several other schools on her list (all of which she liked at the time). </p>

<p>My concern with you, however, is that even though you are an excellent student with many accomplishments, that even with the best students, it is imperative to have safety schools or a range of schools you truly like. The safeties need not be your state school or a school that is not appealing to you or very easy to get into. For a student like you, there are safety schools out there that are excellent in their own right and still selective but not as selective as the schools on the list you just posted. I would feel way more comfortable if I were you or your parents, if your list was more balanced in that way. At the top schools, you hold a lottery ticket. Congrats for being qualified to enter into that lottery but there is a lot of chance involved. </p>

<p>I hope and feel you ought to get into some of those schools, but please consider two safeties as well for ease of mind.
best of luck....you put a lot into your apps!

<p>I just keep reminding myself that when I saw Trinity the first time, I loved it. It wasn't until after seeing the other schools that I bounced it down my list. So I'm sure I will be fine there!</p>

<p>My application came together very nicely. Especially after some of my friends asked for help with their essays/brag sheets, I realize that all of the polishing really paid off - and I'm very very thankful for all of your help! One of my teachers let me read her recommendation and it was amazing, so that should help as well...to quote, she said something along the lines of "I can't imagine a school who would not want Kyle to grace its halls". That was a nice thing to read, a confidence-booster I suppose hahah.</p>

<p>So I figured I'd post all of em for those who have watched the essays on their long ride. Its interesting because I think it was good that I stepped away from here for a few weeks, it forced me to fix everything on my own, and then actually SEND THEM! If I kept posting them here I'd probably still be waiting. At some point you just have to say, its up to them!</p>

<p>Protest Essay:</p>

<p>The orange nets unfurled from the hands of the police, I stood there frozen, not immediately alert to looming danger. The police lifted their clubs, I lifted my camera. The demonstrators fell to the ground, I kneeled beside them. Images flashed before me, and I responded with the click of a button. The danger was still present, but remarkably, so were the protesters</p>

<p>A man holding up a bible, a policeman holding up a gun. An elderly lady playing chess with a dog at her side, an AIDS victim struggling for his last breath as protestors trampled him. What I was witnessing was more than a democratic movement; it was a snapshot of society at its best and worst. </p>

<p>When it started, I feared the protestors. They picked through garbage looking for left over food while I chewed on my granola bar that Mom had packed me. I clung to my cell phone with the number of a civil rights lawyer on speed dial, while they simply hoped that someone might bail them out. As the days dragged on, however, our differences became less of an issue, and our commonalities became integral to both of our causes. The protestors needed the awareness that I could provide, and I needed subjects to photograph.</p>

<p>It all began with the purchase of a pin. While the professional media sat patiently and waited for that one token shot of a protestor being dragged away handcuffed, I took an alternative approach. It seemed simple enough: affix an anti-Bush pin to my backpack, and reap the rewards that often come along when a photojournalist connects with his subjects. To some extent, this proved true. For days I had envied the photographers who got the “money shots”, and now, miraculously, the protestors put their faith in my pin and chose to turn to me as they were taken away. What they saw in me was the ability to make their cause known, and though I was elated by the incredible photographs I was getting, I also felt guilty that I was not capable of exposing their message to a greater audience. I was not the NY Times; I could not deliver their message to the masses. When they spelled out their names as if they were to appear in the caption, all I could do was frustratingly call them in to the AP wire.</p>

<p>As the days dragged on, however, my connections with the crowds grew closer. A bag of chips here, a free cell phone call there, any little thing that might draw me closer was worth the effort. During their brief respites, our conversations finally (and thankfully) revealed that the messages they wished to convey were meant to extend to all facets of society. They knew I was not a NY Times photographer, but they turned to me anyway. They turned to me to depict the truth to the members of my society, not their own, and not even to the readers of the Times. They wanted to show everyone what they were fighting for: the students of Northport High School, the internet surfers who passed through my website, even the relatives who viewed my albums. This refreshing revelation proved integral to the development of my role as a budding photojournalist. </p>

<p>The power of my camera was suddenly obvious. With the snap of a button, I could capture a movement without a word. I could freeze a moment in time that represented so much more than that one flash, and yet I could speak volumes through an eighth of a second and a few chemicals.</p>

<p>When the nets came sweeping through the park, I recalled the time when I was envious of the protesters around me. I thought that they were there for the right reasons and I was there for the wrong reasons. They were there to daringly prove, and I was there merely to document. What I realized in just a few days though, was that worrying about which role was more important than the other was hindering my true passions as both a political activist and a photojournalist, and that in reality, these roles could be easily balanced. So I grabbed a sign, slung a camera around my neck, affixed my button, and chanted with the rest of them. The whole world was watching, and I wanted them to see it my way.</p>

<p>Mail Essay:</p>

<p>To any young mother, finding a diversion for her child is of imminent concern. But for me, the typical activities such as soccer and chess were replaced with a pen, paper, envelope, stamp, and my mother’s goading to write. For a few weeks, friends and family were my only targets, until one night I returned home to find an “address book of the stars” on my pillow. Suddenly, I was opened up to a world wherein the actor I saw on screen or the pitcher I saw at Shea Stadium became as accessible as any family member or friend. All it took was a little research for me to gain the ammunition to write a powerful letter, and in no time I was sending off encouragement to Drew Barrymore, gratitude to Kofi Annan, or criticism to the President. I did my best to grant child-like wisdom to these icons and in return they granted me guidance that came from their first-hand experiences. As each piece of advice passed by me, a mark of distinction or question to ponder was left. Whether it was Maya Angelou’s encouragement to stay in school or Pat Benetar’s rambling on the benefits of music education, no lesson has been lost. </p>

<p>Some days, after I had dropped off the mail, I would lie on my bed and imagine the envelopes that were floating across the world with my address on their upper-left-hand corner. The estate of Princess Diana, the prison cell of Nelson Mandela, even the Capetown ministry of Desmond Tutu became new worlds to explore. As I have continued to grow, however, these epistolary explorations have been supplemented by physical journeys that have allowed me to see people and places first-hand. Classmates in a lecture hall, the dangerous streets of Harlem, co-workers at a museum– the lives and viewpoints of I come across have helped create a clearer identity for myself in much the same way the “celebrity-letters” have. Though the role that mail plays in my life may diminish as I begin to see the world in more tangible ways, the wonderful introduction to humanity the letters from my past granted me will never be replaced.</p>

<p>Dad Essay:</p>

<p>For much of my childhood, one of my goals was to be everything my dad was when he was living. I wanted to walk like him, talk like him, do the things he did when he was a kid….everything! What society had told me was that a boy was to be like his father, and since my father wasn’t around, I had to go by what I saw in pictures or video. Unfortunately, these small snapshots of a man’s life did not go far in describing his true nature. I clung to every aspect of his character, and emulated the man these pictures, films, and tales told me he was – until one day, I stumbled across my mother’s diary, and learned that no man, even my father, was perfect. What I learned that day was that the man I had been creating in my mind was an ideal that I believed a father should be. He was strong and firm, but loving and caring, and he certainly didn’t make mistakes. So when I read the diary and learned that he did in fact make mistakes, my Dad became someone even more important to me than ever before. Suddenly, I was freed from the expectations to live up to the example he set. The change was quick and drastic; I went from failing as an athlete to flourishing as an artist, questioning the Republicans I affiliated myself with to embracing the platforms of the Democrats, and from striving to be tough to striving to be compassionate. For a while, I wondered if I was shaming my father by not emulating him in every way. Did he think I was weak because I played no sports or crazy because I supported Kerry? </p>

<p>What my mother thankfully helped me realize, though, was that a father, whether living or dead, would love his son no matter what he did. Today, I try my best to blend the examples he has set for me with my own passions and dreams. I know that as he watches me, he is proud of everything I do and captivated by my life’s twists and turns. As I look forward towards the future I see my dad as a part of the greater meaning of my life; he will always be another influence in my decisions and a sign that I have chosen the right path. While others may pass through my life, the firm hand with which he guides me from above will always be present, knowing exactly when to push me along and when to let me figure it out on my own. My dad, the ideal father.</p>

<p>So that's that! I hope they will get the job done!</p>

Your essays turned out great, and really let your personality shine through. I am sure you'll get into many of the schools on your list, and will do great in whichever one you end up attending. It was really remarkable to see you using this forum as a resource and as a support group. The way your essays evolved over time was a result of careful listening and hard work, and I am sure it will all pay off. Best of luck to you.</p>

<p>ilcapo _ Susan has very good advice for you. I don't recall your stat and EC profile, but two schools that fit well on your current list, but are less selective, are Kenyon and Connecticut College.</p>

<p>Best of luck with Princeton (and John Kerry.)</p>

<p>Reid - </p>

<p>I actually just got a trip grant to look at Kenyon, which is exciting...</p>

<p>And I really did like Conn College, it just didn't thrill me. I think I'd choose Trinity over Conn.</p>

<p>Great essays. Do you have to write more for other schools on your list? I'll say a prayer for Princeton (and Kerry). </p>

<p>Funny thing about the upcoming election - my neighborhood is notoriously liberal and politically engaged. Last night, Halloween, was interesting as we trick-or-treated. I saw an adult dressed as a clown carrying a ballot box that read "Nov 3 - Vote Republican"..lol. Also, many of the homes had tombstones on the lawn that read "RIP Bush". One home had Bush hanging by a rope around his neck (did he hang himself?)...and thne there were the elaborate anti-Bush pumpkin carvings. As several hundred kids went door to door in a 4 block radius, the parents had their own fun.</p>

<p>It seems every "applicant season" at least one CC kid hangs out on the Parents Forum long enough to make his mark and have everyone rooting for him. Last year it was Candi and Evil Robot.</p>

<p>Ilpaco - good luck and best wishes.</p>

<p>Has anyone noticed that Evil Robot is now thinking of transferring? I don't know the details but was kind of surprised to see that.</p>

<p>Anyhow, Icalpo, I have a good feeling that you will end up in exactly the right place next year. We are rooting for you. Best of luck!</p>

<p>yes, I saw Evil Robot's post in College Admissions! I was surprised too - unless this is another Evil Robot..(with lowercase letters).</p>

<p>There are 2 evil robots- Ours (see our "our" children never leave us, even though they belong to other people? does this now make us obsessed?), who I believe Carolyn responded to about transferring. Then there is another one who states that he is a H.S. freshman who is posting on the admissions forum.</p>

<p>Aha, that explains it !! :)</p>

<p>It seems every "applicant season" at least one CC kid hangs out on the Parents Forum long enough to make his mark and have everyone rooting for him. Last year it was Candi and Evil Robot.</p>

<p>Hey, where would be be without the CC kid that taught us the most? Xiggi</p>

<p>Was there ever any doubt that Xiggi would find his niche without any help from us? Instead, he helped all of us. But we shared Candi's and Evil Robot angst over whether they could attend their dream school, Yale. Their story illustrates what so many posters have said about the middle-class squeeze and college accessibility.</p>