How Much Self Revealing is Too Much for Your Student?

Good heavens! It’s hard to believe that any college applicants can be so misguided as to self- reveal in the manner described by this Assistant Yale Admission’s Director (article below), and several other college counselors. I don’t think this will ever be an issue for my students because of the way I structure our work. We immediately determine what character trait or quality defines them as a person and then we find narratives of these qualities in action in their lives. So when the time comes for essay writing, they have various excellent approaches. Without this kind of structure, I can imagine that many students will just talk themselves into writing drop-dead inappropriate essays that will get them rapidly rejected, which happened with those described in this article. See if you think any of these kid’s startling revelations have any merit, and if so why, if not, why not?

The article: NAKED CONFESSIONS OF THE COLLEGE-BOUND. Overshadowing in the Admission’s Essays by Frank Bruni in the June 14, NY Times.

"The Yale applicant had terrific test scores. She had fantastic grades. As one of Yale’s admissions officers... leafed through her application, he found himself more and more impressed. Then he got to her essay. As he remembers it, she mentioned a French teacher she greatly admired. She described their one-on-one conversation at the end of a school day. And then, this detail: During their talk, when an urge to go to the bathroom could no longer be denied, she decided not to interrupt the teacher or exit the room. She simply urinated on herself."

Her point was that she was not going to pull herself away from an intellectually stimulating conversation just to meet a physical need...

And his point in sharing her story in a recent interview? The same as mine in passing it along.

Read the rest of the article: