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How to be…

April 25, 2015

I need to do what you are doing–research the topic at hand,

But you may always be constrained more than slightly with my habit of cutting corners, The part about keeping thorough records, for instance…

I know how I got into college–prayer, and covering all my bases.

I took the SAT. Joined a panoply of clubs. Strove vigorously for a high GPA. Took college credit. Independent courses. Three foreign tongues. I honed my writing skills and read voraciously. Joined the swim team. Went to Israel. Volunteered.

In short, I looked good on paper.

There was only one problem–it was largely on paper. I held the position of vice-president in the Biological Honor Society at my high school in Panama–a country boasting a host of esteemed biologists there to study the rich tropical wildlife. I never went on a single trip. I only had to look good on paper.

Aside from Thomas More, the person you can thank for your homeschool lifestyle is my high school gifted coordinator. She mentored us. Listened to our problems. Enforced deadlines. She gave us a lot of freedom. But she also was frequently disappointed in me for cutting corners. Whenever there was an intellectual event I punted on she would look sad and say, it was good, you should have been there.

This essay should have paragraphs, a clearly definable topic sentences. Reliable sources, and an authoritative voice.

Instead it has me, in the shadow of the Almighty. He is the One who has made me real, because he forced me off the pages and into life–China, foster parenting. Heartbreak, loss, joy.

Sure, when you go to college you will need to show those dudes you are good on paper–hence the essay. But my aim is to skip the middle section of bureaucracy–prom, adolescent angst, climbing the rope in gym class–who needs that stuff?.

Be good at life, my child. Be good at life. In my estimation, you already are.

…Oh yeah…then write it all down.


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