Applying for School

My friend’s son is applying to a private middle school. I’m in the process of high-school-junior-year-searching-for-college-stress, so I really do feel her pain. Of course her search is much easier. In the first place, it’s middle school. And she’s not even searching – her older son goes to the high school. I’m pretty sure her soon-to-be sixth grader is locked in – you know, legacy status and all.

But still, there are some steps they have to go through. Formalities. They have to fill out an application. There might be an interview involved. And her son has to write an essay.



Oh the dreaded application essay. I’ve been hyperventilating over contemplating the college essay prompts from the Common Application that Chandler has to choose from. All I can say is that I’m glad I’m not applying to college. Those prompts are hard.

For example, here’s one I’ll take a stab at:

  • Recount an incident or time when you experienced failure.  How did it affect you, and what lessons did you learn?

I experience failure all the time. You see, I’ve written a book. I think it’s awesome. My mom and all my friends tell me its awesome too. (Except for the part when my mom told me my protagonist was a bit whiny. Or maybe that was one of my friends. Whatever.) I’ve submitted it to several agents and they do not think it’s awesome. Most have rejected it outright.

A couple asked for a partial and one requested a full manuscript, but they ended up rejecting it too.

One very junior reader at a literary agency seemed to like it and passed it on to some senior staff members. They suggested she might be better suited for a career in retail. (Okay, I might have made that last part up.)

This affected me by making me dive face first into my secret stash of sea salt and turbinado sugar dark chocolate almonds from Trader Joe’s and chase it down with my not-so-secret stash of freezer vodka. Every time.

I’ve learned that dark chocolate goes better with wine than with vodka. And also that I must be a big dum dum who is quite possibly incapable of learning, because I keep querying that damn book and pairing dark chocolate with the wrong alcoholic beverage.


I think it’s a good thing I already have my degree.

But back to my friend and her son’s quest to be accepted to a particular private middle school (which for the purpose of this post we’ll call Awesome Middle School). She shared her son’s application essay with me and it is so spectacular that I told her I needed to share it with you. Here it is:

What gifts can you bring to Awesome Middle School?

I bring a few gifts to Awesome Middle School, such as my strength as a leader, my athletic abilities, and my level of knowledge. The reason I said I am a good leader is because everyone is afraid of me, and it’s not my fault, it’s my height. I mean it’s not my fault that I’m five four, but it comes in handy sometimes telling people to be quiet. Also I’m not that scary once you know me. I have a good sense of humor, and am decent all around at sports playing defense. Defense is my best position in most sports except football, where I play offensive line. My grades are good all around and I have a love for reading an am really good at it.

The kid is obviously a shoo-in. Even without the legacy status. Maybe we can have him come over and help Chandler with his application essay. It couldn’t hurt.


Photo credit: Chris Drumm via

2 thoughts on “Applying for School

  1. I’m five feet six inches tall and my kids don’t think I’m scary at all.
    Damn. What am I doing wrong?

    As for your book: we are right. The agents are wrong.
    So far.

    Only so far.

  2. ***I’ve learned that dark chocolate goes better with wine than with vodka.**

    I agree! (smiling)

    Can’t wait to read your book one day soon. xxxxxxxxxxxx

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