College-application essays

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Q.
 I need to write my college-application essay. What do you recommend?

A. Start now.

Start early to write your college-application essay. Start as soon as you know you will need to write one. Allow time to reflection, prepare and revise. Give yourself time to start all over, if you feel the need.

Choose a fascinating topic. You know that your application includes your grades, awards, activities, and so on. Write about something different or unique that will educate, amuse or answer questions for admissions evaluators. Use the personal statement to show another side of yourself.

Present your information and ideas in a focused, thoughtful and meaningful way. Support your ideas with examples. Do more than list your qualities or accomplishments.

Proofread. Print the essay in horizontal (“landscape”) format and read it again. Proofread. Switch between Arial and Times New Roman and read it again. Print it in 18-point type and read it again. Proofread.

These tips work for writing all personal essays, too.

Let’s hose a workshop

ttypo
I love this typo, which I found on a flyer at the gym.

First, you need to know that we are celebrating World Doula Week. Assuming you can define world and week, I will tell you that a doula is a woman who helps women handle the final stages of pregnancy, delivery itself and the beginning of baby management.

A doula is “an experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support,” things we used to do alone without conversation, certainly without paying stiff fees. The word, derived from ancient Greek, means “a woman who serves.”

Anyway, a Philadelphia doula service — here’s the typo — “will be hosing an informal gathering and information workshop.” That’s hosing, not the intended hosting. Made me laugh out loud, even though I no longer need maternity clothes.

Cold enough for ya?

Alberta ice tiny

Selling ice.

If not, we can import some ice from Alberta, Canada.
This restaurant, north of Waterton Lakes National Park, offers ice.

Ceci n’est pas une pipe

couscous tabouli in the same boxThe Belgian surrealist painter René Magritte painted a pipe and wrote under it, in French, “This is not a pipe.” Yet it was a pipe. Recently I bought three boxes of  tabbouleh (tabbouli/tabouli) from a high shelf in a supermarket. When I lay them flat on my cupboard shelf, I learned that I had purchased couscous. And so I realize that Ceci n’est pas tabouli. In fact, the packages contain couscous. Not bad, but not what I wanted.


Lessons learned?

1. If you’re the package, check your packaging.
2. If you’re the marketer, edit your packager.
3. If you’re the consumer, expect new taste treats.

Do not exit at the exit sign.

When you want to leave the madding crowd at Philadelphia International Airport, you cannot depart. You have followed the exit signs, schlepping your carry-ons, and Lo! No exit. Jean-Paul Sartre called it huis clos, which means, uh, no exit. So maybe this is a stage set for his play, No exit? Weclome to PHL.