Tag Archives: being

College Essay Writing Tip #2 – Remember We Are All Beginners at Some Point

pen and paperThis might be the most important tip that I will share with you because it speaks to confidence. Believing you can write a great essay is the very first step to writing a great essay. Measured confidence can take you pretty far because you won’t be afraid to fail. You’ll just dust yourself off and sharpen your pencil again.

The beauty of the college essay is that it remains hidden until you decide to release it into the world. If you hate what you’ve written, you don’t have to submit it. It’s that simple. So go for it!

You must remember that writing is like anything else. Baseball players don’t show up at The World Series final game without practicing (a ton). Pianist don’t show up at Carnegie Hall without practicing (a ton). Teachers don’t show up to the classroom – Doctors don’t show up for surgery – Magicians don’t show up to the stage – Preachers don’t show up to the pulpit without a ton of preparation.

When you sit down to write your essay, remember that you are very likely a beginner. This means that it might be challenging in ways you didn’t expect. Just keep writing and revising. You will get there!

Here is what Ira Glass has to say about being a beginner…

So trust your writerly instincts and get busy creating that first draft!

P.S. For the full list of college essay writing tips, click here.

Stranger Danger……..

I was listening to the local news radio station and heard a news story that there had been a few attempted abductions of girls in the area. My mommy ears perked right up and I paid full attention.

There really is no need to panic and lock your children in the basement just yet. It seems that these have been isolated incidents which occurred pretty far away from each other and, thankfully, no-one was actually taken because the girls were able to get away. Truthfully, we don’t need stories like Penn State and this one to remind us that the sad reality is, whether it’s on the news or not, we have to teach our kids to be careful. The boogie man is, very unfortunately, real.

But we also have to teach them to live and laugh and enjoy.

So, how do you effectively scare the hell out of your kids so that they are watchful, but also insist that they relax enough to not need anxiety pills every time they step out of the front door? Welcome to the hard-core world of parenting where that kind of balance simply does not exist.

For example, yesterday Flower had a friend over. They wanted to go to the playground. They are old enough to go to the playground. They should be outside in the fresh air rather than sunk in a couch simultaneously texting (probably each other) and playing the Wii.

So, in attempt to master that impossible balance, I said to them, “Yes. You can go to the playground. But, girls, stay together. Come back when it’s dark. It’s not enough to have your phone, you must also answer it if I call you. And, if someone walks up to you with a picture of a puppy and asks you to get in the car to help him look for it – RUN!”

And then I added, “Oh yeah, now go have fun.”

We did seriously have a little chat about how unlikely it was that someone would warn them that they were about to be abducted and how much more likely it would be that they would be presented with a plausible, compelling reason to let their guard down. And how important it was that they not do that. It was really a light-hearted talk about being careful – we did laugh a little bit in between my bullet points. They walked out the door without trembling and had big smiles on their faces.

Surely that was balance achieved – wouldn’t you agree?

On their own, they decided not to go to the playground. There was someone there and they didn’t get a great vibe. So they opted to play in front of the house.

And then it happened.

A woman walked up to them and asked them if Flower and her friend had seen her little dog. It was already dark at this point and they could not make out her face.

No, I am not lying.

That is exactly what happened.

They looked at each other and looked at the woman. They were very quickly trying to figure out what to do. Clearly they had been paying attention to my presentation. But they didn’t recognize her and they didn’t run. Maybe it was the fact that she wasn’t in a car that threw them off. Or maybe it was that she didn’t have an actual picture in her hands. AURGH.

The woman must have sensed that they were a little spooked so, as she walked closer, she put the flashlight on her face. Flower realized it was a neighbor from our street.

They were freaked out. Flower’s friend thought I might be a witch capable of seeing into the future. (Which is clearly not the case, because I would have never let them out of my sight if I had a vision that a stranger in the dark asked them to help her find her dog.)

When the girls came inside they were at least giggling but still pretty nervous.

We all laughed about it. Okay, I pretended to laugh – I actually nearly threw up when they said a woman had really asked them to find her dog.

I am not sure I am cut out for this parenting nonsense. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thanksgiving Resolutions…………

Happy (almost) Turkey Day! Gobble Gobble.

Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday. I heart Thanksgiving!

I love that the menu is the same as last year. I love that the Macy’s Day Parade is on t.v. I love that football follows the parade. I love that it is cold outside and I get to stay inside. I love the food. I love spending the day with family and that they are willing to come here to share in thankfulness. I love that the leaves crunch under their feet when they walk in the front door. I love it that my kids have started to help with the cooking. I love that there are yummy scrummy leftovers. I love it a.l.l. d.a.y. l.o.n.g.

This year, I decided to make my resolutions at Thanksgiving rather than New Years. I ain’t so great at resolutions anywho. I am usually way too ambitious. I don’t like to write it all down because that seems too big of a commitment (maybe I am missing the point here). And then I simply forget what I promised myself. So I figured why not make those pesky promises at the beginning of the holidays – when I am still full of the joy of the season and not yet exhausted by it all? That way I can start over at New Years if it all turns out to be a big fail. ๐Ÿ˜Ž There have to be mulligans in New Years resolutions, right?

Therefore and hitherto – I promise to try to stop having opinions about flippin’ everything. We all do it – “why is she wearing that” or “does he really think that makes sense”? We are all very wise to the world when it comes to what other people are doing as compared to what we know well they should be doing. Full of opinions *read criticisms* we are of what other people have got going on.

Let’s stop the madness – yes, dear reader, I am dragging you along with my Thanksgiving Resolution Revolution – and give everyone a break.

Oh yea, and where we can, let’s try to be a little more generous with sharing our time, talents, and patience.

I donated some food to a local food bank yesterday and boy, that felt good. Just knowing that another mother will have the opportunity to struggle to get her children to eat green beans tomorrow did my heart good. Lots of food is on sale right now (and you are likely to be in a grocery store at least 50 times in the next few weeks), food banks are really hurting, and it’s an easy peasy way to help out.

So anyturkey, that’s it. I am going to try to say to myself “why do I need to have an opinion about this” before I open my big fat mouth and share exactly what I am thinking. And if you know me, add me to your prayer list and wish me luck! This won’t be easy. ๐Ÿ˜‰