37. Acing the College Interview

I love talking about nothing. It is the only thing I know anything about.

—Oscar Wilde, novelist and dramatist

During an interview at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, the head of admissions asked my daughter Caitlin this question: “What is the most creative thought you’ve ever had?”

Caitlin’s first panicked thought was this: “What? I have no idea.” Then her brain kicked in, and she blurted out something about chopsticks. She told the dean that she wanted to learn how to use chop sticks with her left hand because she thought this would impress colleges.

Was this a silly answer? Absolutely. But Caitlin figured that answering the question was far better than hemming and hawing and ultimately punting ...

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