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TAKE IT FROM ME: Expert Advice From Our Readers

Applying to Private School


Study up. Start your research a full year before your targeted admission date. Go to private school fairs, often held throughout the fall. To find those in your area, contact local private schools or associations.

Get organized. Use a spreadsheet, such as the one you can produce from the downloadable template offered with McClure’s Private School Application Workbook. It will help you keep contact information handy and stay on top of admissions tasks and deadlines.

Visit. A pet peeve of admissions officers is families that do not make time for a school visit. Take advantage of open houses and information sessions before you apply, and be aware that afterward, schools might expect you and your child to show up for events such as visiting days, tours, and interviews.

Engage your child in the project. The pupil can, for example, attend kid-friendly school fairs and write thank you notes. Such involvement will prepare your child for school visits and interviews. It will also help you determine if a particular school is a good match.

Look into financial aid. Don’t assume you’re too poor for private school. Most schools offer financial aid of some kind. For instance, Phillips Exeter Academy charges zero tuition to any accepted student whose family income is $75,000 or less. And don’t assume you’re too rich to qualify for aid, either. A CNNMoney article observed that some private schools offer partial financial aid to families in the $150,000 to $350,000 range.

Editing a Multi-author Book

Choose collaborators carefully. Find a trustworthy co-editor with knowledge and skills that complement yours. Choose contributors who write clearly, stay on topic, and meet their deadlines. And hire a dependable administrative assistant with excellent communication skills.

Develop a clear vision for the book. Otherwise you could end up with a series of unrelated essays, rather than chapters that compose an integrated volume.

Be consistent. Edit the book to achieve a uniform style and format.

Mix it up. Use stories, case studies, and illustrative examples to make the book intellectually engaging, and include photographs, graphs, tables, and boxes of text for visual appeal.

Attend to detail. Ensure that the text is factually accurate, suitably comprehensive, correctly referenced, and helpfully cross-referenced.

How to Support a Dying Loved One


Listen. Be mindful of the moment you are together, remaining present and engaged. Don’t worry about what you are going to say next.

Settle into silences. Illness, the effects of medication, or a topic’s emotional weight may slow mental processes. Silences give your loved one time to think, so don’t ramble on to fill in the blanks.

Show acceptance and respect. Refrain from judgment or unsolicited advice. And avoid saying “I know how you feel.” A common response is “You have no idea.” Allow the person to define his or her own feelings.

Be comfortable talking about death. Shying away when your loved one tries to speak about death and dying can make him or her feel more isolated. Remember that conversations about the subject can give you an opportunity to connect with the person more deeply.

Don’t overstay your welcome. People can fatigue easily, even after a few minutes.

Consider occupational therapy. Loss of independence can make dying people fearful, angry, and depressed. Occupational therapists can help minimize this loss. For example, a computer might be modified so that someone whose dexterity has been impaired can still type. Or someone who needs to conserve his or her energy might be coached to sit down while getting dressed or making a sandwich.

Know your limits. Pace yourself. Seek out your own support.

So You Think You Can’t Draw

Trust yourself. If you can make a mark on the paper, you can draw. There is a part of you that knows what to do. Follow it, and don’t worry if what you draw looks different from what others draw. We all have our own visions and our own ways of expressing those visions.

Throw away your eraser. In drawing there are no mistakes, only unexpected paths to follow. Think of each “mistake” as a possible new journey, one that might turn out better than expected.

Make your mark. An artist has to experiment. Try crumpling your paper and then drawing on it. Draw a fast line, a bumpy line, a jagged line, a line broken into pieces. Hold your pencil on the very top and draw feathery marks. Use the edge of your pencil and make short dashes. Put a pencil in each hand and make lines that cross one another.

Don’t judge. It takes courage to draw. Be respectful of both your own work and that of others.

  © 2012 Tufts University Tufts Publications, 80 George St., Medford, MA 02155