Week 1: Hunt and Gather

Week 1: Hunt and Gather

Doing this step now will save you valuable time later when you’re fully into college and scholarship application and are preparing your brag sheet.

An old-school 3-ring is one of the best tools to keep track of your lists, your outlines, drafts and other bits you collect in the process.

Let’s go!

Create a list of your extracurricular activities

both inside and outside of school.

Ultimately, this is more than just a list. It is an important reflection of who you are as a person and what you value, so time spent on this step helps you be strategic with the limited space you have in any given application.


List all of the extracurriculars you have been involved in from 9th grade forward.


Next, shuffle the list into sub lists – this will help you narrow in on which activities to highlight on the common application or, use it to provide great ideas for writing application or scholarship essays.

Sublist 1  – List your activities in order of most meaningful to you.

Sublist 2 – List your activities in order of the most time committed.

Sublist 3 – List your activities in order of preparation for your intended career or college major i.e. if you intend to major in pre-med, your volunteer gig at a local hospital or organizing a blood drive at your school will be at the top.

Compile your honors.


Make a list of all of your academic honors.


Do the same for other honors i.e. volunteer of the month, employee of the month, leadership award, Eagle Scout, etc.

As you did with your extracurriculars, shuffle each list into the honors that mean the most to you or, best demonstrate your preparation for an intended career major.

Round up miscellaneous stuff

you never really think about.


What is the address of your school? You’ll need the zip code, too.


Name and email address of your counselor.


Your parents/legal guardian information – the app will ask for their birthplace, educational background and occupation. (Save this – you’ll need it for FAFSA, too.)


Test scores and test dates for the ACT or SAT.


Names and contact information for prospective recommenders.

Academic Information.


If you have access to your unofficial transcript, print it out and put it in the notebook to refer to when you begin your apps.  Even though your school will send an official transcript, you still have to “key in” a lot of detial about your grades and classes you have taken.


If you’ve moved around during your high school years, you’ll need to fill in the schools you attended.

Happy Listing!

Astrotwins – Project Blastoff by Mark Kelly with Martha Freeman

Astrotwins – Project Blastoff by Mark Kelly with Martha Freeman

Astrotwins – Project Blastoff by Mark Kelly with Martha Freeman

Readers ages 8-12

This has been an exciting summer celebrating the Apollo 11 Moon Landing and I am really enjoying reading and reviewing books related to space. Here’s the latest. Enjoy!

“Former astronaut Kelly takes a cool biographical fact—he and his identical twin brother, Scott, are the only siblings ever to fly in space—and spins it into an absorbing adventure.” Kirkus Reviews

 A summer visit with Grandpa starts the journey to space for eleven-year-old twins Mark and Scott Kelly. To keep the mischievous boys occupied, Grandpa suggests they build a spaceship and the idea sticks. The boys recruit some pals along the way and the story of an epic summer quest unfolds.

 What I love about this story? Definitely the science that the reader learns alongside the characters is an interesting, contextual way to slip in some knowledge building. The teamwork of the characters is a favorite piece for me, as each contributes and is valued according to his/her strengths – a theme that also runs through astronaut-author Kelly’s Moustronaut picture book series.

 Lastly, the book takes us back to 1975 before “google it” was the standard way to begin a search for information, when calls outside a local area had a surcharge and calculators were expensive tools, not a free phone app.

 A solid summer read and possibly, the inspiration for the next generation of space explorers.

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