John Carpenter

What a Bug Can Teach You about Colleges


Today's column is from John Carpenter, author of  Going Geek: What Every Smart Kid (and Every Smart Parent) Should Know About College Admissions. Read on to learn what mustachioed caterpillars can teach you about finding a great college.


Many people know that I’ve been living in Costa Rica for the last year, and that I work at an amazing school with people from 65 different countries.  Sometimes I can’t believe how cool things are here.

The campus is home to some incredible bio-diversity.  There are more trees, flowers, and plants than I’ve ever seen.  Most days I just walk right by them and don’t really pay much attention to the huge variety of growing things around me.  But I’m beginning to learn that there’s more to a bunch of leaves than I thought.

About a month ago, our new teachers arrived on campus, and one of them is this very cool guy called Isaac.  He’s a Wesleyan grad, and he’s really smart--a geek who loves biology.  What sets him apart is that he will stop to look at any random plant on campus and instantly find very cool stuff living on it.  He caught a giant moth, for example, just to see how long its tongue was.

The Wait List: Explained

John Carpenter, author of  Going Geek: What Every Smart Kid (and Every Smart Parent) Should Know About College Admissions, has a column on his website today at that every student on a wait list could benefit from reading. "Don't You Hate the Wait List" explains how colleges manage their wait lists, the implications for financial aid, and what a students next steps should be. Carpenter's advice is both realistic and reassuring. Check it out.