Crazy U: One Dad’s Crash Course in Getting His Kid into CollegePosted by hclibrary on Oct 25, 2012 in Mental Health, Parenting, Reviews | 0 comments
by Cherise Tasker
As evidenced from my earlier posts, getting a child prepared for college can be a hectic and nerve-wracking experience. With the college guidebooks, campus tours, standardized entrance exams, application essays, financial aid forms – Crazy U lets loose and makes it okay to laugh instead of cry.
Andrew Ferguson, an essayist, journalist, and political speechwriter, injects his perspective as wordsmith and father into the life event that is the college application process. Ferguson travels with his son on the journey from selecting colleges to which he will apply, all the way to selecting a college to attend. The book cuts through the higher education sales and marketing world to reveal what students and their families really need to know about what admissions officers are thinking. Along the way, we learn how Ferguson’s family survives the application process, including worries about rejection letters and how they will finance their son’s education.
Reading this while going through the process with my own son, I wished there was more detailed information from various college officials. The book is well researched, but I sensed there was an attempt throughout to avoid insulting or praising individual institutions, perhaps out of tact or legal considerations. That said, the book is otherwise well worth the time of any parent who has gone through the college application process or will be soon. I hope some admission officers will read this too, if only to see the application process through the eyes of students and their families.
The descriptions of the redundancy of the college tours and torture of application essay questions are laugh-out-loud funny. The depiction of the enthusiastic college student tour guide walking backwards through the scenic campus was so hilarious that I read it aloud to anyone who would listen. On a gut level, I shared the process of extracting essay responses from a recalcitrant teen whose ear buds were always firmly in place.
Crazy U is a welcome and recommended alternative to those college guidebooks accumulating dust on the shelf. It definitely beats the know-it-all blogosphere. Go ahead, have a good laugh, relieve some stress, and then get back to checking the grammar, punctuation, and word count of your child’s most recently completed essay.