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Stepping Off the Stage

Early in the writing process, performing is my worst enemy. The cursor keeps blinking while I keep staring. The problem in these moments is that I’ve leapfrogged over writing, straight to publishing, and to what I think the audience wants from the final draft. And then … I’m frozen.

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Give Yourself Away

As a young writer, I often felt I needed to write about something beyond myself — something accessible only to writers older, more intelligent, more talented than I was. This pressure often resulted in stagnant, dreadful writing, full of clichés.

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Picking the Locks

The fall of my senior year, I spent a very long time not writing my Big College Essay. It was a project I was already supposed to know how to do — two pages with just one job: to capture, in entirety, who I was.

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The Comedian and The College Applicant | Part Two

Every joke depends on sentence design. Just as a stand-up onstage is alert to the structure and style of delivery, I listen with students to their original ten sentences.

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The Comedian and the College Applicant | Part One

After learning of the delight I take in exploring the evolution of a good sentence, a friend sent me “A Stand-Up Joke is Born" from the New York Times. I didn't expect to see so many parallels between the way comedians work on a joke and the process I've developed at Hillside.

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