Posts tagged ‘Joss Whedon’

College Tours Summarized in One Sentence

The WSJ has an editorial on college tours, wherein they talk about the sameness (and lameness) of most college tours.

Most colleges offer both an information session and a tour.  We always found the tour, given by students, more useful than information sessions given by the admission department.  I came to hate the information sessions in large part because the Q&A seems to be dominated by type A helicopter parents worried that Johnny won't get into Yale because he forgot to turn in an art project in 3rd grade.

My kids and I developed a joke a couple of years ago about information sessions, in which we summarize them in one sentence.  So here it is:

"We are unique in the exact same ways that every other college you visit says they are unique."

Examples:  We are unique because we have a sustainability program, because we have small class sizes, because our dining plans are flexible, because we don't just look at SAT scores in admissions, because our students participate in research, because our Juniors go abroad, etc. etc.

There you go.  You can now skip the information session and go right to the tour.  Actually, there is a (very) short checklist of real differences.  The ones I can remember off hand are:

  • Does the school have required courses / distribution requirements or not
  • Is admissions need blind or not
  • Is financial aid in the form of grants or loans
  • Do they require standardized tests or not, and which ones
  • If they do, do they superscore or not
  • Do they use the common app, and if so do they require a supplement
  • Do they require an interview or not

My advice for tour givers (and I can speak from some experience having gone on about 20 and having actually conducted them at my college) is to include a lot of anecdotes that give the school some character.   I particularly remember the Wesleyan story about Joss Whedon's old dorm looking out over a small cemetery and the role this may have played in the development of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The biggest fail on most tours is many don't show a typical dorm room, the #1 thing the vast majority of prospective admits want to see.

Fox Pulls Avengers From Theaters After Just 4 Days

OK, not really.  But it is Joss Whedon.   Being a Firefly fan-boy and one of apparently only 12 people who "got" Dollhouse and liked it, I am happy to see Whedon's success with the Avengers.  I'll be at Comicon this summer (yes, I am that big of a geek and besides my family will be in San Diego anyway on vacation) and I am thinking Whedon is virtually a lock to make an appearance.

Dollhouse Review

Yeah, I am a Joss Whedon fan-boy, but I just finished watching both seasons of Dollhouse.  I will say that my expectations were low -- I was sort of expecting a revamped Alias with various weekly missions, with the highlight of having Eliza Dushku rather than Jennifer Garner.

The first 3-5 episodes were entertaining but really fell right in line with my expectations.  After that, the show got much better.  As a whole, the entire show is like a long essay on the banality of evil.

The pace gets a bit crazed at the very end, but that was because Whedon working in three or four years of planned plot development in half a season when he found out the show was being cancelled.  A couple of other random notes -- Whedon works in a fresh high-tech take on zombies (really, it makes sense in context) in the season-ending episodes.  We also get a couple of guest appearances from the new first lady of sci-fi TV, Summer Glau.