Everyone Has a Story


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By Heidi Robbe on 7/15/2016 8:45 AM
At a recent Saturday morning breakfast with my children, we met a man sitting alone at a nearby table. After chatting for a few minutes, I inquired about his eagle-embellished, camouflage-patterned hat, assuming that it identified him as a veteran. We learned that not only was he a combat veteran, but that as a young man he had enlisted in the U.S. Army, became an airborne medic, and jumped out of helicopters onto battlefields to treat and rescue wounded soldiers. He made hundreds of jumps and saved countless lives. The political scientist in me perked up and took advantage of the opportunity to learn about his experiences during the war and his life after discharge. I assumed, given his military medical training, that he would have chosen to attend medical school or stay in a healthcare-related field. In fact, he opted to enroll at a prestigious research university and become an engineer. Not exactly your typical college student.
By Heidi Robbe on 7/8/2016 8:48 AM
“Mom. Mom! MOOOOM! Look. At. This.” My kids like to show me their artwork. Usually there is a lot of it – which is great, because I love to check it out. I like to see how my littlest one is learning to stay in the lines or what my middle-man’s favorite color is today. My oldest likes to try new techniques inspired by her favorite artists. (Wayne Thiebaud, anyone?) My secret as a mom is that their art tells me a story, and I learn a lot about them through these stories.
By Heidi Robbe on 6/2/2015 8:55 AM
As summer gets underway, I am reminded of my first summer, many years ago, as a newly-minted admissions counselor. I had spent the previous fall and subsequent spring traveling throughout the Midwest. I logged hundreds of miles driving to college fairs and high school visits, meeting students, parents, and college counselors. As any admissions counselor will tell you, travel season was exhausting and exciting, but was worth it when the deposits began to roll in. My territory was new and we weren’t sure what to expect. Each deposit was a major feat. One student at a time, I crept closer to my goal, spending every minute calling and emailing students about scholarships, admission statuses, and deposits. Finally, I had made my number. As I continued to reach out to deposited students to remind them about upcoming registration events, I was surprised to receive a call from a student’s mother. “Margaret won’t be attending registration because she has decided to attend another school,” she said. “But she submitted a...

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