Peabody is the building, Jack is the dog, and I'm Dean J (she/her, btw).

There are fifteen years of posts here. The search box works well, but please consider the age of the posts when you find them. The college admission process changes over time!

You are welcome to use the comment section anonymously.

Welcome to the blog and thanks for reading!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Literature by text message

When I read an essay with less-than-stellar spelling, I'm lenient. Most of us are guilty of relying a little too heavily on the spell checker these days. When I read an essay with grammar errors, I'm a little more worried. Even with today's more lenient grammar rules, there are still plenty of people who aren't writing proper sentences.

I can't help but wonder if tolerating poor spelling and grammar is contributing to the problem. After all, we all grew up using slang, but it wasn't tolerated when speaking to teachers and professors. We knew when to "turn it off". Maybe by allowing students to use poor grammar with us, we're sending them a subtle message that the usage is correct?

Anyway, this can't help the situation...this story comes from a subscription based website, The Chronicle of Higher Education, the newspaper for university administration and faculty.

By The Chronicle of Higher Education / Wired Campus Blog

Are Cliffs Notes too detailed for you? Do texts like Paradise Lost and Wuthering Heights have too many pesky real words and not enough abbreviations? If you answered "yes" to either of those questions, Dot Mobile, a mobile-phone service for British students, has just the thing for you. The company is about to unveil a new service that condenses classic works of fiction -- by turning them into text messages. A precis of Romeo and Juliet, for example, will run just five terse sentences: FeudTween2hses--Montague&Capulet. RomeoM falls_<3w julietc="" mary=""> Secretly Bt R kils J's Coz isbanished. J fakes Death. As Part of Pan2b w/R Bt_leter Bt It Nvr Reachs Him. Evry1confuzd-bothLuvrs Kil Emselves.

Oh dear.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Stories that should make the front page

It's a little frustrating that the "good news" stories don't always make it to the front page...or even to the 10th page.

The Hook has a cute article about a UVA football player who visits one particular fan in the hospital every week (and calls him when he's on the road). What a great kid! We need to showcase more of these sorts of stories.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

One day, years ago, my brother called home from his apartment at Boston College to tell us that he was watching students jumping on the goal posts at Alumni Stadium. BC had just upset their rival, Notre Dame, in South Bend with a last minute field goal kicked by a walk-on named Dave Gordon. The mob got the posts down, carried them out of the stadium, and deposited them in the backyard of Gordon's "mod".

Thus started a tradition at Boston College that I would later see whenever hockey, basketball or football teams pulled off a major upset. When Alumni Stadium was renovated, enclosing it, students started gathering on the practice field for this ritual.

As a Hall Director back then, I was disturbed to see my otherwise conscientious, proud BC kids turn into a mob intent on destroying their own campus. I'm all for a good celebration, but ripping up a field and pulling down goal posts is an extremely different matter. Why ruin the playing field? Why act in a such a way that hurts the program (and the school) physically and financially? I never got it.

Last weekend, a student in Missouri died when fans rushed their football field and brought the goal posts down.
"It was maybe the most exciting game we've had on that field in my memory," said Athletic Director Mark Fohl. "It was very exciting and then, very quiet."-USAToday, 10/22/2005
The weekend prior, some students at UVA rushed to Harrison Field after the football team defeated Florida State. They were later scolded in an email from the Athletic Director. While the letter isn't exactly what I would have sent (the field is for those who "have earned the right" to be there), I agree with the overall message. Some, like this third year student, don't.

Storming the field, as well as bringing down the goalposts, is a time-honored tradition in college football, and one that ought to be allowed to continue.
Let's hope that the athletic department makes the right choice and allows Virginia fans to appropriately celebrate the Wahoos' next big win in the right place: the center of Harrison Field. -Cavalier Daily, 10/26/2005

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Feeling less helpless...UVA's response to Hurricane Katrina

All day long, I kept MS-NBC streaming at work, listening to what was happening down on the Gulf Coast. Just a few months ago, I was scurrying around NOLA with my friends during JazzFest, staying up all night (the grids!) and looking for a distant relative's art in antique stores. It was probably one of the best trips I've made in the last few years and I was certain that I'd be returning to NOLA each year for JazzFest. 

Well, now I'm listening to the reporters saying that the Hyatt has no windows, that tourists are holed up in the Sheraton and the Ritz, that the Superdome is in horrible shape. Friends from the area are slowly checking in via text messages because for some reason, cell phones aren't working, but text messaging is. A friend who works as a DJ at a radio station in Baton Rouge has been on the air for 18 hours, comforting callers and also broadcasting pleas for help. When one local hospital was dangerously low on formula, she announced this on the air and Baton Rouge residents, who weren't affected as badly as those near the water, arrived with supplies within an hour. 

 Being so far away while watching this [sometimes] live footage and hearing these calls for help, the feeling of helplessness is overwhelming. Of course my first reaction was to send money to one of the relief agencies, but while that made many of us feel better after the tsunami, that didn't make me feel like I had made an immediate impact. By the end of the day, that changed. 

 At 5 PM, our Dean gathered all of us who were around and said that we were going to help in the way we were best suited to: giving NOLA students a temporary home. 

Tomorrow morning, we'll start taking names of Virginians who were supposed to be starting school at Loyola, Tulane, Xavier and other NOLA schools. They'll be welcome at UVA until their schools reopen. We have housing, open spots in plenty of classes, and a campus full of people ready to welcome them. 

It doesn't fix the massive, gaping wound down in New Orleans, but it feels so good to be doing something at this point.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

What are fraternities all about?

According to one student, fraternities are about exactly what the stereotype indicates.

The Beta Theta Pi International Fraternity, Inc. had its charter revoked early in the summer by the General Fraternity, the fraternity's international governing body, for failing to comply with the General Fraternity's regulations.

The chapter subsequently lost its membership in the University's Inter-Fraternal Council.

Kennedy said Beta Theta Pi is dedicated to building its program called "Men of Principle."

"They want us to be a model fraternity with the best, gentlemanly guys with the most class and the least amount of drinking," Kennedy said. "It's almost like taking away what fraternities are about -- People getting together and having a good time, and most times it involves drinking."-The Cavalier Daily, 8/24/2005

Being new around here, I wasn't sure what to make of that quote, but I'm liking UVA's student newspaper for printing it!

They definitely gave me my first laugh of the day

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Here's how we get over 730 clubs at UVA

I started browsing the list of student clubs and organizations today and came across one that completely shocked me. The UVA Cornhole Club. Anyone with friends or family in Ohio knows what Cornhole's an obsession there! Ohio's stadium parking lots are littered with games of Cornhole before concerts and sporting events (notice multiple games going on in this photo from a Bengals game). I've been known to play a game or two when I'm in the Buckeye state.

I started wondering how such a random club could exist (look at the membership page...only a couple members). I tried to see how easy it was to start a club at UVA. It looks like as long as you have two people willing to be officers, you have a club. There's a form to fill out that gets approved by the student organizations group and then the Office of Student Life. From there, a club can apply for funding and be officially recognized. Pretty sweet! Maybe I'll start a...Displaced Bostonian Club!

By the way, someone at The Today Show must be from Ohio because they did a story about the game. Perhaps Cornhole is going to travel now? Perhaps between The Today Show and our students, games will be popping up in other states? I'm crossing my fingers!

Friday, July 29, 2005

Here we go...

It's been one week of forgetting names, getting lost on campus (Grounds, excuse me) and being wilted by 8:30 AM. A week without seeing the ocean, eating a [good] bagel or seeing Red Sox highlights on the news.

But I like it here.

I'm the new Assistant Dean of Admission at the University of Virginia. I thought it might be interesting to record my experiences over my first year here. Feel free to comment, whether you're a student, colleague or just a random person who landed here through some surfing.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Admission/Higher Ed blogs

Admission Staff Blogs

Alfred University -'K%0A&fuseaction=diary.archives&site=3&u=%22%2C3%5C%20%0A

Arkansas -

Babson College -

Bryant College -

Bryn Mawr -

Case Western Reserve -

Chicago -

Colby -

Connecticut College (defunct) -

Cornell -

Dixie State College of Utah -

George Mason -

Gustavus Adolphus College -

Holy Cross -

Illinois -

Illinois Institute of Technology -

Johns Hopkins -

Juilliard -

Lakeland College -

LaSalle -

Michigan -

The MIT blogs (mix of styles ):,,,

North Carolina -

Northeastern -

Olin College of Engineering -

Oral Roberts -

Oregon State -

Oxford -

Penn State -

Portland State -

Providence College -

Richmond -

Santa Clara -

Seattle -

Seton Hill -

Skidmore –

South Carolina -

Southern Utah University -

Stevens Institute of Technology -

SUNY Stony Brook -

Swarthmore -

Tennessee -


Vanderbilt -

Vermont -

Virginia -

Virginia Commonwealth -,

Wabash -

Student Blogs

Arkansas -

Ball State -

Beloit -

Bryant -

Carleton -

Colgate -

Colorado School of Mines -

Cornell -

Creighton -

Dartmouth -

Delaware -

Furman -

Georgia Tech -

Illinois -

Johns Hopkins -

LaSalle -

Messiah -

Michigan -

Minnesota-Morris -


Montana State -

Mount Marty -

North Carolina -

Ohio State -

Olin College of Engineering -

Penn State -

Portland State -

San Francisco (University of) -

Skidmore -

Smith -

South Carolina -

Stephens -

SUNY Buffalo -

Tennessee -

Tufts -

Tulane -

Valparaiso -

Virginia -

Waterloo -

Wesleyan -

Wheaton -

Wisconsin Lutheran -

Wright State -

Yale -

Colleges with message boards

Bard -

Carnegie Mellon -

College of the Atlantic -

Columbia -

Creighton -

Hopkins -

Quinnipiac -

Rochester -

Saint Michael's -

Counseling Blogs

College Wise (private counseling company) - Scott White (Montclair High School, NJ) -

Shaun McElroy (Shanghai American School) -

A Group Blog (part NACAC, part private counselor) -

Carolyn Lawrence -

Jeannie Borin (Private Counselor ) -

Linda Abraham (Private Counselor ) -

Bari Norman (Private Counselor) -

Tony Mortenson (The Pell Institute, Policy Analyst) -

Will Dix (University of Chicago Lab School) -


The Chronicle's News blog -

The Chronicle's Tech blog -

EDUWeb Conference blog -