Getting In, a novel, by James Finney Boylan


“Dylan looked at the other students and knew that he had no chance of getting into Yale. These other students were obviously better than he was: smarter, richer, braver. Yale was for people like this Polo here, someone who wanted to study semiotics and linguistics, whatever they were. Of for Allison, who wrote her songs. Dylan getting admitted to Yale was about as likely as getting Allison to take a second look at him. If you thought about it, girls and college were a lot alike: there was Early Decision, Regular Admission, and Wait List. The only difference was that with college you took SATs whereas with girls there were all these other secret examinations you took and failed without even knowing it. It would be nice, actually, knowing what your scores were in life. That way you wouldn’t keep trying to ask out Stanford when in all probability you’d wind up married to someone like the University of Las Vegas.” (p. 14).

A bunch of kids and their parents end up on a Winnebago, driving from college to college for their interviews. Outwardly about trying to get into college, the book is also about chance, fate, how lives connect and diverge, secrets, relationships with parents, and the feeling that you are never good enough.

Having been a college interviewer for one of these colleges for more than 25 years, I find the interview sequences quite funny. Here’s to many great students I have interviewed. I hope they all found their place in the world.

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About KLevenson

I am Teacher Librarian at Piedmont High School in the San Francisco East Bay. I am a part time reference Librarian I for the San Francisco Public Library. I have a Masters in Library and Information Sciences from San Jose State and a Teacher Librarian credential in addition to my teaching credential in Science. My first MA was from Harvard in Archaeology. My students teach me something new every time I am with them!
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