Boy-child has been accepted into the University of Minnesota PSEO program for next year. We were a bit surprised, given that his grades are good but not brilliant, he had a meltdown his sophomore year and he wrote a totally outrageous essay for the application. We know a lot of kids who did not get accepted, and we felt it was a long shot. So I've been thinking a lot about what it was that got him in. My current theory is that the essay demonstrated his acute intellectual curiosity and that cinched it. In the essay he referred to The Turner Diaries, freedom of speech and censorship, the Winter War, time travel and various other weird, outlandish or just simply obscure things he's been reading about and investigating. In short, he was accepted perhaps not in spite of his own brand of strangeness, but because of it.
Which brings me to another essay I recently heard on the Sunday morning news show I watch. It was Ben Stein talking about asking his shrink, "What is the difference between happy people and unhappy people?" Apparently the shrink answered that unhappy people are the ones who always take the safe route, avoid risk and, as a result, often end up where they don't want to be. Happy people take risks, live on the edge (for various periods of time?) and do what they want to do.
Of course, it's rather self-serving, but I hope it's right, not just for Boy-child getting in to the U for being himself, but for me taking a relatively big risk job-wise this year.