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Everything posted by justasque

  1. I have worked backstage at dance recitals for several studios. I've done this for our main studio's holiday show and end-of-year recital for almost 20 years. That studio has rules about this kind of thing, but there is always a family or two who just doesn't get it. First of all, we have a hundred or more kids backstage. We are busy getting them into costumes, doing quick changes, handling minor crisises like torn costumes or lost headpieces, encouraging the nervous beginners, hugging the seniors for whom it is their last performance, and generally trying to put on a good show. It is organized chaos. Sometimes we have a student who has to head to prom or some other important event, or is under the weather and has asked permission to leave early. In those cases, we are aware in advance, and put getting that student on her way quickly after her last number goes more or less smoothly. But having to release multiple kids at random while simultaneously running the show would be a nightmare. We do a few things to make it easier for everyone. The littlest kids are only in Act 1, and they are released to their parents at intermission. We leave it up to the parents to decide whether to take them home or bring them to the theater to watch Act 2. For students who are only in Act 2, we take them into the audience and let them watch Act 1, then bring them backstage at intermission. We actually do 4-5 recitals: Friday night, two shows Saturday, and one or two shows Sunday. The youngest are only in one show, and the "once a week-ers" are also only in one. The dance team kids are usually in 2-3 shows. And the few who take a ton of classes may be in all 4-5 shows. (I volunteer for all shows.) So each family has some control over how many classes their child takes, and how many shows they will be in. For the kids in several shows, some families watch their kid in every show, but some pick one and leave it at that. The students who are in quite a few shows often have parents who are volunteering backstage or front-of-the-house for a couple of the shows too; the studio credits the family's account a small amount for each show in which they volunteer. We don't allow photography during the show to prevent audience chaos, (it can be done at dress rehearsal). And we don't allow anyone to enter or leave the studio during a number, only between numbers. And the director asks people not to scream "Go Susie!" during the performances. While people can leave the theater between numbers if they feel the need (usually to let their small kids run around a bit), they can't get their kids till intermission or the end, unless they have special permission. There is a Grand Finale the larger kids can participate in if they choose; most families stay to the end to see it, but there are always some who exit early in the hopes we will release their kid early. (Spoiler: we won't.) The tricky thing for families is that the dancer needs to be at the theater up to an hour before the performance begins. That sounds like a lot, but it takes time to get a whole class of kids into their costumes, take them to the bathroom, make sure their shoes are tied and their headpiece is on firmly, and so on. So the family can end up having to wait around in the lobby until the house opens and they can get their seats. Savvy moms team up - one mom takes a couple kids early, and the other moms plus the families follow later at a more reasonable time. But there is always one mom who waltzes in with their kid two minutes before the performance starts, no tights, no makeup, hair not done, no costume on. We've been worried about this kid for the past twenty minutes, hoping they will get there on time. The rest of the kid's class is already backstage, poised to go on in a few minutes, and worried about how they are going to do their dance without the child who should have been there at least 30 minutes ago. We smile at the mom, tell her we'll handle it, get on the headset and let the show runner know that the kid has arrived, and two or three volunteers get to work getting the kid ready to go on. Our studio is great, and is willing to bend over backwards to work with people's conflicts, even rearranging the show order if necessary, IF they know in advance about the conflict. What drives everyone nuts is people who don't talk about their needs ahead of time, and expect the volunteers to be able to focus on their child's sudden change of plans while juggling the demands of running a complicated backstage schedule.
  2. It is used in my community of frends, but not pejoritive at all, and usually in a gently teasing way from one bougie person to another. ("Gurl, how can you be not bougee? You go to a private school! <laughs>". "Yeah, I am pretty bougee, aren't I? <laughs>") (ETA: Mostly used in groups of people who have one foot in "bougee" and one in "not bougee", who code switch between the two.) Spelling, by the way, is all over the map online. That said, I don't remember ever hearing it from white folks, except as part of a conversation with black folks.
  3. Yes, I think small things, so that the guest can have little tastes of a lot of different things, are often a good way to go when entertaining, especially at a buffet or as appetizers.
  4. In my circle of friends, these wouldn't have been eaten. A small skewer of fruit alone, or perhaps with a very small cube of a homemade baked good (strawberries and brownie squares would be nice) would be more likely to be eaten. Processed baked goods are a firm NO for most women I know. Same. I like to bring fresh, healthy foods that are simple to make but taste good. After once making 30 cookies in the shape of the mainland United States for one dc's event, I vowed Never Again. A whole doughnut from Dunkin' ranges roughly from 280-450 calories. Munchkins are 60-70 calories each, so three of them would be 180-210 calories. I aim for around 500 calories per meal, plus about 200 calories for a mid-morning or evening healthy snack. It would be hard for me to justify eating three doughnut holes, especially alongside other high-calorie foods like sausage and bacon. This drives me nuts. I once took home the leftovers from a catered Mexican buffet. No one else wanted it. I made some more rice and those leftovers fed my family for a week. (I do understand people who don't want buffet leftovers for germ-type reasons.) I try to consider leftovers when I make a party menu, so that I can be generous with what I offer, while minimizing waste by making effective use of what doesn't get eaten. I wouldn't eat any of that, to be honest. It would be extremely hard to stick to a reasonable number of calories, and there's way too much sugar and fat for my body to feel good after the meal. I would prefer more veggies (there aren't ANY!), more fruit (without the yogurt or doughnuts), and perhaps a crustless mini-quiche crammed with veggies. Sometimes people "pre-game" - eat before the party, so they aren't starving and faced with an unhealthy menu like the event the OP went to. And sometimes the timing for a party is awkward - too late for lunch, too early for dinner, especially when you take travel time into account. Sometimes it's more a logistical thing - traffic flow, seating, conversational timing, and so on can make it less likely that someone gets up to fix themselves a plate, let alone seconds. And sometimes it's such a great party in terms of social interaction that everyone gets caught up in it and doesn't stop to eat!!! My family once took it up on ourselves to provide bottles of hand soap to the staff bathroom for an entire scout camp, for the entire summer, because no one else seemed to feel it was necessary. Our scout, pre-armed with one more bottle than there were sinks, and having placed a full bottle at each sink at the start of the summer, would surreptitiously bring a full bottle to swap out for an almost-empty one each time they used the facilities, taking the empty one back to their tent to be refilled. Healthy food doesn't have to be restaurant-quality. Simple fresh foods, attractively presented, can often be much easier to make than the doughnut skewers (which I am sure were beautiful!!!). Cut fruit - whatever's in season - in a pretty bowl. Mini spinach-feta and/or broccoli-ham-cheddar fritattas, made in a mini-muffin pan and piled on a pretty plate. .Quarter-slices of homemade whole grain bread (in a bread machine) with natural peanut butter and a quality jam, or perhaps a spread of cream cheese with nuts and dates. A green salad with strawberries and pecans and low-salt turkey, or one with apples and craisins and chicken and goat cheese. While it wasn't a lot of food volume-wise, it was certainly a lot in terms of fat, sugar, and calories. (OP, I know the menu wasn't your responsibility, and I am impressed that you make what they asked you to make, and made it super-pretty with the hearts too!) This. I try to serve foods my guests will feel good about eating, and that will be tasty because they are made from fresh, quality food, rather than added fats and sugars. People in my social circles generally try to eat healthy foods even at special events. When you eat lower fat, lower sugar foods on a regular basis, your taste buds adjust and you don't enjoy higher-fat foods or those higher in sugar. They just don't taste good any more.
  5. Yes! When I bake, I get out my whole "baking" bin, and I can easily see what we have on hand. This is especially useful during the churn of kids going away to summer programs or college (needing a few baking basics, for which we "shop the pantry" first) and then returning. We put returning supplies right back into the appropriate bins, so although we always seem to have two half-used bottles of vanilla extract and three boxes of cocoa, we can always use the oldest first, and wait to buy new until there really is none left. It helps to reduce the clutter and reduce the waste of having to toss old food.
  6. I use my pantry for storage, and keep frequently-used foods in the kitchen. For example, I put all but one can of black beans in the pantry; when I use the one I bring up another. I make sure to put newer things in the back, and older things in front. I group things by food types - the proteins are at eye level - cans of salmon, chicken, beans. Nearby are the tomatoes/sauce/paste, and cans of corn. I have a section for soups and broths, where I also put the coconut milk (which I use for sauces). Ready-to-use sauces go there too. My herbs & spices & such are in the kitchen, in three plastic bins. They are roughly divided into "Savory", "Sweet", and "Baking". The baking bin also has food coloring, cupcake liners, baking powder and baking soda, etc. I have a small container with a clear lid (leftover from a take-out meal) labeled "Pumpkin" which has cloves, ginger, and everything else you might put into pumpkin pie. Don't forget you can use plain old cardboard boxes for storage. I use the ones that hold frozen burritos in the grocery store (which I get when I buy the last of the burritos in that box), the boxes that a 12-pack of good beer comes in (which are also the PERFECT size for sewing patterns), and the big sturdy boxes from applesauce cups bought at BJ's. I leave corn, beans, and tomato cans in the boxes or flats they came in (from BJ's) until I am down to only one or two of them. It's not pinterest-y, but it is very budget-friendly. As my nest empties, I am moving various rarely-used kitchen tools & appliances (big crock-pot, large roasting pans, etc.) to the pantry, and moving more food into the kitchen. Things like paper plates, large coolers and not-often-used lunch boxes, first-aid (including meds, knee braces, and the like), cleaning supplies (like vacuum bags & swiffer refills) and big platters go there too, all grouped by like items. Every January, I do an "eat down the pantry/freezer" exercise, in which I take inventory of what we have on hand, and try to use as much of it in meals as possible. I use this as an opportunity to clean the shelves as well, and declutter anything we don't need anymore, before stocking up again.
  7. Exactly. And the skills and confidence learned can transfer into home maintenance as well, which will serve him well in the future. I am big on DIY projects, not just because they can save money, but also because once I learn how to do a job, I am more appreciative of the work involved. This makes me better able to hire a qualified person else to do the job when necessary (because I know what to look for in terms of skills and quality work), and more willing to pay them decent wages for it because I understand what goes into it.
  8. If your ds's philosophy is along the lines of "buy quality, maintain it well, make it last", that's a reasonable approach to owning things. But "maintain it well" can be expensive and out of proportion to the value of the item unless he learns some DIY skills. The vast majority of teens simply don't have the income to support this quest for perfection. And even if a teen can afford it, often when college and marriage and kids come into the picture, it's hard to maintain this standard financially. I've done body work before. This is an easy fix. If my kid wanted his car to remain pristine, I would encourage him to learn how to do as much as possible himself, especially if he was a teen. Being able to do this kind of fix himself would save a significant amount of money over the life of the vehicle (since there will be more scratches in the future), and give him the ability to do the job as often as needed, and to the high quality level he desired. Body work can be tedious, but it is not difficult. I did it as a teen, as did my siblings. If, however, your ds has the job done at the shop, be sure to ask for the leftover paint. This will save a bit of money the next time the car gets scratched, and the body shop is likely to toss it if he doesn't ask.
  9. I've done this a few times now; here's my advice. BEFORE BUYING NEW, ask yourself, do I have an old one the kid could have, and we could buy the new one for me? I suggest this for two reasons. First, the obvious value of learning to make do which is good for a young person on a low budget. But also, we have found over the years that what goes to school doesn't always come home again, for one reason or another. So rather than investing in the best, lifetime-worthy pots and pans and such, or the nicest matching linens, consider sending your older ones and upgrading your own collection instead. (Also, often a senior moves to the location of their first job, and it doesn't always make logistical sense to bring the dorm stuff along if they are flying or moving long-distance.) Minimize, minimize, minimize. Moving in is fun. Moving out is most definitely not. The less stuff, the better. When it comes home for the summer, you have to store it somewhere. Possibly in your house. If you have two kids in college, and they both have an apartment's worth of stuff to store, it gets even worse. So did I mention minimizing? Yeah. Also, as soon as it comes home, sort it into things needed at home and things only needed at school. Pack the latter up into tote bags and such so it is ready to go; this will make moving back to school ever so much easier. Tote bags - Ikea is your best friend. Next time you're there, pick up four or five of the big blue bags. They are perfect for packing bedding, clothes, and other soft goods. The double-size grocery bags (think the ones at Marshalls & TJ Maxx) are perfect for textbooks, cooking things, and other small dorm necessities. (That said, the actual Marshalls etc. ones are not as sturdy as they once were; keep an eye out for good ones of a similar size.)
  10. If you are dressed/groomed nicely, you can often confidently walk into the lobby of a decent hotel as if you had a room there, and use their lobby bathrooms. Walk in like you know where you're going and are supposed to be there. I have done this in several major cities, without incident, and the bathrooms have been super clean. (Like it or not, looking nice often gets you privileges and favors that you wouldn't otherwise get. And the previous poster's story of the fallout from letting the wrong person use your bathroom speaks to why. Pros and cons, obviously, to a complex issue.) There are several free museums in the city. FIT and the folk art museum come to mind; I've used the bathroom in both, plus they are nice small museums to visit - 30-60 minutes depending on your interest in the current exhibitions. If you have a museum membership at home, check the reciprocal membership museums. I've been to several museums in NYC for free because they are reciprocal with my local nature center to which we belong. Having your membership card and a list of museums will give you options should you need them.
  11. On my way out the door but - Main Public library, third floor or basement children's area. FIT museum (free), lobby to the left. Penn Station (and presumably other train stations). Parsons - the building where they do tours - people walk in to use this one all the time.
  12. As others have said, the "carry on" is the roller bag that goes in the overhead. The "personal item" is the backpack or purse or tote bag or whatever that goes under the seat. There are now fare classes that do not allow a carry on, although they do allow a personal item. I have always understood it to be that the underseat bag is the personal item. So if you could put your backpack into the small bag (or vice versa) you would have been ok. But if they are two separate things, they can't both fit under the seat, so that's where the problem lies. I am assuming here that you either had a ticket that didn't allow a carry-on (aka overhead bit) item, or that you had a carry-on roller bag as well as the other two bags. I have often heard them announce at the gate that if you have two personal things, you need to stuff one into the other or you will be asked to gate-check one.
  13. I don't have a link to a specific one, but mine are mostly Columbia, Royal Robbins, and Magellan. I have long-sleeve, short-sleeve, and sleeveless versions. Long-sleeve is nice when you want sun protection; some folks wear them open over a cami as a "jacket" look. Sleeveless is when it's hot but you don't need the sun protection. And short-sleeve when sleeveless isn't quite appropriate but you don't want the long sleeves; it's more of a "camp" look. Most of the long sleeve versions have tabs so you can roll up the sleeves. The pockets aren't particularly useful because the fabric is so light that anything put into them would weigh them down in a way that would be uncomfortable and not flattering. However, if you just want to stash a few bills and an ID, they'd be fine. Some of mine have a "secret" zippered pocket over one boob. I am all about secret pockets, but there's not a whole lot of "secret" when you've got something stuck under your shirt on your boob. However, the properties of the shirt in the summer heat more than outweigh the not-useful pocket issues. Some have pockets in more useful places, though the weight issue still applies. Other useful features on some shirts include a tab for hanging your sunglasses on. These are sold as "fishing" shirts but I've seen them mostly on "active older adult" types of well-dressed middle aged women who are travelling, going to outdoor festivals, doing an urban sightseeing day, and that sort of thing.
  14. Am I the only one here who has one of these shirts? And who, dare I say it, is obsessed with them? They are fabulous in the heat! Specifically, those 90+ degree days. And yes, they are lightweight, quick-dry, great for one-bag travel, and so on. Sometimes the women's versions are marketed as travel gear, and rightfully so given their properties. I call mine part of my "lady who works at the zoo" outfit; I wear them with a khaki-colored hiking skirt. I've just picked up a couple more for an upcoming trip. I don't like those with pockets on the boobs, but there are versions with stealth pockets in the side seams or the princess seams, and most have that great flap in the back (which covers a mesh panel - it really does keep you cool in the heat). (Full disclosure - I neither hike, nor fish, nor work at a zoo. I just like practical clothes.) Hmm, they are actually darn sturdy nylon, but sometimes they have snaps rather than buttons, so.... I think that gets the point across nicely.
  15. Just wanted to add - while your MIL's behavior issues could be due to dementia, it could also be something simple like a UTI. Or it could be some other problem, possibly related to her fall in some way - stroke would be another thing I'd want to rule out. (Maybe the fall contributed to her current issues, but maybe the fall was caused by a medical issue rather than just being a misstep or slip.) If she's in a nursing home, they are probably savvy about such things, but get your dh to double-check that they are looking for a cause for this behavior rather than just assuming it's dementia. I don't want to add to your task list, but getting the diagnosis right could help her recover properly so there's less on you in the long run.
  16. Paige Patterson, on his advice to a victim of domestic violence. Worth a listen; start at 3:00. Does a man being saved justify a woman being beaten? Is she just the price that has to be paid for his salvation? Or is there another way?
  17. Wow. He thinks this article makes him look "like a theologian who loves Jesus"?
  18. Actions and attitudes such as those attributed to Mr. Patterson in the Atlantic article get women killed. That such actions and attitudes are coming from someone in a leadership position undermines the credibility of the organization he is leading as a legitimate source of moral guidance. Good, moral leaders respect and stand up for women's lives.
  19. Hmmm. I have to wonder how the other group's leader (OGL) knew that the OP's group was planning to go? Perhaps it came up and one of the people who belong to both groups mentioned that the OP's group was planning to go. The OGL could have avoided all of the drama and embarrassment by calling the facility to clarify the situation rather than the OP. But I suppose she thought she'd arranged a private party. And yet, anyone who has ever booked a field trip with a facility that requires a minimum number of participants knows that 1) you have to negotiate with the facility about how to deal with the minimum (usually by paying as if you had that many people, and distributing the extra cost over everyone who comes), and 2) (as an aside) you really need to require that participants pay you up-front, because otherwise people will flake out and you'll be stuck paying for the non-attendees as well as the extra money needed to meet the minimum out of your own pocket. I suppose if the facility said they'd deal with the minimum by inviting more homeschoolers, the OGL didn't realize that meant that the facility might invite homeschoolers she didn't want to socialize with. Perhaps, for her, "homeschoolers" so often means "homeschoolers like the ones in my group" that it didn't occur to her that the facility might want to throw the net wider to reach more homeschoolers and thus maximize participation (and profits) for the day. I hope the OGL fully understands what happened and why, and does not frame this as some kind of government persecution of Christians or undue pushiness on the part of the OP. The OP was invited to a public event at a government facility, and was understandably confused and upset when she and her group were told by another participant (the OGL) that they were uninvited based on the religious beliefs and family relationships of some of her group members. OP, I'm glad you could work this out. It would be nice if the other group attended and got to know some of your group, and found how much you have in common. Alas, that isn't likely, which is a shame for their kids, who will eventually realize how much of the world they've missed out on due to their parents' fears.
  20. I also find having a master packing list to be useful. Mine covers items to bring, and also pre-trip tasks like putting gas in the car (for a road trip), syncing my Kindle, and making playlists for my iPod (road tunes and podcasts for a car trip; soothing background music I can play through noise-cancelling headphones for air travel). Over the years, I've also put together a travel toiletries kit that's always ready-to-go. It contains the basics - toothbrush, shampoo, bar soap, comb, and so on. When I'm packing it's handy to have this part almost finished; I mainly have to remove any items that aren't needed for the specific trip. It's nice that I have doubles of things like the toothbrush, so I don't have to gather these things up after using them the morning of my trip. When I get home, I rotate/refill the shampoo/toothpaste, and repack the bag so it's ready to go for the next trip. Since I also keep a few of my favorite garments for travel in my carry-on, I'm not starting the packing from scratch each time.
  21. Goodness yes. Sometimes there are little stones in lentils, so watch for those, but not rinsing wouldn't give me any pause.
  22. Here's the thing. It's not your responsibility to determine what kind of help he needs, and it's not your responsibility to determine exactly why he is passed out. It could be the alcohol, but even drunk people have other issues now and again. In addition, as previous posters mentioned, there may be others in the home affected by his actions. I think I would call 911 (or non-emergency line if you have one). You can describe the circumstances and they can decide which kind of response is appropriate. I agree with previous posters that if nothing else this models appropriate actions for your dc - that passing out drunk is not normal behavior and needs attention. Another option would be to go to the police station and have a discussion with them about when and how they would like to be called if it happens again. (To clarify - by "two cases" do you mean two six-packs? That's what I am picturing, as cases (24 bottles) usually can't be carried while walking home from a store; six-packs have easy-carry handles. It's still a lot of alcohol if it is a daily thing, even if others in the home are consuming some of it.)
  23. "a light breakfast (as of rolls or toast and coffee)" I wouldn't expect bacon, eggs, or chicken either. "Continental" to me means "cold" rather than a cooked breakfast. Nonetheless, toast and rolls is different than pastries and muffins. Wheat toast with a bit of peanut butter or other protein spread, could be a decent meal. Pastries and muffins usually ends up being basically sugar and white flour carbs. Its not the kind of meal I'd serve to adults who are then expected to have a full day of planned events. If it's just a fellowship opportunity with snacks, that's fine. But if it's meant to be an actual breakfast, especially if the participants are staying in the hotel and will find it difficult to go out for a meal, then more nutritious options would nourish the participant's bodies for the work ahead of them, and set a tone of "our community takes health seriously".
  24. This phrasing is excellent.. "Coffee/tea and pastries" is NOT the same thing as a proper breakfast. Let people know. (And recognize that some people will have to skip it in order to get a proper breakfast elsewhere, so don't use it as a place to transmit critical information.) For yogurt, you can get the yogurt in the big tubs, and mix with frozen mixed berries (not strawberries, they are too big to defrost nicely) plus perhaps some nuts. I then scoop into 4oz plastic containers - think ketchup containers but bigger. Let it defrost overnight. Yes, this will require a spoon, but it can easily be eaten while standing up. In general, small is better than big. Small bagels, mini-muffins, small cups of yogurt. That way people can have a little bagel plus a little yogurt, or whatever mix suits their fancy. And you minimize cleaning up muffins and bagels that are half-eaten.
  25. >>he doesn't care where he goes Nonetheless, he needs to be the one to make the choice, and that's going to be easier if he has lots of information. Visit, visit, visit. He will get a lot of info from listening to the presentations, and going on the student-led tour. You can ask questions, and he'll be there to hear the answers (and maybe ask some of his own). Don't forget to ask the student tour leader (and any other students you interface with) lots of questions about their experiences at the school, where else they applied, how they decided, what they like about their decision, and so on. We visited each likely school at least once and in one case (a reach school) three or four times for various events. Each time both parents and student(s) learned more from the presentations, and gleaned more from just being there. Contrast that with several students I know who didn't visit, or didn't really visit/question/research enough to understand what their major was all about at the school, what classes they would be taking while there, what extracurriculars would be available, what there was to do in the area besides classes, what different dorms would be like, what the campus would be like (large suburban/rural vs. unconnected buildings in a big city), and so on. They ended up changing schools & majors after one semester. Not a disaster, but not ideal either. I'm glad to hear he's applying to summer programs. My kids who did summer on-campus programs (residential programs, but not at the schools they ultimately attended) had a good of what they did and didn't want - they had a basic foundation of "what college is like" to work with before beginning their search. >>I'm making the list based on finances, and he'll choose from whatever options are reasonable. He is lucky to have a mom who will whittle down the options for him. I would also consider making a list based on his desired major. Different schools might have programs aimed at different aspects of the major, leading to different kinds of jobs. If you can look at the classes required for the major at each school, that may help him to get a feel for what each school may be like to attend, and what doors it may open for him down the line. Another way to get a sense of this is to go to an Open House day where the department he's interested in will have a presentation. >>>We have a high EFC so we are looking to get merit scholarships. There's a balance to consider here. VERY generally speaking, the better (more competitive) the school, the harder it will be to get merit money, meaning that there's a chance that the schools that give him the most money may also be schools where he will be among the highest achievers (meaning he may not be as challenged as he could be). That's a major generalization - different schools have different amounts of money to give, different departments within a school may have students with higher or lower average stats, and so on. But what I'm trying to say is don't overlook where he will fit in the "pack"; it may come down to a choice of spending more money to get a more challenging education; do your research and be prepared to make trade-offs. >> Safeties 1. good community college w/2 year transfer agreements to great schools 2. very good university, affordable if he commutes, offers competitive tuition scholarship that would allow him to live on campus (ds' stats are right in the middle for this school) I like that you have two safeties. Option 1 is always a good fallback. Option two sounds like it may work as a commuter school. I would do some research to see if commuting is permitted and how many of the students do so, etc., to be sure commuting is going to be a good experience. >>>Match 1. good state university w/automatic aid that should make it affordable, also offers competitive full tuition plus 2 yrs R&B scholarship (ds' stats in top 10%), we have 2 family members who have gone here and had good experiences Sounds good. Visit, visit, visit. Reaches 1. small liberal arts school that offers competitive full ride (tuition, room & board, study abroad), otherwise unaffordable (ds' stats in top 5%) 2. big state university where ds could get some automatic aid, but would need to win a competitive departmental scholarship to make it affordable (ds' stats in top 10%) 3. same as #2 (stats in top 25%) 4. same as #2, but OOS w/tuition waiver (stats in top 10%) 5. same as # 3 (stats in top 25%) That's a lot of reaches. Reaches are good to have, but I'd like to see maybe two more matches in the mix. Sometimes as you look closer, one or two end up being not ideal for one reason or another (or even a hard no), and it's nice to have good choices come May. I don't think you need any more safeties - I'd focus on finding matches and VISITING.
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