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Robert S. Schwartz
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Entries by Robert S. Schwartz

On Writing a Compelling Common Application Transfer Essay

(0) Comments | Posted January 6, 2015 | 5:10 PM

Many applicants see the Common Application transfer essay in much the same way they see the regular Common Application essay -- an opportunity to wow the admissions officers, impress them with the fascinating things you've done, giving them every reason in the world to accept you. And while these things...

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All of My Shrinks Were Women

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2014 | 12:42 PM

Prior to the beautiful and wonderful wife I have now, every friendship of significance in my life had been with women, but platonically. They consisted of: girls I worked with, friends of friends, or someone I dated briefly before discovering that this kind of relationship for me worked better. Without...

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Sharing America's Marrow

(0) Comments | Posted November 7, 2014 | 4:24 PM

In April 2010, 17-year-old Sam Kimura had a high fever that wouldn't go away, vertigo, chills, exhaustion and inexplicable red dots on her skin. After concerning blood tests and a bone marrow biopsy, Sam was diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia (SAA). SAA is a rare blood disorder with less than 900 cases per year in which the body's bone marrow doesn't produce enough new red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.

Because of the severity of Sam's prognosis, she and her family were told she would need a bone marrow transplant. Sam's sister Alex was tested, but heartbreakingly, she was not a match even though siblings are the mostly likely to donate. The next option for Sam was the National Bone Marrow Donor Registry where 11 million people are signed up to be potential donors. But more bad news followed as not one person on that list turned out to be a match. "It was such a scary time for my family. Knowing that there wasn't a single match out there left us feeling hopeless," Sam said.

Then some good news made an appearance: Sam was successfully treated with an alternative immunosuppressive therapy at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Currently, Sam still takes 25 pills a day to stay in remission. However, she has around a 50 percent chance of relapsing and needing a transplant.

"The guilt of not being able to save my sister has driven me to dedicate my life to finding a match for both her and the thousands of other patients needing bone marrow transplants," says sister Alex. The sisters have registered over 5,000 donors since Sam's diagnosis in 2010. But they wanted to take their efforts one step further. In order to find a donor for Sam and the six out of 10 patients fighting blood cancer who also are unable to find a donor, Alex, Sam and their best friend Taylor created Sharing America's Marrow (SAM).

SAM is devoted to signing up as many people as possible to the bone marrow donor registry by spreading the word across the country about the need and squashing the myths about the donation process. "We intend to turn regular people into heroes by giving them the opportunity to save a life," says Taylor. SAM will be hitting the road in January, traveling to all 50 states in 2015 with a goal of registering 50,000 donors.

Over the course of 2015, the SAM girls will be driving across the country, stopping at college campuses, businesses and everywhere in between, searching for heroes who are willing to step up and potentially save another person's life. All it takes to join the bone marrow donor registry is a quick swab on the inside of the cheek and a short consent form. They will be hosting donor registration events in 191 different cities across the country.

The SAM movement hopes to change the common negative misconceptions around bone marrow donation. In actuality, about 75 percent of the time, the process is similar to blood plasma donation. Otherwise it is an outpatient procedure done under general anesthesia. In short, it's not the scary bone marrow donation conventional wisdom would lead you to believe.

"Donating bone marrow is one of the coolest things you can do," says Sam. "You could be the one person in the world who could save another person's life." All potential donors who register with SAM will go to the Delete Blood Cancer DKMS donor center and be listed with the National Marrow Donor Program.

Sam, Alex, and Taylor hope that by sharing their story, they will not only inspire people to join the registry, but move other patients and survivors to share their stories of hope. "With any luck we will save thousands of lives after our year on the road. And that's just the beginning," says Alex. They intend to start a movement across the country that will continue until every patient finds the hero they need. Be on the lookout for the SAM van coming through your town in 2015. But in the meantime, please visit their website to find out how you can join the movement. "I would encourage everyone who can to sign up to the registry," says Taylor. "You could be a match for Sam or for someone else waiting for a second chance at...

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Your Early Decision Applications Have Been Submitted... What Next?

(0) Comments | Posted November 3, 2014 | 10:08 AM

November 1st has come and gone, and with it your Early Decision applications. Before you tackle the rest of your application essays take stock of where you are in the process. Here are five tips to make the next eight weeks easier and stress-free (and have you done by Christmas).

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When You Have Second Thoughts About Your #1 Choice

(0) Comments | Posted June 13, 2014 | 3:01 PM

Over the next few months, parents and their college-bound kids will be on the road visiting schools and solidifying the list of where they want to apply. Some schools will be instantly attractive and placed at the top of the list. But unfortunately, sometimes first choices can easily turn into...

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Five Tips That Will Guarantee a Spectacular Common Application Essay

(1) Comments | Posted October 2, 2013 | 11:03 AM

Everyone and your brother will offer you advice about how to write a great college essay -- me included. Below are five common-sense/no-nonsense/you-can't-go-wrong tips to make sure your essay is the best reflection of who you are. Follow this advice and you may just find yourself with lots of choices...

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Forget About Writing Your College Application Essays This Summer. Have Fun Instead!

(3) Comments | Posted July 1, 2013 | 12:36 PM

The consensus among the experts in the college consulting business is that the summer before your senior year in high school is the best time to write your application essays. And there is no shortage of reasons to do this: you already know the schools you are applying to, you...

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Say Goodbye to the 'Topic of Your Choice'

(1) Comments | Posted May 31, 2013 | 6:27 PM

Two big changes are coming to the 2013-2014 Common Application Essay. After two years of discussion, The Common Application Board of Directors' has just released the new essay prompts for college applicants who are applying in the upcoming admissions season. This is first time there have been changes to the...

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Going Local: A Short Film

(6) Comments | Posted April 10, 2013 | 8:08 AM

Tired of the monopoly women seem to have staked out on chronicling their bad dating experiences, a while back I wrote about my truly awful, massively disappointing, unintentionally funny post-divorce search for love in New York City in the Huffington Post here and here. Retelling my...

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Five Reason Why You Should Set Aside Your Surfboard and Write Your Common Application Essay Now

(2) Comments | Posted July 12, 2012 | 6:10 PM

Summer! The sand, the surf, alarm clocks temporarily set to the "off" position. The months between your junior and senior years may be the best you'll ever have because next summer will be all about packing and heading off to college. So enjoy yourself! But in between hanging out with...

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The Last And Definitive Word On Writing The Common Application Essay

(1) Comments | Posted October 4, 2011 | 10:30 PM

As you read this, your browser is exploding with the search results of Googling, "help with my college essay," or "college application essay help." or, "OMG! Help me with my college essay!" And after reading what everyone and their college application consultant brother have to say on the subject --...

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Sometimes Love Is Right Across The Street

(9) Comments | Posted May 31, 2011 | 8:10 PM

Part 2 In A Series About A Lazy, Divorced Male Forced To Leave His Neighborhood In Search Of True Love

A few weeks later my landlord informed me that he'd be jacking up my rent yet again. Nothing will make you forget about being miserably and habitually single...

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Sometimes Love Is Right Across The Street-Part I

(10) Comments | Posted May 23, 2011 | 8:54 PM

Part 1 In A Series About A Lazy, Divorced Male Forced To Leave His Neighborhood In Search Of True Love

After my marriage ended I did what most sensible men do. I neglected my basic hygiene, watched a lot of "Judge Judy," and drank Vodka alphabetically by brand name. But...

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