College Lessons from Gilbert Gottfried

This weekend I took in a show at the local comedy club, headlined by Gilbert Gottfried.  If you don’t know, he’s one of the dirtier, less-politically correct guys on the mic these days:

“We decided not to vaccinate my two kids.  Turns out, they don’t have autism!  But they each got polio.”

The opening act sucked, the second guy was terrific and Gottfried was outstanding.  A real pro.

After the show, and the mediocre meal ended, the PA announcer told us to hurry to the bar to purchased Gilbert’s autographed book.

I urged Pearl and our aspiring stand-up son to hustle over there, while I took care of the overpriced tab.

I joined them at the table where Gottfried was waiting.  I complimented his set, handed him the cash, he thanked me, and signed and handed over a copy of his book.

We left.

What’s wrong with this picture?

I couldn’t put my finger on it at first, but I realized it in the parking lot.

Gottfried’s comedy was amazing…

…but his POSITIONING was god-awful.

HE shouldn’t be the one handling petty cash. He should have an assistant there with him.

Doing this “beneath him” job himself actually chips away from his hard-won status he created earlier – and over decades- by delivering skilled, professional performances.

Would Sinatra handle the money? Seinfeld?

Of course not.  Their less highly-compensated assistants would.

After my little transaction with this, literally, little guy, my opinion of him actually shrank before I could articulate it.

What the bejeezus does this have to do with college?

Hear me now and believe me later, this is EXACTLY the same thing college applicants do on their applications:  POSITION themselves as high on the totem pole as possible.

Although this question doesn’t actually appear on the Common App or anywhere else, the question you’re really answering when you apply is “Why should we take YOU, compared to these 5,000, 20,000 or even 90,000 other competitor applicants?”

What VALUE will you bring to our community?

EVERYTHING you do, say and write in high school is part of your positioning.  It all matters when you go to write up your Closing Argument why YOU should be admitted.

Class dismissed.

-Andy “Stand Up Philosopher” Lockwood

P.S. How you perform on the SAT and ACT is also critically important, not only to augment your shot of getting in where you want, but also for achieving windfalls of merit aid.

We’re running two separate promo “scholarships” for our online and live classes starting later this week.  Here’s where shuffle on over, before we raise prices and close out the classes:

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