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September 23rd, 2012
10:24 AM ET

Letters to the President #1343: 'The college quest'

Reporter's Note: President Obama has two daughters just like I do. Although his are a little younger, so he is not yet in the unique situation I am facing.

Dear Mr. President,

I realize that you are plenty busy with all that campaigning, but trust me when I tell you that the rest of us are pretty tied up too.

For example, our house this fall is being rapidly consumed by the quest to land our second daughter in the college of her choice. As you may recall, our elder daughter is burning the midnight oil at the magnificent Georgia Tech; a school made to work young scholars to a frazzle if ever there was one. It has been the perfect fit for her; rigorous academics, a spirited student body, and a never ending sense of new challenges right around the corner. On top of which, you just have to admire a place where students actually make math jokes…and laugh at them. It’s like The Big Bang Theory down there without the cameras and studio audience.

Suffice to say, we want our younger child to find a similarly great place in which to learn and grow. She is exceedingly bright, energetic, ethical and entertaining. She is considering and being recruited by some wonderful schools to be sure, and whichever university lands her will indeed be very fortunate if I dare say so myself. (Btw, it was her birthday this weekend!) We are terribly excited by her prospects. But back to the busy part…

Do you have any idea how complicated this whole process of picking a college has become? Websites, forms, emails, pamphlets, robocalls, recommendations, test scores, GPA’s, CPA’s, tours, interviews, Skype sessions, advisors, recruitment weekends, and on and on and on. It makes me long for the relative ease of filing my taxes.

I suspect you will never have to suffer through any of this. I imagine your daughters will pick some place they like, you’ll pick up the phone and say “This is Barack Obama” and Bob’s-your-uncle they’ll be in. And pity on the professor who dares to give them a bad grade. Ha!

All of this is a round about way of saying, if you get a chance to call this weekend, please don’t be surprised if I am not entirely up to the minute on how your campaign is going. As you know, I wish you and Mr. Romney the very best in your contest, but hey…while you’re trying to run the country, most of us are just trying to live in it…and that can be just as challenging.

Regards,
Tom