The college counseling process began for the Upper class last weekend as 250 parents of members the class of 2005 attended the first annual College Counseling Kickoff weekend. Parents traveled from across the country to attend lectures and seminars hosted by the College Counseling Office. Those that were unable to attend the ‘kickoff’ weekend will receive a newsletter detailing the events of the weekend. The parents who arrived on Friday evening attended a lecture given by Dr. Michael Thompson, author of the acclaimed book “Finding the Heart of the Child.” Director of the College Counseling Office John Anderson expressed his appreciation for the effect the lecture had on many parents. He said that Dr. Thompson caused “parents to laugh as well as think.” Dr. Thompson remarked that parents should be involved but not in charge of their children’s college counseling process. Both Dr. Thompson and Mr. Anderson emphasize that it is important to remember that the student is at the center of the college admissions process. On Saturday, parents proceeded to their assigned locations to participate in a mock admissions committee. Each of the 11 groups was presented with three fictitious applicants and asked to decide which of the applicants should be accepted, deferred, and denied. The parents discussed their decisions in groups with representatives from Tufts, Yale, Wellesley, MIT, Bowdoin, Boston University, Connecticut College, Dartmouth, Brandeis and Clark. An informative student panel allowed parents to pose questions about the college counseling experience. Jen Vanecek ’04, Dan Serna ’04, Lexi Kuhn ’04 and Logan Patrick ’04 cautioned parents on the dangers of getting overly involved. The productive day concluded with the introductions to the college counselors and a financial aid informational session.