Yesterday was Day Four of our four-city, five-day, seven-school college fam tour. Virtual tours are starting to look damn good!!

Discipline is starting to slip; we leave for our first information session of the day half an hour later than we meant to, but make it with two minutes to spare. Bay area traffic is more forgiving than LA traffic. Or at least it is today.

It is a refreshingly succinct information session. “We don’t look at grades from ninth grade,” the admissions officer tells us. (I make a mental note to share this fact with a friend whose son did not have his best year in ninth grade).

Someone asks about interviews. I close my eyes, hoping that none are available. I am pretty sure that I asked about interviews when I reserved this session two months ago when my daughter was on an internship in mountains beyond the reach of cell phone service, but you never know what detail I might have miseed.

“We call you to schedule interviews.” the admissions officer says. “Oh thank goodness!” I say to myself.

This is apparently news to other parents as well.

“When do we schedule interviews?” one asks.

The admissions officer explains again.
“We call you to schedule interviews.” Apparently, they don’t even start the interviews until November.

I LOVE this! They just do the job for you! Other parents more conscientious and detail-oriented than I triple-check this; two more ask when they can call to schedule interviews and the admissions officer politely explains the process.

This is, by the way, a school that accepts six percent of its applicants.

I recall the suggestion of another dad a day or two earlier: rank schools by their acceptance rates.

As a matter of fact, it turns out that Google, which happened to be founded in a a dorm room not far from where I was sitting yesterday, conveniently–and automatically–presents three pieces of information about schools when you google them: mascot, location and the percentage of applicants it accepted last year!

Boy,the internet is a wonderful thing!!

Our next stop: a school that, I learn later when I google it, last year accepted 56% of its applicants.

But, with one tour and info session under our belts, before we leave for the next one, we have to find a lunch spot. I head back into the admissions office, where an admissions officer is in an intense conversation with an entire family.

“I would recommend go deep,” I hear her say.

I hang back, so as not to intrude,but she notices me.

“Do you have a quick question?” she asks.

“Yes,” I say. “Where is the closest In- N-Out Burger, please?”