74 – Why Do We Care About College Admissions

Gonzalez has a busy day job as an administrator and Michael never has to apply to college again. Why are they still so interested in the process? So much so that they do this podcast and are holding a college application boot camp. In this episode, Michael and Gonzalez the important stories in their lives that keep them so invested in the admissions process. For Gonzalez, his story begins with his own admissions process, where lack of information about financial aid kept him from going to Harvard University. For Michael, college admissions is an important time to break out of a cycle of “gold star chasing” he sees in so many of his classmates at Columbia.

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Show Notes:

  • Gonzalez’s story of not having a very good college counselor (2:56)
  • What hurt Gonzalez the most while figuring college out was not knowing what questions to ask (3:16)
  • Typewriters were actually used during Gonzalez’s time (3:41)
  • Gonzalez changing the culture of his debate team as a new teacher (9:41)
  • How Michael’s process of working with students starts (13:41)
  • What does Michael Gao want to do? With backstory (16:11)
  • There aren’t enough people to be honest with kids (18:41)
  • Gonzalez’s one ray of hope: Questbridge (21:37)
  • Parent’s not knowing how middle school courses can impact high school courses (22:33)
  • Why Gonzalez wanted to be a lawyer (25:29)
  • Michael went to after-school/sunday school (27:09)
  • Gonzalez’s granddaughter is probably better at speaking Chinese than Michael (32:57)


Thanks to Redaf for the Guitar Sound Effect licensed under CC BY 3.0.

Thanks to Vibe Mountain for the Intro and Outro Music licensed under CC BY 3.0.

73 – George Floyd

This is a little different than our usual episodes. Today, I want to share three clips that really helped me think about what happened to George Floyd and what we should do now. The first clip is from Roxie Washington, the mother of George Floyd’s child. Hearing the anger and the sadness in her voice… it’s hard not to feel it as well. The second clip is from Trevor Noah, who gave a really clear analysis of what happened to George Floyd and the protests that followed. He has a very compelling response to people who divert the conversation to “looting” and I think his entire monologue is worth a listen. Finally, I was really affected by a clip from Baratunde Thurston – a Black comedian and writer – who had some great advice for what we, especially we non-Black folks, can do.  

If you have any questions or want to talk about what is happening, please let us know. Here is our contact us form and please DM us on social media.


George Floyd Memorial Fund
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Great article with a lot of tips
Pick up the phone:
Office of District Attorney Mike Freeman
Monday – Friday, 9 AM – 5 PM
Hello, my name is _______ and I’m a citizen of the United States. Like many in the community of Minneapolis and across this country, I’m appalled by the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers Derek Chauvin, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kueng. As I’m sure you know, the mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, has recently called for these former officers to be arrested and charged with Floyd’s murder. I’m calling to also ask that your office arrests and prosecutes these individuals and any others involved to the full extent of the law. Police brutality should have no place in Minneapolis or the United States. The fact that we keep hearing stories of unarmed black people being killed by police officers only undermines the credibility of our judicial system. Please arrest and charge these individuals, and do the right thing. Thank you.