Here's a homily on "preparedness." I visited my family in Pennsylvania where one niece, Rachel, is preparing to apply for college (she is a sophomore, just turned 15). Her 11-year-old sister, Katie, was listening to us adults give advice about how Rachel should position herself for acceptance: grades, extracurricular activities, etc. We were also discussing how the family would be able to afford various colleges by incurring long-term debt. So Katie, girl genius, said, "hey, I don't get it. If colleges are supposed to teach you stuff, how come they only accept kids who can already do this stuff?" duh. This kid figured out the central issue of my professional life before hitting puberty.