College Application Info (aka parent "brag" sheet)
1. Student name: Eitan Stern-Robbins
2. Parent/Guardian completing this form: Jeffrey Robbins (father)
3. Please list and explain 5 words to describe your son or daughter.
Leader - Eitan has a quiet, gentle, yet firm way of guiding those around him to stay on track. I've overheard him using his skills to keep meanness to a minimum and keep things productive.
Kind - Eitan, perhaps a classic middle child, understands the ins and outs of conflict resolution, and has an inherently warm and kind way about him as he deals with whatever life throws at him.
Strong - Eitan is both physically and emotionally strong, whether showing it in wrestling or in helping his siblings.
Wise - Both intellectually and emotionally intelligent, Eitan uses his brain to make good decision that are both effective toward his goal as well as empathetic to those he works with.
Helpful - Eitan is generous with his time and goes beyond in seeing opportunities to lend a hand, whether it is the unasked-for offer to bring in groceries or larger scale family tasks. He sees what needs doing and does it without anyone asking him. I feel this is rare.
4. In what areas have you witnessed the most developmental growth in your child? Please explain.
Eitan is learning how to dig in to academic material with greater depth. He is reading at a more serious level, and whether it is English analysis, or re-reading a Physics chapter to get some further detail about vectors, he is doing this with a more natural ease and maintaining a calm feeling. This seems to be a significant area of growth for him. He has always done well, especially with things that come easy to him. Doing well with challenges that do not come easy is a new step for him, and he is showing good progress in this area.
5. What do you consider the most important achievements of your child during high school?
Eitan has done a number of important things. Aside from the growth shown in answer #4 above, he has maintained very good grades while also undertaking a variety of meaningful activities. His radio spots on Terrascope are a particular standout -- he has written, produced, and been the on-air voice for a number of spots that are in public radio distribution. Some have been bought, meaning his work was of sufficient quality to get picked up for money by other stations. I think this is a real achievement. His voice, both the sound of it as well as the mature tone of a seasoned interviewer, is unusual in someone so young. I think this shows his ability to take his natural people skills and be effective and productive with them in a societally beneficial fashion.
Other standout achievements include his ongoing commitment to sports (including wrestling.) He also enjoyed and showed real aptitude in ceramics, earning him a school award and a place at a public showing of his art work. I was especially impressed by this as this was an area outside of his "comfort zone", yet he took to the elective with great avidity and skill.
6. Are there any unusual circumstances that have affected your child's education?
7. If yes, how has he or she been able to overcome obstacles, demonstrate strength, courage, or resiliency?
Eitan has had a couple of extra bumps along his journey. He was diagnosed a few years ago with epilepsy, suffering from nighttime seizures. These seizures are completely controlled by medication, and there is a real chance that he is in the process of "out growing" them. However, learning about his condition, going through the process of getting a diagnosis, finding an effective treatment, and playing a critical role in compliance with his medications, has, I believe, demonstrated his remarkable ability to confront challenge with humor and quiet strength. He even posted a video of one of his seizures on YouTube (!) to encourage other kids both with and without epilepsy to not be scared by a full body seizure. The other bump was the divorce of his parents. Eitan has had to contend with the logistics of two homes and constrained resources. While I doubt he would play this up, it was a real adjustment for him, and I think in particular his role of strong older brother to his younger sister demonstrated his strength and resiliency along with his considerable empathy. His ability to articulate his true feelings throughout the process has helped him, and that alone requires a particular strength that not everyone has in equal measure.
8. I am proud of my child because...(specific examples especially welcome)
He is becoming a wonderful young man in whom I have a great deal of confidence. He is reliable, warm, bright, and a great companion. His particular achievements (listed above) are sources of pride, of course, but his overall character, generosity of spirit, and gentle steadiness are in many ways a greater source of pride, because this is his inner motor that I know will propel him all his life. Individual accomplishments, failures, and triumphs greet us all. It is how we engage that ultimately defines us. I am proud of Eitan because he is able to bring his whole self to whatever the situation is.
9. Please provide any additional information you think we ought to know in order to write a more complete recommendation.
Eitan will really be an asset to any college lucky enough to get him. He is a positive social force, as well as a serious achiever. He will make things happen and pull in people around him. He is a remarkably balanced young man and, how rare for a parent, I don't really worry about his future. Nothing is certain in life, but Eitan already is so beautifully self-actualized I know he will be able to deal with whatever comes his way, and make something good of it.