My neighbor shrugged. ’[The college application essay is] an exercise,’ he said. ‘You want to see if the applicant can craft something impressive.’ Craft? He’d used one of my least favorite nouns-turned-into-verbs. People are ‘crafting’ all over the place nowadays—lawyers say they craft briefs, directors craft movies, teachers craft lesson plans, and most recently I’d heard an admissions director say she ‘crafted’ her incoming class—so I shouldn’t have been surprised to see that crafting now applied to high school kids: the college applicant as artisan.

Andy Ferguson, from the fabulous Crazy U