“Can You Get Me Into College?” – Midnight in Southie

A reminder that, for many of our nation’s youth, “go to college” is roughly equivalent to telling them to “go to the moon.” We need to make the applications process much more manageable and transparent.

It's complicated.

Southie1 Photo by Valéria M. Souza

It was midnight and we sat on the jungle gym of a South Boston playground designated as being “for ages 8-12” and “requiring upper body strength and coordination.”

We both had some degree of “upper body strength and coordination,” but neither of us was 8-12.

The young man, who had abandoned his skateboard nearby to come talk to me, interrupted my vaguely clumsy acrobatics on the monkey bars to ask: “Yo, what are you doing? Like, why are you on here?”

I dropped to the ground.

“I saw you skateboarding,” I said.


The retort was a bit defensive, challenging. Did he think I was a cop or something? “No, I mean—-I don’t care. I just wanted to ask you: do you skate here at night? Do people bother you? Like: tell you to leave? Or is this place chill? That’s all….”

Instantly he relaxed. His…

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