Using the Pessimist’s Paradigm in College Selection

November 26, 2002

By Jay Mathews at The Washington Post

During our family's search for the perfect college for Katie the high school senior, I looked for the best qualities, and not the flaws, in each school. This is typical of me. I was raised by a cheerful couple who did not see much point in noting blemishes or fearing the worst. They passed on a gene for optimism that leads me to assume, sometimes wrongly, that the milk is not yet sour, the car still has plenty of gas and the Redskins will turn their season around...