No Internet Connection

It’s 10:30 pm and you’ve been burning your brain to ashes drinking gallons of coffee for hours to try to submit your super-late assignment before it’s due at midnight. After the final review, you still have 5 minutes left to upload it, and as soon as you click the ‘’submit’’ button there’s something wrong. The screen freezes, the uploading process won’t complete and that’s when you finally see the most annoying message you could ever see: "NO INTERNET CONNECTION." Now you’re stuck without any connection to the outside world with an unsubmitted assignment. 

After seeing this message most of us would unplug the router from the wall, wait a few torturing seconds, plug it back and, like magic, the internet is fully functioning again.

Why does this happen?

This is one of the questions I hear the most when talking about network infrastructure, and this problem can occur for many different reasons.

First of all, just like normal computers, routers have their own mainboard, CPU, memory and even operating system that all work together to send data to the right places. Nowadays, residential internet connections typically use Dynamic IP addresses, which are like street addresses assigned to our home connections by the internet service provider (ISP), that change periodically. If a router is connected to too many different devices and is sending/receiving tons of packages at the time the ISP sends a new IP address, it might not latch to the new address and lose its connection.

Also, it’s very common to find routers and modems forgotten somewhere in a corner of our houses, but they need to be placed in ventilated areas so they can “breathe” as much as possible, in order to prevent overheating-- another very popular reason for connection loss.  

But not all internet drops are related to a router malfunction: the wave space might get really crowded, especially on a common 2.4Ghz band, which is the same frequency used by microwaves, cordless phones, and close-by routers. All these waves coming from external devices can create a communication interferences called "noise." In order to know if this is your problem, you can download an app called “Wi-Fi Analyzer,” check your nearby connections, and try to change your router’s channel to the emptiest one.

So, if you’ve already tried changing your device’s channel, confirmed it’s running cool and the millenary technique of turning it off and on again, but your Wi-Fi keeps on dropping, you may have to check if there’s a firmware update for your router. 

Finally, with all these tips in mind, you will significantly reduce the odds of being frustrated the next time you try to upload your assignment right before it’s due.

Seniors: Are You Ready for College Admissions Deadlines?

The fall of Senior year is one of the busiest and most important times for the college application process. With application due dates quickly approaching, be sure you're ahead of the game with these important reminders leading up to the November Early Decision/Early Action deadlines. 


  • Develop a plan for Early and Regular Decision and and make a steady plan to work on your applications now. You’ll want to maintain your awesome GPA, so don’t leave all the hard work until the last minute. 
  • Many schools ask for a resume, so finalize that list of activities you’ve been amassing all these years, and format it in a visually appealing way. Prioritize the activities that are most impressive, that best fit with your narrative, and that you consider the most important. Try to do earlier in the fall so you can share it with to your recommenders.
  • Remember: in addition to submitting your applications, you’ll also be responsible for releasing your standardized testing record and coordinating the submission of additional materials, such as the recommendations and secondary school report. Try to leave at least 2 weeks before the deadline when submitting scores, as reports can take a few days to process.
  • Do lots of research on the unique majors and departments offered at each school. Most universities ask on their applications what you intend to study (and you should mention it in your supplement if they require a “Why This University?” essay), and it’s crucial that your choice tie into your overarching narrative. Bonus points if it’s a department or cross-section of studies that are unique to the school—it’ll make your “Why” essay all the more convincing.  
  • It’s your responsibility to ensure that any academic and non-academic recommendations are submitted by the deadline. Be sure to remind your recommenders a few weeks ahead of the deadline and help them advocate on your behalf by providing a detailed resume of your activities and list of your colleges. Also, remember to send thank you notes to your recommenders after they’ve submitted their letters. 


  • If necessary, many students utilize the fall of Senior year to further maximize their potential on the SAT, ACT or Subject Tests. Remember that the October SAT is the last one accepted by Early Decision/Early Action schools. Same for the October ACT—although some colleges ask students to complete the ACT by September. If you have questions, you should get in touch with the individual colleges on your list. 
  • If you’re submitting an artistic portfolio, be sure to plan ahead. Many programs will want to see a variety of artistic samples—and may ask for written artistic statements—so be sure to leave plenty of time before the deadlines to best showcase your work. Note that some colleges will require your entire application by an earlier deadline (sometimes in October) if you want your art portfolio to be considered along with it.
  • Senior year grades matter—so now is not the time to allow “Senioritis” to kick in. It’s important to continue challenging yourself academically Senior year, and to maintain your GPA. Early Decision schools require first quarter grades, and all Regular Decision applicants will be asked to submit Midyear Reports—so remember that your grades really matter. Sometimes a student will be deferred in the Early round because admissions officers want to see strong first semester grades, and if you’re waitlisted, they’ll be looking at your second semester performance as well.  
  • Every school varies in its policies on alumni interviewing as an application supplement. Some universities don’t offer interviews at all, while others are by invitation only. Some are done by alumni, others are done by current students. However, many schools do offer applicants the option of signing up for an interview, so if you think this will be additive to your application, be sure to seize this opportunity. Registration deadlines are often in advance of the actual application deadlines, so be sure to check early on so you don’t miss your window of opportunity!


  • After you press “submit,” the work isn’t yet done. It’s incumbent upon the applicant to ensure that every college has received all required materials. Be sure to set up a portal at each school and follow up, if necessary, to ensure that your applications are complete. Check your inbox (and spam) folders regularly for updates from admissions officers or requests for missing materials. 
  • Keep working on your Regular Decision applications while you wait to hear from your Early schools in mid-December - trust us, you don't want to leave the heavy lifting until the last minute.

How To Handle Overwhelming ACT Math Questions

Some ACT math questions are straightforward. Some are complex. But there is a third category of math question, one that I call “overwhelming.” These questions might not be all that hard, per se, but it is mighty difficult to figure out what exactly you’re supposed to do with them. These questions are frequently word problems that throw a ton of information at you all at once, and it’s not immediately clear what sequence of steps will lead you to the answer. But don’t worry -- here’s how to handle those overwhelming questions.


Process the given information “chunk by chunk” 

If an overwhelming question hurls four sentences of information at you in a row, don’t freak out. Stop after each “chunk” of given information, and process it fully. For instance, if a geometry question tells you there’s a pair of parallel lines, STOP before reading on and mark that information on the figure. Then, take it one step further - if there is a pair of parallel lines, what are the alternate interior angles? Mark them. How about the corresponding angles? Mark those, too. Only once you’ve fully processed a “chunk” of information should you read on to the next.

Follow the invisible path

Once you’ve processed all the given information, you may still be unclear on how exactly to get to an answer. But even though you may not be able to see every piece of the puzzle, there is often an invisible path through the question. If you take a first step, the second becomes clear. And once you’ve taken the second, the third falls into place. And then you’re off to the races! The key is to see that these overwhelming ACT questions often guide you to take a particular first step, and if you’ve correctly processed all the given information, that first step is usually unveiled to you. So trust in the test and take that first step, and watch the path unfold in front of you.


By following these simple steps, you can wrangle overwhelming questions and make them much more manageable. All of a sudden, a whole host of questions that seem overwhelming on a first pass become, well, just whelming. Good luck!

Advice to High School Freshmen

While I might not necessarily be an expert on the subject, I was once a freshman, and I wish someone would have given me this advice when I was starting high school a few years ago. 

Dear me from the past,

I hope you’re enjoying the first few days of high school. I know it seems pretty far down the line, but college is coming up faster than you know it and high school will be gone in the blink of an eye. You probably think the workload is a lot more than it was in middle school, but I promise you can handle it. Actually, however hard it seems, you’re doing yourself a huge favor by pushing yourself now. Take as many AP classes as you can, because the credit you get if you do well will make your schedule much easier in college. Also, do well in school, but make sure you invest enough time into extracurriculars. Your after school activities are much more important than studying an extra hour for your English test. Get involved in something academic to learn a useful skill, play a sport to work on your teamwork skills and stay in shape, and save some time to socialize with your friends so you have people to keep in touch with when you go away for the school year. This all might sound like a lot, and you might want to take it easy instead, but trust me, now’s the best time to do it. You’ll only get busier from here on out. 

That’s not to say don’t leave yourself some time to relax and de-stress, high school isn’t a total cakewalk either. Read a lot of books, because soon you’ll find yourself with less and fewer opportunities to do so. Watch some TV/Netflix, play some video games, etc. You won’t get the chance to indulge yourself that much when you’re at college, and it’s always a topic of conversation/helpful for getting references. GO OUTSIDE. There’s no guarantee you’ll go to college somewhere with nice weather, and when you’re in your dorm or a library for 6-straight hours every night you’ll come to appreciate the times where you just went outside and walked around in the sunlight, or tossed a frisbee around. 

Try to learn some adult skills, like cooking, investing, doing laundry, etc. If not just to help around the house, it’ll be convenient when you start living by yourself. You can never get started too early, and even though it’ll feel like you’re busy now, you can definitely find the time. 

Enjoy being able to get up for school every day on 5-6 hours of sleep. Something about college makes getting up at 8:00 AM feels like getting hit by a bus. Enjoy not having to take care of yourself all that much because you have your family there. You’ll learn appreciate them even more when they’re not by your side. Overall, enjoy being a kid, because even though you’re not really off living an adult yet while you’re in college, you expose yourself to it bit by bit.

Now, don’t take this letter the wrong way, you shouldn’t be dreading college. In fact, you should be more excited for college than anything else. The only reason I’m encouraging you to push so hard right now is because college is so great, and you can make it even better by learning some things now that you would normally have to figure out on-the-fly. At college you’ll take more interesting classes, join more engaging clubs/organizations, get in better shape (if you make the effort), make better friends, and mature a lot as a person! Last thing: don’t stress too much about anything that happens in high school. It couldn’t be more true when people tell you that “X won’t matter 5 years down the line,” or “no one will remember that Y happened in a couple of months”. Enjoy the highs, don’t get dragged down by the lows. High School can be a fun time, but just remember you have college to look forward to as that extra motivation to keep yourself busy!


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How Hard Are College Classes Really?

Your first year of college can be overwhelming. The transition from classes of 20 students, to lecture halls packed with 500 people might make it hard to focus; the responsibility of keeping up with homework on your own by checking the course syllabus every day, teaching yourself from the textbook outside of lecture, and many other things certainly may feel like a lot more work than doing your day-to-day worksheets at night for high school. On the other hand; in college you have more freedom to take classes that you are interested in, and that you find worth putting effort into, which makes some of the assignments feel less like busy-work, and more like genuinely interesting assignments that will help you learn more about your field of choice. 

Inside WashU

Some people say college is much harder than high school, and will warn you to brace yourself for bad grades and late nights of studying; but there is no need for you to stress about how difficult you will find these classes. Everyone has a different opinion. In fact, I have talked to many people who think that high school was harder than their freshman year of college. How difficult you end up finding your classes will obviously depend on what classes you have taken in high school (i.e. if you take AP credit to place out of certain intro classes) and what classes you choose to take in college.  

Some students also never shake their tendency to procrastinate. These people still keep up with all of their favorite series on Netflix, never forget their afternoon nap, and never crack open the textbook until the week before a test. While it is totally okay (and even definitely recommended) that you take a break every now and then for something fun, you should keep a sharper focus in college to keep up with your classes. 

Sometimes it can be hard to focus in a lecture if your professor is boring and hard to understand, so you might be tempted to go on Facebook, or play a game on your phone. Unfortunately, some classes or professors will probably not be as interesting as others for you. If your textbook is written well, or if you are good at finding supplementary material online, it is not that difficult to teach yourself the concepts from intro-level college courses. Just make sure to keep up with class readings and homework, and don’t feel afraid to collaborate with friends or ask for help.

Also, at the end of the day, the difficulty of your class is largely dependent on the professor teaching it. If your professor writes tests that are impossible to do well on, there is nothing you can do to prepare for them. The key here is to accept that fact. It is better to know your information as best you can and not stress if you don’t know something on the test, because chances are most other people also don’t know. Classes also frequently get curves, so as long as you are doing respectably well compared to your peers, you should get good grades.

In summary, college classes are definitely harder than high school classes: the topics are more complicated, the learning is more fast-paced, and the expectations for self-teaching are much higher. HOWEVER, college classes are not necessarily harder to do well in. If you can force yourself to study effectively and manage your time well, there is no need to be sleep-deprived the nights leading up to a test, or to feel completely unprepared once the day of the test arrives. 

Just keep a positive attitude, make use of the resources your school offers, and try your best; you will have to put more effort in than you are used to, but once you become accustomed to your new study schedule school can feel even less stressful than high school!

Six Things I Wish I Had Done More of in College

Even though it’s been almost five years since I’ve gone back to school in August, this time of year still carries the feelings of a fresh start.  A fresh academic year, a fresh cycle – fresh notebooks, fresh goals, fresh ideas… The opportunity to begin again is always an exciting one.

For the Class of 2017, this August brings a particularly fresh and exciting start – the start of their very first year of college.  This school year, they’re not simply “beginning again;” they’re beginning.

To send them off, I thought I’d use this blog post to offer some advice that I wish I could give myself as a college freshman.  Knowing what I know now (which is not to say I’m an expert by any means), these are a few things I would do differently if I could do my college experience over again.


1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions – even when you feel like you’re not ready to.  

There were a lot of times in college when I would avoid speaking up with questions in class because I was afraid of revealing that I didn’t know exactly what I was talking about.  Whether it was because the class was moving faster than I could keep up with, or because I hadn’t done all of the textbook reading ahead of time, I would be hesitant to ask for help until after I had gone home and tried to answer my questions on my own.  Looking back, I realize that I missed out on a lot in my classes because I just ended up copying down whatever the professor said so that I could decipher it later, rather than actively listening and participating in the class as it was happening.  It takes courage and humility to raise your hand when you don’t know what’s going on, but it’s so worth it.


2. Get to know your professors.  

That same hesitation to ask for help also led me to avoid my professor’s office hours – something that I truly regret.  Professors, especially those who set aside time to meet with their students, are a great resource not only for clarifying course material that you might be tested on, but also for tapping into deeper interests you might have about related topics.  While I know it’s intimidating to meet with professors one-on-one, remember that they’re just people, too.  Don’t be afraid to admit that you’re human and that you’re struggling with the material, and on the other hand, don’t be afraid of “wasting their time” by asking them questions that might go beyond the scope of what they’re testing you on.  Which brings me to my next point…


3. Be curious.  

Engage with the material that you’re taught not because you’ll be assessed on it, but rather because it fascinates you. Choose a course not because you think it’s what you “should” be taking, but rather because the central topic speaks to you.  High school, in many ways, trains you to pick the classes and activities that will set you up best for success – the ones that will look the best on your resume, the ones that will get you the best recommendation letters, etc.  But now you’re in.  Let go of being interested in what you think you’re “supposed to” be interested in, and take a moment to reflect on what it is that you want to get out of your college experience.  What is it that you want to learn?  What it is that you are uniquely interested in?  Train yourself to be curious, cultivate that curiosity, and follow it wherever it takes you.


4. Study abroad.  

Just do it.  While not unheard of, it is very rare to have the opportunity to travel with the ease and security of an academic program after graduation.  Traveling is so rewarding and teaches you so much about yourself, and there is never an easier time to do so than while you’re in college.  Take advantage of it while you can.


5. Get real-world experience.  

One of the biggest things that I’ve learned since graduating is that there is much more to a job or career than the subject matter that it’s related to.  The fact that you like molecular biology does not necessarily mean that you’ll like doing research in a molecular biology lab, for example.  Things that seem insignificant (or at least distant) when you’re in college – like working hours, company size, office culture, job stability, and location – end up playing a much bigger role in your day-to-day happiness than you might think.

On the flip side, for every area of study there is a multitude of career options that you might not even consider when you’re in class.  As a biology major, I often felt like I had only two choices – going to med school or a pursuing a PhD. – when in reality, there were countless other possibilities that I wasn’t even considering.

So how to discover what might be a good fit?  Experiment!  Involve yourself of different internships, on- or off-campus jobs, research opportunities, and volunteer organizations.  Observe the adults working around you and try to imagine yourself in their roles.  Pay attention to the things that you like and that you don’t like about each of the positions that you’re in.  All of this will be useful information when it comes to deciding what it is that you want to do after graduation.


6. In sum, explore.  

And do so shamelessly.  You’re in a special time of your life that is a testing ground of sorts – a time to test what subjects you might be interested in, what careers might be a good fit for you, what type of life you want to build.  Don’t hesitate - dive in.  Expose yourself to as much as possible.  Test as much as possible.  The more you experience, the more you’ll be able to discover and define who you are.  Enjoy!

SAT & ACT Going Digital?

Last week the College Board announced that it was expanding its digital administration of the SAT for state-testing purposes. But the SAT is not the only one to attempt going paperless; the ACT has already been offering a digital version of the test for three years in the 1,100 districts that require it for state-testing purposes. While there remains some uncertainty about when and if the Saturday college-admissions version of the exam will be offered digitally in the US, it was reported last week that "ACT testing abroad will be all-digital starting in the fall of 2018." That's next fall! 

It's worth noting that the planned debut for digital ACT testing internationally was last fall, so plans have clearly been lagging. That said, international computer-adaptive testing (CAT) is in the works - and could be debuting as early as next year. What this means is that not only will the ACT be offered on a computer abroad, but it will also adjust to each test taker's abilities during the exam. 

As we continue to prepare students in the US and internationally, LogicPrep is already well-positioned to help students conquer this new format with our ACT/SAT question database and online progress tracking, question categorization, and test grading features already well underway. Stay tuned for more updates about the ACT and SAT's digital administrations - and how LogicPrep will remain ahead of the curve to ensure that you do the same. 

10 Ways I Could Have Prepared for College More

1. Learn how to read properly

Reading in high school mostly entails retaining generic information about literature, articles, and other sources of information. It is essentially a matter of memorizing and retaining information, and the analysis and interpretation is done in class. In college, this process is entirely different. Not only are readings much longer in length, but they are also more dense in their content. This change requires a couple of adjustments for students transitioning to college. First, learn how to read and comprehend material at a fast pace so you don’t spend hours on that journal article you have for homework. Second, learn how to form your own thoughts and analysis of any reading you are given before a class or lecture, as the discussion will not lay it all out on the table for you; you have to do the legwork on your own.

2. Learn how to manage your time

I remember coming into college thinking I would have hours of free time given that I wasn’t sitting in classrooms from 8am to 3pm Monday through Friday. Unfortunately, I was wrong. It is true that students only spend 3-5 hours of their days in the classroom, but everything going on outside of the classroom really adds up. First and foremost, the work you put in outside of class takes much more time than it did in high school. Second, extracurriculars come up at all times of the day, all days of the week. Third, walking around campus, having meals, meeting with professors and friends, and other activities will all take up more of your time than you might expect. So, don’t expect to have hours every day to lounge around and hang out with friends; college is a busy time!

3. Learn how to talk to strangers

Especially in the beginning, the most important part of school is meeting people and making friends, connections, study mates, etc. This process entails being comfortable approaching people you’ve never met, mastering small talk, and knowing how to maintain a dialogue with people to whom you are not yet close. Luckily, everyone is in this boat at the beginning of school, so everyone will be willing to have that initial conversation. But regardless, you have to learn how to be comfortable and good and striking up a random conversation all day, every day.

4. Learn how to be a good speaker and presenter

While the amount of public speaking one might do may depend upon what they are studying, college largely requires being better and more comfortable at speaking in front of larger groups. Whether it be for a presentation, engaging in class discussion, or even doing group work, you have to learn how to be comfortable and good at articulating yourself if you want to be successful in the eyes of your professors and peers. 

5. Learn how to manage your money

College can be an expensive place! College is the first time for a lot of people to be out in the world, on their own, making their own spending decisions, and managing their own money. It is not sustainable to be going out all of the time with your friends; funds are limited! Learn how to budget where you will go out, when you will go out, and figure out how to build your social life around those plans accordingly. 

6. Have an idea of what you might get involved in before you arrive on campus

That first activities fair during the first week of school in your freshman year can be extremely overwhelming. Hundreds of organizations are looking for new members, and it is often hard to decide where you would like to be involved. Looking into organizations that reflect some of your personal interests may help narrow down what tables you should be visiting come time for the activities fair. 

7. Figure out where to get academic support

Adjusting to college-level courses can be a tough transition for many students, so it is important to know what resources are available to you to make this transition as easy as possible. Seeking out tutoring services, teaching assistants, office hours with professors, and other helpful tools can really change your outlook and performance in class.

8. Improve your writing skills

What is expected of you in high school when you write essays and papers is extremely different from what is expected in college. In high school, a fairly surface level analysis is all that is required to do decently well on an assignment. At the college level, this surface level analysis will earn you a passing grade at best. You have to learn to how to gesture outward, considering the context of your paper or essay’s discussion within a broader scope as well as delve deeper into the meaning of the details of a book or data set. Only then will your professors see you genuinely thinking critically about a topic and view your work as appropriate for an institution of higher education.

9. Figure out the best high school classes to take

Planning your high school schedule is not simply a matter of building a good looking transcript for your college applications, but it is just as much about setting yourself up to explore as many college courses as possible. While this process largely depends on AP classes (which you should research how many schools accept credit for those classes before you take them), it also depends on what random electives you might enroll in to discover some coursework you might find interesting in college as well. Exposing yourself to a broad set of academic topics in high school will broaden your scope of potentially interesting classes once in college; there are hundreds of courses, and you might not know which ones to take!

10. Learn how to balance work and play

Often the biggest struggle that students have is managing a balance between work and play, as college gives you more time out of class but also more work to handle. As a result, it is beneficial to keep a calendar and/or have a planner to map out your plans, activities, and work schedule. It is also important to recognize that college is equally a social and academic experience. Some students may be going to school just to get a degree, while others may be going to meet new people and have new experiences. Regardless of where you see yourself on that spectrum, college is a place to explore both the academic and social realms of your life, and so planning accordingly will help you maximize your potential to enjoy both of these areas as much as possible during your time in college.

College Tours: Harvard University


The bustling, metropolitan city of Cambridge, Massachusetts parallels the vibrancy of the college campus of Harvard University. Boasting the largest academic library in the United States, 10 distinct research programs for undergraduates, and about 3,900 courses, Harvard is one of the best places to explore academically. The college currently offers 49 concentrations, from “History and Literature,” the original major for students in 1636, to “Theater, Dance, and Media,” the interdisciplinary major created this past year. The myriad extracurricular options foster political engagement, entrepreneurship, and community service. The comprehensive collections in Harvard’s art museums and the historic and modern theaters provide dynamic spaces for the exciting guest artists and researchers who often speak and engage directly with students. Writers are impressed by the nation’s oldest continuously published college newspaper, and athletic students are drawn to the 42 division I sports teams, as well as club and intramural sports, at Harvard. The Harvard-Yale football rivalry gives rise to the most spirited college event each year: “The Game.” It should be noted that Crimson has won the last nine. Despite this competition, Harvard is an inclusive environment, valuing diversity and supporting students of all religions, races, and genders. All freshmen live in Harvard Yard, and upperclassmen are welcomed into their houses for the next three years in a Harry Potter-like sorting process. The academic, extracurricular, and social opportunities at Harvard provide students the agency to shape their college experience in an inspiring environment surrounded by interesting and innovative peers.



HISTORIC, COLONIAL, CHARMING, LIVELY, and COLORFUL (the bright red, orange, and yellow leaves in Harvard Yard in the fall in are beautiful)


Self-motivated, excited by challenges, and either “well-rounded” or “well-lopsided,” Harvard’s definition of individuals who display particular dedication to and talent in one field. Both types of students contribute to the dynamic and diverse undergraduate population.

Flashback to graduation day for our Co-Founder & COO, Lindsay! The typical Harvard student. 


Harvard strongly encourages global awareness to create informed, empathetic citizens. This year, the student population embodies the university’s commitment to diversity of thought and background, with 9,396 international students representing 151 countries. Need-based financial aid and some grants are extended to the 60% of Harvard students who choose to take classes, volunteer, intern, or work in a field-based immersion in a foreign country during the summer or school year.


Take advantage of the spaces to show who you are and what you can do. Let your sense of humor shine through your Common App essay (I’d bet admissions officers love to laugh!), and use Harvard’s optional additional essay to showcase your personality in a unique way. Pay attention to the details, including your concise Common App descriptions of your high school activities and 100-word elaboration on one extracurricular or work experience for Harvard. If you have a notable commitment to and talent in an art discipline, digitally share your jazz piano compositions, tap choreography, or portrait photography. Finally, applying Early Action reduces the number of competitors for a select few spots, shows your initiative, and is non-binding.



The statue in Harvard Yard, purportedly of John Harvard, the 1638 founder of Harvard University, is known as the “Statue of Three Lies.” The statue does not actually depict John Harvard, John Harvard was a benefactor and not a founder of the school, and the university was founded in 1636.
And, did you know Francois is an alum?