Ivy covered the copper entrance plaque engraved with "Gruber's College Counseling, est. 2068." Glossy from constant care, the leafy ivy vines dominated the original brick of the large, imposing building. Aware of the importance of their appointment, Henry jogged to keep up with his mother's longer strides. They moved quickly through the constant flow of parents and children around the entrance of Gruber's. A chubby brown-haired boy of 8, Henry had to bend over to regain his breath by the time they'd gotten to Ms. Besoin's office on the 3 rd floor.

Now, sinking into the kids's ize leather recliner offered by Ms. Besoin, a small smile came over Henry's face. How he had longed to join the big kids in their heated debates on who had better extracurricular activities, more leadership. He was proud of himself for having a list prepared of the schools he wanted to go to. Henry's mother looked over at her only son.

In their upper middle-class neighborhood, it was a measure of status for a parent to boast that their children started college counseling in the 1 st grade. Though the fee was more than she could honestly afford, she had managed to get Henry in at one of the better college counseling agencies. Nothing mattered as long as Henry got admitted into a name-brand college. She sighed softly to herself and reached into her handbag for Henry's teacher recommendations forms and test scores. Ms. Besoin looked over the papers Henry's mother had handed her.

Henry's test scores were only in the 83 rd percentile; she would have to order some test preparation books. Perhaps the boy would show athletic ability in golf.