EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the fourth monthly article on Bogdan Bordieanu, an honors student at Wando High School.

Bogdan Bordieanu, a top scholar at Wando High School who grew up in Romania, got a good taste of America recently.

He went out shopping with his parents on Black Friday.

"Went Black Friday shopping all day long," he said on his Facebook page. "And I loved it. Definitely American at heart."

He said later they waited until after noon until the crowds had died down some.

"I think the media makes it sound a lot worse than it really is," he said. "Again, I didn't go Thursday night at 1 a.m. I didn't experience it fully, but what I experienced was not bad at all."

He got a Nook as an early Christmas present at H.H. Gregg's. A classic science-fiction fan, he's already starting to read George Orwell's "1984" on it. He plans to read the e-version of "Dune" next.

He doesn't have a Christmas tree yet. In Romania, they don't put up the tree until Christmas Eve, he said. He figures he and his parents will put up a tree a few days before Christmas.

They don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Romania, but he and his parents had a few friends over Thanksgiving Day for the traditional turkey and sweet potatoes.

On a more serious note, his latest achievement is scoring a perfect 1600 on the math and critical reading sections of the SAT, followed by a perfect 800 on the writing section.

"I hope it will help me in the Harvard application," he said.

He hopes to hear from Harvard, his top choice for a college next fall, by Christmas, or at least shortly after the New Year.

"Harvard would be nice, but realistically, I don't know yet," he said. "Definitely if I got accepted to Harvard, it would be amazing."

He continues to keep his grades above 5.0, among the highest in the school.

He also remains active in the Beta Club. As president, he recently inducted new freshmen into the academic achievement and service organization.

Top schools look not only at test scores and grades but community service and social life as well.

"I think over the years, it's gotten a lot harder to get into a top college, so the competition has increased," Bogdan said.

Wando Guidance Counselor Sheila Sparks said Bogdan is right.

"I think the students who want to get into the elite schools, they are more competitive, because it's harder to get into those schools, especially if you're from out of state," she said.

He continues to practice for the school's math team and Quiz Bowl teams, which start competing after the New Year.

He traveled to Duke University on Nov. 12 for the Duke Math Meet, an opportunity to compete against students from across the Southeast.

Most of his friends are starting to notice his monthly appearance in this newspaper.

"Some of them have noticed it and are very excited," Bogdan said. "I wouldn't really call myself a celebrity or anything. It's generally a positive reaction."

Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553.