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Wednesday, July 23. 2014
Don't Send Your Kid to the Ivy League?
Few kids would turn down an Ivy scholarship, but, after your first job out, you are on your own and nobody cares about it anymore except for you and your narcissistic needs. Done right, wonderfully life-enriching, speaking as an older Dartmouth fellow from the era when your Ivy BA meant something; many things, really. Lots of social signalling and networking, because everybody likes a Dartmouth lad (or lassie). Those were the good old days when elitism gave you a leg up in the sport of life. Clubs, jobs, friends, grad school, social acceptance, deals, etc. Of course, being a Col. or above in the US military offered similar perks. Respect.
It reminds me of the oldie, "Don't send my boy to Harvard, the dying mother said, Don't send my boy to Harvard, I'd rather see him dead, but send him to Columbia, or better yet Cornell, but as for Pennsylvan-i-ay I'll see him first in hell."
Don't Send Your Kid to the Ivy League
He begins, In the spring of 2008, I did a daylong stint on the Yale admissions committee...
Posted by The Barrister in Education, Our Essays at 13:53 | Comments (14) | Trackbacks (0)
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What's his point? Is it that kids should join the merchant marine for a few years before going to school, and find out their "true" calling? Should everyone just chill, and let life roll onward, maybe see how stuff works itself out, instead of "trying too hard"?
I well remember one speech from the President of one of my kids schools, when he asked all the helicopter parents (as he described them) to back off, and let the college faculty do its job. Most parents there accepted it happily, though I don't doubt there were those in the room who didn't. But I also don't doubt that since the dawn of time there have always been helicopter parents.
Having sent off three kids off to college, one to Stanford and two others to the Ivies, I can certainly understand why college is not for everyone and certainly high school kids should look more broadly than just the Ivies when applying to colleges. But the sense of saying something so supremely dumb as "don't go" to good schools eludes me. Of course I am assuming here that you would describe Yale as a "good school". I myself don't have an opinion, since I know little of Yale, but I think pretty highly of the schools my own children attended. Not everyone can get into Cal Tech, after all, and there has to be someplace they can go.
See what Doc Schneiderman has to say: http://stuartschneiderman.blogspot.com/2014/07/whither-ivy-league.html
Is there any word on Doc. Mercury?
Srsly, last we heard he had some medical and financial problems.
Not a word. Miss him, as we miss Buddy.
People come, and people disappear. Happens in life. Sad.
My reasons would be different. Similar to the argument that people should not be sent to prison for minor crimes because they will become learn from the hard core criminals, so they should not be sent to Ivy League colleges where they will also learn from hard core criminals dedicated to the destruction of law, ethics, and individual morality.
Actually it was a good article until the end when he started advocating for universal college.
And he does point out that the Ivies are good for resume polishing. If Sarah Palin has attended an Ivy rather than, dare we say, a State university would she have been savaged so much? Not to mention, if you kid is promiscuous, uhm, social, enough they can gain some networking benefits.
Sad to say it but the Ezra Klein quote is on the money. They do make good and earnest cube monkeys looking for some purpose in life after graduation. And the indoctrination to "make a difference" brilliant.
But he falls back on the same premise most of the university class does and I don't think they can appreciate what they are implying. You must go to college to become a complete person, to be a good citizen. So what does that say about the majority of Americans throughout history who didn't go to college? Not to mention, given the hostility of most universities, especially the Ivies, to the American system of government, it seems a reach that one would become a good American citizen by attending. Perhaps a good Comrade?
In any case, the credential is all that matters. An Ivy credential will help you avoid the discrimination in industries, such as Wall Street, where the Ivy alumni dominate. And perhaps, the uninvolved student does get a better education in the "you are superior" environment of the Ivies, but the motivated student can probably get as good or better an education for less money and suffering elsewhere.
The money quote.
At least the classes at elite schools are academically rigorous, demanding on their own terms, no? Not necessarily. In the sciences, usually; in other disciplines, not so much. There are exceptions, of course, but professors and students have largely entered into what one observer called a “nonaggression pact.”They may be the "best" students at the "best" universities, but in a large number of classes outside the STEM disciplines, they get their grades by not working that hard and/or by regurgitating PC stuff the prof wants.
A niece of mine went to an Ivy League school. She didn't work that hard, though it might be said that those with 800 SAT Verbal scores don't have to work that hard.
Yet these people who don't work that hard are supposed to become our rulers?
ISTR Diplomad writing about interviewing applicants for State Department positions. Sjome (most?) were from the Ivies, and they were stumped when asked to discuss the connection between WWII and NATO. One suspects that familiarity with ancient history, WWII and the cold war for instance, is not considered important for an Ivy graduate intending to enter the diplomatic corps.
I'd be happy if she'd take her 800-score mind and her good education and, whether or not she has to break a sweat doing it, produce something wonderfully valuable that the rest of us would be thrilled to buy.
From the Schneiderman essay:
"Visit any elite campus across our great nation, and you can thrill to the heart-warming spectacle of the children of white businesspeople and professionals studying and playing alongside the children of black, Asian, and Latino businesspeople and professionals. Kids at schools like Stanford think that their environment is diverse if one comes from Missouri and another from Pakistan, or if one plays the cello and the other lacrosse. Never mind that all of their parents are doctors or bankers.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t a few exceptions, but that is all they are. In fact, the group that is most disadvantaged by our current admissions policies are working-class and rural whites, who are hardly present on selective campuses at all. The only way to think these places are diverse is if that’s all you’ve ever seen."
As a Seven Sisters graduate with an Ivy League PhD, I can assure you that this is EXACTLY what is happening in these places. The most troubling this about it is the absolute lack of self-awareness among students of what an incredibly narrow and provincial world they are actually living in.
Yes, they specialize in killing self-awareness.