Discussion in 'General Education' started by Caesar753, Apr 4, 2013.
Apr 4, 2013
I read the first three paragraphs and was so offended I stopped.
Somebody obviously thinks everyone should do her work for her. At the end though she mentions that she understands that she is being a ridiculous spoiled brat.
But when I think about it I can sort of see where she was coming from. Nobody ever told me that it is conventional for college students to get an internship or research experience if they want to get a graduate degree or get a job. There is a lack of communication about the expectations that let you clearly know what colleges want from you.
It was a bad execution, but I understand a bit about what she is saying.
She was on the "Today" show this morning and she claimed the piece is primarily satire.
There are parts where she makes valid points and some parts where she comes off like just another whiny member of her generation. But she's also a clever writer and throws in a fair amount of whimsy.
She also said she's been accepted by four Big Ten schools and hinted that her choice may be Michigan. Not too shabby, if you asked me!
I think she makes a valid point. There is a disconnect between what colleges and universities say and how they select candidates. Not all of the criteria they use is based on merit.
I also agree with what she says about students padding their resumes or using privilege and affluence to pad the resume.
I also agree that schools want diversity and many of the criteria they use to get this diversity has NOTHING to do with the choice of a student. She will never be 1st generation latina female - choose any other criteria that schools use. Yet, that will reduce her chances. College entrance is a game. Colleges don't like to admit this, but in reality, it is a game that is not equal for all.
I agree - it's a game, and too many high school students don't value their activities - just see them as a game piece for college admission, which is sad. Not to say all students do this, but I don't think that's the what the author meant.
Ironically, she claims to be "average" but her writing is pretty darn good if you ask me.
On a positive note, I think she's very funny - I laughed out loud a couple of times, especially at the final paragraph. Yes, she totally mocked diversity and service learning - WOW - but why be offended by someone else's ignorance?
While I'm surprised they actually published this, having an article published in WSJ should at least get her foot in the door somewhere.
I liked it and totally got the tongue in cheek aspect. I may have my nonfiction class read it and see what they think.
I've heard that it has become common for parents to write their children's entrance application essays for them (and perhaps even paying pros to do so for them occasionally?) The young writer of that article writes so well and expresses her thoughts so cleverly, that perhaps the college admissions personnel didn't believe she actually wrote her essay herself! Just a thought,fwiw...
I saw her on the Today Show. She's bright. She makes good points. Anyone can fake the claims that they put on an application that makes them look "amazing". Many really are amazing. But the schools might pass up some good fits going for the ones who look like that too good to be true candidate.
I believe it was part of what she said when she started discussing the fake charities, the "mission trips" to foreign countries to pad the resume, etc. Had she just left it to the outrageous comments about two moms, I might agree that part of her point wasn't about the game.
Colleges are currently telling students they would rather see fewer activities but more targeted involvement in those activities than a list of activities that one participates in, but I often see kids being in several clubs and sports and also being officers or captains in all of them. It is amazing how many "officer" positions some clubs have these days to accommodate the need to be a leader in a club.
I worked in a college admissions office and think this
is really an unfair characterization. Yes, of course they
Are looking for diversity and exciting experiences, but it's not a requirement to get into college. There are interviews where they really look for things like passion about a school and kids who seem like they'd be a good fit on their campus. The things she speaks of like starting charities are great but you can still get in without those things-- otherwise I would never gave gotten into college. I think it's unfair to put down high school kids who take the initiative to do great things.
Excellent. She has a future as a writer/humorist.
btw it it was a lot of tongue in cheek satire..........
This girl goes to the same high school I graduated from, and that was less than 10 years ago so the area and the surrounding culture couldn't have changed too much. There are, shall we say, a lot of "haves" and "have nots" in this school because the immediate area is upper middle class, but the surrounding areas are, well, poor
Here is my experience:
I took honors classes... We had one mixed race girl in there out of about 120 (when I went to school, it was 45% black and about 50% white in a class size overall of 550). Our valedictorian was a 4.0 student, 1600 on the SAT, super involved in sports, the community, really friendly and an all around good guy, also white. The girl I mentioned was an average honors student (around a 3.6 - we were friends), no sports, and only involved herself in a group that was centered around AAs but wasn't community service, more of a social thing. They both applied to Harvard. Only one got in. Now, the guy ended up getting accepted at Yale so no need to cry for him, but I do find that to be a huge disparity. as an aside, I went to Princeton to visit, and the program I looked at (ChemEng) had about 30 students a year... Most were girls that are minorities (they had class pictures in the halls). I was shocked, truthfully.
The other thing she talked about, with money and the privileges that affords... I knew a senator's son with a paying job as a campaign consultant, a lot of accountant and business interns, a lot of community service trips to other countries... I know few people who went to public universities from this group but many Ivy Leaguers. I understand where she's coming from, and to me the satire is obvious.
I think it's all more competitive now. Each year it gets harder to get in. Personally I think she will come out better. Why does everyone think that Harvard is the IT school? Who gives a crap. It's where you'll be happy, challenged, find a job when you get out. Will they support you while you are there? Will they help you get out in four years? There are so many choices out there.
I honestly read it as a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the things kids will do to get into the college they want.
I've offered community service hours to high school kids every year. Every year, these kids tell me that cataloging a classroom library or working with low-level readers/writers just isn't impressive enough for their college resume.
Kinder, since I mentor kids through a community service project evey year, I always end up asking myself: do they do these great things from the heart or because it will get them what they want? I think it's a hard question to answer unless you get to know the kid.
Teachinnola, I've seen the same thing here. Two students that graduated last year were worlds apart in their resumes, IMO, but it was the minority girl that was accepted to the "better" school, while the white boy was rejected. She joined clubs long enough to get elected to a bogus position and never attended meetings. He was VP of the National Honor Society (to her asst treasurer of Beta Club). She took one AP class. He started college as a second-semester sophomore. His GPA, unweighted, was half a point higher than hers. He just did not have the correct skin color or chromosome combination
That is what is happening, whether people want to say it or not. "Good deeds" are being objectified as notches on one's belt... So that working within one's OWN community for betterment is not seen as worthy, compared to "a mission to Africa". It's terrible when you really think about it... that we have watched our society devolve in this way.
I know of a guy who has worked as a HS coach for 20 years at his alma mater, 19 as an assistant. Dutifully, committed, the whole nine... this past season, he took over as head coach, and did a solid job. He was summarily released... by his alma mater, by the school he worked at since graduation. Why? Because he doesn't hold a proper credential. How pitiful is that? That we have shuffled aside all common sense and real human commitment, for the sake of "official" accolades and honors.
Okay, I was trying to keep quiet about this and not stir the pot but I just can't ignore this.
I'm tired of the assumption that we people of color only get into top colleges because of our skin color. How do you guys know that they weren't qualified to be there? Maybe the admissions committee did see something in them that made them want to admit them into their college. Believe it or not, these affirmative action policies aren't supposed to let just any person into colleges, they're targeted towards people of color who are, in fact, qualified to be there. Affirmative action is not in place to discriminate against whites, it's there to give disadvantaged groups in our society a chance to succeed which historically and even today include people of color.
Also, if all/some of this info about the "unqualified minorities" was especially said from the people rejected I would definitely take their testimonies with a grain of salt. Did you/they go to every Beta Club meeting to see if the girl was there? How do you/they know the other girl wasn't involved in clubs and community service programs not on campus?
Apr 5, 2013
I didn't really think about Affirmative Action much until I was teaching US History for the first time last year. I didn't study US History much in college and my high school teachers taught history in such an emotionless way that I never really considered this issue much. Plus I'm white and I've never run into a time where I felt like it kept me from doing anything.
I know some think that having AA is just keeping the ideas of racism alive. I tended to agree until last year when I really tried to get my students involved in class discussions. I tried to get them to be riled up and speak what they were feeling. In doing so I re-evaluated my own thoughts as well.
Jim Crow didnt officially end in the south until 1965. That is only 48 years ago. Its not like everything was magically equal right after that. This point alone really made me start to think about the social justice aspect of AA. Can I truthfully say to myself that people who were at one time inherently unequal until 1965 shouldn't be given some extra consideration in order to level the playing field?
I realize not everyone lives in the south like I do and circumstances were different up north. But its not like everything was dead equal right after the civil war.
Sweet P I know you were very riled up in your response but it was great.
Thanks Mr.history for your response.
We're not on a level playing field. We're not living in a "post-racial" society. Racism didn't magically disappear when Jim Crow ended or when we got our first black president. Even in this day and age people of color are still judged by their race over their accomplishments and intelligence. As long as racism and white privilege are alive, we need affirmative action and race-based scholarships to give everyone an equal chance to go to college.
I liked Chairwoman of Coffee Logistics. I love ridiculous titles that actually exist! :haha:
I know the girl VERY well. These are people that I know personally and did not even attend the school where I work. The first time I heard about this particular case was actually from the girl.
I am not assuming that she only got into the school because of her color. I think her gender had something to do with it as well. She was a decent student, but no where nearly as qualified as the other student. She met the minimum requirements, which, on record, aren't astronomically high. But by reputation and tradition are much higher.
I'm sorry that this bothers you but surely you cannot deny that people are chosen over others in order to maintain a sense of diversity in a school?
I saw this very thing happen when I was on an admissions committee for a *special* public high school. Students had to apply for admission and their applications were scored with a rubric. Those that scored the highest were called in for interviews. The rubric had things like past school suspensions, highest level of math completed, first generation, essay on it. It also had race and community service. Basically you got a check for each of those things.
For example, a white boy that passed Alg. I, was never suspended and was chair of his church's food bank would get 3 checks. A black girl that passed Alg. I, was never suspended and participated in a cancer walk, would get 4 checks. Even though his community service was far more impressive. Those with the most checks got interviews. We actually heard our leader say once that there were not enough minorities (and too many Asians - which was odd since they were minorities in that setting) and we needed to look at the candidate list again.
However, I saw this selection process in reverse at that same school. We have a couple of traditionally "black" schools that are within driving distance of us. A rep from one such school came to speak in my room one day and told the white and Asian kids to apply because they needed more diversity on campus.
While I think she went way too far with some of the things in that letter (I was rolling my eyes and simultaneously wanted to throw something at her), she is correct that it is a game.
Looking back, I realize that my high school (which US News ranked as a top 100 school in the nation this year) had a singular goal of getting you ready for college and making you a desirable candidate. We had MANDATORY community service hours as part of our graduation requirements. While we all hated it, in the end, we had it to put on our resume for college.
I attended high school in a community where nearly everyone went to college, other options weren't even considered nor promoted by the school. I can definitely see how this philosophy and the requirements set by my high school gave me an edge in the college application process than someone from a rural community or another place where their high school wasn't a machine designed to churn out kids to pass regents exams, take as many AP classes as possible, and go off to a private college.
I remember about ten years ago my daughter and I had a contentious arguement. She was upset at school because she
observed some minority getting preference over someone with better scores or tests. I cannot remember it well. My daughter was in this very large HS and she had about 7 other kids with her that were all very high achievers. They all earned national merit scholarships. I told her that AA was pretty much there for the previous years of inequality. I told her many of her classmates had parents and grandparents who had zero or little chance at the American dream always afforded to those of our race. She could not even imagine the way people were treated before the civil rights movement made it law that people were to be treated fairly. They say children must pay for the sins of their fathers and I guess there is truth to that. Do more people from minority and poverty need to go to college? You **** right they need to. Is it unfair for an outstanding student be passed over for someone who did not achieve as much. It is unfair. But you know what. Outside of political correctness and laws life is unfair sometimes. I did not get a job one time because of AA. But as it was for the best. But remember less than fifty years ago and even shorter in many places a whole race was denied jobs, schooling and basic rights because of the law. Hard to believe sometimes but looking at today's political climate (apologies for that) I can see where that mindset came from.
With all things being equal, aside from gender and race, a white boy will still have a way easier time getting into another great college than a young woman of color. Heck, even a young man of color. He will still have way more opportunities afforded to him in life. It was stated here in this very thread that a boy that was passed over got into Yale. What are the chances for that mixed race girl to do the same?
Frankly, without affirmative action colleges and jobs would look a lot whiter than they are right now. POC are still underrepresented in colleges today.
You also stated that the girl met the minimum requirements. She wasn't a student with a 1.5 GPA who didn't do anything outside of class. She is qualified to be there. There are plenty of people who get into Ivy League schools who don't have perfect SAT scores or are presidents of 20 different clubs. Admissions try to take into account the whole person. Plenty of candidates with "perfect" numbers and outstanding achievements are passed over by those with "less qualifications," and many of those people are white.
It's just amazing how everyone white (who is just so overly qualified) just so happens to get passed over by a person of color who was "unqualified." Affirmative action doesn't even operate on a "quota" system anymore, it was ruled unconstitutional by the University of California vs. Bakke case in 1978. Race is only one factor in the decision process. If you were passed over by a POC it was because they were just as qualified to be there, and in many cases more qualified and a better candidate than you.
So we're just going to have to agree to disagree.
Actually, we left out something here. There are legacies that get in cause dear old dad knew someone or donated a chunk of change. Everyone knows that happens.
I was trying to fit that into my previous post but didn't want my reply to be a novel. Legacies and the extremely wealthy might not belong in a college academically/at all but they sure do get in.
Apr 7, 2013
I think that affirmative action needs to take place to pull society out of the vicious circles it finds itself in, and I think that is the main reason that we have AA today. Not for reparations for things done in the past, or because someone is part of a minority (for one thing, Asians are one of the smallest minority, but we don't get an ounce of money because there are so many in the education system outnumbering even Caucasians in many cases.)
It is a bit about being an underrepresented minority. If you're part of a minority family that has a history of not being educated and working low-income jobs, and perhaps is even part of a community in which crime is prevalent, if you continue to stay uneducated and living in those communities, you continue to parent children who similarly have no role-model to look up to to attain a higher education, and in worst-case scenarios you may even contribute to the crime in your community if you get really desperate as many of these communities are that turn to gang-violence and other crimes.
By allowing some of these children a chance to break away from that and become educated, they can break the cycle, get a good job, and understand how to contribute positively to society, and this generally runs in generations meaning that their children will probably also be likely to attain a higher education. Greater amounts of these role models in families will make this pursuit of education an expectation rather than an exception which will hopefully benefit society as a whole.
I don't know though, that's my take on it.
Besides I think colleges are getting tired of the same-old cookie cutter 4.0 valedictorian, captain of the football team, Caucasian/Asian male. They want to see those who have overcome difficulties, which is probably why this girl is a bit miffed, because if her life was perfect to begin with, what can she really do about it? The expectations for her are now higher since she doesn't have a rough background, because she has lived her life in privilege, so she has to accomplish something that really makes the committee go "wow".
It's no longer about grades, I think. It's about personal growth.
A bit random, but www.CollegeResults.org is an interesting site to find information about enrollment, graduation rates, costs, and so forth. Yale has an 8% admittance rate...fun stuff like that.
I remember watching sitcoms and dramas growing up with episodes revolving around characters waiting for the acceptance/rejection letters... I don't guess I applied to prestigious enough schools because that wasn't ever an issue.
Apr 8, 2013
I think that's a rather judgmental statement. I don't know if you meant it this way, but there seems to be the underlying idea that a child who comes from a family who is financially stable didn't overcome any difficulties or experience anything that would result in personal growth.
While the girl who wrote the letter obviously didn't seem to go through very much, there are many people who come from financially secure, outwardly stable households who have gone through life altering events/situations that have profoundly affected them.
Money undoubtably makes life easier. It does not, however, take away the profound impact of say, being raised in a household with an abusive alcoholic father, having your mother commit suicide while you were in middle school, being 14 and finding out that your brother was born with tumors in his brain, etc (all real examples of close friends of mine in high school).
Those might not have been the best examples, but I think you get where I'm coming from.
I teach in a wealthy school and I always push my kids to go for schools that are a good fit, rather than assuming Ivy League is the best. I have been a student at a state school and at an Ivy, which helps them to trust my advice. Perhaps someone should remind this girl that sometimes a good fit isn't necessarily the most exclusive college.
What an article! I give this high schooler kudos for taking the time to express herself outside of the usual social media of her time (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). I saw that there are 4 pages of comments regarding this article, which I admit I did not read all of.
What I have to say..."The grass is always greener on the other side. You only have one life, one body, and many opportunities. Why waste it on dwelling on what could have been when you can make your dreams reality by taking steps towards those aspirations?"
Thanks for sharing.
Actually, I agree completely. In fact I'm from a financially stable household that I'm no longer a part of because of difficulties in my family. The thing is, I think the onus is on the student to prove they've faced these difficulties either through their personal statement or other ways. In order to be considered financially independent and qualify for financial aid, I had to PROVE to the school that my parents and I were no longer in contact or supporting me because of an abusive relationship, and I had to get letters of witnesses and hard evidence that this was the case.
Otherwise, my parents financial situation would have kept me from qualifying for financial aid.
It's especially tough for the students who come from a financially well-off household and are not in a situation that they can claim independence but for some reason, the parents can't or won't pay for college, because the student is completely on their own without help from parents or the government.
Apr 9, 2013
Great post!!! I'm sure if the other girl who got into Harvard was white, people would assume there were other factors involved. Maybe her essay was outstanding, her references, interviews or whatever. But since she's a minority it's automatically assumed she only got in because of her skin color. Grates my nerves!!!
Instead of some white people being ticked at minorities about this minor issue, they should turn their disgust towards the powerful decision makers who continue to promote unfair and unequal practices, then we wouldn't be having this problem. Don't get mad because a MICRO-system is in place to try and correct some of the wrong that has been done over the course of hundreds/thoundands of years. Get to the root of the problem and those who started and perpetuated racist practices.
Furthermore, many of the minorities who were so "unqualified" tend to do very well in these programs and jobs. Just goes to show that they do qualify and admissions and hiring processes are subjective.
I have an online friend whose (black) daughter got into Yale, Harvard and Princeton law schools. She chose Yale. She had to go through a lot, it was an intense process and she certainly didn't get any handouts. She still experiences racial issues despite her obvious genius. No matter how successful we are, we're always viewed as less than.
I was accepted into a doctoral (science) program back in 2000. I was the only black female in my class. Anyway, the comments and experiences I had there is when I learned how minorities are truly viewed in this country. It changed me, forever!
I'm not a science genius, lol,so I struggled in the program which is why I'm not a doctor now. I'm stronger in writing and humanities and of course teaching (wish I would have realized this earlier before going into that program):help:. But the overwhelming majority of the other black girls and guys who made it in graduated. And some whites and Asians didn't graduate. My point is, we're people just like anybody else, we work hard, and we're not taking anything from anyone else.
I need to log off and go to sleep. Your post was a breath of fresh air. Welcome to the forums...
Just read that the author has an aunt who was a former publisher at WSJ as well as a sister who works their currently. Way to use those connections!
College preparation and admission has more to do with SES than anything else:
"Although ethnic-racial background has a differential impact on the gender gap in college enrollments, a number of studies highlight the comparatively greater role of SES than race or gender in shaping the college-going process (Cabrera & La Nasa, 2000; McDonough, 1997). For example, King (2000) found that the greatest disparity in immediate enrollment after high school is between low- and high-income students, with those from low income families being comparatively less likely to attend college directly after high school than their peers from more privileged economic backgrounds."
Lindholm, Jennifer A. "Deciding to Forgo College: Noncollege attendee's Reflections on Family, School and Self"
Teachers College Record Volume 108, Number 4, April 2006, pp. 577–603 Copyright by Teachers College, Columbia University
You're post was pretty great too - I had to quote some things that I think really need to be read again. If the POC mentioned in this thread were white they wouldn't be mentioned at all. It's really infuriating how this myth that all of us "unqualified" POC take jobs and spots in colleges from all these "hardworking" white people (not to say that white people aren't hardworking because they are) constantly gets perpetuated. I work hard for what I do and so do many other people of color. If anything, we have to prove ourselves even more than white people just to meet the minimum sometimes.
Anyway, I'm sure everyone here knows my views by now lol. I'm just passionate about racism and misconceptions regarding race, and even though I pass some racial threads/posts for my sanity I just couldn't ignore this one.
Separate names with a comma.