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    #162569 - 07/20/13 07:08 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Exactly.

    It's ironic indeed that parents like us are forced to consider that NOT doing any of that stuff (well, you know-- all of the TigerParent stuff, like programming a child's cell phone to give alarms to indicate the times of the next activity, intervening all the time to 'flex' things enough to squeeze just one more thing into an already over-crammed schedule, rationalizing why "doing it for them" is necessary and justifiable, etc. etc.) ultimately can result in your authentically superior student looking...


    well, in them looking just like all the rest. Because the rest of them are certainly willing to do whatever it takes to look like my DD or intparent's kids.

    I have no idea what the answer is. I don't. I am merely offering that there is a great deal of tension and anxiety surrounding this entire issue as a parent.

    It also makes me really angry to watch this prepping taking place. It's unfair on so many levels-- truly a perversion of the system. It's unfair to the institutions who have no real means of determining student quality/suitability and have given up even trying in a lot of senses, it's unfair to students who really CAN'T meet the demand that their resumes are setting up as expectations, and it's also unfair to the students who CAN readily meet such demands, because they have to try to scramble their way to the front of the crowd and raise their hands higher than anyone else...

    yet again. In order to get what amounts to appropriate education. We don't want our DD to get "the best degree" that money can buy. We want her to finally get an experience that allows her to truly stretch her wings and FLY intellectually. That can't happen when her classmates are essentially flightless birds dressed up in eagle suits.

    _________________________
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    #162577 - 07/20/13 08:41 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    MIT is on my list of "potentially toxic institutions" depending on the personality of the student.

    And by that I mean, there are a number of students who are exceptionally good who will not fit in at MIT in a way that will be very harmful for the student in question.

    I wonder if there is actual evidence out there to support this.

    MIT was not on my list of colleges to attend because I had no interest in going there. This picture of the inner situation at MIT I obtained through one of my friends with some MIT experience.

    For someone who does really well in a place like MIT, MIT would be a wonderful experience.

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    #162581 - 07/20/13 09:22 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: CFK]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Originally Posted By: CFK
    [quote=HowlerKarma]Flightless birds in eagle suits? That is an extremely condescending statement.

    Just because these students are willing to jump through the hoops that these schools require for admission does not make them less intelligent.


    It also happens to be true for a certain subset of the population at certain universities.

    The issue here is one of the developmental arc through a lifetime, which we don't even seem to understand.

    I use the "free" strategy for undergrad and so does my wife's family, so this conversation is pretty moot to me.

    Which means, I am targeting 75% to 100% merit-based financial aid for my DD (first to college) to begin with. I will revise the approach accordingly as college gets closer.

    I've been playing this game since the early 1990's (either myself or advising others) and so far my strategies and tools have worked.

    However, I consider a lot of the process to be a complete joke because my goal is to game and rig it with *minimal* effort and time pressures on my children in terms of "playing the game".

    I am still considering whether dogging is going to be one of my tools. However, driving all over God's Green Earth to develop your champion dog is a ginormous pain (although quite effective if your child enjoys it...some kids love dogging).

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    #162582 - 07/20/13 09:24 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    I'm also convinced that the entire college experience these days is basically high school, so I don't really expect intellectual rigor or intellectual development.

    That's simply not what college is there for anymore.

    It was *never* all about intellectual development, in fact that was only ever about 40% of it, but that share has declined to about 15% in my opinion.

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    #162583 - 07/20/13 09:37 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    In addition, my approach is essentially dealing with the periphery rather than the core.

    My techniques only work if you are avoiding the major centers such as NYC/DC.

    My concept is to avoid the Tiger Kids. There's no rule that says that you have to compete in that game and to me, the "risk-adjusted return" is greater in doing what I'm doing.

    I also use this approach in law. For example, I chose to *avoid* the MegaFirms and MegaCorps. There are major, major deathtraps later in your career in those areas (even years ago). In fact, one the sources of my corporate work (which also was a corporation that recruited me to do my own job) walked straight into one a few years ago.

    I try to look at the entire system, cradle to grave.

    Bostonian and Wren, on the other hand, attack the Core and seem to do quite well. They are experienced in their approaches and use their knowledge to thrive there.

    These are completely different approaches and they both work, however, both approaches require really understanding what is going on and having actual experience in the systems.

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    #162584 - 07/20/13 10:38 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: 22B]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Our approach has always been one that looks for detours to meeting an intractable or onerous issue head-on.

    It's only that now, as we're nearly AT that point of departure from secondary, it's become increasingly apparent that our DD is not going to be able to really tolerate "high school, part II" as college.

    She's at risk of dropping out, in our estimation, if we try that route, and NEEDS to be with a peer group which is at least 50% MG+ in order to survive.

    Well, since that gets us into a tier of institutions which are 40K+ and who frequently rely on branding to justify not offering merit aid, we're looking fairly critically at what the demographics are ACTUALLY like at institutions of higher learning, and considering how much of it is the result of prepping/hyping and what percentile in ability is going to feel comfortable or tolerable to our DD, and knowing that she is still accelerating in her ability, but not knowing where/when that is likely to plateau again.

    What we're finding is kind of depressing, actually. Partly this is a problem which is related to our DD's personal learning style and personality, and partly it's related to an unchecked arms race which has been playing out since the early 1990's.

    It's very, very different now. It is. The level of 'crazy' to which some parents are willing to go to make their kids APPEAR to be PG... is kind of difficult to overstate. To go head to head, you have to have both know-how and a certain ruthlessness that my family mostly lacks, I think. I'm envious of parents like ElizabethN, Bostonian, and Wren who have insider knowledge, and I'm really grateful that they are willing to share it so freely here. smile


    RE: my remark about flightless birds... it's not a slam against the penguins. Please. I hardly said that those students aren't college material. Elitist or not, kids who are MG are not capable of providing the kind of intellectual peer group that my DD seems to be in desperate search of at this point in time. She is weary of pretending to be a penguin. We felt quite differently about this as little ago as a year back, and were planning to avoid the entire scene, thinking that she'd gravitate to 'her people' in college, end of story. That changed radically in light of a few data points collected over the past year-- unsettling things that point to a profound dissatisfaction with the level to which the most capable of the 'penguins' can go, resulting in bitter disappointment which she turns INWARD into maladaptive coping and self-loathing for her "freakish" nature as a result of her intellect. She knows that most people cannot keep up with her. She also knows that isn't their fault, and they are trying, and that most of them are reasonably decent people, in spite of how frustrating it is to her. The problem with our previous plan is that it was predicated on any given college campus having a viable number of people as a peer group-- and we're rapidly being forced to revise the notion that such a thing will be true on any college campus she attends. It won't be. College is now High School, part II. That's the problem; the solution is to figure out where college is NOT merely more high school. Surely not every college and university has sold its soul, right?

    She needs for college to be different.

    Our concern there relates to the fact that we don't see this doing anything but intensifying over the next few years. Her development seems to be hitting overdrive again, and as she matures, she is even more frighteningly capable as the asynchrony (which drove some of her weaknesses in executive function) vanishes. We're now looking at things with hindsight and realizing that perhaps keeping her in high school was the wrong move, even though it seemed like a good idea at the time. Darn. She'd probably be better off in the next two years if she were finishing a Bachelor's and looking toward grad programs instead, since those tend to be the people she is gravitating to (and likewise) in her internship. The undergraduates and the other interns? Not-so-much. She humors them by dropping into low gear. But she's clearly more than ready for higher demand, and frankly has chafed that her fellow interns can't keep up well enough for the project to really take off and be as demanding and interesting as it otherwise might have been. She feels sorry for kids who are Tiger Cubs. Seriously.

    Jon is absolutely right-- the slice of higher ed which is authentic for kids like this is getting smaller and smaller.

    I'm still hunting for a way to minimize exposure to Tiger Kids/Parents while meeting our DD's needs. But I'm not coming up with a lot of great solutions. Places like MIT, quite honestly, seem like a good fit for her-- providing that they are the way that they seem. That's not a small matter, incidentally. There are some big name institutions which are not the kind of quality that they were 20 years ago-- the trouble is figuring out how to read between the lines in the press releases and marketing.

    That's the other part of the problem. Just like with GT programs and educational initiatives, there is a TON of spin-doctoring happening on the institutional side of things as well as the parent/student applicant side.

    Ultimately, this may make living internationally more appealing in spite of the obvious down sides.


    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #162585 - 07/20/13 10:43 AM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: CFK]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Originally Posted By: CFK
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    That can't happen when her classmates are essentially flightless birds dressed up in eagle suits.



    Flightless birds in eagle suits? That is an extremely condescending statement.

    Just because these students are willing to jump through the hoops that these schools require for admission does not make them less intelligent.



    Perhaps it would have been better to identify my DD as a falcon that can't tolerate another four years of being bundled into a penguin suit? She's ready to fledge-- in a world run by penguins, for penguins.

    What do we do with her??




    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #162592 - 07/20/13 12:36 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: HowlerKarma]
    ElizabethN Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/17/12
    Posts: 1390
    Loc: Seattle area
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    Places like MIT, quite honestly, seem like a good fit for her-- providing that they are the way that they seem. That's not a small matter, incidentally. There are some big name institutions which are not the kind of quality that they were 20 years ago-- the trouble is figuring out how to read between the lines in the press releases and marketing.


    I can't tell you a lot about what MIT is like today - I left Boston at the end of 2004. I'm still on the mailing list for the one student group I was seriously involved in, even after I graduated, so I see a little of what's going on with undergraduates, but not much of their academics. Still, I think it's very likely that they are not penguins in eagle suits. Maybe some crows, but there are genuine eagles, too. And they are not required to wear penguin suits to shine, at least while they are at school.

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    #162595 - 07/20/13 01:38 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: CFK]
    madeinuk Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/18/13
    Posts: 1450
    Loc: NJ
    Originally Posted By: CFK
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    That can't happen when her classmates are essentially flightless birds dressed up in eagle suits.



    Flightless birds in eagle suits? That is an extremely condescending statement.

    Just because these students are willing to jump through the hoops that these schools require for admission does not make them less intelligent.


    Personally, I thought that the remark was rather apt. This is not to disparage those that are accepted to these institutions but to acknowledge the fact that intelligence and aptitude appear to be ever shrinking considerations being taken into account by college admissions boards. The trend appears to be headed for selecting those that have all of the window dressing but none of the substance aka The Flightless


    Edited by madeinuk (07/20/13 01:43 PM)
    _________________________
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    #162599 - 07/20/13 02:54 PM Re: Ivy League Admissions. [Re: CFK]
    AlexsMom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/01/10
    Posts: 741
    Originally Posted By: CFK
    There are pockets of intelligent people at just about every university. There are majors that by definition attract more intelligent people, there are honor societies, honors programs, clubs, etc. You don't need to spend a fortune or go crazy trying to find these people.


    That works best when what you're interested in is something that inherently attracts more intelligent people, and which has a relatively linear course progression. For a math major who's far enough ahead that he's starting off with graduate level courses, a well-regarded state flagship is not exactly scraping the bottom of the barrel when it comes to opportunities to have intelligent peers with similar interests.

    If you're interested in a non-quantitative subject that meets gen ed requirements, doesn't lend itself to AP credit, and requires junior or senior standing for advanced courses, "high school part II" is not an inapt description of what you can expect for the first couple of years.

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