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    Joined: Apr 2012
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    Originally Posted by aquinas
    Originally Posted by Article
    Is there anything that I can do, a lot of young people have written to ask me, to avoid becoming an out-of-touch, entitled little sh*t?

    Line of the article.


    wait tables wink

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    Originally Posted by HowlerKarma
    {wince} That's pretty telling, isn't it?? I can't decide whether the correct response there is:

    a. Don't worry-- since you've asked, I predict that you're fully immune.

    b. Sure there is-- get over yourself. Early and often. You're welcome.

    c. No, not really. The real question is-- why would you WANT to? Being an entitled sh*t is awesome!
    One man's "entitled" is another's "realistic". I'm more concerned that they not be guilt-ridden wimps. I will have my children read The Bell Curve some day and explain to them that so-called "privileged" children outperform the "underprivileged" academically primarily because of of IQ differentials.

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    Some of the quotes that really struck me in that essay:

    Originally Posted by Article
    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.” Students are regarded by the institution as “customers,” people to be pandered to instead of challenged. Professors are rewarded for research, so they want to spend as little time on their classes as they can. The profession’s whole incentive structure is biased against teaching, and the more prestigious the school, the stronger the bias is likely to be. The result is higher marks for shoddier work.

    This has been increasingly true for at least 20 years in the Ivies themselves. I know someone who was personally told-- in a STEM field, no less-- to "look again" at a midterm that had been graded and earned a failing grade. The student was the child of a VERY prominent Federal official who shall remain nameless (but whose name everyone would instantly know). The graduate student was gently reminded whose child this person was, and again told to "Check it over again. It's okay-- we all make errors in grading, I'm sure."

    sick

    So yeah, pardon me if I do NOT happen to buy into the thinking that HYPS is actually delivering a superior education to a regional public uni. COULD they, given the resources that they can bring to bear? Absolutely-- possible, yes. There's just about zero incentive to actually do so, however.

    So yes, Intro to Botany is the same basic class at both Yale and at Southwest Missouri State, at least unless your last name happens to be {someone important}.

    Originally Posted by Article
    Why is it that people feel the need to go to places like Guatemala to do their projects of rescue or documentation, instead of Milwaukee or Arkansas? When students do stay in the States, why is it that so many head for New Orleans? Perhaps it’s no surprise, when kids are trained to think of service as something they are ultimately doing for themselves—that is, for their résumés. “Do well by doing good,” goes the slogan. How about just doing good?

    A question that my daughter started asking back at about 8-9yo. Since I didn't have a good answer that didn't feel extremely repugnant from a moral and ethical stance, she got to drive the bus using HER conscience rather than my academic planning. She finds resume padding to be egregious and disgusting, and she avoids her peers who engage in it. I suspect that she'll be happier not spending the next four years surrounded by them, anyway-- and that is certainly not sour grapes talking.

    Originally Posted by Article
    I don’t think it occurs to the people in charge of elite colleges that the concept of leadership ought to have a higher meaning, or, really, any meaning.

    YES. This is yet another facet to DD; her leadership style is SO non-aggressive that it doesn't translate into something that many people can see as "leadership." A lot of authentic leadership is intangible and hard work without glory and titles to point to-- none of which makes it easy to pick it out (for real, anyway) on a prospective student's resume. She didn't care, and found "playing the game" there to be utterly repugnant-- so she didn't.

    She knew that it WAS a game, and she opted to not play in some very specific ways. She wanted to be competitive for being who she REALLY is-- or not at all. COULD we have forced her to do things to look like an Ivy-kid? You bet-- of course. But I think it would have been profoundly wrong to do that to a child who had such a clear moral compass about this-- it would have meant violating her personal values.



    Finally, I loved the following (unintentional?) pithy summary of the article:

    Originally Posted by Article
    They aren’t called elite colleges for nothing. But apparently we like pretending otherwise. We live in a meritocracy, after all.

    Haha! Nice sarcasm, that. I mean, sure-- we'd all like to THINK that this is a pure meritocracy, but the data there really doesn't support that particular conclusion very well. There are much simpler conclusions to be drawn. SES explains a LOT about educational attainment and outcomes. One need not resort to The Bell Curve at all.




    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    Originally Posted by HowlerKarma
    This has been increasingly true for at least 20 years in the Ivies themselves. I know someone who was personally told-- in a STEM field, no less-- to "look again" at a midterm that had been graded and earned a failing grade. The student was the child of a VERY prominent Federal official who shall remain nameless (but whose name everyone would instantly know). The graduate student was gently reminded whose child this person was, and again told to "Check it over again. It's okay-- we all make errors in grading, I'm sure.

    This is just evidence that magical thinking does work.

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    Originally Posted by HowlerKarma
    {wince} That's pretty telling, isn't it?? I can't decide whether the correct response there is:

    a. Don't worry-- since you've asked, I predict that you're fully immune.

    b. Sure there is-- get over yourself. Early and often. You're welcome.

    c. No, not really. The real question is-- why would you WANT to? Being an entitled sh*t is awesome!

    d) Psshh. They just call us that because they're jealous.

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    Originally Posted by Bostonian
    One man's "entitled" is another's "realistic". I'm more concerned that they not be guilt-ridden wimps. I will have my children read The Bell Curve some day and explain to them that so-called "privileged" children outperform the "underprivileged" academically primarily because of of IQ differentials.

    Yeah, about that:

    Originally Posted by article
    The Bell Curve, it turns out, is full of mistakes ranging from sloppy reasoning to mis-citations of sources to outright mathematical errors.

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    Originally Posted by JonLaw
    Originally Posted by HowlerKarma
    This has been increasingly true for at least 20 years in the Ivies themselves. I know someone who was personally told-- in a STEM field, no less-- to "look again" at a midterm that had been graded and earned a failing grade. The student was the child of a VERY prominent Federal official who shall remain nameless (but whose name everyone would instantly know). The graduate student was gently reminded whose child this person was, and again told to "Check it over again. It's okay-- we all make errors in grading, I'm sure.

    This is just evidence that magical thinking does work.


    Yes, but only if you happen to be named Tiger von Preeiminence. grin Still, it's an important consideration. Pretty sure that's its own category, not mentioned in the article.

    R-PITA-- a person whose parent(s) have the power to make themselves either friendly or hostile to the institution via regulatory oversight at the local, state, or federal level.



    Last edited by HowlerKarma; 07/23/14 12:48 PM. Reason: because I liked new phrasing better

    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    Originally Posted by HowlerKarma
    Yes, but only if you happen to be named Tiger von Preeiminence. grin

    That's His Excellency Tiger Lord von Preeminence IV to us plebs. wink

    Pardon my French, but this whole academic prestige-hounding is about as tasteful as a nouveau-riche talking loudly at a party of old money about his finances. If you have to flaunt it, it means too much to you and is too novel to be "really" you. Groucho Marx and all that.


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    Ouch, Aquinas. Good one --- you really nailed it there about the flaunting.


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    Originally Posted by aquinas
    Originally Posted by HowlerKarma
    Yes, but only if you happen to be named Tiger von Preeiminence. grin

    That's His Excellency Tiger Lord von Preeminence IV to us plebs. wink

    Pardon my French, but this whole academic prestige-hounding is about as tasteful as a nouveau-riche talking loudly at a party of old money about his finances. If you have to flaunt it, it means too much to you and is too novel to be "really" you. Groucho Marx and all that.
    As a practical matter, an advantage of attending a prestigious school is that you don't need to flaunt your intelligence (or whatever it is that prestigious schools are supposed to signify). Every college graduate puts the school he attended on his resume. So you get to "flaunt" without boasting. If it were commonplace for employers to explicitly ask about SAT/ACT and other test scores, and for people to put those numbers on their resumes, the importance of attending a "name" school (which may be exaggerated in any case) would fall. Listing SAT scores on resumes and employers requesting them does happen, but it's not the norm. The College Board sends score reports only to colleges, not to employers. If it were more widely understood that the SAT is largely an IQ test and that IQ predicts job performance better than most other variables, the perceived need to attend an elite school (or to attend college at all, for that matter) would dwindle.

    Schools maintain records of who attended and graduated from them. I think they should maintain records of who they admitted, regardless of whether they attended. People could use "got into X" as a credential. I doubt my suggestion will be taken up.

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