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Poor kids and their college essays

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Dick Whitman, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    A teacher writes at The Atlantic that rich kids write their college essays about what they want to be, while poor kids simply look at college as a means toward wealth:


    I understand the writer/teacher's point. But on the other hand, it seems like a long-winded way of telling kids to, "Follow your heart, and the money will follow." Which is dangerous, too.

    I found my college essay a few weeks ago. I wrote that I was determined to become a "legendary journalist."

    You win some, you lose some.
  2. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    Follow your heart and you'll end up in journalism making less than your friends, but with twice as much free pizza.
  3. printit

    printit Member


    The M&M study cited here is one of my favorites. It's easy to talk about the intrinsic if you've never been hungry. Extrinsic goals are what motivate most poorer kids to go to school. Now, I would hope that the college would open them up more to the love of learning for the sake of learning. But that's not fair to put that on middle/high school teachers.

    Author in the Atlantic buried the lead. The Jean Anyon stuff was great, and a real reminder that we often chart people's futures in education by class. Which is unfair. But that is no warrant to the claim that we should lay off of showing kids the extrinsic benefits of college.
  4. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    The Danger of Telling Poor Kids That College Is the Key to Social Mobility

    Higher education should be promoted to all students as an opportunity to experience an intellectual awakening, not just increase their earning power.

    Says the guy is a teacher in a rougher portion of LA.

    I hope he never complains about how much money he makes, because money doesn't matter.
  5. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Teachers don't care about money.
  6. Greenhorn

    Greenhorn Active Member

    Harvard's 2014 application essay:

    Is Michelle back from Hawaii yet?
  7. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    Thankfully I can't find my college application essays from 25 years ago (ouch), but I recall a 17-year-old spinning yarns about the nobility of being a public defender. It's what caused to me to major in the oh-so-useful field of political science.

    No offense to anyone here, but knowing about the case loads, grunt work and resulting burnout public defenders deal with, thank goodness for a career in newspapers.

    (Might be the first time I've typed that on this site!)
  8. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

    I've got one of those diplomas. Is yours stamped "Non Negotiable" too?
  9. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    So if I'm to combine the various "what's good for you" advice the world sends to kids, it is:

    --You have to have a degree, so go to college and get that degree even if your career should not require a degree but rather a six-month training and apprenticeship. Regardless of job needs, the employer will screen for a degree first and foremost.
    --Your degree is your sole ticket to earning power.
    --But you shouldn't go to college with a career in mind and you shouldn't choose your studies based on their earning power.

    Is that about right?
  10. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    A little confusing, huh?

    There are tons of college grads working in fields that don't -- or at least shouldn't, and previously didn't -- require a college degree. But, we've pushed so many to get degrees, that employers can choose from college grads. You can't really blame them for wanting someone with a better (or at least more) education.
  11. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Bruce, updated for 2014:

    "Now those memories come back to haunt me,
    They haunt me like a curse.
    Because a dream's a lie when it can't come true,
    In fact, it's something worse."
  12. joe

    joe Active Member

    Only on election night. The pizza, I mean.
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