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This Story Is Just ... Sad

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by doctorquant, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. doctorquant

    doctorquant Well-Known Member

  2. 3_Octave_Fart

    3_Octave_Fart Well-Known Member

    Waxen wings.
    He wasn't adequately prepared to handle the rigors of a Cal.
    Kashawn probably could have kicked ass elsewhere in the state school system.
    Part of growing up also is admitting you've bitten off more than you can chew.
    There is no shame in that. It can be illuminating.
  3. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    Does he really deserve a sympathetic LA Times profile?
  4. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member

    Sounds like a sweet kid.

    I wonder what his SATs were. Jefferson High school is a horrible place to get you ready for the rigors of Cal. The SATs could have been an indicator.

    And if he felt uncomfortable/unwanted at Cal, at what top notch school *would* he feel comfortable?
  5. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Funny, I had the opposite reaction of heartbroken.

    He sounds so driven. Yeah, it's a sad commentary that a public-school education didn't prepare even a super-motivated kid better than that, and in that regard, you have to worry how he got the grades he did?

    But starting in high school, he was determined to get out. Then at Berkeley, even though he is overmatched, if the article is telling the story right, he has been a bulldog.

    It would be really easy to give up. You're in a place where you don't feel like you fit in. And no matter how hard you try, it isn't good enough.

    Instead? He's still there trying really hard.

    That doesn't make me feel heartbroken, for some reason. He'll get pretty far in life with that kind of determination -- if he never loses it.
  6. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Is this a story about Berkeley or Ole Miss?

    A semester later, Kashawn Campbell sat inside a cramped room on a dorm floor that Cal reserves for black students.
  7. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

  8. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    This quote:

    makes it sound like the teachers were more concerned with keeping the kid a straight A student than teaching him or preparing him for college.

    It's no different than the accusations we here about high schools keeping athletes eligible so they can get a football or basketball scholarship. In both cases the kids aren't anywhere near ready for college.
  9. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I know that Berkeley and Stanford both heavily emphasize grades over LSAT score in their law school admissions process, as a way around affirmative action restrictions. I think Texas has some undergraduate policies to that effect, as well. I suspect so does the U of C undergrad system.
  10. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I'm surprised a place like Cal would be so segregationist.
  11. 3_Octave_Fart

    3_Octave_Fart Well-Known Member

    Grades are indicators you played a particular game with some adeptness.
    The game is played differently from place to place.
    Kashawn's weighted 4.06 GPA at Jefferson is equivalent to hitting 60 dingers in the Pacific Coast League.
  12. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    I'm with Ragu -- I don't know if this is a completely sad story. But it is a good look at a very complex problem that is probably unique to California, which has the most abundant extremes in wealth and poverty and funnels a large share of those kids into the public university system. (New York has similar extremes, but private schools and out-of-state universities are a much bigger presence there.)

    Couple of things could have made the story better:

    --Writer mentions the "statewide program to attract top students from every public California high school." That's a euphemistic way of saying affirmative action. The program is that anyone who ranks in the top 9 percent of his/her class has a spot in the system. Within that system are tiers (Berkeley, UCLA and UC San Diego would be the top tier, maybe Davis and Santa Barbara and Cal Poly-SLO and some others second, and so on, although I could be a bit wrong on those specific placements within the tiers). So if the endgame is to go to a UC school, it actually helps to go to a lower-achieving public school. To be honest, this is one factor in keeping our kids in public schools. My oldest son is pretty smart, and just by showing up and doing his homework at the public school he is going to be a strong competitor for a top-tier UC spot, something that would be a lot more difficult if we moved or went private. Screwy system, but that's where it's at right now.

    --I can't find the percentage offhand now, but a staggering number of UC students (even Berkeley students) arrive at college needing remedial help. Although I understand why that's needed -- because someone like this kid is obviously smart but just hasn't had the advantages that so many other kids have growing up -- it's also worth arguing about whether the world-renowned flagship of the UC system should be taking kids who need remediation in anything.

    --The African-American studies class sounds like a way of fraudulently boosting GPAs just so kids can stay in college. That's what they were doing with athletes at North Carolina, and it blew up into a scandal that brought threats of accreditation penalties. When you're pulling straight Ds and Fs and incompletes and get one A-minus, it stands out.

    What would have served this kid better would be to make use of the guaranteed admission program for the final two years. You go to your community college to get the prerequisites, and as long as you maintain the GPA, you're in the school for the final two years. But with the destruction of counseling services at public high schools, I'd bet nobody ever told him about that or sold it as a good program (which it is).
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