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TNR: 'Don't Send Your Kids to the Ivy League'

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Dick Whitman, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    There are so many remarkable passages in here I don't know where to begin:


    The gist: You are more than a resume, and the ivies, and those who patronize them, have forgotten that on their way to back packing across Honduras (not Detroit or Gary, Ind.) to build a log cabin.

    The writer speaks of a generation of highly educated automatons, shuffled into a handful of "elite" professions.

    "I taught many wonderful young people during my years in the Ivy League - bright, thoughtful, creative kids whom it was a pleasure to talk with and learn from. But most of them seemed to color within the lines that their education had marked out for them. Very few were passionate about ideas."
  2. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    I'll say this anecdotally about Ivies. My wife is an Ivy grad and her time there opened up some big doors for her. We now enjoy the fruits of her efforts there and the hard work she has put in since beginning her career. She worked hard and made her Ivy education pay off.

    One of my good friends graduated from the same school. He did what it took to get by, did not do any networking and never had an internship during his time there. He got an entry-level job somewhere out of college, got fired for being late (and hungover) all the time and was unemployed for four years before he began working as a poker dealer at a casino.

    He always thought that just having his degree meant he deserved to make at least $60k out of college. When he didn't make that much in his first job, he thought he was "screwed" by the system.

    Like most things, you get out of an Ivy league education what you put into it. But there's no doubt in my view that if you put in the work, that degree will give you a leg up when you enter the workforce. After that, it's up to you to make the most of the opportunities presented.
  3. MisterCreosote

    MisterCreosote Well-Known Member

    "College kids don't fully understand how the world works."

    Tear up the front.

    P.S. - Welcome back, Dick.
  4. DanOregon

    DanOregon Well-Known Member

    The idea that you should "send your kids elsewhere" makes me think the problem isn't the students but the helicopter parents who map out their kids lives for them.
  5. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    My lord, the hand-wringing. Paragraph after paragraph of sweeping indictment against "elite education" substantiated with a series of banal personal observations.
  6. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    The most cringe-worthy passage in the story was the part about how there is now an industry devoted to packaging "college admissions-ready summer experiences," or something like that. One of them was, "Spend a whole day with a group of renegade artists!"

    The first thing I would do if I became czar of a college would be to eliminate the application essay.

    Childhood is now an assembly line. And, indeed, parents are largely to blame.
  7. MisterCreosote

    MisterCreosote Well-Known Member

    Let's not forget that "Ivy Leaguers" make up less than 1 percent of teenagers who go to college.
  8. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Right. But consider TNR's audience.
  9. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

  10. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I agree with Cranberry that a lot of his observations aren't necessarily backed by more than his personal observations. However, the stat in there about the huge percentage of Ivy grads who go into finance is one reason I probably won't be pushing them too hard around our parts. (Disclaimer: My kids are very little. I'll be happy if they go to college at all, though that's the expectation.) I have nothing against finance, necessarily. At the same time, I'd like my children to blossom somewhere that's not a glorified Wall Street (or any single profession) factory.
  11. RecoveringJournalist

    RecoveringJournalist Well-Known Member

    I struggle with this one.

    I was supposed to go to an Ivy and backed out after we had sent in deposits, etc.

    My dad was fucking livid. To this day, I don't know if I made the right move. If you go to one of these schools you seem to be set for life. The problem is, I would have been set for life living in a part of the country that I didn't want to live in and likely in a field where I didn't want to be.

    Two of my college roommates did graduate work at Princeton and Yale and they said it was almost nauseating how full of itself some of these schools are and neither seemed to enjoy their time there, but they saw it as a means to an end and both got great jobs as a result of going there.

    Obviously, anybody who goes to any school can be successful. I think going to schools like this just makes everything easier for people.
  12. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    It does make it easier, Recovering. But it also makes it easier to get swept into a particular, socially approved path. The author hits on a lot of them: Banking. Medicine (but not in Dayton). Law (but not electoral politics).
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