College Admissions: Mania and Meltdown

18502031598_dc4635b83d_oIf we want to drive our children into a complete frenzy and soul-destroying meltdown then consider this from The Washington Post:  Genius Girl, a Harvard-Stanford admissions hoax and elite college mania

It’s  the story of a hoax borne of desperation.  It’s the story of a student who manufactured success and then had to face the inevitable comedown.

The whole story is instructive about the education race that is cut-throat and global.  When the stakes are high and  the bar is set and when competition is seen as the route to success then cheating –  deception, cheating and delusion often follow. And for what?

And who fuels it and how?  Well attitudes like this don’t help.

“We celebrate the accomplishment of students who get into all eight Ivies,” … TJ’s director of student services, told The Washington Post’s T. Rees Shapiro last week. “That’s the bar, and our kids are shooting for that. They don’t like to be the second-best. If that’s the bar, then, yes, that creates anxiety for them.”

All this achievement. Imagine the true cost in loss of self-worth, humanity, and in the end – true success.

The irony is that education, teachers  and knowledge are not in short supply. We don’t need lessons sharper elbows to become educated. The opportunities to learn are in abundance and everywhere. The real opportunity lies for all of us to seek them out and put them to work for a purpose beyond status and clawing the way to the top of the dung-heap.

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