August 26, 2006 at 3:24 PM #7328powaysellerParticipant
Gearing your kids to get an Ivy acceptance turns them into robots. How happy I am we gave up competitive soccer; my 13-yr-old son is busy all day making movies on his computer, being creative.
You don’t get creative by molding yourself into a statistic and doing adult-led activities. Everytime your kid plays a sport, he is following adult instruction. Is this ever balanced by him playing a pick-up game with friends? My son is often called to meet his friends at the park to play flag football. I love that! They create the game, they actually have fun playing because they are not worried about performing for the coach or the parents. They make the rules, solve their problems, and finish the adventure with a swim party at a friend’s house.
We need more creativity, not followers. Read the new book “The Overachievers”, written by NYT Bestselling author of Pledged, Alexandra Robbins.
And don’t worry about his athletic prowess. He went on a one hour run with his dad, 9-yr-old brother, and dog on the mountain trails behind our house today. He asked to join the gym, and loves it there. Although he is a year younger than everyone else because he skipped a grade, he was the 2nd fastest runner in 8th grade.
My younger son, the 9 yr old, just subscribed to Gourmet magazine, and created a signature dish for us Wed night. This is the life I am so proud to have created for my kids. They love to learn, create, express, explore. Parents who push the Ivy league and overscheduling agenda have a high risk of turning their kids into grade-grubbing cheats (it’s all in that book I mentioned). Now I know how we got those Enron boys; they are like those overachieving high schoolers, who think the end justifies the means. Anything to win, to get ahead.
All that Ivy league stuff is so overrated. An Ivy league degree doesn’t improve your income, and trying to attain admission destroys a teen’s development in high school, taking the focus development of creativity and intelligence, and a joy of learning, to creating a resume to meet the perceived expectations of a college admission counselor. Perceived is the key word; the book makes it clear, from admissions counselor interviews, that they don’t look for the things that people think. They care little about your experiences, but very much about how you experience and interpret your world.August 26, 2006 at 3:32 PM #33425JESParticipant
Law schools are even worse than undergrad. The only things that matter for admissions are what college you went to, what your GPA was, and what your LSAT scores were. Harvard will except a guy who graduated from Duke with a 3.8 over an Army lieutenant who graduated from SDSU with a 3.1 and commanded 100 soldiers for a year in Iraq and was wounded in action.August 26, 2006 at 5:15 PM #33437powaysellerParticipant
Yeah, my brother was hired by the #2 law firm in the country, on Wall Street, because he had a law degree from the Univ. of Michigan and wrote for their Law Review and clerked for a Supreme Court judge. If he had graduated from the ASU law school, he never would have been interviewed. But he ended up hating it and left. So in the end, it didn’t matter that he went there. My friend in Phoenix went there too, and is a stay-at-home mom. So it didn’t matter for her either. Her husband went to a regular law school and works for himself, billing at $300/hour.
My husband has an engineering degree from Univ of Nebr at Lincoln, and he is in the top 5% of salary for his occupation, so that several promotion job offers he received had to be turned down, because he would earn less money. He is maxxed out, and nobody cares he has only a bachelors degree. He has the character, intelligence, creativity, and he can sell the company based on his honest good work.
A survey of the Fortune 500 CEOs found that more than half went to little known public schools.
For these reasons, I don’t see the emphasis on getting approval from an Ivy league admissions counselor.
Seek approval from yourself. Develop your creativity, work ethic, flexibility, morals, relationships, spiritual life, humility, and service to God and others.August 26, 2006 at 5:21 PM #33440FormerOwnerParticipant
I think what you’re really paying for with an Ivy League school is that you’re buying into the social network. That’s about it. If you want to play that game, it will probably pay off. If you’re not willing to play the game, going to a school like that probably isn’t worth it.August 26, 2006 at 5:22 PM #33441speakerParticipant
I have spoken with many parents who have their kids running ragged 7 days a week doing after school stuff:
music lessons, sports, etc.
These parents have their reasons but most of them push their kids into these after school activities because they are padding their “resume” early so that they will be primed for college admittance.
Everytime I hear a parent lament about how busy they are because of their kids activities I always ask:
“Do they enjoy it?”.
It’s such a simple question and yet the answers I receive are so obtuse and complicated.
It is my hope that Mrs. speaker and I can lead by example so that the little speakers will be motivated to do things on their own.
“End of line.”August 26, 2006 at 8:34 PM #33460ybcParticipant
PS, well said. If I have kids someday, that’ll be how I will do it.August 26, 2006 at 10:16 PM #33467PerryChaseParticipant
If I had children, I’d want the best education for them. That means the best colleges. Why go for second best?
Living in California, I’d want my kids to be fluent in Spanish. There’s also sports such as soccer and acquiring healthy habits such as eating well. I’d also want them to learn Chinese and spend summers in Asia (China will be a great power and Chinese will be as important as English). They would attend university in Europe, followed by an internship in China, then go on to graduate school on the East Coast. Of course, a well-educated person should speak French and play the piano. Children should be taught good etiquette so they can hold their silverware properly and write proper thank-you letters to relatives. They should also have a good understanding of the arts and history. I believe that a world-aware person is a well-rounded person. Not easy being my children, huh? (I’m only 1/2 kidding) 🙂
That being said, can we have everything that we want? No. So we all we can do is try our best.August 26, 2006 at 10:57 PM #33468greekfireParticipant
Perry, I have to point out the oximoron in your post. You mentioned that your child had to learn French and in the same breath you said that they needed to learn proper etiquette. Pick one of the other…you can’t have both. 🙂August 27, 2006 at 7:29 AM #33473PDParticipant
I agree with many of the things posted here. However, sports can be an extremely important part of a child’s development. I was deeply involved in sports growing up and my experiences were very important in making me who I am today. I learned about hard work, how to be part of team, acting like a loser makes you one, never give up, how to be a good winner and loser, etc. My friends in sports all tended to be very good kids who got good grades and were not interested in partying (using alcohol and drugs). Some received sports scholarships, gaining financial assistance that helped their lower middle class families send them to college (some also received academic scholarships).
Sport also strengthens the body, making kids healthier. I see a lot of little dough balls running around these days who could use a lot more physical activity.
I have noticed that most of the people who denigrate sport as useless are the ones who did not participate themselves.August 27, 2006 at 8:16 AM #33480August 27, 2006 at 9:45 AM #33497mydogsarelazyParticipant
I think it is great that you are encouraging your sons to be creative.
When I was in Jr. High and High School I was drawing animated cartoons, giving puppets shows and eventually building my own dune buggy. I was very hands on and creative.
When I got to college (went to Stanford) I just kept on going in that vein, and declared an art major. My parents and I fought quite a bit about this, but eventually they realized I was serious. Because I loved my major so much I was very motivated and graduated with Distinction. I was one of two painting majors in my entire class.
I went on to get an MFA in Painting, and have had a great, very happy career as an artist and as a Community College art professor.
My stepson recently graduated with an MA in Urban Planning from UCLA, but what got him through school — and also got him scholarship money — was that he excelled in dance. That took a lot of confidence on his part, as boys take a lot of ribbing if they dance, but he just didn’t listen.
You might enjoy this book: The Rise of the Creative Class
Not a real estate professional, just someone who follows the market
http://www.johnseed.comAugust 27, 2006 at 10:08 AM #33503carlislematthewParticipant
Harvard will except a guy who graduated from Duke with a 3.8 over an Army lieutenant who graduated from SDSU with a 3.1 and commanded 100 soldiers for a year in Iraq and was wounded in action.
Well, they’ll actually include the LSAT very heavily in their calculations too.
Regarding your Army lieutenant example, assuming that the LSAT is as “ok” as his GPA, then it would seem he/she wouldn’t make a good lawyer. Why *should* Harvard accept that candidate? What does his honorable service for the country have to do with his ability to become a lawyer?August 27, 2006 at 10:38 AM #33505ybcParticipant
PC: “Not easy being my children, huh?” I feel sorry for those kids already!:-)
Actually, the best should be what’s the best for the kid, not what the best defined by conventions. I observed many little ones, that it’s remarkable how early their personality and intelligence start to show! But they’re talented in different ways. You may have someone who’s more into reading than sports; in that case, you can still encourage the kid to participate in sports, but more importantly you’ll need to find the right means to let him/her develop intellectually, because that is that kid’s forte, at least for a while. The same is true if the kid shows strong interest/talent for something else (sports, music, arts, people skills). I think that a kid who’s forced to “develop” according to conventions and parents’ wishes might be miserable. On the other hand, I also believe that kids are incredibly capable of learning and are resilient, so if they get the right type of loving attention, then they’ll do very well. Of course, opportunities to learn spanish, french, Chinese, travel, etc, will just help to open their minds more…
All right, I will stop. This topic belongs to PS. Although I once dreamed about being a kindergarten teacher…August 27, 2006 at 2:30 PM #33548JESParticipant
In my example, let’s assume that the Army Lt. got the same score on the LSAT as the kid who graduated from Duke. They will still take the Duke grad because his index number will be much higher, and his GPA was much better, and he went to Duke. Human beings are not permitted to mature and improve after college according to their entrance theories, and any leadership experience, service to this country and exposure to international cultures only count in the essay which really doesn’t matter much.
Don’t know about you, but I’d rather have the Army Lt. defending me in the courtroom, and I would place alot of trust and respect in him as well purely based on his service. I also believe that we should offer him a shot. This is the problem with law school admissions these days. It is a numbers game and many people who would make fantastic lawyers are excluded because they may have screwed up in college, or didn’t plan their life out at age 17. And by the way, make sure you graduate with a degree in something they consider useful – they will hold it against you if you major in art, landscape arhitecture etc.August 27, 2006 at 2:52 PM #33552AnonymousGuest
Fluency in other languages is one of the most overrated ideas that our culture is hung up on. Ignorant people are always saying that our kids should learn Spanish because that is going to be necessary in the US with all the immigrants, that is ridiculous.
For one thing, all immigrants are speaking English by the second generation. More importantly, unless you are a contruction foreman or landscaping business owner you really don’t have to know Spanish and you never will. Anyway, we are most interested in professional jobs that require college degrees, you will never need to speak Spanish in this environment.
English is not only the common language in the US but it is accepted as the international language of business. When Japanese businessmen are meeting with Chinese or Korean businessmen, for example, they are most likely talking in English.
That being said, learning Spanish or other languages is a great component of the general liberal arts education. Learning and being functional in another language is also fun if you happen to do a lot of world traveling. But unless you plan to work in Mexico or another Spanish speaking country, you will NEVER have to know Spanish to communicate. Ditto for Mandarin.
By the way, I speak Spanish and have never had to speak it here in San Diego. It is fun to be able to speak Spanish when I go to Mexico, or to watch Spanish TV but it is certainly not a skill that is necessary for most careers.
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