Viewpoint: College Exasperations

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Emerson said it best: An authentic education "allows a scholar to give the world the shape of his own mind.'' But old Waldo never had to endure the 20th-century college admissions process. Harvard just said, "Come.''

I have been teaching in public high school for 28 years, and every December and April I witness the anguish that accompanies the letters from colleges that say, "Don't come.'' Given the shock and pain that accompany these letters, I have felt compelled to hold a deferral party in December for the disappointed. We critique deferral and rejection letters, make offerings to Buddha for better fortune in April, and consume endless numbers of hot-fudge sundaes, often the only true comfort in a cold world. Ironically, the party has created a sufficient cachet for the value of rejection, and one student who was admitted to her early choice told me that the only drawback to admission was missing the party.

Vol. 05, Issue 09, Page 1-24

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