September 22, 2019

The Deification of College Admissions Officers

“Take a drive around any upper-middle class enclave in America, and within minutes you will spot a station wagon or three adorned with collegiate logos. These cars belong by and large not to college students but to their parents. It is the grown-up version of the age-old “My Child Is an Honor Student at _______ Elementary School” bumper sticker.

You can hardly blame mom and dad for expressing a little pride. They are certainly paying enough for the privilege. And the stickers serve a convenient double purpose, signaling parental virtue to the surrounding traffic: I am a good parent (and person) because my child goes to Brown. Thus the gag response sticker: “Your Kid’s an Honor Student — But You’re a Moron.”

Windshield school stickers have taken on a sinister aspect in the wake of the college admissions scandal that has dominated our headlines these past couple weeks. It turns out that, for some, those stickers and the status they represent are worth risking prison for.

When parents resort to criminal means to secure their child a spot at a top university, no doubt they believe they are acting in the child’s best interest. They worry, as do all parents, about their kid’s future, and they know a prestigious answer to the “Where did you go to school?” question guarantees, rightly or wrongly, a lifetime of opportunity and respect for their child.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Picks

"Blackface. I’ve been writing about, and researching – and opposing – racism for more than thirty years. And make no mistake: blackface isn’t funny. It’s racist. Ask Megyn Kelly. A year ago, the former Fox News star was filming a segment about..."

"Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s “selfie line” may be a “political phenomenon,” according to CNN, but it’s also a misnomer, twice over: The photos that supporters end up with aren’t technically selfies—campaign aides snap them—and no one waits in a line..."

"In the archives of the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York, there is an old postcard from the city aquarium of a large sea turtle with four boys straddling its back. The turtle lies flattened upon a pathway in front of a fence. At the feet..."

"As we celebrated my granddaughter’s third birthday this summer, I made the following rough calculation: I’d trekked from my home in New Jersey to her Brooklyn apartment roughly 150 times to provide once-a-week day care, plus other times as needed."

"That seems to be the emerging bipartisan consensus. “On the evidence we have, the meritocratic ideal ends up being just as undemocratic as the old emphasis on inheritance and tradition,” writes New York Times columnist Ross Douthat. “Our..."

"It was the 2019 Pet Sematary that finally broke me. Was this really necessary? I seethed in a theater earlier this year, at a loss for why anyone would green light a self-serious update to a 30-year-old so-bad-it's-good movie. "Update," even, was.."

"Tuesday was election day in Israel. But no winner has yet been declared. As of this writing, it appears that the parties committed to supporting Benjamin Netanyahu for prime minister will not win a majority in Knesset. At the same time, the..."

"The last time Netflix asked me “Are you still watching?” I had to think really hard about it. Was I still watching? Or at least enough to make my $16-a-month payment worth it? The subscription economy can be a wonderful thing. We don’t have to..."