Does this oboe make me look fat?
“It’s annoying when people complain about the money,” the Vermont-based counselor Dr. Michele Hernandez, said. “I’m at the top of my field. Do people economize when they have a brain tumor and are looking for a neurosurgeon? If you want to go with someone cheaper, or chance it, don’t hire me.”
And what field is that you ask? Well it's college admissions counseling, for lack of a better term:
"Dr. Hernandez, a former Dartmouth admissions officer, says she counsels as many as 25 students in each high school grade each year. She also offers four-day “boot camps” every August in a Boston hotel, charging 40 incoming high school seniors as much as $14,000 each."
This is from an uproariously funny NYT article on the independent college counselor market, where people can pay "upwards of $40,000" for advice on how to get their kids into the college of their dreams.
There are three things I think are really funny here.
The first is that there is actually a market for this. College admissions involves filling out forms! These people are I guess life coaches (another occupation that astounds me by its existence) for 14 - 17 year olds, telling them exactly what to do so they will be able to write the proper magical things on the admissions forms.
The second thing funny thing to me is how bent out of shape people get about what college their kids go to. While it is true that certain colleges give one a leg up in the "real world", it is actually possible to go to almost any college and do well for oneself. I went to Cedarville College in rural Ohio, ended up at Washington University in St. Louis for grad school (by way of Miami of Ohio, my grandparents could never figure out what state I was actually living in) and have a career and life far beyond anything I'd imagined as a kid. And I am no big deal in any sense of the word.
Mungowitz went to Davidson in rural NC, then Wash U and is now Chair of Duke's polysci dept. John List went to Wisconsin Stevens-Point, got his PhD from the University of Wyoming, took his first job at Central Florida and became a full professor in Chicago's economics department within 10 years of getting his doctorate. Nathan Nunn went to Simon Fraser, then grad school at the University of Toronto, first job at the University of British Columbia and is now an assistant professor at Harvard!
If you raise your kids to think independently and love learning, where they go to college just isn't such a big deal.
The third funny thing to me is people who insist on being called "Doctor". In the opening quote it's always Dr. Hernandez. Angus' law of titles is "the more bogus the degree, the more people insist on being addressed by the title", so I assumed hers was either honorary or in education (which is kind of a distinction without a difference). Sure enough, I looked her up and she has a "doctorate in education from Nova Southeastern University". Sweet!!!!
Labels: get that weak stuff outta here