Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Geniuses Only

With Bri already in her Senior year, we’ve been looking at many colleges for next fall. We are finding that, although the colleges are different…big vs small, urbs vs burbs….there is one thing they all have in common….their underlying message: Good luck getting into OUR school.

The colleges send you enticing brochures to get you to register for their information sessions and tours. Basically the info session is an hour long talk…when they tell you how great their school is, how hard it is to get into, and how you better be Numero Uno from your graduating class. They give you the enormous number of applicants that applied and the whopping percentage that were sent skinny rejection letters…and they SMILE, a smug smile, the entire time they tell you this.

Then they follow the talk with a slideshow presentation of kids looking into microscopes, working with computers, wearing protective eye wear….all looking so intelligent. The admissions people do everything they can…to impress upon you how extremely selective they are…and that you don’t have a rat’s chance in hell of getting your ass in their school.

Then it’s time for the tour…time to check out the campus and its facilities. I can’t wait to check out the students on campus. Bri is always interested too…she wants to get a good look at the kids…to see what they are like. I want to get a good look at the kids…to see what geniuses look like. So we walk by some dude riding one of those extra long skate boards…so this is a genius? And that girl sitting in the dirt …she’s a genius? And that guy wearing the Homer Simpson t-shirt…is a genius too? So all 20,000 students at this school are all freaking geniuses?…Studying rocket science, and electrical-mechanical-contractual-biochemical-computer engineering? But I never see the kid with the protective eye wear…Where is that kid??

The pressure builds….I start looking at the people standing next to us in our tour group. The Competition. The mild and meek girl from Schenectady…WRONG. She is really another freaking genius in disguise…as an unassuming girl from a small town with a goofy name. I start thinking of ways to knock her off.

I think universities inflate their status so they can justify charging an unprecedented gazillion dollars for tuition. They pump themselves up and try to make you feel like you are damn lucky to be admitted…that way you will be happy handing over gobs and gobs of money to attend. They want you to feel barely worthy…and that maybe you should even offer more than the asking price.

So Seniors…good luck to you, it is a cold, cold world out there. I hope you shine like the brightest bulb in the frig…before the admissions people shut the door in your face…and put your light out…while they smile ever so smugly.

Don’t worry though….If you don’t shine, like the 100 watt bulb that you are…for their school….You will definitely shine somewhere else.

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