Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Brand-Name Schools May Not Be What We Think

A Fighter for Colleges That Have Everything but Status - New York Times: "He is skeptical about why students and parents pursue admission to brand-name colleges. “I think all they are thinking about is status,” he said.
He even argues that B students ask more probing questions than A students, who he thinks are too caught up in trying to curry favor."

The gentleman this NYT's article is about is someone I have never heard of. He writes books, apparently quite passionately, on the value of smaller, less selective schools. As in the above statement, he reckons status is on the minds of those that fight through ridiculous admissions processes. For some, I think status does have to be on their mind. It depends on what you want to do, and with whom you expect to be doing those things.
His second statement is something I have pondered for a very, very long time. 4.0 students make me nervous, because it would seem that they have never pushed a professor, disagreed, or laid out an argument that was clearly against what the professor was preaching (and let's face it, many of them are far more pastors than professors). With a lower A average, I am of whom he speaks. I challenge everything. It is my mental exercise, and it is how I better learn. Without discussion and writing on the topics of the class, there is no chance of those concepts sticking. I have found that many 4.0'ers are people with great memories, but not great problem-solvers. I have great respect for those with great memories, as I do not have one, but know that my brain has its advantages too.
I think this article, at the very least, sparks an interesting (and maybe vital) conversation.

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