Re: Selection

1

Yeah, you can't let two extra lines just hang out like that. That's what the "condense font" option is for.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 12:42 PM
horizontal rule
2

I thought that essay was horrible, but of course all such essays are horrible and thank the triune Godhead that I don't have to read them for a living.

Also, in the truest sign of how where you went to college sticks with you, when I read "7 of 8 Ivy League colleges have declining admission rates" in the linked article, I immediately assumed that the 8th was Cornell, wasted potentially billable time clicking on a link to see if it was or wasn't, and then breathed a sigh of relief when I realized it wasn't. Good old Cornell.

[Also, the post is exactly right. College admissions in the US are disgusting and private colleges should be abolished, though only the U of Chicago should be affirmatively burned to the ground and left ruined as a warning to future generations]


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 12:50 PM
horizontal rule
3

Applying to all eight Ivy League schools seems like something one would never do unless it was because one was sure one could get into all eight Ivy League schools and milk it for publicity.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 12:55 PM
horizontal rule
4

But does anyone actually write good college admissions essays? I cringe at what I can remember of mine and I'm glad I don't remember the rest.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 12:57 PM
horizontal rule
5

I was on the admissions committee last year. I basically skimmed the essays for any signs of actual insanity. Other than that, I just couldn't really force myself to pay attention after a while.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 1:01 PM
horizontal rule
6

He also doesn't know from an em dash. This essay represents the soft bigotry of low expectations.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 1:01 PM
horizontal rule
7

My son's was about watching me straighten nails from salvaged wood for re-use, like my grandfather used to, and what he thought he learned from what I said about it.

Floored me that he would write about that, but it didn't keep him from being admitted.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 1:06 PM
horizontal rule
8

I believe I wrote my college essay about how the whole process was bullshit, which may explain how I ended up at Wisconsin instead of the lesser Ivies I applied to.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 1:06 PM
horizontal rule
9

Maybe I could make some side money writing these essays for kids. I don't think I'd get them in anywhere, but I sure could have a lot of fun.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 1:09 PM
horizontal rule
10

"My goal is to work out heavily, learn charm, grace, and sexual prowess. Hopefully, I will be an attractive sexual partner for a middle aged, formerly academically-oriented woman whose path of gentle failure led to a post in the admissions office, where she oscillates endlessly between conflicting emotions of power and powerlessness."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 1:14 PM
horizontal rule
11

My dad talked me out of using the heartfelt essay I wrote about quitting drugs junior year.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 1:15 PM
horizontal rule
12

All the articles that said "here's the essay that got this kid admitted to FANCIER SCHOOLS THAN YOUR KID" were crazy making; the admissions people were looking at his grades/school (good public school in middle-class Long Island, IIRC)/extracurriculars/life story (both parents are immigrants from Ghana who work as nurses; he wants to be a doctor, like Ogged said), and spent roughly 45 seconds on the essay. "Does it read like he wrote it? Does it read like he's a bright kid and professors won't bitch at us for admitting him? Okay, moving on."


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 1:16 PM
horizontal rule
13

2.last - I object to this plan as objectively pro-Dartmouth.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 1:17 PM
horizontal rule
14

Hmm good point.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 1:18 PM
horizontal rule
15

Since Hanlon took over in June, his old fraternity has been fined for serving alcohol to minors, apologized for co-hosting a "Crips and Bloods Party" and had a member admit to urinating from a second-story balcony onto a woman below.... Dartmouth's fraternities don't put students at higher risk of sexual assault, said Lou Spelios, a 1995 graduate who will become president of the Alumni Council next year.

These are the people who Halford wants to kiss and marry will use as his puppet rulers once Halfordismo comes to fruition will leave un-maimed and housed in non-burning buildings.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 1:25 PM
horizontal rule
16

I am quite proud that every admissions essay I have written, for myself and others, has been part of an accepted application. (Hm, I guess that's not true, since I didn't get into Stanford.)

That said, my law school essay was a half-page saying I didn't actually want to be a lawyer, that I was applying to them as half of a JD/Ph.D., but I wouldn't mind learning some stuff about water law. It did get me in, but it turned out that we were part of an experimental acceptance year. Our first semester grades were so bad that they trashed the experiment and went back to their regular admissions for the next class. A professor told us we were the "gentle" class.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 1:28 PM
horizontal rule
17

1) Snark is right, this article (or more the genre of article) is rubbish and the author should be shot.

2) This post (despite being right) is annoying as fuck because it has already made me think about this fucking bullshit.

3) I like the "brand ambassadors" tag as it is a more apt and pithy capture of what I have tried to get at with my gloss of admissions decisions reflecting the net present value of the admit decision on the endowment calculated with both a very low discount rate and a model that takes into account a lot of indirect factors that are tied into institutional "reputation" broadly construed*.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 1:30 PM
horizontal rule
18

Yeah, the "brand ambassadors" line is really a good one. Gets it exactly right.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 1:32 PM
horizontal rule
19

I remember seeing the admissions essay of a student who was bag-o-hammers dumb. It was gorgeous, lyrical, all about learning to play some ancient Persian stringed instrument. There is zero chance he wrote it.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 1:41 PM
horizontal rule
20

17 is right on all counts.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 1:43 PM
horizontal rule
21

So are people being outraged about this or something? Even with high selectivity, the odds of getting admitted to different Ivies are not independent of each other, so it doesn't seem odd that occasionally someone will just happen to be accepted to all of them.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 1:44 PM
horizontal rule
22

3 gets it right. I'm sure there are a couple hundred students a year who would get into all the ivies if they applied to all of them.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 1:47 PM
horizontal rule
23

So are people being outraged about this or something?

Nah, it's just more classic sadism for masochistic aspirational UMC readers. "See the boy who beat out your kid! Fear him! Obsess over (but tell yourself that you're ignoring) the fact that he's black!"


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 1:48 PM
horizontal rule
24

This post reminds me that I have been meaning to tell unfogged about how I have been lately in the position of giving advice on how to study to my students. This is tough to do with a straight face.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 1:50 PM
horizontal rule
25

Last year we went to a surprise party for a friend at a rented cabin in New Hampshire, and I visited the Orozco mural at Dartmouth, which is an awesome and powerful multi-room, fifteen-foot-tall piece of art, recounting the story of the re-settling of the Americas, from genocide to the rise of industry. While I was there, in walks a dude with his family--he's young, barrel-chested, blond, sunglasses on his head, button-down shirt, shorts, loafers--who looks around for all of ten fucking seconds and says, "Ok, we get it." It's a sign of my everlasting naivete that I was surprised that a bolt of lightning didn't fell him in that very instant.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 1:51 PM
horizontal rule
26

How do you throw a surprise party at a rented cabin? Blindfold them and drive into the wilderness?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 1:56 PM
horizontal rule
27

I had no intention of recommending the linked post (although there are a couple of good lines), but just chose it because it contained the kid's essay. So of course everyone reads the linked post this time.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 1:56 PM
horizontal rule
28

26: yeah but they can't know who it is blindfolding them because then they might catch on so when you grab them off the street you should be wearing a mask made of human skin.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 1:58 PM
horizontal rule
29

How do you throw a surprise party at a rented cabin?

I'm confused by your confusion: it's a cabin they rent regularly, but typically they're there alone.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 2:00 PM
horizontal rule
30

Except this time, when they opened the door, it was full of friends and family wearing masks made of human skin!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 2:04 PM
horizontal rule
31

Surprise!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 2:05 PM
horizontal rule
32

Sold as Flesh Face Condoms.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 2:06 PM
horizontal rule
33

the "brand ambassadors" line is really a good one. Gets it exactly right.

This is an explicit (though secret) hiring criterion for my employer's summer intern program. For fulltime employment, we hire lots people who are brainiacs with barely passable social skills. But for the summer internship program (college juniors), we'll sooner take someone with 75-80% of the brainpower if we sense that they are the type of person that their classmates look up to and admire. The idea is that their influence on campus senior year improves the quality our applicant pool. Mind you, they are being hired out of an applicant pool that is 100% Ivy League and provincial equivalents, so the pool has been sifted for that quality once already.


Posted by: Kevin Rudd | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 2:41 PM
horizontal rule
34

I started to be catty about the writing of adolescents but then I dimly recalled my horribly pretentious college personal statement and decided to shut my piehole.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 3:57 PM
horizontal rule
35

Mine got me into Berkeley where I should have gone but am glad I didn't.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 4:01 PM
horizontal rule
36

Sold as Flesh Face Condoms.

Makes me think of Hannibal Lecter's young innocent-seeming protégé, the flesh-faced ingenue.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 4:12 PM
horizontal rule
37

33 is a lot like the actual ALP's MP selection strategy as far as I can tell.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 4:26 PM
horizontal rule
38

22 is correct. My safety was an Ivy (partly due to legacy), why the fuck would I bother applying to all of them?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 4:36 PM
horizontal rule
39

And admissions people have told me what others said- if you're a clear admit no one gives a shit about the essay, it's maybe a tiebreaker for people on the edge.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 4:37 PM
horizontal rule
40

My essay got me into University of the Ruling Class. Like, for realz. An admissions officer told me so after the fact.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 5:15 PM
horizontal rule
41

And admissions people have told me what others said- if you're a clear admit no one gives a shit about the essay

That may be true, but what is the proportion of "clear admits" these days? Pretty low, I imagine. Even perfect grades and SAT scores are no guarantee anymore. You could replace the bottom thousand in Harvard's admitted class with the top 1,000 rejected applicants and nobody would notice the difference (except for the racial composition of the class, I would venture).


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 5:43 PM
horizontal rule
42

I find this whole subject so revolting that I have to consciously stop myself from actively sabotaging my own kid's opportunities. Luckily his other parent isn't as intemperate.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 5:47 PM
horizontal rule
43

Unless the Ivy application process still involves sending in paper copies, I suspect that the linked essay (which I didn't read in full) is a paper draft of the actual essay, which was probably submitted through a horrible webform - sorry, 8 horrible webforms, each built slightly differently and branded with Ivy logos - with no regard to how lines of text correspond to paper size.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 11:48 PM
horizontal rule
44

Also, I can't believe the disparity in the early admit rates. I bet some of the general UC campus admit rates are lower than some of those Ivy early-admit rates. I know that's not the proper comparison, but still.

I read somewhere that UCLA received over 80,000 applications this year.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-24-14 11:50 PM
horizontal rule
45

15: these are the people whom halford wants to kiss and marry will use as his puppet rulers once Halfordismo comes to fruition/will leave un-maimed and housed in non-burning buildings will cunt-punt once he receives better advice from his evil vizier, alameida.

the college thing, ardghlrdh. even at turning 13 girl x seems dangerously close to applying for college. she won't take the SAT unless we schedule her to do it at the american school somehow; otherwise she'll just get an international baccalaureate from her IB school, but I don't know if they have some O-level/SAT type thing you take a year before graduating or not. well, one-and-a-half semesters away from graduating, I suppose. we'll probably make her take the SAT? but is being a mandarin-speaking expat in narnia very appealing to admittance officers? not all that interesting, I think. since I showed her she could go to hogwarts (i.e. new college) girl x has been interested. girl y plays the interesting instrument of rock drums, and actually (at 10, having played for 4 years) pretty much kicks ass.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:12 AM
horizontal rule
46

Bloomberg contributor explains that your child didn't get into Stanford because of anti-Semitism.

Once you get beyond the #slatepitch-y news hook, the history he recounts is broadly correct.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:19 AM
horizontal rule
47

is being a mandarin-speaking expat in narnia very appealing to admittance officers?

Are you kidding me? That's pure college admissions gold. I already dread the prospect of my children being in the same applicant pool as yours.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:24 AM
horizontal rule
48

I'm not quite 42, but close.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:41 AM
horizontal rule
49

My parents wouldn't let me apply to any Ivies or Chicago (or Smith because lesbians or Reed because of sex with teachers) and I've gotten somewhat more sympathetic to them over the years.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:44 AM
horizontal rule
50

If you teach at Reed you can have sex with students?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:46 AM
horizontal rule
51

Ry Cooder went to Reed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:48 AM
horizontal rule
52

My friend came from a super-duper Texan religious background, and somehow painted the picture to her parents that Agnes Scott was an academic finishing school for nice southern ladies, as opposed to a hotbed of lesbo action. She had a great time there.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:48 AM
horizontal rule
53

I'm totally with 42, to the point that I probably shouldn't express my views on homework around my daughters. Luckily their other parent isn't as intemperate.

|| The Piketty fight on the NYT op-ed page is entertaining. It's a pity that house rules prevent Krugman from explicitly pointing out that Brooks is a dope and a dupe. |>


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:52 AM
horizontal rule
54

re: 45

You mean the literal New College [at Oxford]? Or is there an encoding here I'm missing? Because Hogwarts is Christ Church, no?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:04 AM
horizontal rule
55

re: 45

I took my nephew and brother round, years ago, and they were very impressed.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:04 AM
horizontal rule
56

Common App Draft #3
Hawaiian Punch Geebie

Family are often described as the people who have to accept you no matter what. People who say that have clearly never told my mother that they intend to apply to an Ivy League school. While my background may make it look like I have rarely faced adversity, I can assure you as I hide in a closet writing this essay on a 4 inch smartphone that applying to your school has taught me what facing a true challenge can be like.

P.S. Please ignore any correspondence you might receive from my family concerning my application.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:05 AM
horizontal rule
57

44: UCLA does get 80,000 applications, giving them an admit rate of a little over 20%. But, Cornell has the highest admit rate among the ivies at 14%.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:06 AM
horizontal rule
58

Narnia's not New York in terms of disadvantage in applying to colleges, but it still seems to me like it'd be a pretty solid disadvantage. I have no direct knowledge though.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:09 AM
horizontal rule
59

If anybody wants to go to my alma mater, you can use the oldest urinal west of the Mississippi. There's a sign and everything.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:11 AM
horizontal rule
60

44: I know that's not the proper comparison

It really isn't; even if the rate was lower (which per UPETGI it doesn't seem to be) transferring into a non-Brown Ivy from a non-selective community college is likely nigh-impossible, whereas with UCLA it's relatively easy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:13 AM
horizontal rule
61

58: presumably not actually being Asian will mitigate things somewhat.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:14 AM
horizontal rule
62

You could replace the bottom thousand in Harvard's admitted class with the top 1,000 rejected applicants and nobody would notice the difference

This is true but irrelevant to the issue of "clear admits" who will almost all be in the top half of admits, not the bottom half. Despite the insane amount of competition for the bottom half of slots, I'm pretty sure that it's still the case that none of the ivies can fill their class with "clear admits."

Of course perfect SAT scores aren't enough to be a clear admit, the SAT is a pretty easy exam. If you want to be a clear admit get a perfect score on a hard exam!


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:14 AM
horizontal rule
63

Wait, what? I thought Moby U was east of the Mississippi.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:15 AM
horizontal rule
64

61: True that.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:15 AM
horizontal rule
65

There was a very conservative religious Christian woman from Narnia at my university who my gay roommate dated because she had a strong belief against premarital sex and he didn't want to admit he was gay. It was all very awkward. But is that sort of conservative Christianity a big thing there? It surprised me.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:15 AM
horizontal rule
66

I went to undergrad at a large, land-grant school in a flat state.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:16 AM
horizontal rule
67

Why am I being secret? I went to Nebraska.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:17 AM
horizontal rule
68

65: Comity comes in many ways.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:17 AM
horizontal rule
69

Oh I thought you went to a large university in another flat state. You know, in peepville.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:18 AM
horizontal rule
70

Moby's been to 50 goddamn universities.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:26 AM
horizontal rule
71

I went to the large public university in peepville.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:28 AM
horizontal rule
72

65: And I had a Greek student there who was a very religious Narnian.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:29 AM
horizontal rule
73

Moby's been to 50 goddamn universities.

Thank goodness it's not just me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:49 AM
horizontal rule
74

I don't understand how any college could reasonably put much weight on the essay, given (a) it's a page long. Unless the applicant is the reincarnation of Jorge Luis Borges, there's no way to tell much about the quality of their personality or thinking in a page. The most you're plausibly going to be able to tell is that they can generate a page of coherent, grammatical prose without typos, and (b) there's no way at all to tell who wrote it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:02 AM
horizontal rule
75

Narnia's not New York in terms of disadvantage in applying to colleges, but it still seems to me like it'd be a pretty solid disadvantage. I have no direct knowledge though.

Can you elaborate? It's an enormous advantage in the UK, because universities get to charge non-EU students much higher fees.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:03 AM
horizontal rule
76

Common App Draft #3
Hawaiian Punch Geebie

I'm picturing her coming over every thirty seconds, asking "How do you spell Ivy League? Only three letters at a time. How do you spell persevere?"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:07 AM
horizontal rule
77

On loathing the competitive college admissions process -- I get guilty and weird in a bunch of contradictory directions when I think about it. I have the 42 reaction that, to the extent anything's riding on it at all, the whole process is loathsome. And then the reverse reaction, that if anything is riding on it at all, given that I'm not going to successfully tear down the system, I should be doing what I can for my kids to get them to do well. And then I figure I can just stick my head in the sand and not worry about it. And then I notice that I have the luxury of not worrying about it because my kids are doing a really spectacular job of grooming themselves for college admissions (given their geographical diversity handicap, of course), by doing what comes naturally to them. And then I catch myself being smug about how awesomely the kids are managing themselves. And then worry about whether I'm fooling myself about that.

Then I read something that pulls me back to treetops level on the whole college admissions system, become overcome by the loathsomeness of it all, and go around the merry-go-round again. And then I worry about money.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:13 AM
horizontal rule
78

I'm pretty sure that it's still the case that none of the ivies can fill their class with "clear admits."

I bet this isn't true, in the following sense - my impression is that there are scads of brilliant kids who aren't plugged in and don't realize they should apply to Ivies. ISTR that it beguiles the Ivies that they can't seem to connect with these kids.

There are probably, what, 15,000 students entering Ivy schools as first year students each year? And 3.3 million high school graduates? The top 0.4% should all be clear admits, I'd think.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:15 AM
horizontal rule
79

my impression is that there are scads of brilliant kids who aren't plugged in and don't realize they should apply to Ivies. ISTR that it beguiles the Ivies that they can't seem to connect with these kids.

because the sticker price of tuition is insanely high


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:18 AM
horizontal rule
80

69: That was graduate school. It was a great learning experience, but the urinals were nothing unique.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:18 AM
horizontal rule
81

77, that is precisely the hamster wheel I live on.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:23 AM
horizontal rule
82

79: Oh, true. But poor, super-charismatic smart brown kids who'd be great brand ambassadors would probably get significant financial aid and still would run up enormous debt, but the kind that buries you only half-to-death.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:25 AM
horizontal rule
83

LB, DQ: Drop a tier, get a full ride. For real.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:26 AM
horizontal rule
84

peepville? Wow! For the first time in my life I feel that I could sincerely respond, "Yes, Jesse! I am somebody!"


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:27 AM
horizontal rule
85

Speaking of universities, I've once again been offered a job in Tuscon. On the one hand, the rest of the family is not enthusiastic. On the other hand, I think it's a better climate for cob (or at least adobe) and that it may be my only hope for reasonable raise.


Posted by: Gerald Ford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:31 AM
horizontal rule
86

83, my preferred solution has been that he run away and join the circus. I think he'd rather continue living at home and go to Cal, though. Food would be better and he would still have access to the piano and the record collection.

If he decides to take a fly on the dance for a while it puts all this off, thankfully.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:32 AM
horizontal rule
87

Among my high school friends there were a bunch that were crazy to get into Ivy League schools. The son of the communitarian was probably the most gung-ho -- he ran for student government, and joined all these clubs, all to show how well-rounded he was. It worked! He got into Harvard (although, being the son of a famous academic couldn't have hurt). He hated it there.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:32 AM
horizontal rule
88

15,000 students entering Ivy schools as first year students each year

That seems .. low.

How many Ivies are there? [Google] Eight. [Google] They are pretty small. [Quick bit of arithmetic]. Hmm.

15,000 looks to be exactly right.

I'd have thought the Ivy League universities would be bigger. It looks like only Cornell has the same size undergrad enrolment as most Russell Group universities.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:34 AM
horizontal rule
89

I met a grad student from Tucson once who had a story about how it got so hot there that her bike got stuck in the middle of the street because it just sort of sunk into a pool of molten asphalt. I don't know how plausible that is but it sort of stuck with me as a "never go to Tucson" warning.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:35 AM
horizontal rule
90

83: The last time we went around this one, wasn't the conclusion that there was probably a lot less in the way of a full ride available for my kids than for ones who are more geographically diverse? I mean, that sounds lovely, but I don't have full scholarship offer letters in hand, so I kind of hate to plan on it.

And of course, if they have their hearts set on something particular that's financially within reach, even if it would hurt, I'm not seeing how I'd say no.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:36 AM
horizontal rule
91

re: 89

I've come across molten asphalt in Scotland, in the summer. Some road surfaces are very soft.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:37 AM
horizontal rule
92

I thought we solved your problem, LB. urple was willing to take in your kids for a while. What could possibly go wrong?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:39 AM
horizontal rule
93

79 If they're poor they won't end up in debt. The cheapest college education in the US for poor or middle income students is at the super high end schools these days. Everything is covered by no-loan financial aid.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:40 AM
horizontal rule
94

The last time we went around this one, wasn't the conclusion that there was probably a lot less in the way of a full ride available for my kids than for ones who are more geographically diverse?

We didn't reach comity on this point. It's not my opinion, but it depends on what range of schools Sally and Newt are willing to entertain. Certainly there is a subset in which your location hurts you. I don't think limiting applications to that subset is wise.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:41 AM
horizontal rule
95

I was allowed to apply to Harvard to see if I'd get in, and I wasn't allowed to apply to Yale because their promotion video featured activism on behalf of the LGBT community and my parents feared I'd turn into a godless liberal. God, that was a weird time in my life.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:42 AM
horizontal rule
96

LB, DQ: Drop a tier, get a full ride. For real

Not quite full, but a lot, yes.

My kid's urban selective hs put on a real push to help kids apply higher. Sticker price was a big part of the problem, although only the rich and not all of them pay it. Dedicated, impressive teachers and counselors, vastly better than any I ever encountered worked very diligently on this with strictly limited success. Local publics was the most many of these kids, or perhaps their families would consider.

My son's roommate at college, a POC who was also his close friend in hs, managed to complete the application by himself and get a very similar package to my son's. His mother, his only family is essentially homeless. Very impressive, even if he's lived in our basement for weeks on end during breaks.

On the other hand, his FAFSA and CSS are a snap compared with ours.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:44 AM
horizontal rule
97

Can you describe in concrete terms the category of schools that you think would probably be free to my kids, so I could do some research? I'm probably being touchy here, but this conversation makes me feel as if I'm being accused of being an ignorant snob: "Of course going to a good college is free for a reasonably smart kid, as long as you're not hung up on the Ivys." I know you don't mean it that way, but I'm still bristling, and the way you're talking about it isn't helping me resolve that feeling.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:45 AM
horizontal rule
98

I went for free to two large land-grant institutions.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:46 AM
horizontal rule
99

Melting tar on the roads is a major hazard during the cycling season in Europe, particularly in high summer.

Is the pronunciation Ash-fault peculiar to Canadians, or is it also heard elsewhere?

My wife was convinced it was personal argot of mine until she heard it on Canadian HGTV shows, and was dumbstruck that I hadn't made it up.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:49 AM
horizontal rule
100

I'm thinking places like Rice, Kalamazoo College, Wash U in St. Louis, Agnes Scott, Emory, Trinity College (in San Antonio), and that kind of place. Semi-regional, but high quality schools. Or places like where AWB and RFTS are at. Or Georgia Tech.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:49 AM
horizontal rule
101

How many people at WUSTL or Emory get a full ride?!? That sounds like it would be a really, really selective honor.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:51 AM
horizontal rule
102

The scads of brilliant kids referenced in 78 often end up at these schools (or large public universities), and so the student body has a bigger range of talent than an Ivy, but the top third of it will be fantastic.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:52 AM
horizontal rule
103

Realize just now I'd never considered the child applying to the ivies, actually. I suppose if there was some specific reason he wanted to go to one of them (do any have particularly good music programs?), okay but otherwise would assume he would tend towards UCs.

It is the all pervasive test prep and resume grooming that I loathe so, and that has most definitely infected families with zero ivyward aspirations.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:52 AM
horizontal rule
104

101: I don't really know. But LB's kids are pretty goddamn amazing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:53 AM
horizontal rule
105

Where does 99 belong? I work off the rss at work, and can't find that discussion.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:55 AM
horizontal rule
106

Rice, Kalamazoo College, Wash U in St. Louis, Agnes Scott, Emory, Trinity College (in San Antonio), and that kind of place. Semi-regional, but high quality schools. Or places like where AWB and RFTS are at. Or Georgia Tech

Huh. Either you're living in a fantasy world about who hands out free rides to upper-middle-class kids from NYC with nice test scores, or the world is a much easier place than I worry about. I was expecting you to be describing places much less selective than that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:55 AM
horizontal rule
107

Well, I'm faintly worried my mouth is writing checks my butt can't cash. I'm speaking beyond my actual knowledge here. But I'm hoping other more informed commenters will show up and agree with me.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:58 AM
horizontal rule
108

106: And the less selective places... they are the most dependent on tuition, right?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:59 AM
horizontal rule
109

They'd get a full ride at Heebie U! Actually, that's partially what I'm extrapolating on - I know the quality of student that gets a full ride here, and it's well below a sprog of Unfogged.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:59 AM
horizontal rule
110

108: Yes but no. They are also desperate to improve their student body profile, and they are trying to siphon off students who are a tier too qualified to go there.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:00 AM
horizontal rule
111

104: I talk them up as lovable and wonderful, and I'm expecting pretty spiffy standardized test scores, and they should have a couple of Columbia classes under their belts by the time they're applying for schools. But they're still pretty ordinary smart, not winning major awards smart.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:00 AM
horizontal rule
112

106:
Direct current experience of the places in question confirms your impression, for our class. My son's financial assistance has mad it affordable for us and would for you, but it's not free, no.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:00 AM
horizontal rule
113

I know kids who got full rides to Trinity, Southwest Texas, and St. Edwards (the latter two being great but not well-known private schools in Austin) and they were solid, conscientious excellent students, but nothing spectacular.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:02 AM
horizontal rule
114

Ok, I'll defer to IDP. That this is the tier of schools that are affordable, at least, without monstrous debt.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:03 AM
horizontal rule
115

Ok, this is supposedly a list of Hidden Ivies. I was intending to list schools a tier lower than these.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:07 AM
horizontal rule
116

107: The thing is, off that list, Emory or Rice or Georgia Tech would be absolutely just fine with me; I'm less sure about the others (that is, I don't have a feel for WUSTL, although I kind of know it, and I really don't know the other schools at all). But the ones I know, I don't think they're paying kids like mine to go there. Mine would probably get in, but not for free.

Particularly, AWB's WolfCub U, I'd think of my family as the paradigm of who'd pay full price to go there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:08 AM
horizontal rule
117

116 crossed with a bunch of the prior comments.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:09 AM
horizontal rule
118

You could sent them to the Honors College here. I've heard good things.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:09 AM
horizontal rule
119

Particularly, AWB's WolfCub U, I'd think of my family as the paradigm of who'd pay full price to go there.

Yeah, probably.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:13 AM
horizontal rule
120

101. Decades ago, I got financial aid there for 70% of tuition, mixed high school grades with hard classes on the transcript, good test scores, folks didn't have money. I couldn't have gone without the subsidy. Definiteley a huge NYC/NJ contingent there, many paying full fare and academically indifferent.

I think getting an intelligible answer on how much subsidy depends pretty sensitively on both family income and wealth (schools get to see both, right?), and on whether test scores are top 5% or top 0.5%. I was top 2%, zero wealth, dad had median income the year I applied.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:13 AM
horizontal rule
121

WUSTL is fantastic, judging by the talent of the ppl I know from gradschool who went there.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:15 AM
horizontal rule
122

I'm regretting the list in 100. But I think such a list does exist, and I should have browsed a list of colleges instead of going off the top of my head.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:15 AM
horizontal rule
123

115: my understanding of that list is that it is long since passed that most of them can "afford" to do what you're saying heebis


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:17 AM
horizontal rule
124

123: I wasn't claiming that list - I was trying to go a tier below that list.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:17 AM
horizontal rule
125

78: The point is that there just isn't a huge difference between top .1% and top 1%. So you can't possibly have the .5% being "clear admits" because they're indistinguishable from the people who just missed the cut. There is a much smaller group of people who are much better than that average ivy student, but even Harvard and Princeton only have a quarter of their students in that tier. But there really are a few hundred students every year who would get into every school they applied to (except for schools that would reject them for being too good).


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:17 AM
horizontal rule
126

124: so you did! My mistake.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:18 AM
horizontal rule
127

depends pretty sensitively on both family income and wealth

Right. We're in a position that it is grotesque of me to complain about, privilege-wise, where if you count retirement savings and the value of our apartment we could pretty much pay top-end sticker-price. When I talk about worrying about money, I worry that because we could, we'll have to, which will either leave the kids buried under student loans, or us with a fresh mortgage starting in our fifties and restarting saving for retirement from scratch.

This is a worst-case scenario, but it's one that's driven by having some, but not all that much, wealth.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:19 AM
horizontal rule
128

Basically living in NYC is terrible for college. The state schools are subpar, no one wants more NYC students, and it's incredibly expensive so even objectively rich people are going to be more financially constrained than they would be elsewhere.

If only they hadn't killed City College.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:22 AM
horizontal rule
129

Everyone must have a different list of such things. I think of WUSTL and Emory as practically on the Ivy level, and I've never even heard of Kalamazoo College before.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:23 AM
horizontal rule
130

What I'm thinking of - and again, everyone disregard 100 - is the best schools that don't get many applicants from more than 350 miles away. I only really know the ones in my locale, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:23 AM
horizontal rule
131

I know kids who got full rides to Trinity, Southwest Texas, and St. Edwards (the latter two being great but not well-known private schools in Austin)

Huh? Southwest isn't in Austin, surely, unless you count that new satellite.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:23 AM
horizontal rule
132

I bet LB's kids could get a free ride at Ohio State. And I could check in on them! And they could work for my wife!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:24 AM
horizontal rule
133

131: In Georgetown?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:24 AM
horizontal rule
134

Oops. Southwestern University, I meant.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:24 AM
horizontal rule
135

During my own college search, I thought the only way I could conceivably get a full ride at someone other than Oklahoma State was because a seemingly random set of private colleges had an arrangement with the college where my dad teaches. So I could go to his college, or, like, Canisius, or Belmont, or Oglethorpe, or something.

Looking back, it seems like everyone on the internet now knows more about the college admission/selection process than my actual-college-professor family did less than 15 years ago. Which is to say, most people must be totally in the dark.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:28 AM
horizontal rule
136

130: Once you're talking like that, I do kind of worry that that a school in that category might be a pretty miserable place to spend four years for my kids. Not in terms of boredom or lack of stimulation, but straightforward hostility/exclusion toward outsiders. Leaving NYC, fine, and expected. Leaving urban areas generally, also fine. Going to a small rural school where they don't ordinarily get people who grew up more than four hours drive away seems like it could be sort of horrific; I'd spend a lot of money on college not being hellish for them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:29 AM
horizontal rule
137

75: That's because all your schools are run by the government of your country. Here they're either private (in which case the sticker price is the same no matter where you're from) or run by the state (in which case only in-state students get discounts). So there is a similar push by state schools to bring in more out-of-state and foreign students, but at private schools it really doesn't matter.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:31 AM
horizontal rule
138

Leaving NYC, fine, and expected. Leaving urban areas generally, also fine. Going to a small rural school where they don't ordinarily get people who grew up more than four hours drive away seems like it could be sort of horrific;

My impression - and again, everyone should be doubting my credibility - is that it doesn't mean going completely rural, but perhaps to a city of under a million.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:33 AM
horizontal rule
139

Although there's no reason these schools shouldn't exist in large cities, too.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:34 AM
horizontal rule
140

On even further reflection I realize I would have a massive problem with the kid going to any private school. He'd have to make a really persuasive case. I do realize this is completely incoherent given where we send him to school now.

So depressing what we've done to the UC system, at this rate by the time he's ready even UC will be functionally private, I fear.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:35 AM
horizontal rule
141

I honestly don't know, I just worry, but in terms of the student body in the sort of place you're talking about, would being located in a small city make much of a difference in terms of how much of a freak a Harlem/Washington Heights kid would be treated as?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:35 AM
horizontal rule
142

Kids just aren't treated like freaks according to where they're from. Kids are treated like freaks according to their charisma or lack there-of. Almost no one is treated like a freak in college, because it's not mandatory to spend endless hours with people you hate. Everyone who basically forms friendships easily will be fine socially; people who have trouble forming friendships will have trouble, regardless of how closely they resemble the median student.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:38 AM
horizontal rule
143

Lots of the college kids around here are from New Jersey. That's pretty much the same thing as New York.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:38 AM
horizontal rule
144

I mean, we had this contingent of Kosovo kids at Heebie U, and they were roundly adored. International kids happen at rural schools, and they are treated like individuals - some do well, and some don't, but not because of where they're from exactly.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:39 AM
horizontal rule
145

I think 142 is right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:40 AM
horizontal rule
146

142: To get specific, I think my kids would have a really hard time anywhere they had to listen to casual racist language, or where people were aggressively hostile about atheists. I'm not worried about them in the South or West, but the very local non-cosmopolitan bits of the South and West, I'd be afraid I was setting them up for four years of being outraged and being that NYC asshole who thinks they can tell everyone else how to talk.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:46 AM
horizontal rule
147

140: what do you mean by "functionally private"? What aspect of "public" is important to you?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:47 AM
horizontal rule
148

96: Sticker price was big to me too. Particularly because I assumed that scholarships were a fake lure... "we'll make it cheap for a year, then once you're hooked, we'll get you for full price." I'm not often cynical, but free college at a place that's nominally very expensive seemed unlikely.

99: Ash is peculiar to Canadians. I've always heard it as ass-fault.


Posted by: Mooseking | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:48 AM
horizontal rule
149

I think Heebie should ask her students what they think of New Yorkers and liveblog it.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:49 AM
horizontal rule
150

And now I feel like the world's most incredible jerk. There's racism around here -- plenty. NYC is not paradise on Earth. But they've grown up their entire lives in schools and communities where anything explicitly racist or homophobic would have gotten a whole bunch of heads snapped around and a "What did you say? What made you think that was okay?" and a wildly different set of community standards on those fronts would be, I think, pretty unpleasant for them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:49 AM
horizontal rule
151

149: Well, and that too. It's not that it's ever a problem for me exactly, but it's always a little startling how free people from the rest of the country feel to be randomly hostile about New Yorkers particularly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:50 AM
horizontal rule
152

75: That's because all your schools are run by the government of your country. Here they're either private (in which case the sticker price is the same no matter where you're from) or run by the state (in which case only in-state students get discounts). So there is a similar push by state schools to bring in more out-of-state and foreign students, but at private schools it really doesn't matter.

I'm still not seeing how that translates to a selection disadvantage for Narnians.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:51 AM
horizontal rule
153

Casual racist language - they'd be in the majority, anywhere. Aggressively hostile about atheists - it would be reasonable to disqualify a school based on this. I think stats are usually published as to the religious profile of a student body, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:53 AM
horizontal rule
154

Schools want a diverse student body and also grade on a curve based on resources. New Yorkers have to be much better on paper than someone from Tulsa. I would expect that schools have no trouble finding more top Narnian applicants than they want to admit.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:55 AM
horizontal rule
155

How tolerant are bicoastal elite schools of atheists? I certainly kept my mouth shut at University of Michigan, but I err on the side of that, anyway.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:55 AM
horizontal rule
156

I'm still not seeing how that translates to a selection disadvantage for Narnians.

Schools get deluged with Asian applicants, and schools are racist, because Asian people with accents are not great brand ambassadors.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:58 AM
horizontal rule
157

How tolerant are bicoastal elite schools of atheists? I certainly kept my mouth shut at University of Michigan,

Lake Michigan is big, but it still doesn't count as a coast.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:59 AM
horizontal rule
158

Casual racist language - they'd be in the majority, anywhere.

I figure by "in the majority" you mean "people who'd object to casual racist language" rather than just that they're white, right? Because obviously I wasn't worried about people being racist directly at them. Erm. What I'm worrying about is different standards of what counts as casually racist -- like, anywhere that, e.g., Confederate flag stuff wouldn't come off as really freaky would, I think, be pretty uncomfortable.

Homophobic language too; any place where it was sort of standard and acceptable to have a problem with gays would, I think, be very uncomfortable.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:00 AM
horizontal rule
159

157: Ann Arbor is closer to Lake Erie.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:01 AM
horizontal rule
160

147: public funding, accessibility to all in state qualified students, lack of dependence on alumni fundraising because as far as I can tell it's a direct line from that to legacy admissions, and a commitment to provide the full range of academic options across the system from community colleges to research universities competing globally.

basically, the California system before hmmm 1980 or so?


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:01 AM
horizontal rule
161

I certainly kept my mouth shut at University of Michigan

Really? Did you let people know you were Jewish?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:02 AM
horizontal rule
162

In some sense, Ann Arbor is a suburb of Toledo.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:02 AM
horizontal rule
163

155: The two I went to (counting Lake Michigan as a coast), completely -- like, I never thought about worrying about it, I worried about being kind to Christians who might feel like I was oppressing them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:02 AM
horizontal rule
164

But they've grown up their entire lives in schools and communities where anything explicitly racist or homophobic would have gotten a whole bunch of heads snapped around and a "What did you say? What made you think that was okay?" and a wildly different set of community standards on those fronts would be, I think, pretty unpleasant for them.

It's on a spectrum: every college has some kids who've grown up with a community standard of responding to racism with silence. Those kids are growing and changing while they're at college, because they're generally getting rattled. College norms err on the side of snapping heads and calling racists out, but it's true that a critical mass of newbies to that norm might be frustrating for the Breathkins.

I think it would be easy to compile a dozen regional safety schools that avoid the racism/atheism problems, (and then they may always luck out and get a great offer from their true first choice.) The private schools I have in mind in Austin would all pass the racism/atheism test.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:04 AM
horizontal rule
165

Having to read horrific dalkon shield case right now, breaking out in cold sweats. Awful.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:04 AM
horizontal rule
166

161: Oh, that's fine. But being atheist was trickier.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:04 AM
horizontal rule
167

I figure by "in the majority" you mean "people who'd object to casual racist language" rather than just that they're white, right?

Right.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:05 AM
horizontal rule
168

I've come around to team "it'll all work out" on the college front; they'll be independent people with their own preferences*, and we'll figure out some combination of cost and congeniality that makes sense. I mean, we're still going to try to save as much money as we can, but that's all we can do.

*A friend's story of her immigrant father: the dad really wanted his son, our friend's brother, to go to Johns Hopkins, which the kid had no interest in attending, and didn't apply to. Comes the day, he gets an acceptance from Hopkins, because his dad had just gone ahead and applied for him. And yes, the kid wound up attending.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:06 AM
horizontal rule
169

I mean, we're still going to try to save as much money as we can, but that's all we can do.

My understanding is that you shouldn't do this - put that money towards your retirement. If it's in a savings account, it counts against your kid's FAFSA application. But retirement is untouchable. Then pay off loans afterwards.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:08 AM
horizontal rule
170

By "untouchable" I mean "it doesn't show up on FAFSA". Probably someone whose actually done a FAFSA recently could confirm this, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:08 AM
horizontal rule
171

166: Well, there certainly were people at Univ of Michigan that were shocked by the vast numbers of Jews and atheists, but they just had to deal with it. As I recall, open atheism wasn't uncommon among undergrads, or professors and grad students teaching undergrads.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:10 AM
horizontal rule
172

Yeah, I've heard that. But I'd rather try to save the entire cost of their education now than be on the hook for loans in twenty years.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:12 AM
horizontal rule
173

The problem of fitting it at college is nicely resolved by not talking to anyone.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:12 AM
horizontal rule
174

Comes the day, he gets an acceptance from Hopkins, because his dad had just gone ahead and applied for him

Did his dad write the essay?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:13 AM
horizontal rule
175

173: Admittedly, that was my strategy. But the kids seem to enjoy interacting with other carbon-based life forms.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:15 AM
horizontal rule
176

Speaking to the low-level hostility this conversation had last time, and earlier upthread, (I think it's since dissipated), there does seem to be an insult implicit in the idea that living among conservative people is such an abomination that it's worth writing off huge numbers of great schools because the voting patterns of the surrounding townspeople are shitty.

Some kids wouldn't be happy in a rural school, and by all means they shouldn't apply to any, but that's not the same distinction.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:15 AM
horizontal rule
177

Did his dad write the essay?

He did the entire application himself without even telling the kid about it.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:16 AM
horizontal rule
178

171: I mean, I was coming from North Florida and parents who indoctrinated me with the idea that my atheism was horribly offensive. I don't know how clearly I perceived Michigan on its own terms.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:17 AM
horizontal rule
179

173: That was what my friend from high school did at University of Michigan. Surprisingly, it didn't work out for him -- he dropped out after the first year.

Actually, I guess that's not entirely true -- he did speak to one person -- me. Maybe that was the real problem.

But the story has a happy ending. He transferred to University of Maryland,, and wound up getting a decent job that he likes and as far as I tell has a pretty good life.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:19 AM
horizontal rule
180

Speaking of living near people with shitty voting patterns, what about Tucson? I keep wanting to spell it Tuscon, because that makes more sense. I don't know if the 'c' is silent and or if the 's' is silent and the 'c' pronounced like an 's'.


Posted by: Gerald Ford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:20 AM
horizontal rule
181

it's a page long. Unless the applicant is the reincarnation of Jorge Luis Borges, there's no way to tell much about the quality of their personality or thinking in a page

In a long history of being wrong on the internet, this might be the wrongest thing you've ever said.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:21 AM
horizontal rule
182

176: I don't think I'm doing that -- big schools down south are fine with me, so long as they're big/prestigious enough to be used to outsiders. It's the idea of making them spend four years being targets. I don't know, specifically, how much that's going to be a problem at any given school in a conservative area that doesn't get a lot of students who didn't grow up within shouting distance. But I don't think I'm being completely closed-minded in worrying that it might be a enough of a problem in that kind of school to make being a city kid raised as a semi-socialist difficult.

I mean, you're kind of offended that I'm being negative about small very-local schools. Now picture being nineteen, away from home, and every other thing you say offends people like that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:22 AM
horizontal rule
183

Now picture being nineteen, away from home, and every other thing you say offends people like that.

I mean, are Newt and Sally that much more liberal than I was in high school, in the south? Conservatives just aren't as uniform a presence as I think you (and others) believe.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:25 AM
horizontal rule
184

181: Seriously, do you know jack about the kid in the OP from that essay? I'm sure he's very bright and interesting, but I can't tell anything other than that he can string a set of cliches together grammatically.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:25 AM
horizontal rule
185

I went to college with a plurality of white kids from NY and its suburbs, and if I had to generalize I'd say that they were on the whole more prone to casual racist comments than people at the same school from elsewhere. Just IME but I really did have a feeling at the time that OMG white kids from the NY area, and UMC northeast generally, are hella racist. I'm sure it's worse at Ole Miss, though.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:27 AM
horizontal rule
186

@181:

I suppose that's true in the negative direction. You can pretty quickly spot people who are either nuts or whose thinking is so muddled that they have trouble being coherent.

Once you get past a certain threshold, though, one half way competently written essay reads much like another.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:27 AM
horizontal rule
187

A more comity-ious point is that it's reasonable to write off a school if Newt and Sally would feel out of place there, and I don't think you'll have trouble compiling a list of regionalish schools that meet that requirement.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:27 AM
horizontal rule
188

183: How can I answer that? I don't know at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:29 AM
horizontal rule
189

187: I don't think you'll have trouble compiling a list of regionalish schools that meet that requirement.

Seriously? How on earth am I supposed to form opinions about the social atmosphere at a series of small very local schools?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:30 AM
horizontal rule
190

Seriously? Give the mineshaft 15 minutes on an ATM where they weigh in with their local schools.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:31 AM
horizontal rule
191

Conservatives just aren't as uniform a presence as I think you (and others) believe.

My sister went to University of Deep Redstatia and had no shortage of acceptably liberal friends, including uncloseted gays, who were exceedingly rare in that part of the world at the time.

OTOH, this was a rather large institution. A small school in the boondocks offers less in the way of places to hide out among Gleichgesinnte. So you would probably want to do more due diligence for someplace like that.

OTOOH, I have a suspicion that any place that bills itself as a liberal arts college will have a disproportionately liberal student body, regardless of location, because conservatives are so averse to the word "liberal" that they don't send their children there.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:37 AM
horizontal rule
192

In re Tucson, I think Tucson is a great place and like it a lot; the people I know who live there seem to have a very good life. It's definitely a liberal town. If you like nature stuff at all it's the best, the desert really is amazing. It is hot in the summer of course but hey air conditioning and it's a dry heat. Never lived there, though and cost of living is maybe higher than what I think is your current location.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:37 AM
horizontal rule
193

183: How can I answer that? I don't know at all.

Ok: Every other thing out of their mouth will not offend people.

Also: having to grapple with people from very different backgrounds isn't a fate worse than death.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:38 AM
horizontal rule
194

Let's take this away from generalizations.

Private Colleges and Universities in Texas

Well-known / Prestigious
Baylor
Rice
SMU
TCU

SLAC
Austin College
Dallas Baptist University
University of Dallas
McMurry University
Paul Quinn College
Schreiner University
Southwestern University
Texas Lutheran University

Other
Abilene Christian University
Amberton University
Arlington Baptist College
Austin Graduate School of Theology
Bay Ridge Christian College
Christ For The Nations Institute
Central Western University
College of Saint Thomas More
Concordia University Texas
Dallas Christian College
East Texas Baptist University
Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics
Hardin-Simmons University
Houston Baptist University
Howard Payne University
Huston-Tillotson University
Jarvis Christian College
LeTourneau University
Lubbock Christian University
North American College
Northwood University
Our Lady of the Lake University
St. Edward's University
St. Mary's University, Texas
Southwestern Adventist University
Southwestern Assemblies of God University
Southwestern Christian College
Texas Baptist College
Texas College
Texas Wesleyan University
Trinity University
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
University of St. Thomas
University of the Incarnate Word
Wayland Baptist University
Western Texas College
Wiley College

Several of these cater specifically to religious conservatives and would be hostile to outsiders. I'm guessing that all of those would fall into the category of "Not selective", and thus NYC parents wouldn't be interested anyway. Is that right? It shouldn't be hard to tell which ones they are.

Exception: Baylor, which currently undergoing a lot of conflict between its traditions and its ambitions.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:39 AM
horizontal rule
195

I mean, are Newt and Sally that much more liberal than I was in high school, in the south?

I'm pretty sure they aren't as accustomed to hiding their beliefs as you were.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:41 AM
horizontal rule
196

195: Point taken. But I was pretty argumentative about my liberal beliefs. Atheism was something that my parents specifically drilled into my head to stay quiet on.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:43 AM
horizontal rule
197

To take Heebie U as an example, the way you've described your students talking about race (defensiveness, how very gently you have to bring things up, and so on), Sally or Newt would be having a lot of trouble staying polite in that kind of conversation, and would be pretty solidly uncomfortable, and would, I think, be perceived as assholes on the subject (if they didn't check out and get withdrawn). And I'm extrapolating from that to other social issues. I'm sure your students are mostly really good, decent people, but I also think they'd be hard for my kids to pass as normal among.If you're thinking of your school as someplace that wouldn't be that difficult for them, I think you're guessing wrong. Which means that I'm not all that comfortable with a quick "Sure, the local school doesn't get many kids from outside the tri-county region, but your kids would fit in fine."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:43 AM
horizontal rule
198

As LB knows, her kids would be completely at home at Wolfcub culturally , and probably places like, list 100 places. No high buildings or public trans, strange tall plants in rows in nearby fields, but culturally familiar.

Now my daughter went to a fine private about 2 hours away from there, also in that great state we know too much about quadrennially. I would put it in the tier below Wolfcub, and in fact it is regional and not well-known beyond a few-hundred-mile radius. It is in a reasonably large city, under a million but still large, that shows up as a dot of blue on political/cultural maps.

She had a nice financial aid package, considering how much less endowment money it has. She really flourished, and learned from excellent professors on a high level. She and her friends were on as high a level as Wolfcub or UofC.

There are lots of less intellectual kids than this, and might be thought of as typical, but the prevailing standard for racism/sexism is actually on a par with what I hear about at top tiers.

Some data in support of Heebie's contention.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:46 AM
horizontal rule
199

No, I have been putting Heebie U on the side of places that would be reasonable to write off as too conservative for them. And yet, we have elected openly gay student presidents, and have a solidly liberal plurality of students on campus. Also, we're in a rural-ish town of probably 30K.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:47 AM
horizontal rule
200

185: I spent 2-8 grades in suburban Miami, at schools that were integrated via busing; maybe 10-20% black? Enough that they were in no way rare or marginal, but definitely a minority. Surprisingly few Hispanics, all things considered.

Anyway, racial tensions occasionally happened, but nothing to really burst my bubble that America was on track towards MLK's Dream.

Then I moved to a (virtually) all-white HS in northern NJ, and was shocked to hear, for the first time, flat racism that wasn't transgressive jokes or the result of personal enmity*, but just regular old use of the n-word and insulting stereotypes. It was quite eye-opening.

It was distinctly worse among the not-UMC contingent, but I'm pretty sure the UMC kids were just trained to be classier about their racism.

*that is, a white kid who had a mutual beef with a black kid and therefore talked shit


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:48 AM
horizontal rule
201

Personally, I'm really counting on legacy preferences and am going to be pissed off if they take those away, even though I currently donate $0 to any non-UC school that I attended and even though obviously legacy preferences should be abolished (along with burning all private universities to the ground). God knows what I'll do for money, though one of the kid's best claims to a legacy preference comes at a school known for awesome scholarships, so maybe that's her eventual fate.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:48 AM
horizontal rule
202

101 How many people at WUSTL or Emory get a full ride?!?

I think it's actually a lot at WUSTL. Multiple people in my high school graduating class were offered full rides there, I think. And it seems to be a decent school. A complete cipher in my field, but not in most others, as far as I know.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:49 AM
horizontal rule
203

102 The scads of brilliant kids referenced in 78 often end up at these schools (or large public universities), and so the student body has a bigger range of talent than an Ivy, but the top third of it will be fantastic.

It's not as if the level of talent at Ivy schools is uniformly very high.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:49 AM
horizontal rule
204

What is Trinity, anyway? I see heebie mentioned it a few times. They're one of the schools that offered me a full ride when I hadn't applied at all, which seemed a little desperate.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:51 AM
horizontal rule
205

192: I can't tell on the cost of living. I can't figure out what would be a reasonable comparison.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:51 AM
horizontal rule
206

116 Particularly, AWB's WolfCub U, I'd think of my family as the paradigm of who'd pay full price to go there.

Well, WolfCub is not a U, for one thing. I think you will generally find you'll have better luck at universities than at small colleges.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:52 AM
horizontal rule
207

204: Did they really? Weird. It's a super-expensive San Antonio private school with such boatloads of liberal artsy experiences and my colleague's kids seem to adore it. High caliber students.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:55 AM
horizontal rule
208

185/200: Yeah, I'm not arguing that the Northeast generally, or that the NYC area including suburbs, doesn't have plenty of open racism going on, it certainly does. But (a) not really in our specific neighborhoods; and (b) there's a norm that it's really not okay. Someone saying shit like that around here knows they're being actively offensive, and isn't surprised at all by pushback.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:55 AM
horizontal rule
209

Also, I would tend to think of most midwestern flagship state universities as being way better than most of the places people in this thread are touting as second-tier. Maybe this means my standards are really idiosyncratic or unrelated to undergrad experience. But UIUC or Wisconsin or Michigan all rank way above Emory in terms of schools where I know people doing interesting things.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:55 AM
horizontal rule
210

Anyhow, you can all take comfort in the fact that, in the future, all this technocratic grade grubbing college attending bullshit will matter less, because inherited wealth and access to capital will matter so much more. If Sally really wants to make it she should get a free ride to SMU and marry someone whose family owns an oil well and some property.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:56 AM
horizontal rule
211

206: Right, I'd never have thought of a SLAC like WolfCub as a source of scholarship money if Heebie hadn't brought it up.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:56 AM
horizontal rule
212

I share a bit on 209, but saw specific examples listed where I'm aware of some really excellent programs


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:56 AM
horizontal rule
213

209: But that's research vs. student experience.

Anyway, LB had an argument against out-of-state state schools which I don't remember, but seemed reasonable.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:57 AM
horizontal rule
214

More to 185: Thinking about Shit Heebie's Student Say, I don't think racism is the salient measure. These kids have swallowed a whole lot of implicitly racist bullshit about politics and race and class and America that doesn't thrive in very much of the NE, even if all too many of those kids are shitheads on race specifically.

As Cliven Bundy reminds us (and as we covered in a thread the other day), scratch a modern American conservative and you'll find David Duke. I mean, we're talking about an ideology that basically says we can't maintain highways and bridges because of the moochers. It doesn't really matter how many of their best friends are black.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:57 AM
horizontal rule
215

it's always a little startling how free people from the rest of the country feel to be randomly hostile about New Yorkers particularly.

Not for nothing, it is always startling to me how free people from the northeast feel to be hostile about the south. I left out "randomly" because it's often motivated by some validly awful political thing, but it usually goes straight to "everyone in the south is a racist halfwit." This isn't aimed at you, LB--I'm genuinely startled by how common it is, or was when I lived there.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:57 AM
horizontal rule
216

And I backpedaled away from WolfCub U as an example of funding.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:58 AM
horizontal rule
217

Anyway, why would anyone want to go to college in the south? The weather sucks.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:58 AM
horizontal rule
218

I should note that the strategy in 210 last was actually followed by one of my high school friends, who went to Trinity and married into a wealthy Texas oil/real estate family, where he now works. He now has, per Facebook, demonstrably by far the best life of anyone in my high school cohort.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:59 AM
horizontal rule
219

Well, that's true. But they can leave in the summer. Whereas I suffered through Michigan winters.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:59 AM
horizontal rule
220

How tolerant are bicoastal elite schools of atheists? I certainly kept my mouth shut at University of Michigan

It was absolutely uncontroversial at UT, I'll say.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:59 AM
horizontal rule
221

I think LB's kids would have some culture shock in the south, even at big schools. In grad school, the boyfriend had a lot of classmates from the south (my class was mostly Midwesterners somehow). I heard a lot of straight up offensive slurs just thrown around. Maybe it's better now, but it wasn't all that long ago that I was hearing his coworker throw out that Nebraska's football team was a "bunch of faggots." They referred to him as a Yankee, made fun of his Yankee accent, didn't believe in global warming, and were generally pretty icky. It was really surprisingly bad, enough so that our general goal is never to live in a Confederate state. It certainly doesn't have to be like that, but it was pretty uncomfortable for us both.

The quick way to full rides that I know of is the National Merit Scholarships. There are quite a few schools that give full four year scholarships for those. I'm not sure what other things would actually get need blind assistance. When my friends and I were applying, it seemed like private schools would give scholarships that made their tuition roughly equal to State U, so more money but same cost to the student.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:00 AM
horizontal rule
222

ugh, both blank comments are me.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:00 AM
horizontal rule
223

I'm speaking beyond my actual knowledge here. But I'm hoping other more informed commenters will show up and agree with me.

Let's settle this. LizardBreath can go to this site, enter some guesses as to her children's future academic performance along some household financial data, and it will tell her how much she can expect to pay at participating schools, including Wolf Cub University.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:00 AM
horizontal rule
224

My stepdaughter is starting a phd program in Tucson in the fall & she is awesome. My brother lived there years and years ago in connection with the huge place with acres of airplanes parked all about. I suspect there experiences of the place will diverge substantially.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:01 AM
horizontal rule
225

146 I'm not worried about them in the South or West, but the very local non-cosmopolitan bits of the South and West, I'd be afraid I was setting them up for four years of being outraged and being that NYC asshole who thinks they can tell everyone else how to talk.

I actually think that this is true of pretty much everywhere in the South. I'm less confident about the West. But I really doubt there is anywhere in the South that your kids would be comfortable. There is nowhere in the South that I'm comfortable, and I grew up on the edge of the region.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:02 AM
horizontal rule
226

215: That does happen. To resist comity, though, what seems different about it to me is literally the randomness. Northern being a jerk about the south is, as you say, usually overgeneralization as a reaction to something that's actually happening -- there's some dreadful story, or election result, or whatever, and people start talking about rednecks without making it clear that there are plenty of decent, reasonable people down south. The thing that throws me is the casual way you get the anti-New York thing brought up: that it's not in response to something awful and particularly New Yorky happening, but just that a mention of New York gets a strong negative reaction.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:03 AM
horizontal rule
227

209.last - My prejudice is the same, but Emory does badass biomedical research. I think the ones you mention are better for someone who might not have a particular career path in mind, since they're reasonably good at everything. UIUC in particular used to be 90% in state students and is actively trying to get more geographic diversity - I think the goal was 30% from out of state. UM is about 40% out of state if I remember correctly.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:05 AM
horizontal rule
228

215: Speaking for myself, it all comes back to the Civil War. As soon as all the non-racist, non-halfwits get the racist halfwits to take down their treason flags and stop talking about the Union as an outside oppressor, I'll think differently about the south.

But, given that, in the Deep South, 1/4 to 1/3 of the population can be safely assumed to be pro-Union, yet the racist halfwits seem to win pretty consistently, it's hard for me not to conclude that the non-racist, non-halfwits are a trivial minority.

Also, FWIW, people in Philly and Pittsburgh tend to talk about people from the middle of the state as racist halfwits; ex-CSA states aren't that special in this regard.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:05 AM
horizontal rule
229

There is nowhere in the South that I'm comfortable,

Really - Northern Virginia, Raleigh-Durham, Atlanta, New Orleans, Houston, Austin, Kansas City - nothing?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:06 AM
horizontal rule
230

214 covers a lot of what I was thinking of as casual racism.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:07 AM
horizontal rule
231

228.last: Should I stop? It doesn't seem incorrect.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:07 AM
horizontal rule
232


But I really doubt there is anywhere in the South that your kids would be comfortable.

Here. That is, if they can get over the Green Acres vibe.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:07 AM
horizontal rule
233

OK, 226 is completely specious. I mean, if you don't like white Southerners or think they are more likely to be racist, fine. But pretending that the anti-NYC sentiment in the South (actually most people I know there, mostly Texans, love NYC but whatevs) is more knee jerk or less-specific than anti-Southern sentiment in NYC itself is ridiculous.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:07 AM
horizontal rule
234

The south is no different than twenty miles outside your urban area, all of you. Cities in the south are fine, aside from various degrees of poverty.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:07 AM
horizontal rule
235


Link.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:08 AM
horizontal rule
236

I have a cousin in that city. Never been there myself.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:10 AM
horizontal rule
237

I endorse 234!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:10 AM
horizontal rule
238

But they can leave in the summer.

I did think of that. But I looked at WUSTL*, frex, and the thought of StL in early May was enough to make me start sweating. And all of September, and probably October as well.

But I have a strong 4 season/temperate/pro-winter attitude. One reason I'm particularly unhappy about climate change is that, by the time I'm 70, Pittsburgh will no longer have the climate I prefer.

I understand there are other negative impacts as well.

*which, near as I could/can tell, really is just CMU in another city. I think the campus may be a bit more suburban/sprawly, but in terms of quality, reputation, size, breadth of field, it seems an almost uncanny match.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:11 AM
horizontal rule
239

234: White people down there sure do vote weird. Not all of them, and not everywhere. But no difference seems like an overstatement.

233:No one's oppressing me, it's not a big thing in my life, and anti-Southern sentiment is probably a much bigger deal. The anti-NYC thing is a real thing, though, and I find it disturbing because I just don't get it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:13 AM
horizontal rule
240

239.last: Don't be silly, LB, Rob says it doesn't exist. Get over yourself, and your experience of the world.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:15 AM
horizontal rule
241

234 is mostly right. I have a "and yet..." reaction stemming from eg the maintenance and in fact full throated defence of confederate imagery on state flags, etc. Much wrong with California but ... not that.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:16 AM
horizontal rule
242

When white people tell you that they could never live in Houston or Atlanta because of the racism, it's almost certain that they don't have close black or Latino friends. My friends who are a mixed-race white-Mexican couple just moved to Atlanta from the Bay Area, in part (though by no means exclusively) because they felt they'd be more comfortable with the racial integration climate.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:16 AM
horizontal rule
243

Cities in the south are fine, aside from various degrees of poverty.

And giant horrific bugs, no mountains, and the climate of Satan's choad.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:17 AM
horizontal rule
244

But pretending that the anti-NYC sentiment in the South (actually most people I know there, mostly Texans, love NYC but whatevs) is more knee jerk or less-specific than anti-Southern sentiment in NYC itself is ridiculous.

You can send me to hell, or New York City, it would be about the same to me.


Posted by: OPINIONATED HANK WILLIAMS, JR. | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:18 AM
horizontal rule
245

242 sounds right to me, but is that true of anywhere else in the south besides Atlanta and Houston?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:22 AM
horizontal rule
246

I mean, the real reason to not move to Atlanta or Houston is that they're car-centric hellholes.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:23 AM
horizontal rule
247

245: Oh, I wouldn't be surprised by it other places. I remember visiting a friend in Nashville and being impressed by the degree of social integration.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:25 AM
horizontal rule
248

I mean, the real reason to not move to Atlanta or Houston is that they're car-centric hellholes.

Don't forget the giant bugs and the climate of Satan's choad. Gswift was right to emphasize those.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:27 AM
horizontal rule
249

245 -- Probably Dallas, Austin, and the Apostropher parts of North Carolina. Nashville maybe, parts of Florida maybe but I don't know Florida even a little bit. I'm not really sure about anywhere else. New Orleans is great but (my impression is) feels very closed to non-natives.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:29 AM
horizontal rule
250

I liked the Apostropher parts of North Carolina. Except for the bugs. They weren't giant, but there were a lot of them and they didn't die of cold once a year. And the pollen.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:30 AM
horizontal rule
251

Tuscon is largely bug and pollen free. Except scorpions, if those count as bugs.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:31 AM
horizontal rule
252

My uncle in New Mexico wouldn't put a shoe on without checking for scorpions.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:33 AM
horizontal rule
253

that it's not in response to something awful and particularly New Yorky happening

People are still outraged about the draft riots of 1863.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:33 AM
horizontal rule
254

My uncle in New Mexico wouldn't put a shoe on without checking for scorpions.

Right. Never put your hands or feet somewhere that you can't see. Also, I used to beat the bushes before the kid could play in the yard (that was more for snakes; we saw rattlers and lots of black widows, but never a scorpion).


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:35 AM
horizontal rule
255

I'm trying to think of where in the wider bay area would be uncomfortable for a "white-Mexican couple" and their kids, not coming up with much. Actually trying to think of where anyone would notice is stumping me...


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:36 AM
horizontal rule
256

It amazes me how many of the schools in 194 are explicitly religious.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:38 AM
horizontal rule
257

It was silicon valley, and more about the absence of a community and a general feeling that there was a bit of subtle anti-Mexican racism. Not open hostility.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:38 AM
horizontal rule
258


I remember visiting a friend in Nashville and being impressed by the degree of social integration.

I was going to make a joke that involved linking to LB's hilarious story about the Charlie Pride concert, but google refuses to locate it for me in TFA.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:39 AM
horizontal rule
259

213 209: But that's research vs. student experience.

Depending on what students want to get out of college, research could be a very big part of student experience. I was really happy to go to a school where the professors knew what was going on in their field, because I wanted to know that too. What do Sally and Newt want to get out of college?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:41 AM
horizontal rule
260

226 is totes not true, speaking as a northerner. There is plenty of unjustifiable generalization about the south, just as in the south there is no doubt plenty of unjustifiable generalization about, to pick an area not entirely at random, the Bronx.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:42 AM
horizontal rule
261

How tolerant are bicoastal elite schools of atheists?

Very is my impression. If you were anywhere from militant atheist to low key vaguely believing you were considered normal. Devout Christians were considered slightly weird outside their own little social sphere - sort of like people really into D&D.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:43 AM
horizontal rule
262

That I could understand.

turns out the census produced a fascinating but ridiculously ginormois .pdf with tons of info re geographic distribution of interracial marriage.

OK and AK share predictable proclivities, there is an interesting swathe from KS, OK and TX with a little dot out in Liberty, GA, and the SF bay area is doing exactly what you'd expect us to do.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:45 AM
horizontal rule
263

I actually think 259 is an important question. I realize they probably don't know yet, but if they want to go to grad school, I think that should seriously change the calculation of where to go to undergrad.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:46 AM
horizontal rule
264

It's clear what my kid would like to do in college but I think that is pretty unusual, no?


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:47 AM
horizontal rule
265

Yeah, I have no idea at all. At this point, they both seem like plausible candidates for grad school (current plans are Sally, Aero/Astro Eng., Newt, Materials Science; but they are twelve and fourteen, and either could decide to be a historian, an i-banker, or a teapot next week).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:52 AM
horizontal rule
266

You should definitely send them to the Webb Institute. It's free and you totally get to go on awesome boats.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:55 AM
horizontal rule
267

On a positive note, just found out one of my mock trial students was accepted in a very prestigious and challenging sumner program. Yay! Was a complicated recommendation to write because her home situation is extremely tough and wanted them to understand if they accepted her they'll need to work with variables she cannot control. So hoping this means they'll do what they can to help her succeed. She's certainly got the raw smarts.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:58 AM
horizontal rule
268

265: it all sounds so... [shudders]... applied.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:58 AM
horizontal rule
269

Huh, why Materials Science?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:59 AM
horizontal rule
270

266: Students live on campus, a 26-acre estate with a private beach

Gosh! If only I was 30 years younger and had the slightest talent for engineering!


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:00 PM
horizontal rule
271

269. Have you ever seen destructive testing rigs or STMs?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:00 PM
horizontal rule
272

265: oh god my kid is doomed doomed doomed to a life of poorly paid cultural production...


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:02 PM
horizontal rule
273

My 8 year old has switched from wanting to be a paleontologist to wanting to be an astrophysicist, mostly because he now finds parallel universes more interesting than dinosaurs. He's still much better at digging holes in the yard than he is at math, though.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:02 PM
horizontal rule
274

268: They're very concrete children. Either one could make a break for the humanities at any moment, though. Or could go pure math or science, I suppose.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:03 PM
horizontal rule
275

Although he did recently get a 20 in techno...


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:03 PM
horizontal rule
276

If he's still a svelte ballet dancer at 18, you should definitely opt for the send him to SMU or Trinity, have him marry a rich Texan property heiress/heir plan.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:03 PM
horizontal rule
277

269: I'm actually not sure -- I never liked chem much myself. He gets all googly-eyed talking about nanotubes, though.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:04 PM
horizontal rule
278

Although he did recently get a 20 in techno

Which means.... what?


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:05 PM
horizontal rule
279

276 Shouldn't that be a rich elderly mother of an American president?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:08 PM
horizontal rule
280

How much setting of boundaries do you/did you/will you all do about your kids' courses of study? There's is no fucking way any kid of mine is doing a humanities major without double-majoring in something else.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:13 PM
horizontal rule
281

Inhumanity?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:14 PM
horizontal rule
282

Either one could make a break for the humanities at any moment, though

The spector of genetic determinism rears its head.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:14 PM
horizontal rule
283

276: oooo next time I'm in need of a really great eye rolling reaction I'll float this, thanks!

278: 20/20 in technology class. Although to be honest he knows perfectly well that I put zero store in either techno or sport, and his father is at one with me re sport. We're all 3 colluding currently to maximize beyond all reason his get-out-of-rugby-&-field-hockey-free card from the broken foot incident.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:15 PM
horizontal rule
284

280: We've nudged, rather than setting boundaries. I have enough faith in the power of privilege to figure that either one of them will end up employed indoors somewhere even if they major in Latin American Literature. But I'm certainly more comfortable with a technical degree.

If either one of them looked likely to head for humanities grad school, there would be a come-to-Jesus talk with many examples from you people about how miserable the job market for academics is.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:18 PM
horizontal rule
285

You call technology class "techno"? Unless he gets to use a 909 that seems like false advertising.

Thinkking about it, what on earth is "technology class"?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:18 PM
horizontal rule
286

282: On both sides. Buck started out in engineering and ended up in American Literature.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:19 PM
horizontal rule
287

What is technology class?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:20 PM
horizontal rule
288

I'd think that being a girl interested in engineering would open up some college funds. I'm not exactly sure where though.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:21 PM
horizontal rule
289

A depoliticized term for brogrammers.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:21 PM
horizontal rule
290

I have enough faith in the power of privilege to figure that either one of them will end up employed indoors somewhere


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:21 PM
horizontal rule
291

Parents who won't let their kids change majors is one of the biggest causes of people getting really shitty grades in lots of classes. Somehow kids are willing to lie to their parents about grades, but not about majors.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:23 PM
horizontal rule
292

There's is no fucking way any kid of mine is doing a humanities major without double-majoring in something else.

Mine too. Preferably passion+CS. They can code for an income while hoping to break in on Broadway.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:24 PM
horizontal rule
293

280 is a good question. I was a humanities major, as were both parents, and as was my wife. We've all done pretty well (I guess) so there's not a great negative example floating around, but my current view is "no fucking way are you just getting a history degree" pretty much no matter where they go to college. Maybe that's excessive.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:24 PM
horizontal rule
294

280, 284: Jesus Christ, you guys are what's wrong with America. If you won't stand up for the liberal arts, who will?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:25 PM
horizontal rule
295

Would you believe that I have faith in the power of the liberal arts to appeal to an educated person in their spare time? The parts of the humanities where I feel most comfortable aren't anything I did much work on in college.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:28 PM
horizontal rule
296

There is definitely no way the totemic belief in the earning power conferred by a CS degree will backfire at any point in the future.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:29 PM
horizontal rule
297

295: How many non-liberal-arts majors have you worked with? Obviously I can only speak for the tech industry, but IME the last fucking thing we need is more people who have strictly STEM backgrounds. One thing I've noticed over the course of my career is that the best people to work with almost always have a substantial background in something that isn't tech.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:33 PM
horizontal rule
298

I think the opinions being expressed here are crazy. Yes engineering and computer science are objectively better than other majors in terms of future earning potential, but otherwise just go to a good school and major in a non-bullshit subject that you like and can succeed at. Being a bad chemistry major is much much worse than being a good history major.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:33 PM
horizontal rule
299

To be perfect honest I have no idea what "technology class" is, the kids call it techno works in French but apparently not in English. This past bit required him to make a website and from what I could tell involved much huddled effort at the computer and frustrated dismissal of offers of help by his father who kept saying "when I want to do that thing I just use this tool" so I gather they had to do it "from scratch". Whatever that means.

re policing of future major, isn't life a bit short to require your kid to study something he/she has no interest in? My kid falls so squarely within the languages/math/music lump of brains, with an added dose of dance obsession that it just makes me preemptively exhausted to contemplate redirecting that particular CO River. After all, could land you with the Salton Sea.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:34 PM
horizontal rule
300

I'm making an appointment to get my PIV card renewed. Maybe it wouldn't hurt if the technical people kept a couple of humanities types around for when they name things.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:35 PM
horizontal rule
301

Yes engineering and computer science are objectively better than other majors in terms of population-level correlation with future earnings potential


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:35 PM
horizontal rule
302

Thank you techno people you are making me feel so much better!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:36 PM
horizontal rule
303

Redirecting a dosed lump makes you land with a sea?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:38 PM
horizontal rule
304

I think the opinions being expressed here are crazy. Yes engineering and computer science are objectively better than other majors in terms of future earning potential, but otherwise just go to a good school and major in a non-bullshit subject that you like and can succeed at.

Yes, but I plan on sending them to a bad school!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:41 PM
horizontal rule
305

I don't think mandating a major in some area where the kid is totally uninterested makes sense. But assuming that a kid could be moderately interested in/successful at a more practical degree with just a little bit of prodding, which is possible with most kids, I do think having some kind of degree other than one in the humanities (likely, in addition to), is almost certainly a good idea. Doesn't have to be a "CS" degree at all, just something with some potential for direct employment other than going to law school or getting into marketing.

With some exceptions, depending on where you're at school, and how good "good" is/bad "bad" is, I'm pretty sure that "[b]eing a bad chemistry major is much much worse than being a good history major" is in fact wrong for a lot of kids.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:43 PM
horizontal rule
306

1905-1907 irrigation diversion of Colorado River got a bit, umm, out of control. Ended up flooding well over 300 square miles in Imperial and Riverside Counties in southern California. It is currently an astonishingly polluted cess it of highly saline agricultural tail water, basically. Supports a lot of bird species that used to use the Colorado River delta back when there *was* a Colorado River delta, but the toxicity of the water has its downsides, so to speak.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:46 PM
horizontal rule
307

I think PIV should be pronounced like a word: Piv. Also there should be a song about it.

"Come on baby, let's piv!
Come on baby, let's piv together!
Come on baby, let's piv!
Come on baby, let's piv forever!

You've got the V
I've got the P
Let's piv!"

You can switch the P and the V in the second stanza if you need to.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:47 PM
horizontal rule
308

pit, not it.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:49 PM
horizontal rule
309

No surgeon is that quick.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:49 PM
horizontal rule
310

This is I guess besdes the point since chemistry is an analogy for something else above, but

a) Chemistry is pretty interesting, especially if you include stuff like Rydberg atoms and graphenes.

b) The job market for chemists is now pretty bad.

The history book by Richard White about railroads had good business analysis in it.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:50 PM
horizontal rule
311

Generally, I kind of wasted college. I had no real idea of what I wanted out of it, other than that I needed a degree in something before I could look for work and support myself. I picked classes based on whether they looked interesting and were the sorts of things I'd done well in in the past, but even where I was interested, not terribly seriously -- I was more looking for a grade than I was building knowledge toward some goal. Law school was an attempt to become employable rather than much of an area of interest.

My kids already seem more directed than that, so I'm figuring that whatever they want to do will probably work out okay. But for a kid as undirected as I was, I'd encourage them to come out with some kind of vocational credential.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:51 PM
horizontal rule
312

We're now talking about jobs in terms of rivers, pollution, and weirdly-created lakes? Make me long for the days when it was puppies and wolves.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:51 PM
horizontal rule
313

312: but the rivers are lumps. Dose them, Moby, and you will understand.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:54 PM
horizontal rule
314

I still don't know if I should go home today and talk-up Tucson or just forget about it. I do know that Tucson used to have a river and doesn't anymore. I think that makes it a wolf.


Posted by: Gerald Ford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:56 PM
horizontal rule
315

311: Blume pointed out the other day the degree to which what I'm doing now is exactly what I was fascinated by twenty-five or so years ago, which is disorienting given how utterly unfocused and goal-evading I have been over nearly all of that span.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:56 PM
horizontal rule
316

I really liked Tucson when I went there, but I was twelve and got to ride horses, so I'm not sure if that's directly relevant.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:56 PM
horizontal rule
317

When you are all finding me tedious, spare a thought for my poor kid, he gets this crap from me all the time!

But this is a general phenomenon - abilities in language music and math - right? I thought they typically went together.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:58 PM
horizontal rule
318

Don't move to Arizona without visiting. It's a different world in a lot of ways, and parts of Arizona differ from one another quite a bit.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 12:59 PM
horizontal rule
319

I've seen the part with all the scenic erosion. I was 12 and I didn't get to ride a horse.


Posted by: Gerald Ford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:00 PM
horizontal rule
320

@293,311:

Of course the days when law school was a reasonably good option for someone who graduated with a Humanities degree and was wondering "What the fuck do I do Now?" are long gone.

The problem is that the job market appears to suck right now for everyone except investment bankers, petroleum engineers and java programmers in the bay area.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:01 PM
horizontal rule
321

Being good at anything correlates with being good at everything else, generally. And I've certainly heard music and math. Languages (and I'm not sure if you mean learning foreign languages or use of language at all, as in writing in one's native language), I wouldn't have thought as particularly making a set with the other two.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:01 PM
horizontal rule
322

Quartzsite, Arizona is completely awesome, in a drunk-naked-old-people-selling-gemstones kind of way.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:01 PM
horizontal rule
323

Oh god, speaking of scorpions in shoes: apparently one of my students came to class as a freshman, emptied out his boot, and a mouse fell out.

Dead, but unclear how long it had been dead for. IN HIS SHOE.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:02 PM
horizontal rule
324

Being good at anything correlates with being good at everything else, generally.

We call this concept "g", for "gooding".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:02 PM
horizontal rule
325

Dead, but unclear how long it had been dead for.

So no way to even tell if it was still edible?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:03 PM
horizontal rule
326

314: I think in your shoes I'd be making the decision almost totally based on the weather.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:03 PM
horizontal rule
327

323: Aesthetics aside, he probably needs smaller shoes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:03 PM
horizontal rule
328

324: Well, yeah, in the "I am well nourished and exposed to an adequate education in all relevant areas" kind of way.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:04 PM
horizontal rule
329

The mice in our apartment filled a pair of my shoes with dog food once, or at least I think that's what happened. Very surprising.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:05 PM
horizontal rule
330

326: The weather isn't my favorite. I'd want a raise to move.


Posted by: Gerald Ford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:05 PM
horizontal rule
331

This is all making me curious what my life would be like if my parents had insisted on or even nudged me toward a practical major. Presumably I would still have no real accomplishments in life, so it's all good.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:06 PM
horizontal rule
332

||
Can I ask a really tedious question about whether or not I should get a different CPA? He's just...unresponsive. I can't tell if I'm impatient and bitchy or if he's actually being a jerk.

For example: last Tuesday, he sent me the paperwork at 4:30, (which I live-blogged because I found it so stressful.) He also called and went over some numbers. After I went to the post office, I emailed him and said "can you email me those numbers? I can't make out my chicken scratch." The next day I emailed a few more questions. Last Friday I emailed "when you get a moment, could you take a look at those emails?" This past Wednesday I emailed "Could you please respond to the emails from the 15th and 16th?" Yesterday I got a response that he'd been out of town and would get to it.

Am I bitchy to expect an out-of-office response? I have a feeling this has happened every year - I ask him to email me the numbers and he never does - and out of general incompetence I forget to keep hounding him.

Oh god, you're too kind if you actually read this stupid question.

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:06 PM
horizontal rule
333

Hmmm the weak, popularized version of this theory seems to be utter rubbish. But I was thinking more about aptitude for and relish in music theory/composition and maths, also acquisition of ferrin tongues.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:07 PM
horizontal rule
334

Oh god, you're too kind if you actually read this stupid question.

Aw, it was nothing, really.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:07 PM
horizontal rule
335

The kind of connection the dude talks about towards the end of this article:

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/classical/features/the-enduring-myth-of-music-and-maths-2307387.html

Curious what the bona fide mathematicians think of this!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:11 PM
horizontal rule
336

I was 12 and I didn't get to ride a horse.
This is the kind of thing you should've been saying wistfully the past month or so, before mentioning the job offer.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:13 PM
horizontal rule
337

332: I thought you should dump him just based on last Tuesday.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:13 PM
horizontal rule
338

Also, about Arizona: full of crazies. Not necessarily Tucson in particular, which I've never visited. Further also: the weather is no joke--if you don't think air conditioned air is just fine, thanks, think hard.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:13 PM
horizontal rule
339

I always figured that if you like patterns, you might like the patterns in music, but that plenty of other people are attracted to music for all the other reasons, and some people would like patterns and math, but not in a way that transferred to playing music.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:14 PM
horizontal rule
340

293 -- It's not excessive.

294 -- Someone not paying.

291 -- My son's change of major showed up on the bill (there was some sort of departmental fee at the new department). Which I get, although I do not get transcripts. It wasn't a surprise,


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:19 PM
horizontal rule
341

There is lots and lots of empirical evidence that the connection he posits as plausible between learning in one domain (e.g. music) and facility in another domain (e.g. math) does not hold up. None of it was done by mathematcicians (because why would it have been) so perhaps the line where he says "while we wait for scientific evidence [which has been found, and which points pretty convincingly in the other direction ] can we at least argue that it is plausible?" is not actually baldly disingenuous.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:20 PM
horizontal rule
342

Also the "Mozart effect" per se is 100% bullshit, not only in its popular form but also in terms of the original empirical article.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:22 PM
horizontal rule
343

But assuming that a kid could be moderately interested in/successful at a more practical degree with just a little bit of prodding, which is possible with most kids, I do think having some kind of degree other than one in the humanities (likely, in addition to), is almost certainly a good idea.

This is how it's been working out with my kids and the push for them to be physician assistants. They seem to have a good inclination towards it anyways and I've harped the angle that people with low stress indoor jobs at 100K a year have plenty of time and money for other interests. Bio/Microbio majors with spanish minors ahoy.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:25 PM
horizontal rule
344

Right so complete hogwash then.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:25 PM
horizontal rule
345

Seems that way.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:26 PM
horizontal rule
346

Clean pigs. Hooray.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:28 PM
horizontal rule
347

He isn't a very good instrumentalist, btw, not enough time to practice because of dance.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:29 PM
horizontal rule
348

Something else that's sort of driving my nudging the kids into the more technical side of their interests: they're unusually balanced -- they don't really have strong and weak subjects. I kind of have the sense that being unusually verbally, humanities-ishally, competent is more of an advantage in a technical career than the reverse is in a mostly humanities based career. My two years at MIT impress people at interviews, but other than every so often when I need to figure out a percentage or something, I'd have exactly the same career if I couldn't add. Whereas I think being a good, clear writer, for example, is going to make more of a difference for an engineer/scientist.

So for a kid who could be a very technically adept humanities major, or a very verbal technical major, the latter route seems like it's likelier to make more use of all of your strong points.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:32 PM
horizontal rule
349

280 is hilariously AB's dad. The German engineer was unable to comprehend any other field of study. But he was otherwise quite broad-minded: any type of engineering would suffice.

Her English major/preservation Masters has put her into position as a solid 50% of a UMC income.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:37 PM
horizontal rule
350

Wow, you people talk too much.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:37 PM
horizontal rule
351

294 gets it right but isn't casting a wide enough net. You're all the worst people ever.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:38 PM
horizontal rule
352

In college I flourished at Physics and did well at it, but then lost interest in classes in general and took some time off.

When I came back I took some humanities requirements in addition to courses in my then major and found myself so engaged, so interested and happy that I had to take stock. I took some more time off, just a quarter but in the dead of winter working at a factory.

I realized that a big part of what was wrong was the professors were not inspiring as people, even in an ordinary sense. They seemed narrow, dull and philistine to me. I'm not sure that today I'd be that impressed with the humanities professors I had then, but then they seemed day to night.

My dad, himself a scientist but with broad culture, understood and supported my change of majors. He felt he'd been lucky to be inspired by Chemistry professors who were exceptional people, and had enjoyed his early years of work, but that the narrowness and cultural aridity he'd experienced more-and-more had taken a toll on him. Since I hadn't been so lucky, he felt I was right in moving toward the light.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:39 PM
horizontal rule
353

348 is very calculating, but also very correct (I believe). Actually, being a very good writer has also helped me stand out in my chosen profession as well. At the last firm I worked for, I wrote basically all of the proposals, and had a great track record of success.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:39 PM
horizontal rule
354

340: Oh, fascinating. I hadn't realized until you said that that major field of study is one of the few things not covered under FERPA. That really explains a lot of otherwise bizarre student behavior.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:40 PM
horizontal rule
355

Are you people serious? You're actually going to try to tell your kids what to study in college (though surely you must know that your kids are likely to get graduate degrees, at which time they'll specialize)? You actually think your kids can't handle a situation in which they'll have to deal with racists, homophobes, and other sorts of bigots? What the fucking fuck is going on here?


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:41 PM
horizontal rule
356

What the fucking fuck is going on here?

Middle age?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:44 PM
horizontal rule
357

355: as liberal arts majors, they failed to take enough stats classes to distinguish correlation from causality, and are therefore convinced that a liberal arts degree actually causes lower future earnings. The technical and/or engineering oriented among the commentariat, contrariwise, have learned to avoid this common statistical fallacy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:44 PM
horizontal rule
358

355:

Not me, brother. One of my kids chose a Religion major, the other Studio Art. But learned all kinds of thing well and fairly rigorously.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:45 PM
horizontal rule
359

355: For me personally it's more of looking at their inclinations and trying to steer them towards long term happiness and stability along their interests. I do agree with 355.2. It's a big shitty world.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:46 PM
horizontal rule
360

You're actually going to try to tell your kids what to study in college (though surely you must know that your kids are likely to get graduate degrees, at which time they'll specialize)?

Jammies' mother somehow did. She decided they all ought be engineers. Or maybe it was his dad. Anyway: four engineers. One went back to B-school after a few years working.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:48 PM
horizontal rule
361

357 should have been to 355.1. 355.2 is addressed by a different sort of fallacy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:48 PM
horizontal rule
362

355 -- Most graduate degrees require some kind of specialization in college, or at least a set of prerequisites. And there's an (understandable) tendency for kids in college to graduate towards humanities/social science/whatever degrees that are often less demanding and more superficially engaging, without giving much thought to the consequences of those choices. You can't tell an 18 yr old what to do, exactly, but there's a power of the purse and power of the gentle nudge.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:49 PM
horizontal rule
363

I get that ogged's excuse is a kind of status anxiety common to second-generation immigrant layabouts, and LB's excuse is that she's trying to represent the Platonic form of Pauline Kael. But what's up with Halford? I suppose the underpinnings of Halfordismo are more rigid even than I imagined.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:49 PM
horizontal rule
364

You actually think your kids can't handle a situation in which they'll have to deal with racists, homophobes, and other sorts of bigots?

This one's to me? I don't think they'd be happy spending four years someplace where objecting actively to bigotry made them weirdos. I think they'll handle situations where they have to interact with bigots fine, but I don't want to trap them for four years in a small school where they're too heavily outnumbered.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:50 PM
horizontal rule
365

I mean, seriously, I'm not ruling out schools in the south, I'm not ruling out rural schools. I'm worrying about schools that, as described by Heebie, don't get many students from more than a couple of hundred miles away.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:51 PM
horizontal rule
366

Most graduate degrees require some kind of specialization in college, or at least a set of prerequisites.

Oh FFS. There are plenty of ways to satisfy those prerequisites if you decide you actually want to go on to grad school, most of which don't involve inflicting more engineers on the world.

Seriously, have any of you people ever actually *worked* with engineers?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:51 PM
horizontal rule
367

trying to steer them towards long term happiness and stability along their interests

I get that. And given the vocational and geographic choices that you and your wife have made, I also get that you're coming from a pretty different place than the coastal elites who hate America that make up most of the commentariat. So you can consider yourself beyond the reach of the broad brush I employed above.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:52 PM
horizontal rule
368

This one's to me? I don't think they'd be happy spending four years someplace where objecting actively to bigotry made them weirdos.

I'm being trolled.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:52 PM
horizontal rule
369

objecting actively to bigotry made them weirdos

You're probably right, then, that Liberty University isn't a good fit. At Trinity, though, they'd be just fine.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:53 PM
horizontal rule
370

Also, the correlation/causation point doesn't really work -- there are certainly ways to be a humanities major and do just fine, but in turn of available jobs that people will pay you to do you can certainly increase your chances of success by majoring in something where the odds of success are better. I mean, sure, if your kid absolutely hates majoring in electrical engineering or whatever don't make her do it, but if the kid is reasonably inclined in a bunch of directions might as well encourage some which create the luxury of non-desperate employment options. Doesn't mean everyone has to be an engineer, just that maybe if you're going to be a history major you should also do something else that keeps some more options open. Just common sense.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:58 PM
horizontal rule
371

If you guys wanted to actually steer your kids towards a decent career without turning them into libertarians, you'd be sending them to RISD.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:58 PM
horizontal rule
372

I didn't finish reading the entire thread so the discussion may have moved on, but about LB's cultural clash concern, I want to point out that rural states exist that aren't as wingnutty as Texas and Wyoming. Vermont has some good schools, and while the famous ones are probably more expensive than you're looking for, I'm pretty sure some non-famous ones are decent. Red vs. blue aside, it's true that rural areas tend to be more conservative, but college students there will still have classmates from the suburbs or big city in their area.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:59 PM
horizontal rule
373


277
He gets all googly-eyed talking about nanotubes, though.
I presume he will be spending the weekend filthying your blender with washing up liquid and pencils.
http://www.irishtimes.com/news/science/world-first-for-irish-graphene-researchers-1.1766739
Meanwhile Jane Ní Dhulchaontigh seems to be doing ok out of materials science type stuff.
And not that you should, but my brother's former girlfriend persuaded her Montana Lutheran pastor dad to pay for an MA in Trinity Dublin on the basis that it was about the same as her costs at WUSTL.



Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 1:59 PM
horizontal rule
374

I just don't believe that being a mediocre science major results in non-desperate employment options. The job market sucks and 20-somethings don't get jobs, but that's true of everyone. Being a mediocre science major isn't going to get you a job.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:03 PM
horizontal rule
375

if you're going to be a history major you should also do something else that keeps some more options open

I'm thisclose to limping down to LA and kicking your ass. History majors go on to be engineers, go on to write code, go on to medical school, go on to deal drugs, etc. Seriously, you're spewing ill-informed nonsense.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:03 PM
horizontal rule
376

Also, the correlation/causation point doesn't really work -- there are certainly ways to be a humanities major and do just fine, but in turn of available jobs that people will pay you to do you can certainly increase your chances of success by majoring in something where the odds of success are better.

Unless somebody has done a randomized controlled trial of lifetime (or let's say 20 years past undergrad just to be generous) earnings then yes, it very much does. You could posit, or you could argue anecdotally, that certain majors will make you more likely to get certain jobs right out of school, and that the getting of these jobs is what is driving the correlation between major and earnings, but that is not an argument from data, and it is not a very persuasive argument for the vast majority of majors unless your anecdotal claim of causality is very strong indeed (as it might be in petroleum engineering, for sure).

Heeeey I made exactly this same argument like three months ago! I remember it like it was three months ago.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:04 PM
horizontal rule
377

I want to point out that rural states exist that aren't as wingnutty as Texas and Wyoming.

I haven't even been telling anyone to go rural. Go to a city.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:05 PM
horizontal rule
378

372: Certainly, if I can figure out good second-tier schools that want brightish NYC applicants badly enough to offer them full scholarships need-blind someplace that doesn't worry me for cultural reasons, that'd be great.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:05 PM
horizontal rule
379

I still can't believe that a bunch of fucking liberal arts majors are sitting here making the argument that no one should get a liberal arts degree. Talk about not being willing to take your own side in a fight.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:08 PM
horizontal rule
380

History majors go on to be engineers, go on to write code, go on to medical school, go on to deal drugs, etc.

They don't go on to be engineers or med students unless they took a lot of the necessary classes undergrad. For those, aren't you quibbling over the difference between "Also majored in something vocational" and "Took a great deal of the coursework necessary for a major in something vocational"?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:08 PM
horizontal rule
381

I'm willing to believe (in fact, I know) that history majors go on to be engineers and doctors, but they don't do so without at a minimum taking a ton of non-major classes in those areas, and often end up with a separate major or at least minor, because they are doing studies that are not required to graduate with an undergrad degree in history. Or, they are forced to go back and pay to re-take a year or more of undergrad classes. All I'm talking about is encouraging the dual track approach where appropriate.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:09 PM
horizontal rule
382

The kind of majors that close off options are the bullshit ones that sound practical to people who don't know better. A solid real major for smart students like History is not going to close doors.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:09 PM
horizontal rule
383

273 My 8 year old has switched from wanting to be a paleontologist to wanting to be an astrophysicist, mostly because he now finds parallel universes more interesting than dinosaurs.

I don't think anything who calls themself an astrophysicist is likely to think about parallel universes. He wants the more airy corners of cosmology. Mostly string theorists dabbling in cosmology or vice versa.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:11 PM
horizontal rule
384

If you guys wanted to actually steer your kids towards a decent career without turning them into libertarians, you'd be sending them to RISD.

BATTING .500 HERE


Posted by: Opinionated K-sky's Sister | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:12 PM
horizontal rule
385

382 is just wrong, at least for most schools (maybe not Harvard). Being just a history major from a non-Harvard ivy, even with good grades, definitely closed doors for me that would have been open immediately after undergrad had I majored in a fairly large number of other fields, and opened approximately no doors that would not have been also open to folks in those other majors. I still went on to do totally fine, but there's no question that the humanities degree foreclosed options.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:14 PM
horizontal rule
386

378: They could always just pick a place with a public school they want to go to and work for a year to get residency.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:15 PM
horizontal rule
387

Seconding 374. There are certain narrow areas of science and engineering that consistently offer good employment prospects, but most go through the same boom/bust cycles as everything else. I blame idiot administrators repeating STEM over and over like a mantra for giving people the false impression that the grass is so much greener on the non-liberal arts side of campus.

By all means major in a sciencey discipline if it interests you, but suffering through classes you don't like because you think there will be a good job waiting at the end of it is a bad plan except for a few very specific areas.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:15 PM
horizontal rule
388

I feel like I should apologize to I'm not sure exactly who for "objecting actively to bigotry made them weirdos". My kids aren't the second coming of MLK, they're not the vanguard of the social justice crusade.

But is it really all that out of line to think that a lot of the sort of schools that are overwhelmingly attended by students from the immediately local area in red states that would be kind of lousy places for an urban kid to be stuck for four years?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:17 PM
horizontal rule
389

374/87 are likely right (though I think there's a significant difference between science and engineering here) and the main problem right now is that the job market sucks for everyone. I think you may be underestimating the relative degree of suckitude for science vs humanities majors, though.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:21 PM
horizontal rule
390

All I'm talking about is encouraging the dual track approach where appropriate.

Encourage away. Really, I have no interest at all in telling people how to raise their kids. My objection is to the broad-based status anxiety -- anxiety rooted, I know, in the fact that the economy has sucked for years, and also that structural changes seem to be colluding to make it seem like our kids are likely to be less economically secure than we are -- expressed in this thread that has manifested itself as proclamations about the relative merits of liberal arts versus vocational education. I don't think we have the first clue about whether this or that major is going to lead to higher earnings/more secure employment -- leaving aside entirely the fact that having a well-rounded intellectual life actually is worth something on its own merits.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:26 PM
horizontal rule
391

having a well-rounded intellectual life actually is worth something on its own merits

A good many times I have been present at gatherings of people who, by the standards of the traditional culture, are thought highly educated and who have with considerable gusto been expressing their incredulity of scientists. Once or twice I have been provoked and have asked the company how many of them could describe the Second Law of Thermodynamics. The response was cold: it was also negative. Yet I was asking something which is the scientific equivalent of: Have you read a work of Shakespeare's?

Posted by: OPINIONATED C.P. SNOW | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:29 PM
horizontal rule
392

But is it really all that out of line to think that a lot of the sort of schools that are overwhelmingly attended by students from the immediately local area in red states that would be kind of lousy places for an urban kid to be stuck for four years?

Regionals are also a broad spectrum, and the difference you're concerned about changes toward the top. All of the Associated Colleges of the Midwest would be fine. My daughter went to one, and this blog's friend Di Kotimy went to another. I'll bet there are equivalent associations and college "leagues" around the country.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:29 PM
horizontal rule
393

388.2: I would think the kinds of places where non-bigots would stand out as weirdos would be off the list for independent reasons (e.g., highly ideological institutions, or maybe some generally shitty institutions?). I don't share Heebie's fondness for Southwestern and Trinity as academic experiences (at least as I knew them 15 years ago when I worked at the former for a bit, and had friends working at the latter) but while their student bodies were quite regional (if not "immediately local"), it's not like the kind of kids they drew tended to be deeply invested in bigotry.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:30 PM
horizontal rule
394

We may not have the peer reviewed articles that Tweety demands, but we definitely have a "first clue" about whether or not exclusively majoring in the humanities, at least without getting prerequisites that would allow you to do non-humanities work in other fields, is a good idea for your long term income/job stability relative to a lot of other fields. As I say, the job market for kids coming out of a very (very!) good school with good grades and just a history degree sucked even in the mid-90s in a way it didn't for other majors, and the relative value of the best and most obvious grad school option for those people, law school, has gone way down. Sure, individual cases might be different but it's crazy to think that we have no knowledge that a humanities degree standing alone isn't, for most people, awesome for your employment options.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:33 PM
horizontal rule
395

Um, Baron Snow, the traditional liberal arts include the sciences. I think maybe you're thinking of "the humanities"?


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:33 PM
horizontal rule
396

388.2: If they just look for places that are appealing to them academically, the interpersonal stuff is likely to be fine.

My kid gets to go through all this in the fall and has been doing some research this spring. For now it's a long list with a lot of variety. I'm not especially looking forward to the part where it gets more specific and he has to figure out what he really wants to do.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:34 PM
horizontal rule
397

I'm trying to grok Sifu's argument. Is it based on the idea that what your major is doesn't have a causal relationship with your profession? Because, as an architecture major, I was pretty likely going to become an architect, and architects as a rule make a lot less money than people in many, many other professions*.

Or are you actually disputing that last claim?

What am I missing here?

I'm happy to endorse the idea that undergraduate degrees are not conveyor belts to career/pay combos that are set in stone, and maybe that's all you're saying.

*note technical use of this term


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:34 PM
horizontal rule
398

in fact full throated defence of confederate imagery on state flags, etc. Much wrong with California but ... not that.

I don't know if this has been addressed or not (I'm still reading the monster thread), but this is not true. There are loads of neo-Nazis and just as bad in the Central Valley.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:35 PM
horizontal rule
399

Oh wait, I can't read. Not on state flags, no. But plenty of people have Confederate flag stickers on trucks.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:35 PM
horizontal rule
400

392: I am certain that there are many, many schools across the midwest, south, and west, both rural and urban, where my kids would fit in just fine. I am figuring that the ones where my kids would fit in just fine are, not really coincidentally, less likely to offer them a need-blind full scholarship, which is where this conversation got started.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:36 PM
horizontal rule
401

A bit of a false dichotomy developing here; neither Halford nor I is saying no to the liberal arts, just that we'd prefer the kids also major in something else. The point about pre-reqs is right, and surely, surely, you all know enough people who were liberal arts degrees and didn't know what the fuck to do after college. Grad school/law school/consulting, for most of them, but in a throw yourself upon the wind kind of way; sure, they mostly do fine, but it's not pretty in the moment.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:37 PM
horizontal rule
402

As I say, the job market for kids coming out of a very (very!) good school with good grades and just a history degree sucked even in the mid-90s in a way it didn't for other majors, and the relative value of the best and most obvious grad school option for those people, law school, has gone way down.

Do you have data for this? Data that suggests that kids with history degrees from "very (very!) good school[s]" in the 90s had (are having) worse economic outcomes than kids with degrees in other majors? I'm talking about longitudinally.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:38 PM
horizontal rule
403

Parents who try to influence what their children major in or what jobs they get seem to me to be monsters.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:39 PM
horizontal rule
404

I don't know where the "digital humanities" will go in terms of scholarship and maybe moocs will take everything down, but I think the trend of bringing tech skills like web design and light scripting and information architecture into undergraduate humanities courses, while still not that widespread, is going to continue.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:39 PM
horizontal rule
405

Basically, the advice to the kids will be do what your mom did: all the pre-med reqs, but a German Studies major (I mean, I don't want to raise Nazis, but if the job prospects are good...).


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:40 PM
horizontal rule
406

Plus they can study in Texas!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:42 PM
horizontal rule
407

348: The thread has moved on, but yes--technical writing skills are particularly appreciated among engineers, particularly given the wide variance in writing ability among engineers.


Posted by: Mooseking | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:43 PM
horizontal rule
408

I think we should all make decisions that will come into effect 5-10 years from now based on what the humanities undergraduate majors looked like 5-10 years ago, and then stick with them. Also Den E's is probably right, longitudinally.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:44 PM
horizontal rule
409

375 History majors go on to be engineers, go on to write code, go on to medical school, go on to deal drugs, etc.

It sounds like you're making a strong case against majoring in history. Except maybe the drug-dealing part.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:44 PM
horizontal rule
410

Data, bitches. The mid-career numbers are most helpful, I think. Note that philosophy does pretty well, but that's because it's pronounced "L A W."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:46 PM
horizontal rule
411

402 -- anecdotal data, but sure. I went to law school and did fine. The kids I knew who were engineers either stayed in engineering or went to business school and have all done very well. The undergrad business major I knew did great. Econ major worked for McKinsey and now runs some company abroad. The history majors either, let's see -- two went to law school and are about where I am, three got crappy low level corporate jobs and haven't done much of anything that i know of, a few bummed around and worked for Kinkos for a while (3 separate people!), and now I've lost touch, one went back to school for two years to get the prerequisites and is now a doctor, a couple more I have no idea, one worked for a third-tier consulting firm that hired history majors to consult on HR work and is now a housewife. Hard not to conclude that the people with more "practical" majors did better both short and long term.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:46 PM
horizontal rule
412

I'm not there anymore but I can vouch for the kids at CWRU not being jerks (at least the ones I worked with).

I realize that's not the sort of place LB is worried about, but I thought I'd mention it because it seemed like many seemingly MC kids there had very generous aid packages. I think the university realized that, being in Cleveland, the only way they were going to attract enough academically high performing students to keep their rankings up was to bribe them.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:46 PM
horizontal rule
413

Parents who try to influence what their children major in or what jobs they get seem to me to be monsters.

This is nuts. Trying to run the kid's life for him/her is bad, but helping the kid think things through and make reasonable choices is exactly what a parent is supposed to be doing.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:47 PM
horizontal rule
414

412: CWRU came up the last three times we had a thread like this. When I was in high school they gave away full scholarships like candy. (I think they just had a threshold on the SAT, and it was pretty low.) I think someone said that isn't as true anymore?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:48 PM
horizontal rule
415

I thought 403 had the sarcasm light on.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:49 PM
horizontal rule
416

280: My parents utterly refused to pay for any college unless we were in technical majors, preferably engineering. I could do a humanities major on my own dime. I think that was the right approach. Books are available to grown non-humanities majors and I can afford them on an engineer's salary.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:50 PM
horizontal rule
417

Oh, I'm forgetting the history majors who went on to grad school! One is me, and you know the story, one is an adjunct somewhere, one is a prominent comics blogger whom I assume has almost no income.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:50 PM
horizontal rule
418

Grad school in history, that is.


Posted by: RH | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:51 PM
horizontal rule
419

More recent data. Note that it only got worse for humanities majors from the 2008 numbers I linked earlier.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:52 PM
horizontal rule
420

403 sort of changed its mind halfway through. People who put a huge amount of pressure on their kids to get high-status jobs seem pretty awful to me, but I thought Den E. was maybe reading more of that into some of the comments than was intended.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:52 PM
horizontal rule
421

The lesson for today would seem to be "don't hire film studies majors if you want your grant turned in on time"

FML


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:53 PM
horizontal rule
422

Books are available to grown non-humanities majors and I can afford them on an engineer's salary.

Let's not go overboard. You know who has a lot of cockamamie ideas? People who read the great books on their own, that's who.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:53 PM
horizontal rule
423

That's why you should only read Heidegger under the supervision of a competent blogger.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:54 PM
horizontal rule
424

422: Hey, if you'd only put in the effort, I'd understand Being and Time by now.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:54 PM
horizontal rule
425

A different argument: when I got to law school and met humanities majors for the first time, I learned that they are fucking whiners. They whined, whined, whined about an amount of work that the engineers had been doing for years.

Don't let your kids be or hang out with whiners. Go STEM.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:54 PM
horizontal rule
426

415: I'm a little slow. Spent part of the morning dealing with the right wing noise machine and apparently some of the stupid rubbed off. It's amazing how quickly they can crank up the two minutes hate.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:54 PM
horizontal rule
427

Not expecting to have been pwned on that one.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:55 PM
horizontal rule
428

425: I have to endure a lot of whining from other S's I work with, and god knows I've done my share of whining around here. Maybe it's just the TEMs who are okay.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:55 PM
horizontal rule
429

Den E. disappeared since I linked to actual data. That stuff is like kryptonite to a historian. Ahhhh! Numbers!!!! Don't let it happen to your kid.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:57 PM
horizontal rule
430

No no Essear. You don't understand the relative quantities of whining compared to workload.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 2:59 PM
horizontal rule
431

But is it really all that out of line to think that a lot of the sort of schools that are overwhelmingly attended by students from the immediately local area in red states that would be kind of lousy places for an urban kid to be stuck for four years?

For the sake of argument, I don't think that spending four years around people exactly like them is all that great either.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:00 PM
horizontal rule
432

Right, but there is literally no chance of that. If City College were still a good school, so they didn't have to leave their home subway line, maybe. But other than that, no. The schools I went to had people from all over the country, all sorts of backgrounds -- that's the whole point of "geographic diversity".


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:04 PM
horizontal rule
433

The cultural worry seems way overblown: there aren't that many places where college kids aren't basically liberal and curious, and for sure you'll know them when you see them.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:05 PM
horizontal rule
434

430: my commenting frequency attests to both paucity of workload and whininess. Or as autocorrect would have it, "whinnies."


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:07 PM
horizontal rule
435

It's hard to respect people who work without complaining. Our neanderthal ancestors spent all their time lounging on the beach--humanities majors keep that memory alive inside them.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:10 PM
horizontal rule
436

Engineers complained. But law students whined a hell of a lot more about markedly less work. They competed to be the best whiners.

Suit yourself. Some people like whiners.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:16 PM
horizontal rule
437

432: And I would say that kids at, I don't know, Williams are exactly like your kids to the same extent that kids at let's say Sewanee are all uniformly going to mock your kids for not being racist. A couple of years ago I met some of my dad's honors program kids at the very, very regional school he taught at for 30 years and they were kind surprising and interesting, not that I had in-depth conversations with them. And on the one hand they were in the honors program and on the other hand this was a school far beneath any your kids would consider. So on balance I still think you're being Pauline Kael.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:22 PM
horizontal rule
438

sure, they mostly do fine, but it's not pretty in the moment.

I'm struggling to see this as a problem, except for the kind of parent who doesn't ever want his child to experience pain, rejection, or uncertainty.

If a kid is truly feckless (and those are the ones in the minority for whom things never work out*), having taken a more career-centric major isn't going to lead to success, just a different form of fecklessness.

*I'm setting aside the category of humanities major who actually goes into academia and wants to; their outcome might not "work out", because academia sucks, but these aren't the people who should have been bio majors instead.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:26 PM
horizontal rule
439

@437:

What's wrong with Pauline Kael? Not knowing anyone who voted for a shit like Nixon is a good thing!


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:29 PM
horizontal rule
440

there aren't that many places where college kids aren't basically liberal and curious

Ahahahahaha. If Den E. ever actually interacts with any undergrads at his new institution, he'll be able to explain to you in great detail just how wrong this is.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:29 PM
horizontal rule
441

417/8: you were in undergrad with Fruh/linger?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:30 PM
horizontal rule
442

This conversation is making me crazy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:30 PM
horizontal rule
443

I'm sure there are surprising, interesting, valuable students literally everyplace. But I don't think I have to be blindly condemning everyone who isn't at a wildly competitive tertiary institution as worthless to think that there are probably a fair number of schools where it'd be depressing and uncomfortable to be one of the very few students who's not from around here.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:32 PM
horizontal rule
444

In fact, 433 is really making me crazy. I think I should not step in again.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:33 PM
horizontal rule
445

he'll be able to explain to you in great detail just how wrong this is

I get what you're saying, but keeping to the parameters of the discussion, do you really think New York kids would feel culturally alienated there?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:34 PM
horizontal rule
446

433 is making you crazy? That, I wouldn't have guessed.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:34 PM
horizontal rule
447

Oops. 443.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:35 PM
horizontal rule
448

I'm honestly not sure what's making you crazy, Heebie, so feel free to blow your top in an informative way.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:35 PM
horizontal rule
449

Apparently Megan's engineering school did not teach her the difference between anecdotes and data.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:36 PM
horizontal rule
450

433 is totally fine.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:36 PM
horizontal rule
451

Ah, nevermind.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:36 PM
horizontal rule
452

439: I was at dinner the other day with a couple of senior professors and they were swapping anecdotes about how when traveling they had met people on airplanes who voted for Bush! (The italics were in their voices.) I was really uncomfortable with how they seemed to think Bush voters are exotic, almost mythical creatures.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:36 PM
horizontal rule
453

As long as I'm going to mock LB, let me do it in the style of baa. LB, could you sketch some of the scenarios that you're worried will come to pass if your kids go to college somewhere...else?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:38 PM
horizontal rule
454

449: One is the plural of the other.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:39 PM
horizontal rule
455

419: you know those numbers don't speak to Halford's claim, right? Also, I wasn't running from your weak-ass data; I was in a meeting in which I was barking orders at the dean of engineering.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:40 PM
horizontal rule
456

This anecdote suddenly seems relevant: I wasn't able to take my university's BibMyth class (schedule, I think), so I decided to take its equivalent at Pitt (nice system of free exchange between the schools; obviously financially a better deal for Pitt students, but I got to take grad level paleoanthro from a reasonably important, if idiosyncratic prof just by checking a box). Not a great class but it was fine. But I'll never forget a fellow student asking a question in class - not a dumb question, just a question, wanting a little more detail or clarity on what the prof had just said - and the rest of the lecture hall snickering. Because what kind of a loser would ask questions in a class?

Here's where I note that, at the time, Pitt's undergraduate body was probably 75% local.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:40 PM
horizontal rule
457

But I don't think I have to be blindly condemning everyone who isn't at a wildly competitive tertiary institution as worthless to think that there are probably a fair number of schools where it'd be depressing and uncomfortable to be one of the very few students who's not from around here.

You are trying so hard to avoid a situation that you probably couldn't step in if you tried. And in doing so, you're happy to write off tons and tons of schools that would address your financial concerns.

I guess I waded in.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:40 PM
horizontal rule
458

do you really think New York kids would feel culturally alienated there?

Well I went there from L.A. and you're goddamn right I felt culturally alienated, so I'm going to go with "yes".

And no way no how would I describe the median student there as "curious".


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:40 PM
horizontal rule
459

And in doing so, you're happy to write off tons and tons of schools that would address your financial concerns.

She's trying to simultaneously optimize financial concerns combined with how congenial her children would find the school. I don't see why you have such a problem with that.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:42 PM
horizontal rule
460

I don't mean to drive you crazy. But what I've been talking about is your description of schools like this:

is the best schools that don't get many applicants from more than 350 miles away

Which sounds to me like a pretty uniform social monoculture. Which also sounds like it might very plausibly be an unpleasant place to be out of step.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:43 PM
horizontal rule
461

How is it a pretty uniform social monoculture if it's located in a city?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:44 PM
horizontal rule
462

Here, I'll make H-G really blow her top: I think she's suffering from Stockholm Syndrome because she's basically never lived anywhere among her own kind: Gainesville is weird, she hated UM, and Heebieville is not exactly crawling with Jewish semi-bohemian academics.

More empathetically, I'll note that I always found it super-annoying when AB would rhapsodize about Cambridge/Somerville and Ithaca as liberal oases and complain that Pgh is full of racist nitwits. Living in a place where daily living means coping with people with uncongenial views forces one to come to terms with those uncongenial views, for better and for worse.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:46 PM
horizontal rule
463

Also: Texas A&M would feel unpleasant if you visited. UT Austin would not. These factors aren't impossible to root out. It's worth spending the money to visit the top five choices if you're considering saving tens of thousands of dollars with a third tier school.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:46 PM
horizontal rule
464

Further to 455: my point is that majoring in history in the early 90s might or might not have paid off. I honestly have no idea, but the linked numbers don't seem to know either. I do, though, know that you're all trying to hit a moving target. If your kids were in school today, majoring in petroleum engineering would be a fab idea -- assuming you want your kids to have a job that requires a certain amount of itineracy, in a field that's filled with Republican fuckpigs, and you don't care about raping the earth. But who the fuck knows what's going to happen ten or twenty years from now. I mean, sure, Halford is right: the rich will get richer. But beyond that, you don't think STEM fields will become glutted with surplus labor? You're high.

None of which is to say your kids should major in history. Honestly, it's a dying field. I just don't think you should let your status anxiety convince you that your Magic 8-ball is more accurate than it is. And more even than that, I don't think you should extrapolate from your own experiences, which REALLY seems to be what you, Megan, and halford seem to be doing, ogged. If we're going that route, then it's absolutely clear to me that being a historian is the key to a bright future for my kids. And we all know that's wrong.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:46 PM
horizontal rule
465

I think in 460 you're overgeneralizing based on regions. A place like e.g. Trinity in San Antonio is going to have a very wide range of folks in it because there's actually a pretty wide range of folks, even in Texas, who live within 350 miles of San Antonio. Ditto for probably a lot of other places. Generally I'd think that anyplace that's in a city of more than 500,000, or that draws from a region with such cities in them, is going to be totally fine.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:47 PM
horizontal rule
466

And now that I've seen 457, I'm a little cross: tons and tons of schools that would address your financial concerns

Your first shot at listing these tons and tons of schools you backed down from completely. You've agreed that Heebie U, which you're pretty sure would offer scholarships, would probably be an uncomfortable place for my kids. But you're convinced that the only thing standing between anyone with brightish kids and free college is that they're closed-minded about leaving the coasts?

I know this is the argument from "that can't be a twenty dollar bill, someone would have picked it up by now", but actual twenties don't last long on the sidewalk.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:48 PM
horizontal rule
467

If Den E. ever actually interacts with any undergrads at his new institution

Of this we can be sure: that's not going to happen. Well, I suppose it depends on what you mean by "actually."


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:49 PM
horizontal rule
468

458: Friends from Philly and NJ quite liked it there, although I can't eliminate the possibility that they secretly support child molestation. They both are huge sports fans, which I suspect helps.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:50 PM
horizontal rule
469

463: I wouldn't worry for a moment about sending my kids to UT Austin.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:50 PM
horizontal rule
470

Schools that I wouldn't back down from: any state school, even if it's not one of the major ones. The four or so local to Austin that I can vouch for. The 1-2 that I remember from Michigan (Kalamazoo). The 1-2 that I remember from Florida (Eckerd, New College, which is actually a public institution but again, public isn't impossible.)

I'm pretty sure every member of Unfogged could list 1-3 such colleges in their state. Your kids could easily stay on the coast. It's more about being willing to drop in prestige, and recognizing that these schools have tons of very bright kids and that socially, your kids would be fine with that company.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:52 PM
horizontal rule
471

I have visited UT Austin and found it unpleasant, but for reasons mostly unrelated to any of the themes of this thread. It's absurdly hot, it seems to be a fairly car-centric place to live, and the campus architecture and layout just seem really alienating, like my middle school blown up by a factor of 100.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:52 PM
horizontal rule
472

I would. The place is lousy with Mexicans.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:52 PM
horizontal rule
473

But beyond that, you don't think STEM fields will become glutted with surplus labor?

Absolutely I do. The bottom line is that everyone is fucked and that there will be surplus labor everywhere. And definitely, even though I joke here, picking a really specific major like Petroleum Engineering that's heavily dependent on the price of a single commodity solely for financial reasons is probably a really bad idea. But people in the humanities seem to have been in trouble for a long time, even when the economy was relatively booming, and the main gateway for humanities majors to the UMC, law school, has shrunk enormously, so giving yourself other skill sets that provide other options seems like a pretty obvious good idea. Doesn't mean that people shouldn't study history at all.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:53 PM
horizontal rule
474

Schools that I wouldn't back down from: any state school, even if it's not one of the major ones.

Actually, I'm backing down from this. But there are quite a lot of them that are totally reasonable. Jammies went to NMSU.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:53 PM
horizontal rule
475

469: And you're not going to send them to Dallas Baptist University, assuming it's still more or less the hellhole it was in its Dallas Baptist College days when I attended a couple of quiz bowl-y things there. There just aren't going to be very many schools that are both academically appealing to your kids and populated mostly by the sort of people they don't want to be around.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:55 PM
horizontal rule
476

Okay, "Any state school" isn't handing out full scholarships to reasonably bright out of state kids.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:56 PM
horizontal rule
477

I'm signing off.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:56 PM
horizontal rule
478

468: I felt like half of my HS class went there, and I couldn't figure out why. I think some combo of well-known (albeit for football) and out of state (and thus a frisson of exoticism).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:56 PM
horizontal rule
479

There just aren't going to be very many schools that are both academically appealing to your kids

I think Heebie's point is that their plausible standards of academically appealing are overly exalted, and that they'd get a fine education for free at Dallas Baptist.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:57 PM
horizontal rule
480

472: ?? Only 20% when the state is 36%. Just don't leave the campus.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:58 PM
horizontal rule
481

468: It's a *great* place to go if you like sports and aren't terribly politically engaged.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 3:58 PM
horizontal rule
482

Since I don't in fact know anything about numbers (except that they come in order) I don't know what data you're asking for Denny.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:00 PM
horizontal rule
483

476: But have you looked into the second-tier large private universities? The same ones that came up the last time this thread happened: places like CWRU or WUStL or Rice. Maybe CMU? Schools in that tier seem like the most plausible places to find sufficient amounts of scholarship money being doled out in a setting where the academic quality and the social milieu are going to work for your kids.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:00 PM
horizontal rule
484

On a semi-related note, U Miami was offering big fat scholarships in 1990 in an effort to add some quality to their student body. They were my safety schools, for obvious reasons, but they were't actually all that cheap, even half off, because that was half off tuition. All inclusive, it cost something like 60% or 70% of CMU, at a pretty drastic drop in quality. Anyway, I had a nice weekend when they had a big thing for potential applicants, augmenting by hanging out with an old buddy.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:00 PM
horizontal rule
485

Of this we can be sure: that's not going to happen. Well, I suppose it depends on what you mean by "actually."

Sustaining a great tradition among the professoriate at that school!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:00 PM
horizontal rule
486

I'm pretty sure every member of Unfogged could list 1-3 such colleges in their state.

By 'such colleges' we're still talking about colleges that would almost certainly hand out a need-blind full scholarship to my kids but would nonetheless provide them with a good education and a not too miserable social environment?

Because I'm pretty sure I don't know any place like that in NY.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:01 PM
horizontal rule
487

And, again: Chicago actually does give a fair amount of scholarship money away.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:01 PM
horizontal rule
488

479 I think Heebie's point is that their plausible standards of academically appealing are overly exalted, and that they'd get a fine education for free at Dallas Baptist.

Whereas I find it hard to believe they'd get a better education at most of the places named in this thread than they, being reasonably bright young people, could get by spending six months reading library books.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:04 PM
horizontal rule
489

But clearly I'm a snob.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:05 PM
horizontal rule
490

482: so you can't read either? We're looking for a longitudinal study indicating the earning power (and maybe job satisfaction, perish the thought) of history majors at elite institutions. Or even humanities majors at such institutions. Ideally, if we're talking specifically about Halford's claim, the study would cover people who are roughly our age.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:06 PM
horizontal rule
491

There's basically zero chance that CMU is offering money to LB's kids.

And I'm going to pass silently over "second tier."


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:06 PM
horizontal rule
492

483, 487: You're sounding more realistic, here, than Heebie was. I think I'm probably not going to end up getting stuck paying full sticker price wherever they end up, and I'm certainly open to price shopping: if CMU or CW were a better deal than something a notch higher on the prestige ladder, I'd be pushing for the cheaper option.

I'm just a little cranky about being told that the only reason I'm thinking about paying anything for college at all is that I'm closed-minded.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:07 PM
horizontal rule
493

479 -- no, she's saying that there are plenty of places that aren't Dallas Baptist (i.e., a religious college full of fundamentalist weirdos) but that would be totally fine socially, not prestigious whatsoever in NYC, and offer full ride scholarships.

I have no idea if the claim about full ride scholarships is true or not, here's some list I found randomly through Google in 5 minutes. A lot of the places seem maybe plausible, even at a higher level of prestige than what Heebie is talking about. USC has a bunch of full ride scholarships that might be a possibility, but I dunno, NC State or Michigan State or Rhodes College or who knows.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:07 PM
horizontal rule
494

Is there any data like in 419 but without the "ignoring people who get further education"? That's a bad filter that's going to give misleading results.

I would like to point out though that in all of Ogged's data History is a totally fine major, and the bottom of the list is dominated by bullshit practical sounding majors.

I'd also prefer to see the data broken down by gender. Do female biology majors get paid less than female chemistry majors? Or are biology majors paid less than other science majors mostly because they have more women?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:08 PM
horizontal rule
495

490: by the power of demanding an extremely narrow set of data, I shall ignore the evidence before my eyes and all reasonable conclusions about how the job market and economy is structured!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:09 PM
horizontal rule
496

493: I wonder to what extent the scholarships at the state schools depend on being a resident of that state.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:10 PM
horizontal rule
497

493: That looks like a list of schools that says that full scholarships at those schools exist, which is pretty far from "An ordinarily bright kid from NYC can go here for free."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:12 PM
horizontal rule
498

This car-centric criterion keeps throwing me because there is almost nowhere in the country that is not. I'm sure we've had this argument here before and I probably lost but I don't remember so I'm just going to say: there is one city in the country where you genuinely don't need a car and, what, four others where you can get around ok without one if you have to (Boston, Chicago, SF, DC.) Chicago still strikes me as "car-centric" and the Bay Area most certainly is. Austin is no more so than basically everywhere else in the country, is it?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:13 PM
horizontal rule
499

I have an unusual perspective having lived in several small towns, but where my parents live and where I live now are both much less car-centric than say Atlanta. Also, even when you do use a car you're not going through Atlanta traffic.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:14 PM
horizontal rule
500

498: For colleges specifically, isn't there a distinction between colleges that'd be hard to get around without a car, and colleges where you could live without one just fine if you were willing to stay close to campus?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:14 PM
horizontal rule
501

498: My kid has decided this year that he really really likes being able to walk to most places he needs to get to regularly and is using that as one of his college filters. I am extremely amused by his inclination to apply to Harvard -- a long shot, but who knows -- mostly because Boston looks like a decent place to be and nothing else there really jumped out at him.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:19 PM
horizontal rule
502

I just got back to my office after a speaking engagement and they very kindly gave me a box of spendy chocolates. This is particularly well timed as I'm going to be in the office most of the weekend working on a brief, so a supply of consolatory chocolates is perfect. Unfortunately I am finding the explanatory key confusing as between Spring Jasmine Tea and Fleur de Sel. Really don't want to confuse those two, would not be nice at all to expect floral astringency and get instead salty umami.

I'm sure if I'd major in something more practical this wouldn't be happening...


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:19 PM
horizontal rule
503

I've gotten by without a car in most places I've lived since high school without much trouble. It could be that my impressions of places I've only visited briefly are wrong, but when visiting places I definitely have pretty clear impressions of which places one can comfortably and easily walk around and which places one can't. All I'm saying is that Austin ranks much lower on that scale than a lot of other places.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:20 PM
horizontal rule
504

486: I think your problem is mostly NY - most of their colleges and universities are pretty good and draw from NYC. IL has Elmhurst College or Lake Forest College, for example. Iowa has lots, too. Loras College, Dordt College, and so on. MI has Hope College as well as a couple others Heebie mentioned. I bet there are lots in other upper Midwest states for which NY applicants are kind of rare. I think that's the sort of school that might yield pretty decent scholarship money. But then, they're not schools with a national network of graduates. They're small liberal arts colleges, mostly fine (although my sample size is one reasonably bright person from each).


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:20 PM
horizontal rule
505

500: Yeah, it's kinda hard to remember as an adult just how campus-centric undergrad life is. Every so often I'll overhear a conversation near Cal that reminds me that for most students there, my neighborhood (about 2 miles away) might as well be on the dark side of the moon.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:21 PM
horizontal rule
506

495: I was actually basing my request pretty explicitly on your claim. But you're welcome to keep saying "I didn't like grad school! A bunch of friends of mine were fuckups! The legal profession is now in a complete shambles! So burn the humanities to the ground!" That seems pretty persuasive to me, yeah.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:21 PM
horizontal rule
507

497 -- yeah, but based on what you've said about your kids many of the schools seem to have criteria that are likely to be pretty close. E.g. Michigan State and the University of New Mexico, both of which certainly are academically strong and won't be full of no one but racist Pentecostal snake handlers.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:23 PM
horizontal rule
508

504: To the extent I'm being pissy, it's about the insistence on a free ride. If all we're talking about is that it's very plausible that lower prestige schools will offer better financial aid packages, sure.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:24 PM
horizontal rule
509

Again, I'm a snob, but I think a lot of the options people are suggesting are complete non-starters. Of the names in 504, I just randomly googled Dordt College. They have a physics department, but it doesn't even offer a class in quantum mechanics, so basically a degree there is equivalent to a slightly extended version of high school physics. And a lot of small colleges are like that. Fine places, maybe, if your goal is to meet interesting people and get a generic "I went to college" credential, but potentially closing a lot of doors from the very beginning.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:25 PM
horizontal rule
510

506 -- yes, that is exactly what I am saying. I'm not an academic in the humanities, but if I were I would probably (to avoid looking like the chumps law professors have become) actually worry about what the job prospects of my students might be, and consider that maybe just maybe it's harder to get a high-paying job with a humanities degree as opposed to other ones, as opposed to just blithely ignoring the issue because simply raising the issue of money is unfathomably anti-intellectual.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:27 PM
horizontal rule
511

507: Looking at MSU, the top fifteen applicants to one of the largest schools in the country? My kids might certainly have a shot, but I wouldn't want to not save for college on those odds.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:27 PM
horizontal rule
512

Denny, the data I linked shows starting salary, and mid-career salary, which they say is for people who have been working 15 years. That's not precisely people who graduated in the mid-90s, but it's close.

Speculatively, looking at the list for history majors, given the fact that they include ivies in other lists, I'm going to say that ivy history grads did even worse than folks from the schools on that list, and therefore worse than people from all schools combined who majored in lots of other things.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:27 PM
horizontal rule
513

485: all kidding aside, your experience is so at odds with what I've heard from the people there, that I never know what to think. The historians are, so far as I can tell, totally committed to undergraduate education and seem to really like their students. That said, the football/sports culture is obviously a big and gross deal. Anyway, if it turns out I hate it, it won't be the first mistake I've made in my life. I studied history!


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:27 PM
horizontal rule
514

500: I don't think so? Are there colleges that are so big you'd need a car? UT is big but there are shuttle buses that run constantly and I walked most of the time. I didn't have a car my first two years there and it was completely fine.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:28 PM
horizontal rule
515

514: I may have misjudged, then. It could be the hotel they put me up in; I had to walk quite a while to find a place to eat and even then the options seemed limited.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:29 PM
horizontal rule
516

512: Or there's just not enough history majors at ivies who don't get *any graduate degree at all* for them to make the list.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:29 PM
horizontal rule
517

510: sorry, we're far too busy drinking sherry and making up new words to consider such crass nonsense.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:30 PM
horizontal rule
518

I mean, I wasn't actually in favor of burning the humanities to the ground before, but maybe I am now.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:30 PM
horizontal rule
519

I have a friend who disliked Austin as too car-centric and is now totally happy in Eugene.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:31 PM
horizontal rule
520

For going carless, a school in a small town with a nice climate is probably your best bet. Some place like Davis.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:31 PM
horizontal rule
521

salty umami

Make sure and try the Low Hanging Fruit Bar.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:31 PM
horizontal rule
522

Oh Jesus, if I'm getting shit because I'm saying "free ride" instead of "10% of sticker price" then everyone can truly go be with clowns.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:34 PM
horizontal rule
523

509: The second grad student I worked for as an undergrad and his wife went there. She was an accountant or something, and he got into a Top 10 grad program in a hard science and did extremely well - several papers, good job when he finished. I'm a snob, too, though, when it comes down to it. I think they might well offer big financial aid packages and give their students a decent education. I'm not personally endorsing them, just trying to give examples of the types of schools Heebie was thinking of as third tier, that would offer a big aid package for smart kids from NY that have more of the "feel" LB's kids might want.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:34 PM
horizontal rule
524

515: That was LB I was I-don't-think-so-ing. I don't doubt that you couldn't walk somewhere good to eat, but I'm curious if this is in contrast to hotels you've stayed in elsewhere in the US. Austin is not a prime walking town but I just don't think there are many such.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:35 PM
horizontal rule
525

The humanities are burning themselves to the ground, halford. You should enjoy the warming glow and toast some meatmallows over the embers.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:39 PM
horizontal rule
526

522: I really don't intend to be giving you shit.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:41 PM
horizontal rule
527

For a partial list of universities where I found the surrounding area easier to explore on foot / by public transit: UW Seattle, Davis, Berkeley, Santa Barbara, Wisconsin, Michigan, Yale, Cornell, NYU, several places in the Boston area.... (Places that seemed worse: CWRU, Syracuse, Stanford. Places that seemed comparable: UC Irvine.) Again, maybe not fully accurate, but those were my perceptions based on visits of varying length.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:41 PM
horizontal rule
528

527 to 524.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:41 PM
horizontal rule
529

truly go be with clowns

I don't think clown colleges offer full rides, even to students with good grades and SATs.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:43 PM
horizontal rule
530

Or there's just not enough history majors at ivies who don't get *any graduate degree at all* for them to make the list.

Yeah, that's why I said "speculatively." It doesn't seem likely that history grads at Princeton did worse than those at Kansas, although I suppose it could be that the Princeton kids all made documentaries and the Kansas kids went to law school. Now I'm bullshitting. Humanities major, you know.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:45 PM
horizontal rule
531

529: the rides are very, very full.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:46 PM
horizontal rule
532

525 -- Well, right. So, how do you stop them from burning? I'm not involved in these issues, and so maybe all of this is old hat since I left a university, but one way, for example, might be to strongly encourage humanities minors, so that kids interested in the humanities but also looking for more practical skills can take humanities courses. Or to structure humanities majors in ways that make it easy and convenient for humanities majors to simultaneously major in a more technical /practical field. Or, for the undergrad system as a whole, to have more required courses, both from the humanities and courses that would satisfy prerequisites for graduate study in more technical fields or medical school, so that it's easier to major in the humanities and also satisfy those prerequisites. Or for humanities departments just to provide more information about keeping all these options open. "Show me exactingly precise data or I just won't believe that majoring in the humanities isn't as financially viable a move as majoring in engineering" seems like burying your head in the sand.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:46 PM
horizontal rule
533

Apparently, mentioning Tucson doesn't bring to mind happy thoughts.. Maybe if I get some brochures from the chamber of commerce or something?


Posted by: Gerald Ford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:48 PM
horizontal rule
534

Wait, we're talking about educational policy now? I don't really want to do that. Not here, anyway.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:52 PM
horizontal rule
535

But I can promise you that, when it comes to the "crisis in the humanities," I'm not burying my head in the sand. I might be running away from the fight, but I'm definitely not ignoring the problem or pretending that it doesn't exist.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:54 PM
horizontal rule
536

(That said, I'm not sure it exists.)


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:54 PM
horizontal rule
537

513: You should definitely pay more attention to the dude who went there 20 years ago than the people who live and work there now.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:56 PM
horizontal rule
538

520: it's pretty easy to go carless in Davis. It's harder with kids, but even then, it's doable.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:57 PM
horizontal rule
539

Apparently, mentioning Tucson doesn't bring to mind happy thoughts.

Whoops, I missed the earlier portion of the thread. I have many happy thoughts about Tucson! Some of the experiences on which they're based are almost as recent as my experiences with Den E.'s new school!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 4:58 PM
horizontal rule
540

I was in Tucson last fall. It was pretty great. But everything ogged said above is right: Arizona is really an odd place, especially if one isn't from the Southwest, and it's hot in a way that outsiders can't really understand.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:01 PM
horizontal rule
541

When the kid was about 6 he went to circus camp and the sexy adorable trapeze artist counselor young women made him the ringmaster. They drew extravagant Snidely Whiplash moustaches on him and gave him a bullhorn taller than he was. He had a slinky cat side kick in a red spangled leotard and they did Franglais patter. Was fantastic.

We paid full ride.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:01 PM
horizontal rule
542

Here's some more data. This accounts for graduate degrees and covers time periods through peak earnings. Over a lifetime, and including those with graduate degrees, humanities majors do as well or better than most strictly pre-professional degrees (many of which, to be clear, are in things like "apparel science" and are total bs) but substantially worse than science/engineering majors. Humanities majors without grad degrees fare worse than pre-professional degree holders.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:01 PM
horizontal rule
543

I think I'd have gotten a better response if I brought home a three dogs and an incontinent cat.


Posted by: Gerald Ford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:04 PM
horizontal rule
544

Oh god. So I went looking for college reviews written by students, just to see if things had actually changed, and literally the first one I found contained the sentence "I was a double major in Marketing and Advertising." Not doing anything to challenge my prejudices, dude!

(I do appreciate that this is apparently ogged and Halford's ideal student, though.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:06 PM
horizontal rule
545

Nah, marketing and advertising will be totally verboten as a way more bs major than anything in the humanities. No way am I paying for that.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:07 PM
horizontal rule
546

There's a major in advertising?


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:11 PM
horizontal rule
547

Indeed there is!


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:11 PM
horizontal rule
548

545: That's two separate majors, not a single one! Maybe if you'd been a STEM major you'd have learned to read for content.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:12 PM
horizontal rule
549

547: The still that the video on that page defaults to is perfect in all ways.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:14 PM
horizontal rule
550

You know, I went to community college in SoCal and now I'm in a highly selective graduate program, so honestly everybody should go to community college in California, at least if they are intending to go to grad school.

Although, come to think of it, most of the richest people my age that I know never went to -- or never finished -- college, so it seems clear that the single best way to guarantee financial success is to skip college entirely.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:19 PM
horizontal rule
551

550.2 cont'd: and you would not believe the low, low tuition costs.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:20 PM
horizontal rule
552

CMU is 100% carless friendly, as is Pitt (and, really, all of the other Pgh city institutions). The city itself has a number of carless-friendly neighborhoods, although, obviously, being carless without kids is as inconvenient as it is more or less everywhere else outside of Manhattan. Our kids' school is no more than a mile away, but I'm happier to drive there than to walk when one of them is sick (especially since what kind of sick kid wants to walk, bike, bus, or subway home?). We drive 8000 miles a year, ~90% of which is work- or vacation-related.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:21 PM
horizontal rule
553

I should start a "flipped university", where instead of going to school and picking a major and then trying to get a job in that field, you just go ahead and have a highly lucrative job, and then later decide what major you would like to claim led you there. My financial aid will be very generous, although obviously starting your academic career with a substantial donation via the alumni fund is encouraged.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:22 PM
horizontal rule
554

it seems clear that the single best way to guarantee financial success is to skip college entirely.

You are Peter Thiel and I claim my five dollars.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:23 PM
horizontal rule
555

He does say that doesn't he! And he is rich as fuck. I can't believe Halford, LB and Ogged are even considering sending their kids to college. Six week programming bootcamps are everywhere, you know, and they come with guaranteed six figure job placement and no worries that some history dickhead will try to make your kid read a book.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:27 PM
horizontal rule
556

Josh, just go ahead and tell us your Chunky Reese Witherspoon story.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:33 PM
horizontal rule
557

Chunky Reese Witherspoon

Ben and Jerry's is getting a little out there with the new flavors.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:35 PM
horizontal rule
558

556: I see your Douthat and raise you a Bérubé.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:41 PM
horizontal rule
559

After my last day of work at a private university I sat in a coffeeshop in denial of all the work I needed to do to move and eavesdropped on an undergrad in journalism talk with a professor about how hard it is to have a career in journalism without already being fairly well off and how much temptation there is in the Ivies to go into finance or consulting. The student recounted a story of a friend who was apparently so embarrassed by the prospect of leaving journalism for finance that the friend lied about going into NYC for multiple rounds of interviews with financial firms until finally leaving for a job at one of them after graduation.

The claim that humanities majors have been in constant decline since the 70s has been mostly walked back at this point by evidence showing the national trend stopped but the recent decline in humanities majors at some of the elite schools is apparently very real. The place I worked for is trying to make the history major more flexible, I think.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:44 PM
horizontal rule
560

Holy shit you guys! I just found this chart, which shows that high math SAT scores on their own are enough to predict not only high future income, but also likely success in a STEM program, if that's what they choose. So just tell your kids that they have to do really well on the math SAT, and then everything after that is gravy!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:50 PM
horizontal rule
561

who was apparently so embarrassed by the prospect of leaving journalism for finance

There are precious few journalists who have any business looking down on finance types. Sideways, maybe, but not down.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:50 PM
horizontal rule
562

Here's another chart. It's just SAT scores! Major doesn't matter at all!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:51 PM
horizontal rule
563

560: Cool! Kid was planning to retake in the fall because his verbal came in lower than he was expecting, but math was OK, so he's set for life.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:52 PM
horizontal rule
564

Man. I think we can all breath a little easier now knowing that our children can follow their bliss; as long as they do extremely well on the quantitative reasoning section of the SAT high paying work will be available for them.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:53 PM
horizontal rule
565

Gosh Tweety, what a smart cookie you are! No one could possibly understand the completely obvious, but in this case utterly unpersuasive, point that you are making! Why would anyone possibly think that what you major in college to prepare you (among other things) for actually being employed in the world has any causal relationship whatsoever to your actual employment status in the world!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:54 PM
horizontal rule
566

Why would anyone possibly think that what you major in college to prepare you (among other things) for actually being employed in the world has any causal relationship whatsoever to your actual employment status in the world!

Lots of reasons, some of which might be well supported! But if those reasons include thinking that correlational data provide support to your causal claims, you should maybe retake the math SAT!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:57 PM
horizontal rule
567

places like CWRU or WUStL or Rice. Maybe CMU? Schools in that tier seem like the most plausible places to find sufficient amounts of scholarship money being doled out in a setting where the academic quality and the social milieu are going to work for your kids.

WUStL gives out quite a lot of merit scholarships, actually. They have a handful of named, full tuition and board ones (there were 16 when I was there, dunno how many now), but they also throw around a lot of half-tuition scholarships to good-but-not-top-16-good applicants. I think that's pretty unusual among private colleges in that tier, right? A VP at a nearby school rhyming with Schlufts told me they lose lots of their best applicants to WUStL.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:58 PM
horizontal rule
568

Anyhow, the fact that high math SAT scores are what cause higher incomes neatly explains why people with STEM majors have higher incomes; if you do well on the math SAT, you're going to obviously have a fond feeling for math, and your fondness will lead you to take lots of math classes and eventually roll up an engineering degree, so then later when your math SAT score leads you ineluctably to a high paying career, that'll lead to a population level statistic that could be easily, and understandably, misinterpreted.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:59 PM
horizontal rule
569

560/562: So, what you're saying is that a student's household income predicts his or her SAT score, which then predicts his or her future income? I guess we can simplify then.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 5:59 PM
horizontal rule
570

I guess we can simplify then.

A is A!


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:01 PM
horizontal rule
571

I like to think about it the other way. The math SAT score predicts future income and past (family) income. It's amazing!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:02 PM
horizontal rule
572

Snark overdose.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:02 PM
horizontal rule
573

A bit late but I really feel I must say that Megan is high as a kite and that engineers are second only to premeds in whininess.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:03 PM
horizontal rule
574

I tried making this point the normal way, I swear. I'm all hopped up on basic statistical inference.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:05 PM
horizontal rule
575

Maybe the baby engineering geniuses do their parents' work for them, leading to higher levels of professional success. Engineers: Just that smart.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:06 PM
horizontal rule
576

575: that definitely might be it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:08 PM
horizontal rule
577

But the point is too clever. Taken in the aggregate, engineering jobs pay better than the jobs a humanities major prepares you for. I have no trouble believing that the range of pay for humanities majors is way broader than that for engineering majors, and I wouldn't be surprised if the top 1% of humanities majors made more than the top 1% of engineering majors (wasn't Thiel a philosophy major?), but if I'm giving advice to someone about to go to college, I'm looking at "the way to bet," and I say, cover your bases, because a humanities degree alone is a higher risk path than humanities plus some STEM competence.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:11 PM
horizontal rule
578

I mean the point is just so fucking stupid. Yes we all understand the basic correlation/causation argument. But open your eyes and do some basic assessment of how the economy works, and think about why there might be some causal connection between major (and/or skill set learned in college) and income, and why these numbers might be indicative of the value of different choices, even though we all understand that there is not an automatic $20,000 bump for any kid no matter what their extrinsic qualities who picks a particular major.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:14 PM
horizontal rule
579

Hello. I fear I may have missed something. Is Den E. Crumb a well-known member of the commentariat appearing in a different aspect?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:14 PM
horizontal rule
580

I'm looking at "the way to bet," and I say, cover your bases, because a humanities degree alone is a higher risk path than humanities plus some STEM competence.

Right, but I'm sorry because elementary statistics disproves this insight which can't possibly be correct! I'm in grad school!!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:16 PM
horizontal rule
581

I'm much friendlier than Halford.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:17 PM
horizontal rule
582

Wolfson indiscretion error.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:18 PM
horizontal rule
583

577, 578: And yet neither of you is willing to suggest majoring in business or finance or marketing or advertising, all of which are more obviously useful for immediate education than anything in the humanities.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:18 PM
horizontal rule
584

I fear I may have missed something

Let me guess: humanities major.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:18 PM
horizontal rule
585

but if I'm giving advice to someone about to go to college, I'm looking at "the way to bet," and I say, cover your bases, because a humanities degree alone is a higher risk path than humanities plus some STEM competence

I honestly am not arguing against this at all. I think that everybody, whatever their major, should take a chunk of math and stats and maybe learn how to program a little, just because it seems like a better way to be an informed and useful citizen of the world. I'm arguing that what major you (taking you as a college student about to declare a major) actually choose has (in the vast majority of cases) very little (maybe rounding to zero) effect on your lifetime earnings, certainly much less than the circumstances of your birth or where you went to school or your general mental whateverness. There are others who argue (as I understand it) that choosing a specific major does play a causal role, and that a given person -- everything else held constant -- who graduated with a degree in history rather than a degree in computer science would be expected to earn substantially less over the lifetime. Now, that's a perfectly valid argument to try and make. But correlational data on the lifetime earnings of people who chose different majors does exactly nothing to disambiguate those two causal stories, and if you are basing your decision to bet one way or the other a/f/a majors on those correlational statistics, your reasoning is fallacious.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:19 PM
horizontal rule
586

583 -- yes, but that is because we have enough knowledge of the world to know that these are mostly (maybe not, I dunno, Wharton) bullshit majors.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:20 PM
horizontal rule
587

577: But you weren't talking about giving advice, you were saying you wouldn't let your kids single major in the humanities. You can't force someone to be an engineer, and there's just nothing good that comes from majoring in something you don't like and doing badly at it.

Also engineering is a major outlier here. The difference between science and humanities is much smaller. But yet everyone above is all "no humanities" not "no kid of mine will major in biology, they have to be an engineer!"


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:20 PM
horizontal rule
588

587 -- I think both Ogged and I pretty early on disclaimed the idea of "forcing" someone into a major that they hated. Just encouraging picking up a broad set of employable skills, which would mean strongly discouraging a kid from majoring in the humanities without doing so.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:23 PM
horizontal rule
589

586: You mean it's credentialism of a kind that offends your sensibilities, rather than of a kind that doesn't?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:24 PM
horizontal rule
590

Library school students may be the whiniest group I've been in classes with. I'll acknowledge being part of the problem, but at least I wasn't complaining about too much work or having to do classwork.

There was a truly shameful night class where around half the class left during the break because there was a guest lecturer that evening who was talking about stuff they didn't consider relevant or useful to their future jobs. The guest lecturer was a fellow grad student in the phd program.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:24 PM
horizontal rule
591

business or finance or marketing or advertising

Actually, according to the Payscale data, only finance is unambiguously more immediately lucrative. And then we're back to my post about whether you should raise your kids to be assholes.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:24 PM
horizontal rule
592

Not everyone! I am militantly hoisting the banner of perfectly useless but beautiful skills!

Good thing my kid has such lovely manners since it seems likely he'll be mooching off us the rest of our days.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:24 PM
horizontal rule
593

578: right, so, okay, again, you are making an anecdotal, essentially stipulative argument. I could counter -- as somebody with at least some experience working in these fields, as well as experience with STEM education at the undergrad level -- that you are vastly overestimating the role that having a given undergraduate major actually plays in (eventual) success in highly paid fields, including the kinds of technical fields that are specifically at issue. You might be right, I might be right. But the fact that people keep linking to lifetime earnings data like it tells us anything one way or the other makes me fucking crazy, because that data specifically does nothing of the sort unless you add a whole stone soup's worth of assumptions to your interpretation of it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:24 PM
horizontal rule
594

And then we're back to my post about whether you should raise your kids to be assholes.

You're the one who wants them to be engineers. Would you prefer assholes, or libertarian creationists?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:27 PM
horizontal rule
595

582: So I finally gathered after investigating this thread. With a different voice!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:28 PM
horizontal rule
596

And I'm changing my pseud again. And this time not telling anyone what it is. Seriously, what the fuck, people?


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:30 PM
horizontal rule
597

I was saying I want my kids to double major in their passion+CS, so they can wiggle their way into the nonprofit of their dreams, or support themselves by coding while they try to break into the Broadway scene.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:33 PM
horizontal rule
598

It sounded like you all were trying to account for who said what. I said that.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:34 PM
horizontal rule
599

Actually, according to the Payscale data, only finance is unambiguously more immediately lucrative. And then we're back to my post about whether you should raise your kids to be assholes.

This actually nicely disambiguates a good possibility for what is really going on from what is probably not going on. What might really be going on is that the only thing more unambiguously lucrative than being smart, kinda mathy and interested in technical problems is being smart, and also an asshole solely cares about money. That this correlates with choice of major is no surprise, since the majors broadcast pretty unambiguously who they think might be interested (Marketing and Advertising at Penn State: dumb and also an asshole who only cares about money). But if the smart, money-centric asshole decided for some reason (arbitrage in civil war artifacts or something, I have no idea) to major in History, do you really think that this would per se cut them off from the asshole dollars they so crave?

So sure, raise your kids to be well rounded and not scared of math and interested in and curious about technical problems and the ways they get solved, and try to disabuse them of the notion that a permanent flight into books (glorious books) and away from earthly responsibilities is possible. But if the lever you try and use to do that is restriction of their choice of major at college I am confident that won't work well for you.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:34 PM
horizontal rule
600

Nerve S. Pervis is available. Also, the explicitness of 582 was surprising.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:35 PM
horizontal rule
601

596: Sorry, I'll take it down. Given that the transition was clear to anyone who'd been reading all along, I didn't realize that saying it in googleproofed format would be a problem.

Seriously, if 582 violates your sense of security, I think maintaining a continuous persona the way you have is probably just as bad an idea.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:40 PM
horizontal rule
602

Heavens. Encourage your kids to be curious about as many things as possible. Where college curriculum is concerned, emphasis interdisciplinary pursuits. For example: if the kid is interested in art history, encourage her or him to learn about nonprofit fundraising (as this is part and parcel of a love of the arts in our society). If the kid is interested in literature, encourage him or her to learn something about education policy or literacy programs or publishing.

There's nothing wrong with emphasizing that practical skills associated with a given love are extremely helpful, and in fact they help broaden our helpfulness in society. I mean to say that public policy knowledge is probably a really a smart move for those in love with the humanities.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:41 PM
horizontal rule
603

And I'm changing my pseud again. And this time not telling anyone what it is.

You really don't think it'll be obvious within 5 comments what the new one is?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:42 PM
horizontal rule
604

Just use a different number as your pseud each time you comment. No one will ever figure it out.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:44 PM
horizontal rule
605

What if we had a day where everybody change their pseud to Den E. Crumb's new pseud?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:46 PM
horizontal rule
606

605: I claim Rol E. Massimino!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:48 PM
horizontal rule
607

Mostly comity, Sifu. Just to rejigger the discussion a bit, I was looking for data because Denny The Mysterious asked for it, but my 280 isn't motivated by maximum bucks. I'd just like the kids to have the option to middling-piddling get a decent paying job when they graduate, and I think adding a STEM credential of some kind makes that much more likely.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:50 PM
horizontal rule
608

everybody change their pseud to Den E. Crumb's new pseud?

One person should do this every day, so on any given day, any Denny comment could be from him or someone else. Instant deniability!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:52 PM
horizontal rule
609

You know what seems like a great job? Or maybe it's just that people who do it are really great at it? New York Times graphics editor. The baseball map? Their rent vs. buy calculator? Beautiful stuff, and it would be a lot of fun to make things like that.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:55 PM
horizontal rule
610

599 -- I'm fine with changing "major" to "set of skills learned and things studied during college" and was mostly* using "major" as a shorthand for the latter. But unless you think that what you study in college doesn't matter at all, which seems implausible, it seems like much of what you'd want to do is to encourage kids, within the bounds of their abilities and interests, to pick up skills to solve "technical problems" and/or be financially savvy, because those are skills that are likely to provide income and employment and are good ways to balance out the risks of being someone who studied nothing but the humanities in college.

*mostly, not completely; there is some real value, how much I don't know, in the pure signaling function of the major to employers.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 6:56 PM
horizontal rule
611

Mostly comity, Sifu.

I sorta thought you might find 599 congenial. (I mean, me too!)

I'd just like the kids to have the option to middling-piddling get a decent paying job when they graduate, and I think adding a STEM credential of some kind makes that much more likely.

I think this is just super dependent. It is definitely seems like it'd be the case with mining engineering or petroleum engineering or one of the other more specialized engineering fields, but it's not necessarily going to be easy to major in one of those at a school where you can also follow your renaissance art analysis bliss or whatever. And CS is not I think credential driven in the same way at all; you can be a CS major and not really know how to program, and sure maybe there are places that will hire you on a flyer and see if they can teach you how to actually code but by and large CS as half of a double major (with something non-technical) isn't a credential that'll get you terribly far. The S and M in STEM are, I think somewhat obviously, not really any better than H as far as credentialing goes and T isn't really a thing. So I'm not sure splitting the difference in a useful way actually buys you that much if the kid isn't fundamentally interested in a technical field.

But again, the above is really all anecdotal and stipulative and could easily be wrong.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:00 PM
horizontal rule
612

601: I explained when I changed the pseud last time that I wanted some deniability for my own reasons. It's not a big deal; I was, like fake accent, just surprised at the explicitness of it all. Anyway, I'll change my pseud again, and that should take care of the issue.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:02 PM
horizontal rule
613

Yeah, it depends--there are a lot of STEM majors that are a career path or don't bother, but several that get you in the door to places or jobs that a hum degree alone wouldn't: econ, stats, math, and probably even things like chem and physics. As for CS, if the kid is explicitly doing it as a backup major or minor, it's easy enough to take the classes that have more programming and less theory.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:06 PM
horizontal rule
614

582 is edited, and was only up for maybe 20 minutes, so you've probably got as much deniability as ever on this pseud.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:07 PM
horizontal rule
615

Denny, I doubt you need to do that. 582 is already gone. Apologies for having asked: I didn't need a solid direction to look in, just a yes or no.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:08 PM
horizontal rule
616

611 the m actually does a lot of good, even at bs level.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:11 PM
horizontal rule
617

One friend ended up in Tucson for grad school (weird games with her advisor moving schools); had major problems with the department but loves living there, apparently permanently, and I know another person, an inveterate globetrotter, who moving there for grad school from Puerto Rico. So it clearly has attractive power.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:11 PM
horizontal rule
618

(I feel very useless in this thread. Paraphrasing dsquared, "Everything I learned about education I learned at a magnet high school and prestegious private university". Where I then majored in a lucrative field because I like the stuff. No useful lessons at all here for someone who isn't me.)


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:19 PM
horizontal rule
619

Generally speaking, folks, it's really hard to accept such talk of maximizing income when considering your future. I get that it might be the sort of thing that parents worry about, but how many of us were made semi-miserable by parents who did this to us?

Chill. There's a way to talk to and support your kids that doesn't involve yammering away at them about becoming upper middle class (if that is what's going on here). Introduce dimension: if your kid is totally into music and wants to be a guitar player, introduce the notion of photography! Take pictures of the band. Involve yourself in what's going on. Not everyone wants to be engaged in credentialization. It's about gaining skills. Don't lecture about what employers want to see. I assume everyone knows this, but there does seem to be a lot of fussing about credentials here: maybe the world is worse than I thought.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:23 PM
horizontal rule
620

614: it seriously isn't a big deal at all. I just don't know how my new employer feels about my online activities, past and present. Then there's the fact that my standing in the field (of dreams!) is somewhat higher than it was even pretty recently. And so I'm feeling a bit more cautious about being an intemperate asshole in cyberspace, especially given that my real-life reputation is, believe it or not, somewhat at odds with how I sometimes behave here.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:24 PM
horizontal rule
621

You could call yourself Zorro. Mild-mannered Don Diego by day...


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:29 PM
horizontal rule
622

619 -- These days, I think that being a member of a band, as non-lucrative as it is thanks to jerks like all of you, is more lucrative than the worst, most oversubscribed profession of all, photographer.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:30 PM
horizontal rule
623

610 seems reasonable enough as long as Zardoz can still major in Documentary Filmmaking.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:38 PM
horizontal rule
624

"The Steadicam is good. The penis is evil."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:40 PM
horizontal rule
625

||
This brief is never going to get itself written.
|>


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:41 PM
horizontal rule
626

As for CS, if the kid is explicitly doing it as a backup major or minor, it's easy enough to take the classes that have more programming and less theory.

Honestly, at that point just say fuck it and send the kid to a bootcamp after graduation. It'll be more useful practically and there's more of a pipeline into industry. No college CS minor is actually going to teach you anything useful about the practice of being a developer, and you're not even making up for that by getting the theoretical background.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:43 PM
horizontal rule
627

622: True. Bad example. There's always plumbing: that's pretty lucrative, I hear. Also electrician. You have to apprentice for that still, I think.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:46 PM
horizontal rule
628

"Kickboxing. Sport of the future."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:54 PM
horizontal rule
629

I'd like to think Lloyd Dobler and Diane Court are still holed up somewhere in the French countryside. But Lloyd's probably a middle manager twitter, and Diane's obviously a partner at McKinsey.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:57 PM
horizontal rule
630

567: Yes, and didn't you tell LB that in the last thread where this happened? I think someone did, anyway.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 7:58 PM
horizontal rule
631

What about farming? What if your child wants to become an organic farmer? You have to let the kid go. College majors can't dictate every life.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:03 PM
horizontal rule
632

You have to let the kid go

Honky.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:06 PM
horizontal rule
633

What are you, some kind of ag school denier? The kids want to be organic farmers, they can by god get credentialed in it first.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:07 PM
horizontal rule
634

My first job that didn't require me to ask about fries was working for a guy who went to ag school. Ag engineering, but still.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:09 PM
horizontal rule
635

633: Crap. Is that necessary these days? Okay, I admit that the kid I was thinking of actually did do some kind of something or other in college involving farming -- at least she interned on an organic farm or maybe just did that as a summer job -- but this was at Smith College where I think her actual major was, like, midwifery. Or something. It's a bit unclear what kind of majors they have there.

Why is ogged calling me a honky?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:24 PM
horizontal rule
636

608: I am not the commenter formerly known as Den E. Crumb.


Posted by: Wolfson Indiscretion Error | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:26 PM
horizontal rule
637

I don't see "midwifery".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:26 PM
horizontal rule
638

17.2 -> 18 to 635


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:26 PM
horizontal rule
639

Actually I think her major was in Russian studies.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:27 PM
horizontal rule
640

Some of my best friends are midwives.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:27 PM
horizontal rule
641

640 -> 637


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:28 PM
horizontal rule
642

Nice to see all the love for marketing and advertising. God, it's not like we're lawyers or something.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:28 PM
horizontal rule
643

It's not that advertising isn't a real career, just that it's not a real major.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:34 PM
horizontal rule
644

He says defensively.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:34 PM
horizontal rule
645

644 to 642. He says, trying not to look like an asshole.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:35 PM
horizontal rule
646

643: Yeah, but neither is Creative Writing, and that eventually wound up working OK for me.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:36 PM
horizontal rule
647

God, this again?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:38 PM
horizontal rule
648

At least this time LB isn't explicitly arguing that generous merit scholarships aren't common because she couldn't find any when she was applying to college. That does still seem to be among her underlying assumptions, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:40 PM
horizontal rule
649

Rescue us with some interesting linguistic/boat construction direction of migration/cultural influence stuff.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:40 PM
horizontal rule
650

Or blowjob stories.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:41 PM
horizontal rule
651

647: Teo's family uses a very concise Haggadah.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:45 PM
horizontal rule
652

There's a disconnect sometimes between "major in STEM" advice and "major in something employers want" advice. Not everyone is going to get a STEM job, and non-STEM employers seem to care about things like writing skills. Maybe not enough to recognize value in humanities degrees and maybe humanities majors could teach more rhetorical variety, but STEM classes aren't going to teach that and business/office-oriented majors don't seem to do it particularly well either.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:45 PM
horizontal rule
653

Or stories about blowjobs during boat migrations.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:46 PM
horizontal rule
654

I'm fresh out of blowjob stories, but I can report that I was mistaken when I said a while back that Yup'ik only has one word for "white person." It turns out that that is one possible but uncommon meaning for qatellria, literally "white thing," but the standard term is kass'aq, literally "Cossack."


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:48 PM
horizontal rule
655

Generally speaking, folks, it's really hard to accept such talk of maximizing income when considering your future.

Yeah, I remember finding such talk hard to take when it was my parents considering my future. Turns out it's surprisingly easy to accept talk of financial security when your job (as a parent, say) is to worry about somebody else's (your child's, for example) future, though.

Don't get me wrong: I don't want my kid to grow up to be Donald Trump, or anything assholish like that. But I'd also really prefer that he find a path to authentic selfhood, and to the realization of his passion, that is consistent with financial solvency. I don't want him to start off his 'independent' life in a state of abject dependency, with a heavy mortgage on his future. It's really hard to be free and independent and creative when you're an indentured servant to Citibank.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:49 PM
horizontal rule
656

Seriously, the parents need to chill out about this stuff. Your kids aren't going to get jobs regardless of what they major in.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:54 PM
horizontal rule
657

This thread happened before?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:56 PM
horizontal rule
658

Oh right, you're new here.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 8:56 PM
horizontal rule
659

655: with a heavy mortgage on his future

I take it you're talking about student loans? Which I gather was a topic early on in this thread. Sure: it might well be wiser for some kids to opt for a lesser college, with a lower financial burden, in order to optimize their freedom .. going forward, as they say!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:02 PM
horizontal rule
660

656: It's much more satisfying to have many different types of doors shut on your face than to be able to knock on only a few doors.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:10 PM
horizontal rule
661

622: not everyone, we're pretty militant on the paying for artistic production front here. Solidarity and all that.

And at work I'll continue with my practice of scanning resumes to make sure I sign up to interview all the piano and organ majors, former independent documentarians, and ex members of improvisatory theatre collectives. So when your children give up on their dreams and suffer thru law school there will be at least one person in a big law firm willing to interview them. At least we have something interesting to talk about, and it saves me from the interminable poli sci majors.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:13 PM
horizontal rule
662

God, this again?

New mouseover text?


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:19 PM
horizontal rule
663

Oh right, you're new here.

I've been too busy to keep up with unfogged, the last couple of days (maybe two weeks), and catching up on this thread does make me grumpy.

I don't know, I just wish there was some other way -- I wish it didn't feel like it was crucially important to get onto a good trajectory as early as possible. But I recognize that it is increasingly easy to graduate college, having done well and not messed up too badly, and still be in a horrible situation financially.

But, darn it, the world shouldn't have to be like that.

And there is something unseemly about a conversation which is, in part, explicitly about figuring out how leverage privilege of various sorts*. But perhaps I'm just jealous since, as I said recently, I've been thinking lately about the fact that my parents were notably disinclined to give me life advice that would point towards any career path.

* I'm not actually going to defend that as a characterization of the thread, but I do think that's part of why this sort of conversation can easily be annoying.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:26 PM
horizontal rule
664

Here's one of the threads where colleges offering scholarships were discussed before, about four years ago. Also featuring that awesome discussion about probability where we learned something about kids being born on a Tuesday and the difference between 1/3, 13/27, and 1/2.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:28 PM
horizontal rule
665

And here's the more recent iteration from September.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:31 PM
horizontal rule
666

The economy is for shit at the moment. If it doesn't get better, then it will be for shit forever. But if it does get better, as it always has in the past, then we'll just be another generation that experienced the status anxiety attendant to living through very hard times. Which means we're not even as interesting as teo thinks we are.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:31 PM
horizontal rule
667

Hey now, I don't think your generation's suffering through these difficult economic times is interesting at all.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:34 PM
horizontal rule
668

When I switched from physics (and potentially philosophy as a double major) to history my parents obviously thought it wasn't the best idea, but we always had an understanding that it was ok to pick my major without focusing on job prospects and accepted that dealing with a tough initial job market would be the consequence. My earlier choice of physics wasn't based on job prospects either, and I'd always assumed I'd go on to "pure" science anyway. I was surprised to learn that so few people in my physics for scientists and engineers intro course were science majors.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:35 PM
horizontal rule
669

My generation, on the other hand, is now probably too far behind to ever catch up if/when the economy recovers. Which I suppose is interesting in a way.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:36 PM
horizontal rule
670

Yeah, 669 is a real bummer. Also interesting: as during the Great Depression, being a tenured professor has been a pretty great way to survive these hard times. See, morons? You all should have majored in history, after all!


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:38 PM
horizontal rule
671

What's the over/under on the number of people here who have actually read Pikkety's book?


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:40 PM
horizontal rule
672

I've read numerous updates on the availability and pricing of Piketty's book.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:43 PM
horizontal rule
673

I've read a smallish fraction of it. Probably I'll read a lot of it this weekend.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:43 PM
horizontal rule
674

about four years ago

I'm too tired to read the whole thread, but I have learned that Megan got Halford into Crossfit, which surprised me.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 9:44 PM
horizontal rule
675

I don't even know how to respond to all of this, but it's fascinating! I've got impostor syndrome and whatever else goes along with that all over the place, because basically I'm a failure at what everyone wants for their kids plus mine have guaranteed tuition (in theory, probably not enforceable) at any state schools they can get into and I'm just leaving that as a fallback even though I was all about hell no I would not go to U of Essearville for free. (Though I appreciate essear's standing up for it as south-adjacent rather than southern. I'm six or seven blocks south of the Mason-Dixon line and doing all right as a queer atheist except all the stuff alluded to above about how my choice of majors and lack of a career or graduate degree mean I'm a loser who feels like a loser.)

I have a college-aged cousin at a big state school that I don't think has been mentioned yet who's majoring in classics and it's making me really jealous in stupid ways, because of course she should get to have my major and excel in it (and socially) even though she's not me.

I should have gone to a better school because I never got the experience of not being the smartest student and it would have been much better for me to have been beaten down earlier and not just ended up bitter about how at least I didn't keep going in the humanities while being deeply jealous of people who did because it seems like a much more pleasing life. (I mean, I love kids and everything and this is the worst kind of humblebrag in the world. But.) And I did briefly take an opera performance class and then dropped it, but I think it was stage fright and not pure competence level that did me in there, plus they wanted me to pay for private voice lessons and I couldn't at that point.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:22 PM
horizontal rule
676

674: I got as far as my own reference to a worthwhile project that is still stuck in the getting-started process four years later.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:26 PM
horizontal rule
677

I looked up the backgrounds of the people who did the graphics linked in 609.

Giratikanon: journalism major
Katz: statistics grad student, not sure about undergrad
Leonhardt: applied math undergrad, on college paper
Quealy: physics BA, journalism MA
Tse: urban studies BA

Also: What Makes a Good Graphics Editor?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:30 PM
horizontal rule
678

Reading it now, asshole, but I know you're busy hanging out with your new child molester friends at the child molester smoker in Child Rapistville.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:35 PM
horizontal rule
679

That was to 671. Or was it?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:36 PM
horizontal rule
680

Paterno was a huge fan of the humanities. ARGUMENT OVER!


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:41 PM
horizontal rule
681

(But which side won?)


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:42 PM
horizontal rule
682

680: yeah, he really loved the Aeneid in particular.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 10:46 PM
horizontal rule
683

The Canadian admissions process is much more chill. At least when I was applying, it was the highest six grades from the equivalent of AP classes. No ec's, nothing else. Pretty much everybody gets in, so the real selection takes place at the "college" ie dorm level. As one friend pointed out to me as he filling up his six scores with his native foreign language, "it all just goes to a computer in Guelph."


Posted by: bjk | Link to this comment | 04-25-14 11:21 PM
horizontal rule
684

(I feel very useless in this thread. Paraphrasing dsquared, "Everything I learned about education I learned at a magnet high school and prestegious private university". Where I then majored in a lucrative field because I like the stuff. No useful lessons at all here for someone who isn't me.)

Tell me about it. Humanities degree (no post-grad), already had the (relatively low paying, usually hard to get) job I wanted to make a career out of before starting university. I want to tell people to chill out and let their kids major in theology for the intellectual fun of it if they want to, but I can't in good conscience.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 2:39 AM
horizontal rule
685

I don't really have much to add, either. The US education system and academic 'scene' seems so different from the UK.

I have a high-status* humanities PhD [D.Phil, really], however, the job I do, I largely initially got because of the jobs I had before I went to university, and the jobs I did in between degrees, as I work in IT. That said, I work in academic IT, and work a lot of with humanities scholars, so it doesn't hurt that I can talk their language, and am not in the slightest bit intimidated when Professor Z starts with the 'Do you know who I am?' or 'You won't understand my project' acts.

In the past, I've always given people the advice to choose something they like and are good at. Because there's nothing worse than struggling through years of something you don't enjoy, and don't excel at. However, if you aren't someone with a lot of social and financial capital behind you, and you have the aptitude and interest to pursue lots of areas, I don't think there's anything heinous about pursuing the thing that is likely to provide the best chance of realising the sort of life you want after you graduate.

* in the sense that if you were looking to get a humanities degree, an Oxford D.Phil carries about as much weight as any, and more than most.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 3:41 AM
horizontal rule
686

567: Yes, and didn't you tell LB that in the last thread where this happened? I think someone did, anyway.

Probably! If not for that I would have been at Mizzou. I don't think my parents would have quite forbidden me to take out loans to go to college, but they would have disapproved very (very very very) strongly.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:50 AM
horizontal rule
687

I didn't know they used christ church for the exterior...no, can't have been, that was cgi, right?--for the interior non-library shots of hogwarts, just that they used the bodleian for the hogwarts library. in general she didn't know there were any colleges so old and awesome-looking and thinks they are cool on that basis only. I won a scholarship to go for a summer term of study at new college between my junior and senior years of high school, which was pretty much bullshit because it was a way to rake in money from american college students without doing much work (the profs and TAs I mean) but I nonetheless found it very fun and fascinating. also there was a reading list and I read all the books on it and then no one else had read all the books. and indeed the prof did not expect us to have done so. just-turned-17-year-old me was really incensed.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:58 AM
horizontal rule
688

I never used to doubt my decision to take the free ride to a state school. Now that I can't get to 2048, I'm beginning to wonder. I just got to Derp Doge for the first time. Would I have done better if I paid for college?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:46 AM
horizontal rule
689

Since History in particular has featured so largely in this discussion, I note that in the piece "College is For Suckers" in Might Magazine sometime in the mid-nineties, the author quotes some 1991 figures indicating the History majors had the highest post graduate unemployment rates of all the majors that were part of the study (the author quickly confesses to having majored in History).

So maybe it's not a question of Humanities vs STEM. Maybe History majors in particular are just doomed.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:57 AM
horizontal rule
690

688 raises unexpectedly profound issues Does college prepare you better for making a success of your life (whatever the fuck that means), or for playing 2048? Is skill at 2048 not a success story in itself? Do Ivy League universities prepare you better than community colleges for the disappointment when a 4 tile pops up in the bottom row and you needed a 2? If not, what's the point, because life is all like that?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:00 AM
horizontal rule
691

689. Looks like it, doesn't it? In the lifetime of the commentariat's children, no one will understand history. And, forgetting the past, will be condemned to repeat t.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:03 AM
horizontal rule
692

In the lifetime of the commentariat's children, no one will understand history. And, forgetting the past, will be condemned to repeat it by majoring in history.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:36 AM
horizontal rule
693

Still mostly on-topic after ~700 comments. Impressive. When do we get to talk about food, or bicycles, or music? Also we need more cock jokes.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:38 AM
horizontal rule
694

What single blowjob would yield the largest incremental boost to your chances of getting into Harvard?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:42 AM
horizontal rule
695

693: Tomorrow?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:42 AM
horizontal rule
696

694- Giving or receiving?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:58 AM
horizontal rule
697

True story: I received a blowjob once that quite possibly resulted in my not getting one of those free ride scholarships discussed earlier in this thread.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:16 AM
horizontal rule
698

697: Dear Princeton Review,
I never thought it could happen to me...


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:17 AM
horizontal rule
699

I note that in the piece "College is For Suckers" in Might Magazine sometime in the mid-nineties

Holy shit, someone else remembers Might. Back before Eggers became completely insufferable.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:26 AM
horizontal rule
700

698: story in TFA.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:34 AM
horizontal rule
701

697: How were you to know she was the daughter of the dean of admissions.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:42 AM
horizontal rule
702

If computer science people are so great, how come I can't run SAS and Minecraft at the same time?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 10:05 AM
horizontal rule
703

I'm only through 300 comments but I'll respond to something said over 24 hours ago anyway.
"and didn't apply to. Comes the day, he gets an acceptance from Hopkins, because his dad had just gone ahead and applied for him."
I thought one of the reasons for interviews (on-site or local alumni) is to avoid this situation? Or did the dad also hire a child actor for that?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 10:30 AM
horizontal rule
704

Let's reopen the discussion. Fact: that the kid is going to DU should immediately render the essay meaningless.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 1:55 PM
horizontal rule
705

I'm halfway through and it's unbearable. Is there an adult on this trip?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 2:33 PM
horizontal rule
706

Yeah, that was about my shortest tl;dr ever.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 2:39 PM
horizontal rule
707

Good lord that woman is hateful. "Darling with the prices we'd pay for Bennington I should hope you'd have some paaaahmpering and maybe a nice Republican boy or two."

Good on the UC tour guide for scaring them off.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 2:41 PM
horizontal rule
708

... and that's as far as I made it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 2:42 PM
horizontal rule
709

The punchline is that after getting rejecting by Grinnell, a turn of events the mother thinks is terribly uncivil on the part of the admissions office there, the daughter ends up choosing DU, which, if it weren't in real danger of going out of business, would be on heebie's list of third- or fourth-tier schools most likely to offer LB's kids full rides.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 2:49 PM
horizontal rule
710

20 visits seems like a lot.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 2:53 PM
horizontal rule
711

Things to do at Denver U When It's Dead.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 2:53 PM
horizontal rule
712

I might have done 20 visits. My dad really wanted me to get a good sense of Midwestern SLACs I would never apply to and I was very curious about first and second tier private schools that had zero interest in admitting me. The in-state public school I ended up at I never visited.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 2:58 PM
horizontal rule
713

Huh, I don't think I visited any schools. Lack of social capital again, I guess. I did hate NU, but U of C probably would have ruined me for all time--I think I probably would have fallen, at least for a long while, for that superior cloister ethos.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 3:01 PM
horizontal rule
714

I can't remember if my sister visited any place out of state. In state she only visited UCs. I didn't make any visits, but since I grew up in Berkeley, maybe that counts as one long visit.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 3:07 PM
horizontal rule
715

One thing that this thread drives home is what a shame it is that there aren't more first-rate public universities in the northeast. Stony Brook is a good school in some ways, but I guess taking the LIRR out to a place that doesn't have a lot of general-interest prestige is unlikely to appeal to LB's kids.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 3:13 PM
horizontal rule
716

I didn't do any college visits. My parents made it pretty plain that I would go to a UC unless I got a full ride somewhere else. And anyway, as a fairly sheltered sixteen-year-old, I wouldn't have been able to make any kind of rational assessment of colleges based on a visit. Fortunately, I loved Berkeley, although life before college was so miserable I probably would have loved any college, just on the strength of the fact that it was not high school.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 3:15 PM
horizontal rule
717

710- It was actually 21, she had to describe one more visit so she could talk about pining for number 20.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 3:17 PM
horizontal rule
718

I visited no schools, because I was sure I was going to the University of Edinburgh. Then my Holocaust-surviving grandmother begged me not to go there, because Scotland in the late 80s was, as any fool knew, the Argentina of Northern Europe: filled to the fucking brim with Nazis just waiting to exterminate Jewish college students. At least I think that was her reasoning, which, in retrospect, was quite sound. Then I still didn't visit anywhere. Actually, wait, I went to see McGill, where I was sure I'd study, because Montreal was relatively Nazi-free (or so the mullahs would have had me believe). Fortunately, I quickly figured out that it was a commuter school filled with poutine-eating freaks and PQ separatists. Then I decided to go to Wisconsin, which admitted me without seeing any of my grades, and I didn't visit Madison until I arrived for the beginning of my first year. Surprise! Lots and and lots of white people!


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 3:19 PM
horizontal rule
719

It's possible that I don't approach important, potentially life-changing decisions with the care they merit.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 3:20 PM
horizontal rule
720

So NY doesn't have some sort of in-state exchange agreement with nearby states?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 3:20 PM
horizontal rule
721

715: UMass Amherst has a surprisingly excellent computer science program!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 3:22 PM
horizontal rule
722

715: What about Binghamton? At least when I was visiting colleges it had a great reputation. I couldn't get past the isolation, though.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 3:22 PM
horizontal rule
723

I took a look at UCSD. And wasn't talked out of having Cal as my top preference on the UC application.

My daughter visited 10 maybe, and ended up picking Bennington. I wish I could say I got a good sweatshirt out of the deal.

I told my son we'd look at places he got in, and then didn't have to go anywhere because he only applied to the one place. His GF is going to UVic next year. She'd like him to go there too. I'm not in favor of this.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 3:22 PM
horizontal rule
724

I only visited schools in the northeast even though I applied to one in California, but that application was mostly because I had read about it in a James Michener novel.
But I do have a good story about visiting grad schools, I was considering west coast for that and was scheduled to visit Berkeley but there was a snow storm the morning I was supposed to go and the airline called me to tell me the flight was canceled. I asked where was the closest open airport that had a flight to SF they could put me on, they said JFK, so I drove down there, met my dad who took the car, and jumped on the plane. Almost got in an accident on the Mass Pike driving down, and crossing the Whitestone bridge (where there hadn't been any snow or rain) the toll taker (pre-EZ pass days) looked at the snow all over my car and said, "Where the hell did you come from?"


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 3:23 PM
horizontal rule
725

Montreal was relatively Nazi-free

You are literally the worst Jew ever.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 3:23 PM
horizontal rule
726

SUNY Buffalo is supposed to have a good science honors program or something, or at least did when I was looking at colleges and I got some brochure from them.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 3:24 PM
horizontal rule
727

718: I visited Madison. I liked the bike lanes but hated the rest of it.

I think the lowlight was when I asked the admissions person at Kenyon about their programming curriculum.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 3:25 PM
horizontal rule
728

Oh, and then when I visited Columbia, my GF who was studying in Ireland that semester flew into NY for her mom's surprise 50th birthday party and stayed with me in the city that night- the school had put me up in the biggest room in the hotel, then during the tour told me that the next morning there would be a meeting of all the visiting applicants in my room at 8 so I had to kick my GF out early.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 3:27 PM
horizontal rule
729

I have a fairly good impression of UMass Amherst and of Stony Brook on the basis of people I know at those places, and I'm sure there are good departments in other northeast state schools. But all the "growing up in California, I didn't see any reason to look anywhere other than UC schools" comments in this thread really do speak to a qualitative difference between the two coasts, I think.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 3:31 PM
horizontal rule
730

725: What about Donald Sterling?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 3:34 PM
horizontal rule
731

Was it antisemitic that I figured it was a good enough bet to look that up on Wikipedia?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 3:35 PM
horizontal rule
732

I have a little more respect for CUNY after looking up what they pay Michio Kaku and seeing it's two or three times smaller than what I would have guessed, but still.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 3:38 PM
horizontal rule
733

729: oh, I mean, god yes. The quality of the CS department is surprising because mostly the school sorta sucks.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 3:38 PM
horizontal rule
734

729 -- I hate the California provincialism as much as anyone, but when I went to Cal in-state tuition was less than $1,000 per year (yes, we did have to dodge dinosaurs on the way to class, why do you ask) and you'd have to be a pretty special snowflake to think going a thousand or more miles away and paying a whole lot more money, to a school that wasn't any better than Cal was worth much thought. I had classmates who went to Ivies, I guess, but they were very special snowflakes indeed.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 3:47 PM
horizontal rule
735

720: If you can't find a public university that meets your standards in New York State, you definitely won't find it in any of the other Northeastern states.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 3:51 PM
horizontal rule
736

you'd have to be a pretty special snowflake to think going a thousand or more miles away and paying a whole lot more money, to a school that wasn't any better than Cal was worth much thought

I guess given that this is me (only I went to one that was actually worse), I am the specialest of snowflakes.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 3:57 PM
horizontal rule
737

735: You're not going to advocate for the state university of New Jersey? I have a significantly stronger impression of it than of any other public universities in the area.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 3:59 PM
horizontal rule
738

I have a good impression of Binghamton too. How does it compare to other public NY schools?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:03 PM
horizontal rule
739

Rutgers is a much better school than its local reputation would suggest (which is one of the reasons it has a better national than local reputation), but I wouldn't say it's a better school overall than, say, Stony Brook or Binghamton.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:06 PM
horizontal rule
740

738: It's generally considered the best academically, at least at the undergraduate level.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:07 PM
horizontal rule
741

737: My sense is that Rutgers has improved its standing over the last 20 years or so.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:07 PM
horizontal rule
742

(All this is not counting the public half of Cornell, which makes the comparison to other Northeastern states a no-brainer.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:08 PM
horizontal rule
743

738: The impression I have is that it's sort of department by department, which of the SUNY schools is preferable. There isn't really a prestigious flagship and lesser satellites the way other state universities mostly have. They're all perfectly decent schools, but not actively terribly impressive. Binghamton is fine, so's Stony Brook, I think SUNY Alfred has a good studio art program.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:08 PM
horizontal rule
744

There isn't really a prestigious flagship and lesser satellites the way other state universities mostly have.

Right, it's more like the UC system this way than other state university systems.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:09 PM
horizontal rule
745

Rutgers and Stony Brook have good people in my field, and no other state school in NY or NJ has anyone, as far as I know, so my perceptions are probably really skewed. Rutgers, for a while in the mid-90s, had one of the top three or four theoretical high-energy physics groups anywhere in the world, but their funding declined over time and most of the people who were there moved away. It's still pretty good, though.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:11 PM
horizontal rule
746

In that not much like the UC system otherwise kind of way. None of the SUNY schools are particularly selective.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:12 PM
horizontal rule
747

743: Alfred is actually like Cornell, just a couple of state departments, otherwise mostly private. And for further confusion there is separate small state junior college* in town. And for all of that there really isn't much of a town period.

*It spun off at some point and I think has a lot of agricultural stuff.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:12 PM
horizontal rule
748

What's New York's justification for not putting a SUNY school in New York City?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:13 PM
horizontal rule
749

In the early 70s Ohio State charged me $270/qtr tuiton + fees. So much less than 1000/yr. Books could be 50/qtr, although I would recoup that some by selling them back. I lived at home and commuted by bike. I wasn't charged rent or board, think of it as my parents' contribution, so my summer jobs covered my costs.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:13 PM
horizontal rule
750

There's a SUNY med school in Brooklyn.

Why no SUNY city campus? I don't know, but my guess is that it seemed unnecessary to compete with CUNY, which has lots.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:15 PM
horizontal rule
751

But CUNY's aiming for a different kind of role in the university ecosystem than the SUNY schools are, no?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:16 PM
horizontal rule
752

Erasing a comment that would have sent us in circles again.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:17 PM
horizontal rule
753

746.2: Just looking it up, was somewhat surprised that both Binghamton and Stony Brook were only about 40% admit rate. But in-state for a large population and the other factors mentioned here probably lead to them getting more applicants that you might otherwise expect. And the top UCs are about half of that, of course.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:20 PM
horizontal rule
754

751: Not really, no.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:21 PM
horizontal rule
755

Which is itself obnoxious. Basically to the effect that the NY system should function just fine as safety schools, which would be affordable and have a top quintile of great students who would be socially compatible.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:21 PM
horizontal rule
756

751: At what time? I think CUNY used to be more prestigious than SUNY -- that is, I don't think SUNY was ever better than perfectly adequate, while, e.g., City College was once a great school.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:21 PM
horizontal rule
757

755 continuing 752.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:21 PM
horizontal rule
758

Yeah, I'm aware that CUNY used to be something very different than it is today. But I thought that now it was more teaching-centered whereas the SUNY schools are research universities. (For one thing, at least from anecdotal evidence and job ads I've seen, CUNY pays professors very little compared to SUNY.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:23 PM
horizontal rule
759

744 If you look at the sports page, you'll find that only one of them is called "California."


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:24 PM
horizontal rule
760

759: The one in Pennsylvania.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:26 PM
horizontal rule
761

Both CUNY and SUNY have both teaching and research functions, which are generally associated with different campuses within each system. I.e., there are certain branches of both systems that are more oriented toward teaching and others that are more oriented toward research. CUNY's research side has atrophied over the years while SUNY's has grown, but the basic structure still exists for both.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:26 PM
horizontal rule
762

Right, it's more like the UC system this way than other state university systems.

Tell that to the kids at UC Merced.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:27 PM
horizontal rule
763

One thing people outside NY don't always realize is that there are lots of smaller SUNY campuses, generally oriented toward undergraduate teaching, in addition to the four big research-oriented ones (Albany, Buffalo, Binghamton, and Stony Brook). It's a very large and diverse system.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:28 PM
horizontal rule
764

762: I'll put them in touch with the kids at SUNY Geneseo.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:29 PM
horizontal rule
765

759: Hey UCLA! Get your own damn colors! Get your own damn fight song! And get a real bear!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:31 PM
horizontal rule
766

755: Affordable meaning much cheaper than full sticker price at a top-tier private college, but still something where full price isn't going to be trivial. $20K a year (that's estimated full cost, not just tuition) is absolutely a bargain by top-tier college sticker price standards, but doing that eight times in a row is going to hurt.

I don't know if you're going to think I'm more or less of a snob for saying this, but unless it turned out to be a huge price advantage over comparable schools out of state (after doing all the financial aid/merit nonsense that I can't actually do in any reliable way until the kids are closer to applying), I wouldn't encourage them to go to one of the SUNY's. A campus largely made up of kids who didn't want to leave Long Island sounds grim in itself.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:32 PM
horizontal rule
767

My parents were Harvard/Stanford. We went to strong state schools. I expect my kids to go to middling state schools. Let's hear it for social decline!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:34 PM
horizontal rule
768

758: I think NY real estate prices lock in the historical decisions more. Back when CUNY was a powerhouse, there wasn't any reason to put a SUNY campus in the city. Now that it might make more sense for that reason, it'd be really expensive to acquire the land for one.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:35 PM
horizontal rule
769

Out of curiosity, did you do that price tag estimator that knecht linked above?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:35 PM
horizontal rule
770

de Blasio should mount a government takeover of NYU and turn it into a low-tuition public school.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:36 PM
horizontal rule
771

My parents didn't graduate from CUNY. (Dad also didn't graduate from both Pratt and Cooper Union). I went elite university and Dr. Oops elite SLAC. I feel pretty committed to giving my kids a lot of input into where they want to go without imposing too much money pressure on them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:37 PM
horizontal rule
772

A campus largely made up of kids who didn't want to leave Long Island sounds grim in itself.

Probably best to give SUNY a miss, then, as this describes all the major SUNYs except maybe Buffalo, including the public half of Cornell.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:40 PM
horizontal rule
773

What's the tuition like for US students at Canadian universities?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:41 PM
horizontal rule
774

I should come clean because I feel like an ass withholding that we've got free tuition at Heebie u if the kid is a complete putz, and partial to free tuition at better schools through tuition exchange, which they'd have to earn, plus UT. So I'm being a bit of a jerk chastising LB for having anxiety when I've got an ace in the hole. Hold? Hole? An ace somewhere.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:43 PM
horizontal rule
775

You've got to hone in on the ace in the hold.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:43 PM
horizontal rule
776

Tuition anxiety at least. Less sympathy for overthinking their social lives, said teasingly not aggressively.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:45 PM
horizontal rule
777

773: Generally cheaper than comparable US schools, but not necessarily by a lot. I had some high school friends who went to UBC for this reason and seemed happy with it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:45 PM
horizontal rule
778

I've got an ace in the hole

I thought you gave birth already.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:45 PM
horizontal rule
779

I also knew some Americans who went to McGill under similar circumstances.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:47 PM
horizontal rule
780

773: much cheaper than at US universities. Not nearly as cheap as it is for residents of the relevant province.


Posted by: Denny Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:47 PM
horizontal rule
781

778: I'm always pregnant, dontcha know.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:47 PM
horizontal rule
782

UBC seems like a pretty great university in a beautiful location.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:49 PM
horizontal rule
783

776: When you say "overthinking their social lives", I'm thinking "Not putting financial pressure on them to spend four years living someplace they think they'll be unhappy (and that may close doors academically)." Either one of them is content with a school that's offering a lot of merit aid, I will thank my lucky stars.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:52 PM
horizontal rule
784

But is it walkable?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:52 PM
horizontal rule
785

Given that I think UBC's, McGill's, and especially U of T's* reps are comparable, outside the US, to the very finest universities in this countrty, Canadian schools are a very good deal.

* Others, too, depending on area of study.


Posted by: Denny Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:52 PM
horizontal rule
786

769: Tried twice, and both times it ate my data after I'd spent five minutes putting in guesses.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:53 PM
horizontal rule
787

"$270/qtr tuiton + fees. So much less than 1000/yr"
Maybe I'm misunderstanding qtr meaning something other than 1/4 of the year, but I'd say you didn't get your money's worth.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:53 PM
horizontal rule
788

784: Eh. There's a little zone with some shopping and restaurants near the campus; getting into actual city density requires about a thirty or forty minute walk, IIRC, but there is frequent and reliable public transit.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:54 PM
horizontal rule
789

784: totally. Or at least bikable/transitable.


Posted by: Denny Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:54 PM
horizontal rule
790

783: yeah, but you've got extensive theories anticipating what will make them unhappy. Let them surprise you and hate something from left field.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:54 PM
horizontal rule
791

As Halford noted in the previous thread, the public half of Cornell is a traditional recourse for parents in LB's exact situation (though it isn't actually that cheap anymore). As a result, it's full of kids whose parents forced them to go there for financial reasons. They tend to be very unhappy.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:59 PM
horizontal rule
792

790: You're really being irritating about this. If I'm going to be financially prepared to pay for college, then I have to be thinking now about how hard I'm going to twist their arms to take the cheapest possible option, because I have to plan for the most expensive possibility that I'll allow, if you see what I mean.

The possibility that either or both of them will be happy at a school that won't charge them much doesn't do me any good to alleviate financial anxiety as I sit here, unless I'm willing to make that their only option. If they surprise me and hate something from left field, they or I am screwed if I'm not prepared to deal ahead of time.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 4:59 PM
horizontal rule
793

UBC, McGill and U of T all have (a history of) amazing programs in my (somewhat broadly construed) field.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:00 PM
horizontal rule
794

I didn't go 4 quarters in a row as a rule, but usually took summers off. To work and recharge, and I'd think that was normal still.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:00 PM
horizontal rule
795

Toronto is a world-class university by pretty much any measure, I think.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:01 PM
horizontal rule
796

795: I mean as far as I know all three are; I was just reporting what I know best. Actually, in the broadly construed field McGill probably has the edge and in my subfield UBC might, so.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:03 PM
horizontal rule
797

In my subfield Toronto has the edge in undergrads who later go on to completely revolutionize things, but in terms of faculty currently there, I think I'd put UBC highest. And have you seen Vancouver? so mountains. what harbor. very coastline. wow.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:05 PM
horizontal rule
798

787: Three quarters is a full academic year. The remaining quarter is at summer term.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:06 PM
horizontal rule
799

792: Yeah, it really touches a nerve with me.

The possibility that either or both of them will be happy at a school that won't charge them much doesn't do me any good to alleviate financial anxiety as I sit here, unless I'm willing to make that their only option.

How I would handle this? You decide where you draw the line on financial anxiety. Then: Yes, it's your only option unless you get enough merit scholarships somewhere else to not cross the Family Financial Anxiety Line. The end.

Totally unsolicited advice, of course, and I'm being irritating and I'm irritated, so I'm going to actually exit the thread now.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:07 PM
horizontal rule
800

Hey gang, what if we all got together and started a college for LB's kids??


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:09 PM
horizontal rule
801

That would be kind of a hilarious web experiment. I assume there's enough college level teaching experience here for whatever they would like to pursue. It would be like the new reading group but very, very different!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:10 PM
horizontal rule
802

Grad school recommendation letters signed by our pseuds probably wouldn't carry much weight.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:11 PM
horizontal rule
803

Send your kids to Ohio State so they can explain the quarter system to everyone they ned meet.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:12 PM
horizontal rule
804

I can remember a conversation with my father when I was about 15. I said I'd started to worry I'd never afford college. When he told me he expected to pay for it, I can remember bursting into tears. I felt that was an imposition, and I didn't deserve it. In those days the well-to-do often competed for full scholarships, to show they were worthy, and I had decided that because I would never qualify for that, that I wasn't.

It was still important to me that he shouldn't have to pay for my education, and I was lucky enough to live in a time and place where he didn't have to.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:12 PM
horizontal rule
805

803: some of the schools I went to were also on the quarter system.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:12 PM
horizontal rule
806

802: well, maybe. But in doing some rough figuring, I'm thinking some teenager who could convince the commentariat to do that for them could get an arguably significantly better college education than they could at any college or university anywhere in the world.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:14 PM
horizontal rule
807

803: What's a "ned meet"?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:15 PM
horizontal rule
808

I guess maybe none of you are pedigreed experts in, like, illustrated manuscripts or pottery. But I might know a guy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:15 PM
horizontal rule
809

799: Right. Balancing my financial worries against my children's immediate happiness over a four year period and their long-term life outcomes, in a situation where I don't have good information either about what the numbers are going to look like when it come time to start writing checks, or what the kids are going to actually want, or what the actual effects of the ultimate decisions are going to be, is something that fretting over is completely disproportionate. Sink or swim, kids!

Sorry it's been getting on your nerves.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:17 PM
horizontal rule
810

806: Don't think I haven't thought about this. How do you get a blog accredited?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:19 PM
horizontal rule
811

Huh, my only exposure to a quarter system is WPI where a quarter is nine weeks or something. Four academic quarters per academic year.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:19 PM
horizontal rule
812

808: ttaM may not be a manuscripts guy, but he certainly knows a guy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:20 PM
horizontal rule
813

807: Stupid phone.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:21 PM
horizontal rule
814

I'm sure we'd have a better term for it than MOOC.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:21 PM
horizontal rule
815

We need to figure out what our holes are and get people in those fields to start commenting. How are we with anthropologists? Might have at least one, I think?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:21 PM
horizontal rule
816

814: RTFAOC


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:22 PM
horizontal rule
817

811: It's usually three quarters per year plus a summer session that's nonstandard. Chicago used that system. I think Stanford and Davis do too.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:22 PM
horizontal rule
818

We're weak on languages. Blume's got German covered, but is anyone else qualified to teach a foreign language?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:23 PM
horizontal rule
819

I'd think Strander in Lubbock might have a guy for illuminated manuscripts


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:23 PM
horizontal rule
820

I have a lot of faith in teo. I'm sure he'll be prepared to teach Yupik classes with just a little more practice.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:24 PM
horizontal rule
821

essear's faith in me is encouraging, but I don't think I'll be able to measure up to it. I could probably do anthropology, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:25 PM
horizontal rule
822

818: Between us JM and I could probably cover French.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:26 PM
horizontal rule
823

Also linguistics, but we have other people more qualified for that.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:26 PM
horizontal rule
824

UBC is walkable once on campus, sort of. Vancouver is also walkable in many ways. But it's a long walk from Vancouver to UBC. Not as long as the walk to UBC-Okanagan, though.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:30 PM
horizontal rule
825

I can't think of a CS PhD off the top of my head but there must be somebody qualified.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:32 PM
horizontal rule
826

The buses move something like 25,000 people daily (weekdays) between metro Vancouver and the UBC campus. There are long waits at night and on weekends.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:32 PM
horizontal rule
827

824: Looking at google maps, I think I stand by my 30-40 minute recollection, for walking to the western part of the 10th avenue corridor where there's something approaching interesting urban density. Does that sound off? Downtown is a lot further away, of course.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:33 PM
horizontal rule
828

Come to think of it, when I moved to grad student housing on the UBC campus, I drove more than when I lived in a residential neighborhood. The grocery store, also on campus, was at least a 20 minute walk and the weather is usually not for walking. And when I commuted into the city, it was a 15-20 minute walk to the buses to leave campus.

The UBC endowment lands are huge, IYKWIM.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:35 PM
horizontal rule
829

827: Yeah, that's about right. I did that walk from the very end of the business area on 10th on a nice day and was surprised at how long it took. I think it's longer than Palo Alto - Stanford quad down Palm Drive.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:37 PM
horizontal rule
830

OK, LB - the finances are opaque and that is totally scary. But your general framework in life is to assume people are resilient until proven otherwise, and yet you're treating your kids - uncharacteristically - as though they're not resilient and are high risk for being not ok.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:41 PM
horizontal rule
831

Shoot, we might need a musicologist. Do we need a musicologist?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:42 PM
horizontal rule
832

We might also be short on petroleum engineers.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:44 PM
horizontal rule
833

773 -- A lot more than I'm paying now. Will the boy skip class less often if it costs 3 times as much? I'm guessing not.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:48 PM
horizontal rule
834

830: They'd probably be okay if I kicked them out of the house the day they graduated from high school and never paid for anything -- you're right, they are resilient. My (self-imposed) job as a parent is to put them in a position where they don't need to use up resiliency on stuff that I can reasonably make easy for them. Let them have the spare capacity to take care of someone else who needs it more down the road.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:49 PM
horizontal rule
835

Frowner and I can be the low-level administration workers who actually do everything. Although Frowner could teach Science Fiction, and I could do a J-Term on John Brown, I suppose.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:51 PM
horizontal rule
836

If you do save up and they get free rides, you're going to fly us all to the Caribbean for the best meetup ever, right?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:52 PM
horizontal rule
837

We'll also need some high-level administrators who don't do anything, but I'm sure they'll be easy to find.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:52 PM
horizontal rule
838

Nah, I'm buying a boat. Anyone who wants can come crew on it, though.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:53 PM
horizontal rule
839

832: until Halford gets his shit together and goes back to school for a real job.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:55 PM
horizontal rule
840

674: I didn't know he would get so carried away with the paleo aspect of it.

But yeah. If I can't bring people directly to my gym, Crossfit is similar and widely available. I do worry that Crossfit injures people, but I can't solve everything.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:55 PM
horizontal rule
841

Didn't we designate a blog cabin boy at some point?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:57 PM
horizontal rule
842

On the one hand, I'd like to push back gently against this

their long-term life outcomes

but on the other hand, I think

your general framework in life is to assume people are resilient until proven otherwise, and yet you're treating your kids - uncharacteristically - as though they're not resilient and are high risk for being not ok

seems totally appropriate. I'm much more protective of my kids than the population at large, and I'm nowhere near as scary or dogged as LB.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:57 PM
horizontal rule
843

803: Someone else can probably be more right about this, but my understanding is that all Ohio schools getting state funds now have to use the same academic calendar, which is bullshit and annoying but true AFAIK.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 5:59 PM
horizontal rule
844

In the end, I think I'm lucky to have been a really crappy student in high school, to have given no thought at all to college, to have thrived despite having attended a pretty mediocre undergraduate institution (it's better now, I surmise), and thus to have the strong sense that my kids' life outcomes don't hinge in any meaningful way on where they go to college. I think this viewpoint is pretty unusual here, though not nearly so unusual as it is among my colleagues, who genuinely believe that if their kids don't get into an elite college, they're totally screwed for life.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:00 PM
horizontal rule
845

We're in a position more grotesque than LBs 127. My wife and I both had college costs covered by contributions from grandparents. So we assumed our parents, who are also well off perhaps in part because they didn't have to help pay for college, would do the same for our kids. But so far no indication so we're pouring everything extra into college savings. It would at least be useful to have a definitive yes or you're on your own.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:02 PM
horizontal rule
846

Huh. I think of myself as less protective of my kids than the population at large. Keeping their options open (as by being prepared to pay for college even if they're looking at a high cost option) seems to me like a completely different impulse -- I don't want them to be safe (well, I do, of course, but I don't worry about it much), I want them to have opportunities.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:02 PM
horizontal rule
847

I think we should pay KR huge consulting fees to help us restructure and perhaps even rebrand our institution, at which point I'll be happy to step into the role of the highly paid, do-nothing administrator.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:02 PM
horizontal rule
848

I don't want them to be safe (well, I do, of course, but I don't worry about it much), I want them to have opportunities.

This seems to be somewhat at odds with your desire to shelter them from any situation in which they'll have to contend with a bigoted majority, but it's possible that I misread you above and/or I'm misreading you here.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:04 PM
horizontal rule
849

I'll be happy to step into the role of the highly paid, do-nothing administrator.

Good, because we sure don't want them to major in history.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:05 PM
horizontal rule
850

845: have you asked? My parents paid for my sister's kids to go to college -- it was very little money, as the kids in question earned huge scholarships to Oberlin -- but have, when asked subsequently, said that they won't do the same for my kids. Which is fine, because we're more financially secure than my sister is, though not so financially secure that paying for college won't be a near-impossible burden for us to bear. Oh well!


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:06 PM
horizontal rule
851

This seems to be somewhat at odds with your desire to shelter them from any situation in which they'll have to contend with a bigoted majority

That's not an unsafe situation (given that most people aren't going to be bigoted directly at either of my kids), that's an unpleasant situation. Seems like a completely different sort of issue to me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:09 PM
horizontal rule
852

Which is fine, because we're more financially secure than my sister is, though not so financially secure that paying for college won't be a near-impossible burden for us to bear. Oh well!

Just send 'em to Slippery Rock.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:09 PM
horizontal rule
853

though not so financially secure that paying for college won't be a near-impossible burden for us to bear

I believe Heebie has thoughts on this subject.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:10 PM
horizontal rule
854

We'll, wrt my parents at least, us Jews don't discuss personal finances. Seriously, I had no idea growing up how much my parents made or whether we had money or not (aside from having enough that the kids didn't have to worry about it.)


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:12 PM
horizontal rule
855

And 851 seems like splitting hairs, but now we're into questions of how people choose to parent their kids, and I'm not even a little interested in arguing about that, especially when we're talking about people who are pretty obviously exceptionally dedicated and thoughtful parents -- like everyone here, really (at least now that ogged and halford don't seem to be around).


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:12 PM
horizontal rule
856

LB, I bet at least one of your kids won't want to break the bank. I couldn't justify going anywhere that cost more than State U. My parents started saving when my sister was born, and I wasn't sure what I wanted to major in, so I took what I thought was the best bet. My sister went to USC with a scholarship for 50% of tuition, which still cost a lot more than State U, particularly rent. (Mine was $210/month, hers was $450.) I think she's probably comparable to your kids academically. At any rate, given their interests, I suspect their best bet is an R1 State U in the upper Midwest for cost vs quality vs some kind of money for improving geographic diversity. At a first class my freshman year, they asked the class to sing the jingle from a frequently broadcast local commercial. All but one did it, and that one kid was deeply confused at how we all knew a 1-800 number for carpet installation.

I like that essear judges schools based largely on how one might do majoring in high energy physics with an eye towards an academic career track.

Heebie, I'm surprised you get a UT discount. My advisor's kids didn't get a discount!


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:14 PM
horizontal rule
857

850: send them to a worse school! (Obligatory.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:16 PM
horizontal rule
858

Incidentally, should I change jobs to big international co down the street for a 40% pay increase?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:16 PM
horizontal rule
859

I sat next to a woman at a dinner party last night who told me she'd saved $0 for her daughter, just now finishing her junior year in HS. I must have looked a little alarmed, and she asked me what our state schools cost, all in. Then it was her turn to look alarmed.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:16 PM
horizontal rule
860

Yes, unless there's a downside you haven't mentioned.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:17 PM
horizontal rule
861

856: no, we don't. That clause was poorly concluded, and then...or there is UT, which is reasonably priced still.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:17 PM
horizontal rule
862

I believe Heebie has thoughts on this subject.

I think I've made fun of heebie's thoughts on this subject in another thread. I mean, she's right within reason: there are tons of schools that will throw money at certain kids to lure them to campus. But to bank on one of those schools being the school that one's kids want to attend seems odd to me, and it would be even odder for someone white who lives in NYC, where one's kids are about as geographically and demographically undesirable as an admissions committee can imagine. Sally, especially, is facing some high hurdles -- assuming present conditions continue into the future -- though as someone noted above, it would be fantastic for her admissions prospects if she wanted to study something in STEM.

Having said all of that, I maintain that she's very likely to do great no matter where she goes to college, so I wouldn't worry about it (not nearly so much as I'd worry about, say, climate change), were I you. But again, it's easy for me to say that, as I'm extrapolating from my own experience/personal anecdotes just as surely as you're extrapolating from yours.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:19 PM
horizontal rule
863

Slippery Rock is good in women's water poli, I think. Or used to be. It's one of the many schools whose names I recognize from sports channel lists of scores.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:19 PM
horizontal rule
864

858: I have been guessing where you work - I hear rumblings of big clusterfucks there recently (which I hope you're avoiding), so yes?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:20 PM
horizontal rule
865

Polo, not poli


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:20 PM
horizontal rule
866

856.1: Everyone around here seems to think that, all other things being equal, UW-Madison is a better school than UM-TC. But I dunno, seems like everyone I know who went to Madison spent A LOT of time partying, not much studying, and didn't do as well in life as my U of MN alumni friends.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:21 PM
horizontal rule
867

For water poli, you really need to come out west.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:22 PM
horizontal rule
868

We will save zero dollars for college. I'm led to believe it's foolish to do otherwise. Instead, as someone said upthread, we'll dump tons and tonnes of money into our retirement accounts and then see what comes out of the financial aid calculator. If need be, we'll take a second mortgage on the house or something. I mean, if we have enough put away in our retirement savings, we'll make it work somehow. I just don't want to have to work forever.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:22 PM
horizontal rule
869

According to my mom, when she screwed up at something as a teenager her dad would threaten to send her to Slippery Rock for college. I have no idea if that would be as potent a threat now as it was then.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:22 PM
horizontal rule
870

It's a logical career progression although with the risks associated with a huge company, politics bureaucracy etc. but I feel bad about leaving my current place because we just had a painful reorg where my boss fought to protect several of us, she's going to be judged on our performance and my leaving would screw her. Also the big boss might be offended and could complicate future things in this area for me.
Oh and I need to apply for the job first but the listing is an almost exact match for me except that the experience requirement is 10+ years and I'm at 9yr 7mo. Damn HR.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:25 PM
horizontal rule
871

861: Oh, got it. I was thinking you had a really excellent deal. Sorry that's not the case, but it still sounds good. My advisor had two daughters two years apart in age and married a (former) student who had a son one year younger than his younger daughter. The eldest was 16 when I joined the group, and he was utterly terrified about college costs.

866: I think it really depends on taste. Once you leave the Midwest, I think both become "Big State U Midwest" to most folks. I think there's less to do in Madison, and WI definitely has a drinking culture.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:27 PM
horizontal rule
872

Drinking is something to do.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:27 PM
horizontal rule
873

864- you're probably guessing right, and I am pretty much right at the center of said clusterfuck. On the bright side my HR partner complimented my skill and compassion in telling people they were laid off.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:28 PM
horizontal rule
874

We will save zero dollars for college.

I'm confused by this. You're an associate or full prof now, I'm not sure which, and your wife works? Might work later? Your household income will probably be over $150k/yr. You'll qualify for loans, but you're not going to get a penny in grants, right? Why pay the penalty on withdrawing retirement savings? I'm clearly missing something obvious here.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:31 PM
horizontal rule
875

873: Yeah, my best friend from grad school just got laid off (maybe by you!). At any rate, I don't think you owe anybody there too much. Plus, you're in a good place to find still another position if you don't like making 40% more. I think it would be understandable.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:36 PM
horizontal rule
876

874: as I understand it -- secondhand, it should be said, from but at least from several credible people who understand these issues quite well -- schools will take every dollar you have saved, and only then begin to provide aid. And so, if we can afford to pay tuition out of pocket when the time comes, so be it and bully for us! But if we can't, having savings will just mean that the savings will disappear before any aid will be forthcoming.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:41 PM
horizontal rule
877

874: Need-based aid works based on assuming the student will spend 100% of their assets, parents will spend a certain (high) percent of their savings, a certain % of their assets, and a certain % of their income. Retirement isn't included in the formula to calculate parents assets/savings.

873 again: Unless it's the really big company (Pf). They are truly awful.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:42 PM
horizontal rule
878

874: You wouldn't withdraw retirement savings. You might stop making contributions while your kids are in college, but withdrawing would defeat the purpose of saving for retirement first.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:44 PM
horizontal rule
879

Anyway, we save for retirement instead of college, because 150% employer match.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:45 PM
horizontal rule
880

schools will take every dollar you have saved, and only then begin to provide aid

Yes, but 1) the money they take is deducted from what you then owe; it's not just confiscated and 2) you're not getting any aid, bro.

I could be wrong about 2, but I've googled a fair bit and haven't seen anything to indicate I am. So, again, what am I missing?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:48 PM
horizontal rule
881

Retirement isn't included in the formula to calculate parents assets/savings.

Yeah, I know, but everything I've read seems to say that at an income around what I'm guessing (sorry if this is obnoxious) Denny's family will have, they have almost no chance at non-accomplishment-specific money/grants. If y'all mean loans when you say "get aid," then that's the obvious thing I'm missing..


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:53 PM
horizontal rule
882

856.2: I'm not really judging based on that. It's just that that's where I have a lot of information and it seems like a more plausible proxy for the university's quality than any other information I have.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:55 PM
horizontal rule
883

Surely not more plausible than TFA.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:56 PM
horizontal rule
884

875- small world, but no that wasn't one of mine. 877 last, no, the Swiss candy factory.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:56 PM
horizontal rule
885

880: Like so.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:56 PM
horizontal rule
886

my best friend from grad school just got laid off (maybe by you!)

Aww, these unexpected connections are so fun.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 6:57 PM
horizontal rule
887

881: no savings plus the home equity one might accumulate in Molestallachia? I think ydnew might be right that they could get more than you think.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:01 PM
horizontal rule
888

Let's all list the people we've fired and see which other commenters are friends with them.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:01 PM
horizontal rule
889

The link in 885 is great. I had looked a little for examples of the sorts of aid people could realistically expect but hadn't found anything.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:03 PM
horizontal rule
890

886: And remember if your child becomes a brand ambassador for an inferior brand someday they will be laid of at the behest of another commenter's child who is exhibiting exactly the behavior that theit superior brand is looking for in its ambassadors.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:04 PM
horizontal rule
891

880: Like so.

Fascinating!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:04 PM
horizontal rule
892

882: Teasing a little. It's as good a proxy as any, but it's certainly not a popular path.
884: Seriously, I thought not - I'm pretty sure you aren't acquainted, although I'm not entirely sure who you are IRL. That company doesn't seem to be as evil as others. Good luck, and I'm sorry you must've had a really rough month.
889: Thank you! I was pretty sure I remembered the financial talk from a prospective student visit, so I had a guess it would be there.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:06 PM
horizontal rule
893

874: presumably you could even search a public database to find out his current salary.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:11 PM
horizontal rule
894

I do think if you work though this "forecaster" on the FAFSA site it will give you an estimated EFC.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:12 PM
horizontal rule
895

862: I've said a bunch of times that the financial scare is reasonable, and it's just the social engineering that keeps setting me off. Anyway I was made fun of in another thread?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:14 PM
horizontal rule
896

If we have to take out loans or a second mortgage, we will. Whatevs. This is one of the things I refuse to worry about. I mean, by that time I might be teaching at heebie u or the like, in which case we'll take advantage of the tuition waiver. I'm just not going to scrimp and save when I know the game is rigged.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:15 PM
horizontal rule
897

893: it's way off. Let's all just post our salaries instead!


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:16 PM
horizontal rule
898

It does sort of seem like either saving enough that you can painlessly pay full load anywhere OR hiding whatever assets you can from the calculators and hoping for the best are the two best options short of "lean on the grandparents".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:18 PM
horizontal rule
899

895: The cultural issues only come up as a subset of the financial scare, though. I'm sure I was insensitive in describing reasons why my kids might not want to go to third-tier regional schools, but from a social point of view they should go wherever they want -- I was talking about places I wouldn't be happy about requiring they go to for financial reasons.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:19 PM
horizontal rule
900

I need to adopt the Denny mindset. We're been trying to budget our post-ogged-employment life to save $3000/month for college, which seems insane.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:20 PM
horizontal rule
901

Crumb-- You could put some money in one of those tax deferred college savings accounts.

LB:

My (self-imposed) job as a parent is to put them in a position where they don't need to use up resiliency on stuff that I can reasonably make easy for them. Let them have the spare capacity to take care of someone else who needs it more down the road.

I would like someone tho share their spare capacity for resilience with me!


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:21 PM
horizontal rule
902

Omg, 3k a month is insane. No wonder you poor dears are nervous.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:22 PM
horizontal rule
903

So how is "hiding assets from FAFSA" not a huge, immediate thing financial planners work on? It has to be, right? Are people not just admitting this?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:22 PM
horizontal rule
904

I'm sure I was insensitive in describing reasons why my kids might not want to go to third-tier regional schools, but from a social point of view they should go wherever they want -- I was talking about places I wouldn't be happy about requiring they go to for financial reasons.

I think part of the reason heebie was annoyed is that the schools you were imagining were not at all the same schools she was talking about.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:23 PM
horizontal rule
905

869: her dad would threaten to send her to Slippery Rock for college

Back in the day sports announcers would often include the Slippery Rock football score as a joke when giving the national scores. This is apparently how it got started (so probably more prevalent in the Midwest):

The announcing of the Slippery Rock score is a tradition at University of Michigan football games. This tradition began in 1959 by Michigan Stadium announcer Steve Filipiak. In the past, it was a tradition at many stadiums to announce Slippery Rock's scores, schools such as Texas, North Carolina, Stanford,[4] and California. Michigan is the only school that still continues this tradition.
More here.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:24 PM
horizontal rule
906

For irrational reasons I don't trust the CSAs. I feel like the rules will change as you go and become increasingly unappealingly restrictive, or more taxed, or something, and you'll be locked in.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:24 PM
horizontal rule
907

903: Legalized same-sex marriage is closing a loophole a lot of my friends didn't feel guilty exploiting given that they'd been the victims of plenty of similar previous loopholes. But now you have to list both moms' or dads' financial information and that changes the game some.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:26 PM
horizontal rule
908

903: Oh, yeah it is. I knew people who were much better off than others who got better packages. I think one had put a second home in a relative's name etc.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:26 PM
horizontal rule
909

(Yup, lotsa stuff if you google "hide assets from FAFSA". Turns out Denny needs to own and (help) operate a farm, which should be easy enough where he's headed.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:26 PM
horizontal rule
910

Somewhere in the archives is a supposed magic-bullet FAFSA-evading scheme: sink all your money into a house, sell it and keep just enough to pay that year's college bill, sink the remainder into a new house, lather rinse repeat.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:27 PM
horizontal rule
911

It has to be, right?

Well, now I've decided I should talk to one, so I certainly hope so. Then my wife will insist we donate what we saved to poor children or something.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:29 PM
horizontal rule
912

Slippery Rock used to be exclusively be a teacher's college, Changed in 1960. I know some who attended and more whose kids have gone. They want everyone on this thread to die in a fire. I've been on the athletic fields there, once to play rugby and a bunch of times to attend kids' soccer games.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:32 PM
horizontal rule
913

912: Indeed, it was still a teacher's college when my grandfather threatened my mom with it, or at least that's how he referred to it. I guess either she was younger than I was assuming or he didn't notice the change.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:36 PM
horizontal rule
914

I know some nice folks in the math department there.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:37 PM
horizontal rule
915

The link in 905 is fascinating. I had no idea.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:37 PM
horizontal rule
916

Okay, so it's settled. All commenters should send their kids to Slippery Rock.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:37 PM
horizontal rule
917

904: And if they end up getting large amounts of merit aid from schools they want to go to, I'll be ecstatic. Forgive me for not being sanguine about that as a certainty.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:39 PM
horizontal rule
918

I was unemployed for several years in my 50s, and we took money out of the house when that was still possible. I've worked steadily for a number of years now, and our income is respectable, but we're underwater and have no assets.

This is why my son, and my daughter before him, got substantial aid packages. It's not a comfortable life, but the financial aid means such reverses in a family's fortunes don't have a ruinous effect on the college-age kids.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:43 PM
horizontal rule
919

Tuition is only $12,800 for out-of-state students with at least a 3.0 GPA!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:43 PM
horizontal rule
920

I'm a lot more laid back about this lately. I've had a very expensive education and I'm fine. shiv is attending the kind of school that would make LB shudder, getting nearly perfect marks in software engineering, and he's fine.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:45 PM
horizontal rule
921

916: philosophy is such a walk there.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:52 PM
horizontal rule
922

And if they end up getting large amounts of merit aid from schools they want to go to, I'll be ecstatic. Forgive me for not being sanguine about that as a certainty.

Right, this is the fundamental dispute in all these threads. No one's claiming it's a literal certainty, but it really is a thing that a lot of schools offer to applicants with good academic records, or at least it was when I was applying to schools. The chance of a full-ride scholarship at any particular school is low, but if a kid applies to several of the schools in this category the chance of getting significant merit aid somewhere is decent. That's all I'm saying, and I think it's all heebie's saying too.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 7:56 PM
horizontal rule
923

The "that they want to go to" is weird there, too. Rhymes-with-Schufts vs. Wash U., mentioned by Blume upthread, seems like an illustrative example. They may well want to go to the former more than the latter, but rejecting that on financial grounds definitely has no opportunity cost for them. There are a zillion basically interchangeable overpriced mid-tier private universities that know perfectly well that it behooves them to try and boost their rankings by letting in some proportion of higher-than-expected achieving students to goose their ranking. Northeastern (not a terrible school) used to offer a full ride to National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:08 PM
horizontal rule
924

Right, we're talking about a large number of schools, all of which are academically fine and the type of schools kids like LB's are likely to want to apply to anyway.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:15 PM
horizontal rule
925

There's a factual question here which is whether the chance of getting merit aid is highly geographically dependent or not. I don't actually know either way, but it seems plausible to me that being from NYC really does make it orders of magnitudes harder.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:16 PM
horizontal rule
926

save $3000/month

This boggles the mind. in the course of human events, has anyone ever done this?


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:16 PM
horizontal rule
927

923 could have avoided repetition about boosting and/or goosing ranking. Oh well. I went to a non-flagship public university.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:18 PM
horizontal rule
928

It's no Slippery Rock, but my first alma mater includes a full scholarship upon acceptance, and may even admit women within the next decade. Given the size, a well-timed push could result in a majority-Mineshaftspawn class.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:18 PM
horizontal rule
929

There's a factual question here which is whether the chance of getting merit aid is highly geographically dependent or not. I don't actually know either way, but it seems plausible to me that being from NYC really does make it orders of magnitudes harder.

I don't think it does, actually. They're doing this to game the US News rankings by increasing the average SAT scores and GPAs of their incoming classes; it doesn't have anything to do with geographic diversity, which is a separate part of the admissions decision that will generally work against them, at least for schools in the Northeast.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:20 PM
horizontal rule
930

One thing that this thread drives home is what a shame it is that there aren't more first-rate public universities in the northeast.

I never really thought of that before. This top ten list starts with three military academies.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:20 PM
horizontal rule
931

Is "wouldn't reasonably mind going to" better? Taking as read that I'm an incredible snob and overprotective, there's going to be more merit aid available from worse schools. With respect to some schools, their disadvantages are going to be great enough that I wouldn't want to require my kids to go there regardless of scholarships. The question is whether I can have enough confidence that there's going to be buckets of merit aid available at some reasonably desirable school that I'm just being silly to worry about it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:20 PM
horizontal rule
932

Is it not possible to actually ask NYC-area high schools for information about where their students have succeeded in getting merit aid?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:20 PM
horizontal rule
933

932: I wouldn't think high schools would have that information, would they?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:22 PM
horizontal rule
934

And for a lot of people, merit-based aid isn't exactly a done deal.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:23 PM
horizontal rule
935

has anyone ever done this?

Some friends are doing this, but they make a lot more money than I do ever have.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:25 PM
horizontal rule
936

933: I don't know. I thought I remembered my high school making some effort to compile such information from graduating students every year.

It just seems like all the anecdotal information about available scholarships in threads like this isn't making you feel more comfortable, so I wonder if there's a larger set of data available somewhere.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:25 PM
horizontal rule
937

The question is whether I can have enough confidence that there's going to be buckets of merit aid available at some reasonably desirable school that I'm just being silly to worry about it.

Right, and what we're saying is that the answer is yes. There are lots of reasonably desirable schools that give out lots of merit aid. If your kids apply to a bunch of them, they have a reasonable chance of getting enough aid at one that it won't be a huge financial burden.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:30 PM
horizontal rule
938

I thought I remembered my high school making some effort to compile such information from graduating students every year.

Mine definitely did, but it was just awards that people had actually accepted, not everything they were offered. I guess that would work too, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:30 PM
horizontal rule
939

931: I just don't think the differences between schools rated between, I dunno, 30 and 250 on whatever list you choose, are going to be terribly large, and certainly the difference in prestige will be meaningless for any career. If Sally does want to of some kind of specialized engineering the best school will probably be some land grant public school that isn't otherwise that great anyhow. Almost all selective-ish colleges have some really good programs, some bad ones, a lot of good faculty, smart kids and dumb kids. UMass, which I mentioned earlier, is honestly probably a better place to go for CS (certainly if you want to go to grad school) than, say, Tufts.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:32 PM
horizontal rule
940

928: I just read their page about the founder, and it was very interesting. I hadn't realized he was so associated with the development of electrical transmission or with the Telluride Association.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:33 PM
horizontal rule
941

930: And number four is Penn State, which speaks for itself.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:34 PM
horizontal rule
942

825: but it seems plausible to me that being from NYC really does make it orders of magnitudes harder.

This is off by, oh let's see... orders of magnitude*. Teo has it right in 929. Geography factor into admits, but for the merit aid being discussed here it is almost never a factor.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:38 PM
horizontal rule
943

A good friend of mine went to UMass Amherst, majored in engineering, got a job at NASA, went to UT Austin for a masters in that same kind engineering, and ended up with a job designing, like, space lasers. Probably would have been tougher to accomplish if he'd gone to Williams.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:38 PM
horizontal rule
944

I give up. If you people can't follow how a pricing regime that is cripplingly-expensive, except there's a really good chance of a big discount somewhere, handed out in a non-transparent fashion by standards that can change arbitrarily from year to year, can reasonably lead to worry on the subject, I don't know how I can communicate it to you.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:40 PM
horizontal rule
945

944: I definitely see why it would worry you! If all you're looking for is acknowledgment that it's a legitimate source of concern, I think you'd get plenty of that. I thought you were actually looking for information about what kind of merit aid is plausible.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:43 PM
horizontal rule
946

We're not saying it's unreasonable to worry. We're (or at least I'm) saying it's unreasonable to make huge, life-changing decisions based on that worry. You haven't mentioned doing that in this thread, but in the last one you were talking about stuff like quitting your job and trying to get a higher-paying one, which really would be overreacting. Kids like yours are going to have a lot of options when it comes to choosing colleges, and you'll be able to figure out something that works financially.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:44 PM
horizontal rule
947

And number four is Penn State...

WE ARE!

which speaks for itself.which speaks for itself.

Oh, fuck it all to hell.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:46 PM
horizontal rule
948

I didn't say how it spoke for itself.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:46 PM
horizontal rule
949

handed out in a non-transparent fashion by standards that can change arbitrarily from year to year

It does seem like the places that used to be completely transparent--like CWRU where it was a simple SAT threshold when I was applying--are less forthcoming about their criteria now than they used to be. But I think it shouldn't be impossible to get enough information to get a rough sense of what the criteria are.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:48 PM
horizontal rule
950

If you knew a guy, you could ask how this stuff really works.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:50 PM
horizontal rule
951

Ah right, US News, that makes sense. So basically you want to look at rich schools where the kids SAT scores are well above average. Comparing merit aid percentages (http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings/most-merit-aid?src=stats) to 75th percentile SAT scores (paywalled) should give a pretty decent estimate.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:51 PM
horizontal rule
952

949: As of 4 or 5 years ago it was still formulaic. Someone I know whose kid went there, basically had the formula--but it may have been they got it from admissions after there kid was admitted (or maybe when they visited.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:54 PM
horizontal rule
953

This conversation started with the words "Drop a tier, get a full ride. For real." Which I took as meaning "It's unreasonable to worry, or to expect college to be a financial burden."

I swear I'm not hung up on how only Harvard will do for my special snowflakes, and I'm not planning to go back to the skeletal embrace of Big Tobacco. But I'm still not comfortable counting on paying for college being trivial so long as I'm flexible about objectively unimportant levels of prestige.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 8:57 PM
horizontal rule
954

The mid-atlantic has legitimately good public schools (Penn State, Rutgers, and Maryland), so if you count then then the Northeast is doing ok. But if you restrict to New York and New England, the public schools are really much much worse than they should be. New York is one of the biggest and richest states in the union and it should have one public school of the caliber of other big states like Texas or Illinois. UMass is a decent school, but it's not pulling it's weight relative to the state it's in. And it only gets worse from there. I'll cut Vermont and Maine some slack, as they're little rural states, but Connecticut should be able to support as good a school as New Jersey does.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:00 PM
horizontal rule
955

In my experience the schools in that game are fairly forthcoming on the general outlines even before you apply (they want to encourage applications). However, many will not commit at that time as they are basically divvying up a budgeted amount based on that year's admit pool. and it as all done strategically per the OP--based on BAARA (Brand Ambassadorship Above Replacement Admit).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:00 PM
horizontal rule
956

953: Well, then it sounds like your "you people" in 944 really meant just "heebie". Because I don't think the rest of us were saying the same thing she was.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:01 PM
horizontal rule
957

Oh shut up, essear. I've offered tons of financial sympathy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:06 PM
horizontal rule
958

944: Assuming I don't switch jobs and the legislature doesn't continue its drift toward its own asshole, one benefit we have is four years tuition-free undergrad for kids at a perfectly reasonable school.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:07 PM
horizontal rule
959

Northeastern was mentioned above and seems like a great example to look at. They give merit scholarships to the top quarter of their students (both according to US News and to their website). That's SAT scores starting in the mid 1400s (Reading 720, Math 740, Writing 710). It's a good school in a location that's obviously not a negative.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:10 PM
horizontal rule
960

Some of the merit aid is based on state/geography (aside from the in-state public things). Ironically for this particular thread, the two which I specifically recall favored any New York state resident who qualified for their "merit" pool. That was at Rochester ($10K IIRC) and Alfred (forget what it was, and the merit pool was a relatively low bar).

But LB is correct that none of those things are set in stone and they colleges absolutely use them strategically for rankings and brand ambassadorship. The economic advantages accruing to asymmetric information certainly are present in this "market."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:10 PM
horizontal rule
961

957: Sorry. I actually think your 100 was pretty much right on target.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:11 PM
horizontal rule
962

956: Certainly, most of what I've been saying has been responsive to Heebie. When I was talking about cultural/social issues, I was thinking about them in light of the caliber of schools that are handing out guaranteed free rides to any reasonably bright applicant. (Noting also that awesome as S&N are, there's a bunch of years in which they might end up struggling academically. I'm not expecting it, but the reassuring voices are counting a lot of unhatched chickens.) At the level of schools you're talking about, I'm not worried about that sort if thing at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:13 PM
horizontal rule
963

959: That says "select students within" the top 25%, which seems very different to me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:16 PM
horizontal rule
964

US News says it's 24% of their students.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:19 PM
horizontal rule
965

And the range of scholarship amounts is quite large.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:22 PM
horizontal rule
966

Laydeez.


Posted by: Opinionated Northeastern | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:24 PM
horizontal rule
967

957: If you're sympathetic about the finances, what are you giving me a hard time about? Again,
I swear to god I'm not hung up on Harvard.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:26 PM
horizontal rule
968

Yale wouldn't be the end of the world.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:29 PM
horizontal rule
969

965: Indeed. Though the range between 1450 and 1600 is also quite large.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:30 PM
horizontal rule
970

Gotta say, on the issue that is not the issue of being afraid of southern rubes, but the issue of worrying about cost, I'm with LB. (I'm lying, I'm also afraid of southern rubes.) Looking more carefully at the sample aid linked in 885, families with higher income are still on the hook for about $30k/yr. That's a lot! Now maybe you can drop down a tier from NU (NU: so, so many middling intellects) and get substantially more aid, but I haven't seen anything solid to make me confident of that.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:31 PM
horizontal rule
971

Rochester has a merit aid estimator if you want to look at another example. But I do not offer it as a worry-reducer but I think it is typical for that level of place. For most who get merit it still costs a lot.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:32 PM
horizontal rule
972

Yale wouldn't be the end of the world.

Penn, on the other hand...


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:33 PM
horizontal rule
973

I mean, I realize we're not supposed to act snobby, but those of you who went to Ivies, think of how many people there you had filed in your mental "idiot" box; it's only worse elsewhere. That can be tiresome. WHICH IS NOT TO SAY that you can't get a very, very good education, and do just fine in life by attending those other schools--just that there's a lot of suppressed eye-rolling involved.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:34 PM
horizontal rule
974

I never suppressed my eye rolling at Wisconsin. I just sent in the front row of classes that interested in pretended the idiots in the back weren't there at all.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:36 PM
horizontal rule
975

Should I see Particle Fever, essear?


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:37 PM
horizontal rule
976

973: I thought we'd agreed not to make our resident Louisville coach feel any worse about his career choices.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:37 PM
horizontal rule
977

Oh, forget it, it's only showing at 6 pm.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:37 PM
horizontal rule
978

"sat" rather than "sent" above, please

There's a reason I majored in history and will soon be joining the faculty of the nation's worst university.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:38 PM
horizontal rule
979

975: Yes! Definitely.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:38 PM
horizontal rule
980

979: okay, can you bend time so that it's not playing in the middle of my family's dinner hour?


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:40 PM
horizontal rule
981

If you're sympathetic about the finances, what are you giving me a hard time about?

Because you were arguing that schools that drew mostly from a radius of 250 miles would be full of racist bigots and unpleasant for S&N. That made me irate.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:41 PM
horizontal rule
982

974: My parents both went to Wisconsin...


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:41 PM
horizontal rule
983

973: Probably fewer people wanting to roll their eyes at


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:44 PM
horizontal rule
984

You.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:47 PM
horizontal rule
985

My wife and I both went to Wisconsin. There were a lot of really smart people there with us. The guys who started The Onion were a year ahead of us, I think. Anthony Shadid was an acquaintance. One of my favorite historians in the country these days sat with me in the front row of a bunch of courses. And so on. Then there were many, many bro-ass dullards. But I suspect that's true at any state university -- it's certainly true here -- and maybe any university, full stop.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:47 PM
horizontal rule
986

Surprised, and yet not surprised, this thread is till going, inching towards 1,000 posts. I checked in because thought you might have all realized the Salton Sea is amazing and bizarrely fascinating.

BUT this whole thread has been helpful for me in clarifying the bases of my own reactions. I got next to zilch help from my own parents, and ended up with a big fat multi-year gap between my sophomore and junior years at Cal, as I needed some time to regroup financially and figure out some other stuff in my life. However, I got in at 16 on an early admissions thing for kids within a certain geographic scope and as part of that program all prerequisites were waived. I was taking graduate seminars from the beginning and ended up getting a very good education. The "middling intellects" were pretty easily avoided.

The prestige thing leaves me completely cold. The actually quality of the education to be had at an Ivy versus what I had at Cal? Give me a break, totally not worth it. And from where I sit now, in interview season I see plenty of shining examples of why it is just not worth it.

How to square this with what the kid is currently being lavished with? Probably not possible to justify in an coherent way, but the closest I can get to is that what we are paying for now is getting him concrete skills not available elsewhere and that are time/age-dependent to acquire.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 9:52 PM
horizontal rule
987

986.3: New York isn't California. There are no public schools in New York at the level of Cal or UCLA or UCSD or UCD or UCSB or UCI. The very best SUNYs are at the level of UCSC or so. Do you really think there's no big difference in education between Cal and Santa Cruz?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 10:01 PM
horizontal rule
988

985: Their attendance was at such a different time and under such different circumstances that I only brought it up on the off chance that it might make you feel guilty for a fleeting moment.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 10:02 PM
horizontal rule
989

Do you really think there's no big difference in education between Cal and Santa Cruz?

At the undergraduate level? Practically speaking, I'd say no. It would depend on field, of course, but I might even say that the education at Santa Cruz, which focuses on undergraduates, is likely to be better.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 10:07 PM
horizontal rule
990

My sampling of UCSC undergrads must be different from yours...

At any rate, I think we can all agree that any usage of the word "prestige" which excludes the greatest university that ever was or will be is pretty stupid and should be laughed at.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 10:11 PM
horizontal rule
991

Yeah, 986.3 is mysterious to me. I certainly think of Cal as being clearly equal to or better than any Ivy judging by pretty much any metric that matters.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 10:13 PM
horizontal rule
992

My sampling of UCSC undergrads must be different from yours...

Tell me more about this sampling! Really, though, I'm not even sure what you're saying. If you're suggesting that the students at Cal are smarter, on average, than the students at Santa Cruz, then sure, I think that's probably true. But I thought you were talking about the quality of the education at the two institutions, in which case I think the same student plopped down on both campuses would, because of UCSC's emphasis on training undergraduates, have an equally good or maybe even better shot at getting a great education there than at Cal.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 10:34 PM
horizontal rule
993

Also, have you taught, as a faculty member, at either Cal or UCSC? Or anywhere in the UC system for that matter? I'm not trying to pull rank on you; I'd just like to be clearer on the origin of your certitude and snark. You may well know much more about the undergraduates and the quality of education at those institutions than I do.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 10:37 PM
horizontal rule
994

But how smart your classmates are really really matters for the quality of education you're getting. You can't teach a class that loses 90% of the students. So UCSC classes have to be dumbed down slow versions of the corresponding courses at Berkeley. This is all the more true if they're well-taught (and thus aimed at the bulk of the students in the class).


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 10:39 PM
horizontal rule
995

I taught Calculus at Cal. I never taught at UCSC, so my impression of people I knew socially who went there may not be representative.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 10:42 PM
horizontal rule
996

Yeah, I think you're assuming the difference between the students at UCSC and Cal is much greater than it actually is. It's incredibly hard to get into any of the UCs at the moment, as I suspect you know, and thus the students on all of the competitive campuses are likely to be very, very good (even allowing that the students at Cal will be, on average, more accomplished than those at UCSC or Davis or UCSD). Again, though, it may be that the nature of a good education, whatever we mean by that, is more field-dependent than I'm allowing. Which is to say, I can teach my classes at pretty much whatever level I want here. I wouldn't change the presentation of the material were I at Cal (or Harvard). But it's entirely possible that's not the case in physics or math. I just don't know.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 10:45 PM
horizontal rule
997

It's not *that* hard, we're talking about a school with average SATs around 550 per subject. That means they don't understand algebra and can't write well.

At any rate maybe it is field dependent, in math I have to adjust the rate significantly based on the students. I'd have assumed the same was true of history (e.g. can you expect people to read and understand whole books or not) but I could be totally wrong.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 10:52 PM
horizontal rule
998

Also, I didn't learn very much at all from my fellow students as an undergrad. Now again, this might have more to do with my field or with me personally, but I learned from the books I read and from the professors and TAs who taught me. So I tend to be skeptical of claims that cohorts play a huge role in shaping an undergraduate's experience. I mean, once an institution reaches a certain level -- and UCSC is clearly above that level -- almost any undergraduate can get as good an education as s/he can handle (it's a completely different story for grad students, who are, or at least should be, doing original research). And as I said above, I think it's far more important if an institution stresses undergraduate education, which UCSC does, than if its students' SAT scores are 10 or 20 points higher than the next place.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 10:54 PM
horizontal rule
999

I'm probably repeating myself from other threads, but where I saw big disparities in school's curriculum was in languages. I went to Middlebury for a summer Russian program and the difference between what a "year" of Russian meant at different schools was remarkable. Some of that may have been a result of how people did on the placement tests at the beginning, but even schools that used the same textbooks covered hugely different numbers of chapters within a given year of study. My roommate had a "year" of study at Harvard and started at level 5 of 7. Other people with a "year" started anywhere from 2 to 4.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 10:54 PM
horizontal rule
1000

I am, once again, persuaded that I would not have thrived as a math professor. Bullet dodged.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 10:55 PM
horizontal rule
1001

At my current school we have a pretty robust honors track, which means the top math majors are getting a comparable education to top schools. But UCSC doesn't have an honors track, and our non-honors track is definitely not giving a comparable education to top schools.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 10:57 PM
horizontal rule
1002

Also, a "year" at Cal's intensive summer Russian course put you close to year 3 Russian at Stanford, going by textbook chapters. They used different books so it was approximate.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 10:58 PM
horizontal rule
1003

That means they don't understand algebra and can't write well.

No, it really doesn't necessarily mean that at all. Given that I'm starting to get grumpy, I think I'd better search for comity and then let it go. Cal is a great school. And it's totally possible that teaching math at Cal is an entirely different thing than teaching math at UCSC. I just don't know. But even if that's true, I'm unpersuaded that the same student couldn't get as good an education at the latter as the former -- though I'm perfectly happy to grant that I don't know the first thing about math instruction -- because they're both terrific schools filled with smart students and talented faculty.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 11:01 PM
horizontal rule
1004

UCSC doesn't have an honors track

Yeah, you're wrong again. Just so you don't think I'm leaving in a snit, I'm really not leaving in a snit. I'm just tired and need to finish writing a talk. I may check back in a little bit. If not, good night.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 11:03 PM
horizontal rule
1005

My take on undergrad history was that there's a much wider range of doing well than there is in technical fields. So someone could do well by reading everything, being active in class discussions and writing great essays and exams. Or someone could get about the same grade by doing less than that. Maybe it's grade inflation but I think really there is just a lot you can do above "A" work that doesn't actually get reflected in a grade increase. I got basically the same grades in the classes where I didn't get to all the reading as I did in the ones where I read everything but I'd say I got more out of the latter ones. Sometimes people are surprised that even though history is an "easy" major, it's not that easy to do history really well.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 11:03 PM
horizontal rule
1006

Which is to say that if the courses are pitched about the same, you can get as good of an education in history at schools that otherwise may look quite different for prestige. What proportion of students take advantage of that probably is related to who is admitted and who accepts. I'd bet lower performing students at an Ivy or Ivy-type school are higher performing than ones at public schools, on average.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 11:08 PM
horizontal rule
1007

998: I'm with upetgi on this one. I was both under-motivated and under-challenged as a student; being surrounded by better students certainly would have helped with the motivation, and being in classes aimed at a higher level would have helped with the challenge.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 11:09 PM
horizontal rule
1008

Also, just as essear considers school's physics programs I think of what they're doing with their libraries. Penn State has a lot of interesting stuff going on right now. They seem pretty committed to the library system.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 11:11 PM
horizontal rule
1009

I'm having trouble with UCSC not being on the same list as UCSB. But I'm going by 15-20 year old reputation. Grad programs would be different. But in my day, UCSC was a very good UC for quirky people and UCSB was a UC for partiers that was probably good too but whatever, let's drink ("You see us booze").


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 11:17 PM
horizontal rule
1010

UCSC has an extremely good linguistics program, probably the second-best in the country after MIT. Most of my linguist friends from undergrad who went on to grad school went there.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 11:19 PM
horizontal rule
1011

The University of Colombo School of Computing might be looking for geographical diversity.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-26-14 11:22 PM
horizontal rule
1012

"Oh, and just one more subroutine..."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 3:54 AM
horizontal rule
1013

On the STEM/humanities subthread, I think I still like Cory Doctorow's advice: if they can define your job, they can outsource it. Get weird.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 5:30 AM
horizontal rule
1014

But how smart your classmates are really really matters for the quality of education you're getting. You can't teach a class that loses 90% of the students. So UCSC classes have to be dumbed down slow versions of the corresponding courses at Berkeley.

This is the argument that I was waiting for LB to make, that I really can't defend against. It's much more robust than TEH RACISTS!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 5:40 AM
horizontal rule
1015

LB w.r.t. the racists from within 250 miles is basically my parents w.r.t. liberals at Yale.

How prepared (it's not really smarts) your classmates are does really matter, or it can for a certain kind of student, and it's really noticeable mostly in the first two years here as we're open enrollment institution. On the other hand, let's not freak out too much. I wouldn't say I've dumbed anything down (it helps here that almost no one has philosophy before college so many are starting from scratch), and we've sent students onto top law schools (Berkeley, UCLA.)

My upper division students read journal articles and write papers. They present at undergraduate conferences! It is harder for them than it would be if they were surrounded by brilliant classmates -- maybe -- they get a lot of attention here. But I'm basically at the lowest tier possible -- and you're all debating whether UCSC or UCSB is really going to have the right cohort. Easy, snowflakes.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 6:02 AM
horizontal rule
1016

You people really made a stuff-white-people-get-anxious-about feast in this thread. I wish I'd chimed in earlier to note the plight of my friend with four kids, so spaced as to ensure that for at least one year and possibly two he will be paying four college tuitions concurrently.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 6:06 AM
horizontal rule
1017

Yeah, I was going to say. I took upper division humanities seminars at (open enrollment) UMass Boston and they were just like they'd be anywhere.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 6:07 AM
horizontal rule
1018

1017 to 1015.2


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 6:08 AM
horizontal rule
1019

Have we ever had a thread on-topic after a thousand comments before? Heebie and LB should fight about parenting more often.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 6:08 AM
horizontal rule
1020

Interesting how different standards are for what's too insulting to say. That seems much harsher to me than what I did say (which wasn't TEH RACISTS!). I kind of also think that's true, but I couldn't face arguing about it with you once you'd already insisted that the top third of the student body at the third tier schools you were talking about was just as smart as the students anyplace else.

What I don't get about the shape of the argument, though, is that if you think that's true, which you seem to, what were you doing arguing that there's no reason other than status not to go to a third-tier college if it's cheaper?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 6:11 AM
horizontal rule
1021

you're all debating whether UCSC or UCSB is really going to have the right cohort.

I'm not -- quality of the student body at that level isn't something I'm worried about at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 6:13 AM
horizontal rule
1022

Then there were many, many bro-ass dullards. But I suspect that's true at any state university -- it's certainly true here -- and maybe any university, full stop.

Once, early days for me at the U of C, I was walking up University near the gym and the library, when I stopped in semi-amazement to observe a pack of bros, bro-ing down in that backward-capped, shovey-shouty, bro-ish bonhomie kind of way, and someone passing me, without stopping, turned and said, "There aren't many here. But there are some."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 6:20 AM
horizontal rule
1023

There are definitely bro-ass dullards everywhere.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 6:22 AM
horizontal rule
1024

Maybe not Reed?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 6:23 AM
horizontal rule
1025

1024: The bros at St. John's sort of de-bro'd as they progressed through the program. The three main contenders in my class (who, for example, put toothpaste assprints all over a dorm hallway and then cleaned them off with beer) are now 1. an MD 2. a prog-rock guitar god and 3. an avant-garde artist/playwright living in Austria.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 6:28 AM
horizontal rule
1026

997 At any rate maybe it is field dependent, in math I have to adjust the rate significantly based on the students.

My class this semester is going much slower than when I taught the same thing a year ago, because the students seem confused and are asking a lot more questions. But most of the older faculty I've said this to reacted pretty badly to it and seem to think I shouldn't have slowed down at all because it means I'm not teaching a lot of important topics. I thought it was better to try to make sure they actually learn some fraction of the material than kinda-but-not-really learn all of it.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 6:56 AM
horizontal rule
1027

Honestly, I'd say part of what you're paying for at the prestige/SLAC for the dumber children of the landed gentry schools is the ability to be comfortably in the middle of the pack and still have the connections to have a fine UMC life. Here, if your goal is to Make It Big somewhere, you need to be very, very good indeed, because the school doesn't have the name recognition nationally.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 7:02 AM
horizontal rule
1028

A not really very good, but topically relevant, editorial cartoon from The Onion.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 7:09 AM
horizontal rule
1029

the ability to be comfortably in the middle of the pack and still have the connections to have a fine UMC life

Exactly right. This is what I meant by middling-piddling upthread: "privilege" is being average and doing ok. There's a Chris Rock bit about his neighbors, who are Shaq, some other very famous black person, and a white guy, who is a dentist.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 7:11 AM
horizontal rule
1030

Yes, 1027 gets to the nub of so much of UMC college anxiety. A "good education" is certainly part of it, but that is but a sidebar to the actual game being played.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 7:14 AM
horizontal rule
1031

1004: What am I missing? I looked around their website and beyond intro calculus they don't have a single honors class.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 7:19 AM
horizontal rule
1032

I wish I'd chimed in earlier to note the plight of my friend with four kids, so spaced as to ensure that for at least one year and possibly two he will be paying four college tuitions concurrently.

You rang?

(Not quite our situation - our kids will span 5.5 years. Also mitigating economics mentioned upthread.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 7:26 AM
horizontal rule
1033

For instance I was struck by essear's Yeah, 986.3 is mysterious to me. I certainly think of Cal as being clearly equal to or better than any Ivy judging by pretty much any metric that matters

That would be that matters to you. This whole topic is absolutely defined by the level of ambition/aspirations held by the parents and prospective students (not to mention the theoretically disinterested interlocutor). And that is dominated by all the reputational factors of these institutions (and of course the flip side of the "brand ambassador" part of it). Actual quality of education received is but one piece of it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 7:27 AM
horizontal rule
1034

But most of the older faculty I've said this to reacted pretty badly to it and seem to think I shouldn't have slowed down at all because it means I'm not teaching a lot of important topics. I thought it was better to try to make sure they actually learn some fraction of the material than kinda-but-not-really learn all of it.

This is why math ed and pure math people clash so badly. I tend to side with fewer, well-understood topics side of things.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 7:29 AM
horizontal rule
1035

1024: The closest I encountered was a dude who was shocked and dismayed to discover, as he put it, "them greeks was mostly all faggots." He mellowed pretty quickly and ended up being quite a decent chap by the end of the program.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 7:30 AM
horizontal rule
1036

What I don't get about the shape of the argument, though, is that if you think that's true, which you seem to, what were you doing arguing that there's no reason other than status not to go to a third-tier college if it's cheaper?

Cala's answer in 1015.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 7:31 AM
horizontal rule
1037

"privilege" is being average and doing ok

I like this definition and, because I'm white and you're not, will steal and use it without remorse.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 7:31 AM
horizontal rule
1038

1036: How prepared (it's not really smarts) your classmates are does really matter, or it can for a certain kind of student, and it's really noticeable mostly in the first two years here as we're open enrollment institution.

Sounds fair to me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 7:33 AM
horizontal rule
1039

1027 is very true. College name recognition has a way of anchoring people's evaluations of you... they start by picturing you as an average student from that school, and then revise up or down as they learn more about you.

If you're an excellent student from no-name school, you can impress the hell out of people, but it's still very very hard to ever be evaluated more highly than an average student from Famous University.


Posted by: torrey pine | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 7:36 AM
horizontal rule
1040

You're white for now, Yahudi.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 7:37 AM
horizontal rule
1041

1039: This thread's a rather excellent example of that. Slippery Rock (which took a lot of my high school cohort)? Oh no!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 7:42 AM
horizontal rule
1042

Right. The most common thing for a bright kid in my high school was to get a full merit scholarship to University of Florida. From there life took a normal range of trajectories and some are doing exceedingly well, while some dropped out and faltered and are mired in paternity lawsuits. Go figure.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 7:45 AM
horizontal rule
1043

1038: You did keep reading, right?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 7:47 AM
horizontal rule
1044

You're white for now, Yahudi.

And this, the casual antisemitism, is why my people steal from your people with a clear conscience.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 7:48 AM
horizontal rule
1045

1042: Did anybody drop out and not get mired in a paternity suit?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 7:50 AM
horizontal rule
1046

1044 is appalling. Ogged, Denny just called you Palestinian.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 7:51 AM
horizontal rule
1047

You want a merit scholarship? Have I got one for you (for some values of you)! Plus, it is at UNC—home of the apostropher—not one of those fancy schmancy Ivories. How cool is that?


Posted by: John Motley Morehead III | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 8:01 AM
horizontal rule
1048

This has been a very distressing thread; the wrong people are fighting.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 8:25 AM
horizontal rule
1049

1027 is exactly right, and also a large part of the reason private colleges exist in the first place. HOWEVER in the world of the future if you're not already rich and endowed with actual, literal capital the additional human capital you get from having OK grades at a pretty well regarded fancy private college (eg Wesleyan) and connections to others in the same boat isn't going to matter for shit anyway, so they'll (likely) be even more of a waste of money than they are now.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 8:26 AM
horizontal rule
1050

Someone's been reading Piketty.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 8:29 AM
horizontal rule
1051

And forgetting the cardinal rule that should govern all civilized discourse: the future is unknowable, so certitude is misplaced. Speaking of which, has anyone seen Francis Fukuyama lately? Is he holed up somewhere with the Dow 36,000 guys?


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 8:32 AM
horizontal rule
1052

As revealed in this thread, at around comment 10483 where someone admitted that Joe Paterno really did have an Aneiad made out of the skin of human children.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 8:34 AM
horizontal rule
1053

Yeah, whatever human-skin-Aneiad, but there is pretty good reason to think that paying a huge premium for allowing our kid to be mediocre-smart with other mediocre-smart kids at a prestige school is likely to be a less effective path to class ascendancy and upward mobility (and let's be honest, that's much of what we're talking about) in the future.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 8:39 AM
horizontal rule
1054

Upward mobility would be nice, but I'm just hoping they won't slide too far back.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 8:43 AM
horizontal rule
1055

Do the Boy Scouts have merit badges for burning shit down?


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 8:45 AM
horizontal rule
1056

Burn Down the Mission!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 8:48 AM
horizontal rule
1057

Elton John is my political hero.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 8:49 AM
horizontal rule
1058

As I said upthread, either the future will play out exactly as we all fear or it won't. My hope is that in the wake of this gilded age we'll have another progressive era, but that's probably a false hope, in which case I'm betting Piketty is right and capitalism will collapse beneath its own weight, which will be very bad indeed for almost everyone commenting here.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 8:51 AM
horizontal rule
1059

Again, though, I think the smarter play is to worry about the effects of about climate change, which seems, comparatively speaking, like a sure thing, and which should at least make it much easier to burn shit down.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 8:53 AM
horizontal rule
1060

And yes, I should be writing a talk, which is why I'm commenting so goddamned much the past couple days. Whatever.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 8:54 AM
horizontal rule
1061

which should at least make it much easier to burn shit down.

In the medium term shit will start burning itself down.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 8:56 AM
horizontal rule
1062

I'm betting that it will be not as good as we hope, yet better than we fear.

Because I'm a fucking idiot with a weakness for pseudo-profundities.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 8:57 AM
horizontal rule
1063

1060: My brother. The brief I'm writing has been a large part of what's keeping me engaged on this thread.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 9:00 AM
horizontal rule
1064

1032- Isn't that a better situation than mine, in which we'll be paying at least one tuition for 12 years, of which only 4 will be double? You get a significant cut to the EFC if you have two kids in college, I imagine even more if you have 3. Our situation is 12 straight years of paying half our income to schools.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 9:14 AM
horizontal rule
1065

1063: oh, I see how it is. You're engaged with the thread but I'm just procrastinating. What-ever.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 9:18 AM
horizontal rule
1066

1064: Yes. But you (with the help of your children) can game that a bit) with accelerated and delayed admissions...


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 9:19 AM
horizontal rule
1067

Thinking about baseball helps too.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 9:22 AM
horizontal rule
1068

1065: Your use of "just" is problematic. Procrastinate proudly.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 9:22 AM
horizontal rule
1069

Which is of course what you are doing.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 9:22 AM
horizontal rule
1070

Sure, there's a bit of self-loathing mixed in there as well. But even that presents as one-upmanship as one is certainly expected to imagine that the talk that an award-winning tenured professor of History is procrastinating on is substantive one.

Not that there is anything wrong with that.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 9:28 AM
horizontal rule
1071

Truth be told, it's not so much a talk as an acceptance speech. Engage with that, losers!


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 9:30 AM
horizontal rule
1072

And honestly, I'm completely paralyzed by the prospect of delivering a ten-minute speech in front of the fossilized remains of the C/olumbia University trustees, history department luminaries, upper administrators, and various other donors who will apparently be attending the ceremony. My impostor syndrome: let me show you it!


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 9:33 AM
horizontal rule
1073

As long as you start it with a faux self-deprecating apology for having thrown the speech together so quickly you'll be in the clear.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 9:34 AM
horizontal rule
1074

I've read the entire thread (and thought about it, and talked to C about it), even though it's entirely irrelevant to me. That's how much I'm procrastinating this weekend. (Essay due in tomorrow morning.)


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 9:36 AM
horizontal rule
1075

No, start it by saying that lots of your imaginary friends think history is bunk, and that you've wasted your life, but .... (And then imagine yourself giving the whole speech whilst punching Halford).


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 9:38 AM
horizontal rule
1076

"Thanks for the prize, but your children should, if they can, get a double major in an engineering field because frankly the undergraduate education we provide isn't likely to be that valuable."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 9:39 AM
horizontal rule
1077

...semi-amazement to observe a pack of bros, bro-ing down in that backward-capped, shovey-shouty, bro-ish bonhomie kind of way, and someone passing me, without stopping, turned and said, "There aren't many here. But there are some."

I think my son would argue that those are not necessarily what he would mean by bros; they maybe guys playing with pseudo-bro-ish behavior.

At Wolfcub, where he was in student government for a time, there is actually a faction claiming that the bro way of life needs respect if not deference, along the lines of a recognized minority. It certainly does seem as if colleges want to attract a more "Collegiate," to use Murray Sperber's typology, student into the mix at schools like Wolfub, or UofC for that matter.

At W/c the bros and bro-ettes are concentrated in a different part of the campus. He and his friends do affect pseudo-brosity on occasion, perhaps partly to tease the Portlandia element, whose views they actually tend to share, but whose style annoys them.

His test for true bro-dom would be private opinions and actual beliefs. Plenty of MRA among the genuine article, almost none among his circle.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 9:40 AM
horizontal rule
1078

"I just flew in from the coast and boy do I have a bad limp ... I'll be here all week, try the ham. Just kidding, I'm Jewish."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 9:41 AM
horizontal rule
1079

All kidding aside, assuming I stick like glue to the text and don't digress at all (hah!), how many words should a ten-minute talk be?


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 9:41 AM
horizontal rule
1080

I've written one joke into my opening paragraph. It's totally self-deprecating and not at all funny. Beyond that, the topic of the talk doesn't lend itself to broad comedy.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 9:43 AM
horizontal rule
1081

1071 Truth be told, it's not so much a talk as an acceptance speech.

Just crib from the Oscar speeches. Something about how you support the dreamers in Ukraine and you couldn't have done it without God.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 9:43 AM
horizontal rule
1082

I think 100-150 wpm for public speaking stuff. Below that if you like to pause for applause, effect and/or laughs, or like to enunciate s l o w l y  a n d   c l e a r l y. More if you're a machine gun speaker.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 9:47 AM
horizontal rule
1083

You asked me to talk about a Massacre!
(Too rude?)


Posted by: Arlo Guthrie | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 9:47 AM
horizontal rule
1084

1072 -- Talk about climate change. That'll get 'em.

Lots of ways to approach it: We went to a protest rally yesterday. Dr. Running very practical, and reasonably (that is, at least marginally) optimistic about reducing the generation of electricity with coal, which is a big big part of the thing. Dr. Price called for the end of civilization as we know -- a rollback of the landing at Plymouth Rock -- which didn't seem as realistic.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 9:48 AM
horizontal rule
1085

1082: okay, that's what I thought. The talk is ~1400 words, so I think I should be okay. I REALLY don't want to go over the allotted time, though (actually, because) I'm told that everyone always does. Assholes.


Posted by: Den E. Crumb | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 9:51 AM
horizontal rule
1086

You just have to give the talk and time it yourself to know.

Also, I will take back everything I've said if during the talk you rip off your shirt and go after the co-winner with a metal chair, after letting the audience know that "there can only be one."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 9:51 AM
horizontal rule
1087

And see if you can work in the phrase 'racist legacy of George Preston Marshall.'


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 9:52 AM
horizontal rule
1088

Shouldn't you rap it?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 9:53 AM
horizontal rule
1089

"Chivington" is a tough rhyme.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 9:54 AM
horizontal rule
1090

"The title of my speech is 'No Man a Historian'. Becker was wrong. We should return to the era where wealthy people amass collections at their leisure and produce historical works on their own time. The rest should be engineers."


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 10:01 AM
horizontal rule
1091

Johnny M. Chivington coming over the rise
Says "Hello Laydeez
I'ma cut off your boobs as a prize.
I know it sounds bad, but you gotta get civilized
Gotta get civilized."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 10:02 AM
horizontal rule
1092

Do I remember correctly that George Preston Marshall already owned the team in 1940?

I've a memory of reading a "Monsters of the Midway" type account of the 1940 NFL Championship--won by the Bears 72-0--and I think I remember wondering "Why does that guy have three names?"

Not a common practice in my circles.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 10:02 AM
horizontal rule
1093

The role of John Evans, founder of Northwestern, in the massacre comes up around here. I've an acquaintance, a sociology professor at NU who has apparently publicly advocated the University acknowledge and do something to commemorate it.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 10:07 AM
horizontal rule
1094

"The history of the progress of mankind is the history of its leading minds. The masses, left to themselves, are hardly capable of progress, except material progress, and even that imperfectly. Through the long course of history, a few men, to be counted by scores or by tens, have planted in the world the germs of a growth whose beneficent vitality has extended itself through all succeeding ages; and any one of these men outweighs in value to mankind myriads of nobles, citizens, and peasants, who have fought or toiled in their generation, and then rotted into oblivion."


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 10:13 AM
horizontal rule
1095

1089: John Chivington
John Chivington
30 feet tall
weighs a fucking ton


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 10:19 AM
horizontal rule
1096

He saves the children
But not the Redskin children


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 10:24 AM
horizontal rule
1097

"This will be particularly difficult for most of the urban-bred scholars of today if their work is to show any real, perceptive comprehension of the workings of human nature. The deficiency is environmental, for in former times such understanding was vouchsafed to historians who were raised in the countryside or in the small town, where the eccentricities, idiosyncracies, and individual traits of people were allowed free play, openly, and more often than not encouraged, because they made them more interesting."

...

"Furthermore, many of the younger practitioners of our craft, and those who are still apprentices, are products of lower middle-class or foreign origins, and their emotions not infrequently get in the way of historical reconstructions. They find themselves in a very real sense outsiders on our past and feel themselves shut out. This is certainly not their fault, but it is true. They have no experience to assist them, and the chasm between them and the Remote Past widens every hour. In our graduate schools we are training a host of skilled historical technicians, but all of us here, I think, will have to conclude that very few of our colleagues rise today to the high level of significant generalization or display either profound analytical powers or marked narrative proficiency."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 10:25 AM
horizontal rule
1098

1097. Eh?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 10:34 AM
horizontal rule
1099

Maybe do a whole pantomime routine about trying to find the massacre modeled after Bush's "where are the WMDs?" skit from the WH correspondents dinner?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 10:42 AM
horizontal rule
1100

1099 to, I'm going to say, LB's kids?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 10:43 AM
horizontal rule
1101

When does the thread blow-up from too many comments? 1160?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 10:45 AM
horizontal rule
1102

You know what this country needs? A Daniel Snyder / Donald Sterling cage match.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 10:47 AM
horizontal rule
1103

2048


Posted by: Gamer | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 10:48 AM
horizontal rule
1104

Here's another idea: at that rally, one of our state senators stood mute at the microphone for maybe a whole minute, said 'wasn't that uncomfortable?' and then talked about how dysfunctional families (like his growing up!) have secrets and silences. Which is how our dysfunctional American family is treating climate change.

I'm telling you, with a mere 100 words here you can knock down maybe 20% of your total time.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 10:49 AM
horizontal rule
1105

1102: two man enter, 3/5 man leave.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 10:49 AM
horizontal rule
1106

Since when did not talking to your family become dysfunctional?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 10:52 AM
horizontal rule
1107

I see that the charming C. Bridenbaugh quote was the subject of a previous "presidential address" historical thread, but I don't find Parkman in that one.

I bought a whole bound set at an old used book store in Cranbery over 30 years ago but have never read a word of it. Has anybody here read him? There was a Classics Illustrated comic book of The Conspiracy of Pontiac but that doesn't count. Edmund Wilson's survey of Canadian Literature, Oh Canada, published in 1964 recommends reading Parkman for background.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 10:54 AM
horizontal rule
1108

1072 the C/olumbia University trustees, history department luminaries, upper administrators, and various other donors

My local celebrity colleague was recently telling me that conversations at every single meeting including wealthy donors and whatnot inevitably turn to the bunkers these people are building to secure themselves against the impending uprising of the lower classes. So, I guess that ties into the whole massacre theme.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 11:04 AM
horizontal rule
1109

So, everyone's kids should be majoring in civil engineering with a specialty in bunker design?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 11:06 AM
horizontal rule
1110

s/b O Canada, from the national anthem.

Wilson had very interesting things to say about the anthem, and about The Maple Leaf Forever which, common in my childhood seems to have gone underground. I remember Dagger Aleph had never heard it until I mentioned it here, and then she found a youtube of Ann Murray performing it at a Leaf's game.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 11:06 AM
horizontal rule
1111

Leafs


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 11:07 AM
horizontal rule
1112

It sounded bizarre to me at first, but then I decided that Elon Musk obliviously explaining to horrified people about his superfortress that would defend him from the dark-skinned hordes is totally plausible.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 11:09 AM
horizontal rule
1113

Not that he was named or anything, so I probably should have google-proofed 1112 to avoid subjecting the blog to libel lawsuits or something.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 11:10 AM
horizontal rule
1114

|| 2048! I can retire at last. Is anyone still working on this? |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 11:26 AM
horizontal rule
1115

Me. I just got to 1024 for the first time yesterday.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 11:38 AM
horizontal rule
1116

So, everyone's kids should be majoring in civil engineering with a specialty in bunker design?

Nah. Mechanical engineering with a speciality in shaped charges and the Mizhnay-Schardin effect.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 11:45 AM
horizontal rule
1117

1116:

LB is well-enough read in military technique to actually get that.

I wish I believed that the fear of an uprising were chastening to those guys, but I don't think that's the source or the likely effect.

Sort of a super-rich version of the gold-bug scam applied to gullible righties of the lower-classes, would be my guess. I hope one of these bunkers is preserved for posterity, to enrich tours of estates.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 11:52 AM
horizontal rule
1118

You've said things like that a couple of times. In fact, no. My knowledge of military technique is limited to having read Red Storm Rising, and a whole bunch of those Bernard Cornwall Sharpe's Rifles books.

Luckily, Mizhnay-Schardin was easily googlable.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 12:21 PM
horizontal rule
1119

It took me a while, but I've got the perfect speech -- go on stage, raise fist in black power salute, stand on stage silently holding black powe salute for 10 minutes, leave. That would be perfect.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 12:29 PM
horizontal rule
1120

You always seem to get the gist of it though. And didn't you once describe a subscription to a gun magazine you'd ended up with, and what you picked up there?


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 12:31 PM
horizontal rule
1121

Can't find a good Allan Nevins quote for Denny to plagiarize.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 12:37 PM
horizontal rule
1122

That was Outdoor Life, not Soldier of Fortune.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 12:39 PM
horizontal rule
1123

1119 sounds pretty great, Den E. If we start a Kickstarter campaign to pay for your kids' college, will you do it?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 12:46 PM
horizontal rule
1124

Instead of the UnfoggedOOC, we need to have some investment vehicle where commenters with kids approaching college age can hide their money in some blog-based commune property, get that sweet sweet financial aid, then cash their money out after the kids graduate.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 12:50 PM
horizontal rule
1125

How about a tontine?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 12:51 PM
horizontal rule
1126

1122:

Ok, I get it. The Fallschirmjagern on Eban Emael is one of the great exploits though, so I half expect it, and things like it to be more generally known than I guess they are.

Recalling the primitive, naive state of military history allusion employed in the runup to the Iraq war, as we did here this week should have prepared me for this, although with those guys you can never be sure how much they believe and how much they've tailored the message to the audience, in true Straussian fashion.

David Frum stands out as having a reasonably good knowledge of these things. He's the only known writer I can think of who will make a Canadian military history allusion from time to time.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 1:00 PM
horizontal rule
1127

silently holding black powe [sic] salute for 10 minutes

Make sure to look at the time after about nine minutes have elapsed.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 1:01 PM
horizontal rule
1128

8192 with a score of 133132


Posted by: 2048 addict--thanks, Unfogged! | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 1:46 PM
horizontal rule
1129

You guys have a ways to go before you hit the theoretical maximum of 2^17.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 3:33 PM
horizontal rule
1130

These goddamn games. I swear it was only 2 PM a few minutes ago when I started playing 2048.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 3:39 PM
horizontal rule
1131

I've still only ever gotten 8192 the once.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 3:52 PM
horizontal rule
1132

This crowd is way too over-educated to get away with tut-tutting any of its members for worrying about their children's educations. It's also pretty damn offensive to leap to the assumption that worrying about the cost of a college one's offspring will be happy at = UMC worry about college prestige. Not to stir the pot or anything.

I thought a bit about a local example of rich guys building bunkers/stockpiling food (Pie/rre Omid/yar) and concluded that it's almost sweet, in a crazy sort of way, that he's trying to see how far out he can get on the tail of the providing security for his family curve rather than giving up and resorting to hookers and blow. And it's less socially counterproductive than his foray into journamlism. That is, admittedly, working pretty hard at being charitable.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 8:10 PM
horizontal rule
1133

When we start Unfogged U., can I teach some kind of class related to The Good Wife? Or maybe co-teach with oudemia or something?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 8:28 PM
horizontal rule
1134

My girlfriend tells me that the Chinese government just officially banned it, so all the streaming video websites have been ordered to remove all episodes of The Good Wife along with a few other shows or face criminal charges.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 8:32 PM
horizontal rule
1135

Unfogged U: Where Physics for Poets is our faculty development plan.


Posted by: DaveLHI | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 8:32 PM
horizontal rule
1136

Until this thread, I'd never really noticed that it's the Toronto Maple Leafs. I guess naming your team "the Leaves" would imply retreat? Or maybe just another weird Canadian spelling.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 04-27-14 9:38 PM
horizontal rule
1137

I guess naming your team "the Leaves" would imply retreat?

Depends if they eat and shoot first.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 5:10 AM
horizontal rule
1138

1087:And see if you can work in the phrase 'racist legacy of George Preston Marshall.'

"Let me tell you one more thing about the Redskin."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 6:38 AM
horizontal rule
1139

1135: I'd totally take Poetry for Physicists.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 6:46 AM
horizontal rule
1140

http://existentialcomics.com/comic/14


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-28-14 11:53 AM
horizontal rule