About Me

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I taught for several years at a residential school for children with emotional disabilities before staying home after the birth of my second daughter. I returned to teaching, finished my Educational Leadership program in May of 2012, and now work as our district's Writing and Social Studies Coordinator. I have always loved writing and find constant inspiration from my family. Maybe someday, I will get to see my name on the cover of a book!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Standing at the Admissions Finish Line...Waiting...

Each week the Slice of Life is hosted by the writers and teachers of Twowritingteachers.wordpress.com. Many bloggers write slices each week that you can read by following the links from the comments, or feel free to join in on the slicing!

As I await with my oldest daughter at the finish line of the College Admissions Process for the greatly anticipated results, I find myself second-guessing and wondering about the whole process more and more. While we all want to believe that the buck doesn't stop at a GPA or SAT score (especially when those scores are not in the top 2%), certainly college admissions officers, inundated by bajillions of applications for ten spots, must have some clear cut-off in mind. Maybe the cut-off mark is a little softer for the tuba players when the top player is due to graduate, but there does seem to be a tendency (and a need) to pay attention to scores.

As he frequently does, Thomas Friedman got me wondering even more about all of this in his morning NYTimes OpEd piece, How to Get a Job at Google. While Friedman does validate the experience of college for many people--"For most young people, going to college and doing well is still the best way to master the tools needed for many careers," he writes--, Friedman also quotes Laszlo Bock, the senior vice president of people operations for Google, as suggesting that too many colleges "do not deliver on what they promise. You generate a ton of debt, you don't learn the most useful things for your life. It's an extended adolescence."

Is it? Am I about to fund a $200,000 extended adolescence? My stomach hurts a little at the thought.

I would like to believe that my daughter will be one of those students who will take advantage of the learning opportunities that will be available to her next year wherever she decides to go, that she will be one of those students who gets involved in research projects, goes to the plays and art shows, has dinner with professors, travels with other curious students. I'll certainly be cheering...

In the meantime, I am having all of my daughters read Friedman's column and we will talk about what he calls "soft skills--leadership, humility, collaboration, adaptability and loving to learn and re-learn."

Still Waiting,


  1. Great thoughts Melanie! I will have to read the article later today. You left me pondering this morning is those soft skills--leadership, humility, collaboration, adaptability and loving to learn and re-learn--are really soft skills or essential parts of our education? Thanks for giving me thinking points for today (and maybe an article/opinion to share with my high school class)!

  2. Watching both my children and their trajectories in college makes me pleased that they not only "did' classes, but added other 'soft skills' that actually became career paths, Melanie. I suspect your thoughtful ways have already made an impact on your children, just have to trust that the college will do its part too. Great article to share!

  3. This year my oldest will have to choose what to do about her further education. We, parents, can worry, suggest and hope, but they, the children, have to choose, learn and live. Conversations help. Sometimes I am not sure that anything I say has any impact, but I think the lessons from parents run deep.

  4. My gut tells me that you have raised your kids to be ready to leave their adolescence behind and fly, Melanie. I would have to agree with Freidman on this (although I have grown to intensely dislike him in recent months!); our kids seem increasingly unprepared for independence, and we are to blame, really. I think I may keep a copy of this op ed for back to school night next year - parents need to wake up!

  5. This does make me sigh and fret a bit that you are still waiting. I'm glad that you are sharing the column with her. Yep, $200,000 makes me gulp. I remember one of my daughter's best friends calculating how much a cut class cost in college. It helped my daughter appreciate and get there. Soft skills...very, very important and good professors really can help. xo

  6. Your girls are so lucky to have such a wise mother, Melanie. I'm sure you have done much to instill the qualities that Friedman and Google value. Hope you and Larkin don't have to wait too much longer for good news!