The Playgoer: Education Digression

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Friday, October 07, 2005

Education Digression

As one who works in "higher education"--and as a Harvard reject, though never, never bitter about it--I cannot resist recommending Malcolm Gladwell's must-read review in the New Yorker of Jerome Karabel's new book The Chosen, an exposé about Ivy League admissions.

Take a look at Gladwell's lede and tell me it does not evoke a much saner world:

I applied to college one evening, after dinner, in the fall of my senior year in high school. College applicants in Ontario, in those days, were given a single sheet of paper which listed all the universities in the province. It was my job to rank them in order of preference. Then I had to mail the sheet of paper to a central college-admissions office. The whole process probably took ten minutes. My school sent in my grades separately. I vaguely remember filling out a supplementary two-page form listing my interests and activities. There were no S.A.T. scores to worry about, because in Canada we didn’t have to take the S.A.T.s. I don’t know whether anyone wrote me a recommendation. I certainly never asked anyone to. Why would I? It wasn’t as if I were applying to a private club.

NB: the link to the article will probably expire soon. So go and print while you can!

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