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Do colleges redline Asian-Americans?
Boston Globe ^ | February 8, 2010 | Kara Miller

Posted on 02/08/2010 9:55:18 AM PST by reaganaut1

SAT SCORES aren’t everything. But they can tell some fascinating stories.

Take 1,623, for instance. That’s the average score of Asian-Americans, a group that Daniel Golden - editor at large of Bloomberg News and author of “The Price of Admission’’ - has labeled “The New Jews.’’ After all, much like Jews a century ago, Asian-Americans tend to earn good grades and high scores. And now they too face serious discrimination in the college admissions process.

Notably, 1,623 - out of a possible 2,400 - not only separates Asians from other minorities (Hispanics and blacks average 1,364 and 1,276 on the SAT, respectively). The score also puts them ahead of Caucasians, who average 1,581. And the consequences of this are stark.

Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshade, who reviewed data from 10 elite colleges, writes in “No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal’’ that Asian applicants typically need an extra 140 points to compete with white students. In fact, according to Princeton lecturer Russell Nieli, there may be an “Asian ceiling’’ at Princeton, a number above which the admissions office refuses to venture.

Emily Aronson, a Princeton spokeswoman, insists “the university does not admit students in categories. In the admission process, no particular factor is assigned a fixed weight and there is no formula for weighing the various aspects of the application.’’

A few years ago, however, when I worked as a reader for Yale’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions, it became immediately clear to me that Asians - who constitute 5 percent of the US population - faced an uphill slog. They tended to get excellent scores, take advantage of AP offerings, and shine in extracurricular activities. Frequently, they also had hard-knock stories: families that had immigrated to America under difficult circumstances, parents working as kitchen assistants and store clerks

(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: admissions; asianamericans; collegeadmissions; highereducation; preferences
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I agree with the comments of BenHarv on the Globe site:

"This article started off in the right direction: It is appalling that anyone should be redlined in any area of modern American life. That goes for universities, neighborhoods, jobs, etc., etc. To each according to his merits. Abandon this, and America becomes a cruel, racialist joke.

Unfortunately, Mr. Poon seems to be the typical racialist-minded social scientist. With his dangerous rant (that "historically oppressed" groups need special privileges -- you start on this path, and the entire spool becomes unthreaded, as hardly anyone cannot lay some claim, at some time, to being oppressed), the article veers down a dangerous slippery slope of encouraging organizations to reject Asians on the basis of their race.

Is there no place for achievement, simple, unimpeded and objective? If even in academics we are more concerned with social engineering than encouraging objective achievement, academic institutions' standards and research abilities will take a sharp hit.

Indeed, if we truly believe all are of equal ability, then society must be color-blind and admit (to university, work, etc.) the best-qualified without making racist decisions. If certain groups are less qualified, then this should be openly acknowledged and real solutions (removing children from parents? changing immigration policies?) should be considered."

1 posted on 02/08/2010 9:55:18 AM PST by reaganaut1
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To: reaganaut1

My lovely daughter is #18 in her class which is the top 5%. I am not sure how her race (bi-racial) will impact her college admission. All I know is that right now she is receiving offers from all over the United States and we will have to narrow down our top ten choices soon.


2 posted on 02/08/2010 9:59:44 AM PST by brwnsuga (Not Black BUT Conservative, Black AND Conservative!!!)
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To: reaganaut1

Asian

“A person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.”

http://www.census.gov/dmd/www/pdf/d61a.pdf


3 posted on 02/08/2010 9:59:47 AM PST by James C. Bennett
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To: reaganaut1

We’re going to end discrimination by discriminating against the discriminators!


4 posted on 02/08/2010 10:00:07 AM PST by Tzimisce (No thanks. We have enough government already. - The Tick)
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To: reaganaut1

What a bullsh!t waste of reading space

They start off with facts, then go into some vague ‘unfairness’ feeling

The school picks whoever can afford to pay the tuition


5 posted on 02/08/2010 10:01:20 AM PST by Mr. K (This administration IS WEARING OUT MY CAPSLOCK KEY!)
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To: reaganaut1

“...Some Asian-American students feel that they lost something by going to school at a place where almost half of their classmates look like themselves - a campus like UCLA. The students said they didn’t feel as well prepared in intercultural skills for the real world....’’

Indeed, you need black students to have a good basketball team, and white students for the best drunken frat parties.

Diversity!!


6 posted on 02/08/2010 10:02:07 AM PST by PGR88
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To: reaganaut1

Asians aren’t “diverse”.

Well, that is, when you define “diverse” as “fewer culturally successful people”.


7 posted on 02/08/2010 10:02:20 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a humanist and a Satanist is that the latter knows who he's working for.)
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To: reaganaut1

Out of curiosity, does anyone know why Asians as a group play the violin or viola?

4 out of 4 years of high school, my daughter, who plays the French horn, made All Regional Orchestra and 3 out of 4 years, she made All - State. In all cases, students from public, private, and home-schools are allowed to compete. In all cases, the violin and viola orchestra sections were 90%+ populated with Asian students and I can count on both hands, with fingers left over, the number of Asians in any brass section for all 7 performances. This is in Virginia, which is not exactly a mecca for Asians as California is.

Any insights?


8 posted on 02/08/2010 10:02:47 AM PST by SoftballMominVA
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To: Mr. K
The school picks whoever can afford to pay the tuition

The Ivies turn away lots of kids whose families would pay the full tuition.

9 posted on 02/08/2010 10:02:50 AM PST by reaganaut1
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To: SoftballMominVA
They practice more?
10 posted on 02/08/2010 10:12:59 AM PST by CaptainK (...please make it stop. Shake a can of pennies at it.)
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To: reaganaut1

This is very old news. Top-tier colleges way over-reject Asians.


11 posted on 02/08/2010 10:14:53 AM PST by NativeNewYorker (Freepin' Jew Boy)
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To: reaganaut1

Reagan, when he was governor of California, proposed eliminating race as a criteria for admission to the state’s universities.

Someone asked him, “Well, what if Asian students beat out white students for those spots?”

Reagan’s response: “So what?”


12 posted on 02/08/2010 10:15:58 AM PST by dfwgator
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To: reaganaut1

This is a tricky issue with second-order effects. As the article points out, even Asians are concerned about there being too many Asians at UCLA — they want to mix with other folks. Harvard faced the same problem in the early part of last century, only with Jews. And Harvard realized that if they admitted as many Jews who “deserved” to be admitted, then even Jews would not want to attend what would become a primarily-Jewish Harvard.

Crafting a class is not just picking the best students.


13 posted on 02/08/2010 10:18:37 AM PST by AZLiberty (Yes, Mr. Lennon, I do want a revolution.)
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To: SoftballMominVA
'Out of curiosity, does anyone know why Asians as a group play the violin or viola?"

I've never seen a number, but if it exists, I'd wager it's statistically higher than any other ethnic group.

While it's difficult to lump all Asians together, there is a strong emphasis or value placed on children developing a broad arts background, to include the performing art in families with ties to Asian countries.

It doesn't stop there, my wife is Professor or Literature, who has told me that her graduate classes have significant numbers of Asian students.

There's just a school of thought in the Asian community that students should have a robust and diverse education, to include science, math and the arts.

14 posted on 02/08/2010 10:20:22 AM PST by OldDeckHand
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To: reaganaut1

Getting punished for working hard. I don’t care what race it is. Truly sad.


15 posted on 02/08/2010 10:20:34 AM PST by Wee-Weed Up
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To: CaptainK

Anyone making either of those orchestras is a dedicated musician. My question is why as a group do they seem to choose the small strings and as a group do not choose flute, trumpet, drums, clarinet, etc.

Obviously there are exceptions to the rule, this is just an idle question as to the group dynamic


16 posted on 02/08/2010 10:23:51 AM PST by SoftballMominVA
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To: AZLiberty
Hmmm...so what do Jewish-Asian-Caucasian kids do? Which category should they put them in?

I'm completely serious.

What are Tiger Woods and Obambi? (other than jerks, I mean).

These categories really bother me.

What about just "human being." No, that wouldn't work because a human would be trumped by harp seal and some smelt species.

17 posted on 02/08/2010 10:24:05 AM PST by elk
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To: brwnsuga

Congratulations to you and your daughter!

I would presume she’d have her pick of schools. (’Cause I believe from your previous postings here that you yourself are a smart and savvy African American.) I’d also assume that she’ll have access to a level of schools she otherwise might not have—barring exceptional athletic, musical or other talent—if she were white or Asian. But it sounds like she’s got enough ability and maturity to make good use of whatever school she chooses. (As will smart legacies and athletes and and musicians and kids of rich donors and so forth.)


18 posted on 02/08/2010 10:24:07 AM PST by 9YearLurker
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To: reaganaut1

Funny thing is, even with the discrimination, I saw some pics from my U’s football games. Good school, asians everywhere!

Here’s a great short story that’s relevant:

http://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/harrison.html


19 posted on 02/08/2010 10:25:59 AM PST by Woebama (Never, never, never quit)
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To: dfwgator

Dfwgator is right

THen Governor Reagan actually said that LOL!

Somebody nowdays would think of Ronnie comments as racist

I think term racism is really way over used


20 posted on 02/08/2010 10:26:00 AM PST by SevenofNine ("We are Freepers, all your media belong to us, resistence is futile")
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To: reaganaut1; Mr. K

You both have fair points. Ability to pay doesn’t anywhere near assure Ivy acceptance, but it certainly is a favorable factor for a number of schools.


21 posted on 02/08/2010 10:26:03 AM PST by 9YearLurker
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To: NativeNewYorker
"This is very old news. Top-tier colleges way over-reject Asians."

Given the emphasis that many Asians place on traditional family to include doing the hard work that's required to be successful, I'm surprised by how few are Republicans. This is especially compounded by the fact that - as you point out - Asians have a long and deep history of reverse discrimination. If they were judged solely on the merits of their ability and achievement, a much greater percentage would make up the student bodies of America's great Universities.

22 posted on 02/08/2010 10:26:31 AM PST by OldDeckHand
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To: reaganaut1

When my husband and I went to UCLA back in the 70s it was said the letter stood for University of Caucasians Lost among Asians.

When you work hard enough to be able to get in, you should be able to get in.


23 posted on 02/08/2010 10:27:02 AM PST by rbbeachkid
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To: reaganaut1

When my husband and I went to UCLA back in the 70s it was said the letter stood for University of Caucasians Lost among Asians.

When you work hard enough to be able to get in, you should be able to get in.


24 posted on 02/08/2010 10:27:03 AM PST by rbbeachkid
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To: brwnsuga

Bi-racial? Her path is paved with gold. Thank your lucky stars she’s not from Hong Kong. Her choices would not be quite as exciting.


25 posted on 02/08/2010 10:29:37 AM PST by Nonstatist
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To: Mr. K
"The school picks whoever can afford to pay the tuition"

That's just not true anymore, and it's especially not true at the top 10 schools. A very robust percentage of students at Harvard, Yale, Princeton and Stanford are all on some kind of tuition assistance program.

The fact of the matter is that MANY white students of means, and who perhaps have higher scores on entrance exams are turned away in favor kids who fit the right ethnic profile. This of course is done in the attempt to satisfy some misguided desire for diversity, and much of it is done irrespective of a student's ability to pay full tuition.

26 posted on 02/08/2010 10:30:18 AM PST by OldDeckHand
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To: reaganaut1

Neither race nor sex should have any bearing on college admissions.


27 posted on 02/08/2010 10:34:15 AM PST by RightWingConspirator (Impeach Zerobama and his band of Commie Czars.)
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To: reaganaut1
Yale’s class of 2013 is 15.5 percent Asian-American, compared with 16.1 percent at Dartmouth, 19.1 percent at Harvard, and 17.6 percent at Princeton.

The author's premise is debunked with him admitting the Asian American population in the US is 5% and yet universities are admitting more than three times that. One in 5 at Harvard is Asian.

28 posted on 02/08/2010 10:43:08 AM PST by bgill (The framers of the US Constitution established an entire federal government in 18 pages.)
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To: SoftballMominVA

There are lots of Asian flute players at my daughter’s middle school. All of the flute player in the top band are Asian. Next year, my daughter will probably one of the few white kids playing flute in the top band.

I think Asians place a high emphasis on the arts and on academics.

My kids say that the Asians kids’ parents are very hard on them. They will get in trouble for not doing well in school, and they don’t have much free time.

There are some Asian kids that take tons and tons of AP classes, and they are in summer school taking extra classes.

My son has given up trying to compete with that. He’s into theater, and there are not a lot of Asian kids in that. It takes a lot of time to be in the high school shows, and it definitely brings down his grades. I’ve told him to continue with being in theater. It’s a good balance for his academics. He still has over a 4.0, and is already taking an AP class when he is just a sophomore. I think he’ll end up with about 5 or 6 AP courses by the time he graduates, instead of 10.


29 posted on 02/08/2010 10:43:27 AM PST by luckystarmom
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To: reaganaut1
... Is there no place for achievement, simple, unimpeded and objective?

I believe the Military (Enlisted, and Junior Officers) is the closest such place - at least it was when I was in 40 years ago.

30 posted on 02/08/2010 10:43:44 AM PST by bimbo
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To: SoftballMominVA
My cousin's son is a classical bass player. He's dated two Asian girls who were both violinists. I nerve thought to ask them why they picked the violin.

Maybe it's part cultural, part economic, part practicality .As children they might have an easier time finding string teachers in their community. It's an easy instrument to carry around and store in the home, especially if you live in an urban setting. It's also a prestige instrument and that might dictate their choice of instrument. And this is so un PC, but maybe they have a better natural ear for the instrument.

31 posted on 02/08/2010 10:54:00 AM PST by CaptainK (...please make it stop. Shake a can of pennies at it.)
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To: SoftballMominVA

They have the discipline to practice,practice.Also, after visiting China music is a large part of their history.


32 posted on 02/08/2010 10:59:28 AM PST by Dr. Ursus
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To: CaptainK
It's also a prestige instrument

I've never thought of a violin as a prestige instrument. In my family we have a trumpet player and a French horn player and I've never thought to put instruments in a class. But now that I ponder on it, I would hold a brass or wind instrument in higher regard than a percussionist, even though to be good at any instrument, there is a huge amount of dedication required

33 posted on 02/08/2010 11:02:04 AM PST by SoftballMominVA
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To: AZLiberty
And Harvard realized that if they admitted as many Jews who “deserved” to be admitted, then even Jews would not want to attend what would become a primarily-Jewish Harvard..

Heh? Thats very funny. In fact , there was a huge uproar when Harvard instituted Jewish quotas in 1922. Jewish representation dropped from 21 % to 10 % in 1933. By 1930 the other Ivy League schools had even fewer, in the lower single digits in Princeton and Yale. In fact , the Yale medical school in 1935 admitted less than 1 % Jewish; only 5 of 200 were admitted.

You don't really think thats what the "Jews" were hoping for, do you? BTW, the way that Harvard and the other schools justified it, they used a quota system to get more Mid Western state students admitted, independent of merit based testing (sound familiar?)

34 posted on 02/08/2010 11:04:02 AM PST by Nonstatist
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To: RightWingConspirator

True, race should not play a part in admissions, but sometimes race just reveals itself.

Say you have three students all with the last name Johnson. The first names are Rashad, Nguyn, and Brad. Not so hard to identify the heritage there.


35 posted on 02/08/2010 11:05:28 AM PST by SoftballMominVA
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To: reaganaut1
Do colleges redline Asian-Americans?

Wouldn't they use yellow highlighter?

36 posted on 02/08/2010 11:13:35 AM PST by mikrofon (Unless they got that 'Indian' thing screwed up...)
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To: reaganaut1

Not to start an argument about the pros and cons of the Texas Top 10% ruling, the numbers here equal those of the ivies proving once again the author is full of hogwash. Also, setting aside the tweaking of the law that goes into effect in 2011 that adds in minimal SAT scores and what amounts to limiting UT to the top 8%. Now, with that obligatory statement out of the way...

In Texas, which has a 5% Asian American population, we have a law stating that if you are in the top 10% of your graduating high school class, you get automatic admission to the state university of your choice. Let’s look at UT in Austin. The Top 10% made up 80% of the incoming 2008 freshman class. Asian Americans made up 18.1% of the 2008 undergraduate population and 15.5% of the total UT student population. Those percentages are very similar to those from the ivies in the article. Since Texas has this law, it leaves very little room to racial profile - which is exactly why we have the law. Bottom line, the author is an idiot.

http://www.utexas.edu/academic/ima/sites/default/files/SHB08-09Students.pdf


37 posted on 02/08/2010 11:15:41 AM PST by bgill (The framers of the US Constitution established an entire federal government in 18 pages.)
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To: brwnsuga

Well, brwnsuga, if you want to experiment, if you have a younger child, tell him or her not to check any racial box on the SATs. And when it comes to the applications, check White (?) for the Harvard and UConn apps, and African-American for the Yale and Rutgers apps, and so forth.


38 posted on 02/08/2010 11:18:07 AM PST by heartwood
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To: brwnsuga
Brwn, I know you did not forget the "one-drop" rule already LOL

On the other hand I feel your pain about the selection process. I'm sure glad my daughter got her scholarship so I do not have to sweat it out... :)

39 posted on 02/08/2010 11:23:46 AM PST by Nat Turner (Escaped from NY in 1983 and not ever going back....)
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To: bgill

the problem is that not all schools are equal. Top 5% in some schools is like the top 20% in others.


40 posted on 02/08/2010 11:49:22 AM PST by rmlew (Democracy tends to ignore..., threats to its existence because it loathes doing what is needed)
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To: AZLiberty; reaganaut1
Harvard realized that if they admitted as many Jews who “deserved” to be admitted, then even Jews would not want to attend what would become a primarily-Jewish Harvard.

(Slaps brow.) Then it would seem to be a self-correcting problem.

That reminds me of an old joke:

He: "Let's eat at The Four Seasons."

She: "No way. Nobody eats at the Four Seasons anymore. It's way too popular.

41 posted on 02/08/2010 11:58:30 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o (How many of you believe in psychokinesis? Raise my hand.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
Then it would seem to be a self-correcting problem.

That's a very good point. I'm sure the administrations (Harvard and UC) were thinking more about their own ideals for a campus than the ideals of the prospective students. Such correction would take time, if it happened, leaving certain people "uncomfortable" in the meantime.

42 posted on 02/08/2010 12:18:17 PM PST by AZLiberty (Yes, Mr. Lennon, I do want a revolution.)
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To: heartwood

I don’t think I want to experiment with my baby boy’s education (he is 14). But, I still don’t know which would be more advantageous, checking the “black” or the “other” box. If the school is full up on their “black” quota it is a possible disqualifier... what a quandary.


43 posted on 02/08/2010 12:34:32 PM PST by brwnsuga (Not Black BUT Conservative, Black AND Conservative!!!)
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To: SoftballMominVA

Not so hard to identify the heritage there.

Assumption, stereotypes and bigotry revealed...all with one short sentence.


44 posted on 02/08/2010 12:40:06 PM PST by brwnsuga (Not Black BUT Conservative, Black AND Conservative!!!)
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To: SoftballMominVA

Couldn’t tell you. My kids are half Japanese and one plays the drums and the other alto sax.


45 posted on 02/08/2010 12:57:18 PM PST by GATOR NAVY ("The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen." -Dennis Prager)
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To: brwnsuga

I’m wondering if you think that race should play any part in college acceptance, if they should have those boxes to check off.

When you talk about your daughter choosing her top ten, do you mean that your daughter has already been accepted, or that she’s choosing where to apply and visit?


46 posted on 02/08/2010 1:12:44 PM PST by heartwood
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To: SoftballMominVA

Ok - I have two J-A daughters who play violin. I was going to allow all this to swing by and just read to see what everyone had to say. But then someone.... had to go and blast the poor precussionist (of which I was one)who must learn not one instrument but let me see...snare, bass, tim-toms, full set, bells, multiple cymbals, triangle, gong, marachis, wood box, cow bell, jingle bell, .... whew I’ll leave off and swing over to address another topic.

Yes it is a prestige thing I’ve noticed - all of the orchestra kids seem to look down on the band kids for some reason at the girls’ school, though mine know better or at least know better than to do it in front of me. Even the teachers are into it having heard several exchanges putting one or the other down - in front of the kids.

I also think that some of it is mouth shape. There is something to be said about how ones mouth is formed as to which instrument is a better fit - trumpet/coronet vs flute vs wood wind.

The Mrs. is extremely hard on them as they not only need to keep up on their school + any clubs, music, sport; but also stay up on their Japanese. I attempt to temper that with - yes they must keep your grades up, but I still expect them to have at least some time to be a kid.(I’m worried about the coming mutiny so trying to keep my options open for a reprieve from either side).

My girls are doing great in school - but I’m terrified of what it will all mean when it comes time to apply for colleges. I was always taught work hard, learn everything you can and it will lead you to better things. Unfortunately, I’m not sure I believe any of that myself anymore as the PC culture has destroyed my sense of trust and made me a very cynical fellow....and that’s just sad.

Like all parents I worry for mine. I just ask that they are provided the same opportunity as everyone else and be judged on their abilities rather than what they are or who they know.

Oh - and don’t forget to beat the drums slowly. (sorry I’m such a windbag)


47 posted on 02/08/2010 1:35:58 PM PST by reed13 (The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.")
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To: reed13

First of all - great answer, and it makes a lot of sense.

Secondly, that is one of the best posts I’ve ever seen. And from a percussionist no less

**rim shot**


48 posted on 02/08/2010 1:43:00 PM PST by SoftballMominVA
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To: heartwood

I don’t feel that race should play a part in college acceptance, but the reality is that it does. I mean the top ten schools to visit of the ones that have contacted her. We would like her to choose a Virginia school. Virginia has some wonderful colleges. But, we are open depending on the programs and scholarships.


49 posted on 02/08/2010 1:52:11 PM PST by brwnsuga (Not Black BUT Conservative, Black AND Conservative!!!)
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To: brwnsuga

Virginia really does have good schools but my daughter is looking more at the north-east. I made her apply to George Mason - she has to apply to at least one Southern school. Christendom is one of the few truly Catholic colleges but alas does not offer much in the way of science.

If race should not be a factor in admissions, would you consider making a stand and urging your children not to check the boxes?


50 posted on 02/08/2010 2:17:54 PM PST by heartwood
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