Sunday, September 11, 2011

College Admission Essays are Unfair to Boys?

Via Joanne Jacobs, I read this prattle from Pajamas Media blogger "Doctor Helen". The author recounts an episode from a book in which a father describes how difficult it was for his son to write an essay that displayed any form of personal growth or development, finally settling on telling the story of completing a swimming test at camp that the other campers had failed.
But his father knew the truth: “which was the masculine truth. He didn’t remember the race because it proved the timeless value of persistence. He remembered the victory because it was a victory: he had competed against this classmates, friends and rivals alike, and beaten them soundly and undeniably, and earned the right to a sack dance in the end zone. He knew he couldn’t say this, though, and I knew he was right.”
So let me see if I understand this: The fact that a high school graduate cannot recall a single experience in his life that resulted in character growth, and the fact that his father says, "I can't think of one either, perhaps you should make something up," reflects a problem with the college?

The author's conclusion:
And that pretty much sums it up for the rest of college. Trying to please a bunch of people who care more about a PC stance than critically thinking with passion. It’s no wonder that boys and men are bypassing college.
Is there any evidence whatsoever that boys and men aren't going to college because they are put off by an occasional college demanding personal essays with applications for admission, or because they're afraid of the "PC" bogeyman? (But then, who cares about the facts when it's more fun to bang a drum, right?) I'm not going to read the book to find out, but I don't think for a second that the son's reaction to choosing to prevaricate on his admissions essay was, "Well, darn it then, I'm not going to college."

If you have experienced so little personal growth over the course of your life that your "personal essay" is a work of fiction, go ahead and submit your work of fiction. But if you later want to whine that it was unfair to request either an essay or to expect that over the course of a lifetime you would have had at least one experience you could truthfully recount, don't expect to cry on my shoulder.

What's the principal reason people don't attend college or drop out? Cost. What factors may play a role in why more young women attend college out of high school than young men? Young men are more likely to drop out of high school, join the military, or go to jail or prison. Also, as most academically oriented young men can attest and as the "swim test" example from above suggests, our society doesn't do much to encourage and reward academic achievement by high school males.

1 comment:

  1. If I am not badly misremembering, she is Mrs. Instapundit, and is a proud member of the All Females Suck Except Me contingent.

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