In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 8, 2011 4 Nissan, 5771

Crashing Into College

By Suzanne Fields

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The college acceptance letters have landed. Hysterics have subsided. No more time tearful sessions of "what if?" Parents have come to terms with their disappointments that their achieving, well-adjusted child didn't get into her first choice because she had only an A-minus average and good but not great SAT scores, and was merely a reporter for the school newspaper. She may be able to recite the Gettysburg Address from memory and read all of "Moby Dick" (including the whale blubber descriptions), but that simply wasn't enough.

At the interview, when she talked about "coming out of the closet," _she meant only that she had found the right designer jeans and running_ shoes. She wasn't gay except in the old-fashioned way of enjoying life. She had never contemplated changing her sex. Her well-adjusted life was a negative, leaving her chasing the curve for insights into suffering.

The college essay had been a particularly badly handled chore. When a school counselor told her to write about her feelings when she felt victimized, she could only tell about the time her mother made her take off her spike heels and skin-tight miniskirt she had found for the junior prom. Mother-daughter conflicts are so yesterday. Freud is definitely out.

So is patriotism, mainstream religion and heterosexuality. Although you'll get no hard data on college essays that aced it with the admission committees, the odds are that the successful ones were submitted with titles such as "How I Found God and Became an Atheist," or, "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Hooking Up" — or, to impress the environmentalists, _"Out to Sea on an Ice Floe Hugging an Endangered Polar Bear." I'm exaggerating, but not by much.

The competition this year was fierce. Three million applicants struggled into the pool a year ago, and that's only slightly more than this year. Numbers will begin to diminish and stabilize over the next decade, but that's not necessarily good news for your grandchildren, or even your great-grandchildren (to be).

"(The numbers) will remain at a level high enough to have left previous_ generations agog, and guarantee that our own children will also have the opportunity to obsess on behalf of children yet unborn," writes Andrew Ferguson in his best-selling book "Crazy U: One' Dad's Crash Course in Getting His Kid Into College."

He knows the territory, having seen his son wooed with the flash and filigree of college brochures that now advertise such academic asides as swimming pools, saunas, hot tubs, vegetarian and macrobiotic "food courts," dorm suites with views of the Green or local street scenes (including the nearest bars), and diversity fairs that include an infinite variety of hyphenated Americans that turned the melting pot into an indigestible stew.

Identity issues galvanize campus politics, and pop culture has replaced history, literature and philosophy as subjects in demand. At one college, Ferguson's son had only three choices of topic for a mandatory writing class: "History of the 1960s," TV's "Mad Men," and _"Intro to Queer Theory." Jonathan Swift couldn't have improved on this _if he were to write a contemporary trip for Gulliver. But who could define Swiftian? (Or identify Gulliver?)

But if you can't fight 'em, join 'em. Kids raised on electronic media have little patience for the long read, and many of the tenured professors who came of age in the Age of Protest prefer to indoctrinate rather than instruct. This gives new meaning to the observation that "the child is father of the man." (Who wrote that?) Who cares about the lyric when you can dub the words and slam the poetry?

Is any of this important to parents who would risk a debtors' prison to secure their child a spot in an elite college? Probably not. Some parents pay as much as $40,000 to "counselors" who tell them how to devise a formula for getting into a top school.

The college a child enters has become considerably more important than who teaches what. It's also about who you meet, the connections you make and whom you can impress in the job interview four years later. Even conservative parents are willing to put aside their political convictions to wedge a child into the "right" school. Besides, life is long, and deep learning can come later. Maybe. But not reading the great books is a great loss, because students can't learn the habits of reflection inspired and taught by such books.

One mother who lives in Manhattan sued her daughter's $19,000-a-year nursery school because it didn't prepare her for the Ivy League. So now the tot has a ready-made subject for her college essay in 2025: "Fighting Failure From the Age of 4 and Learning About Litigation."

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on JWR contributor Suzanne Fields' column by clicking here.


Suzanne Fields Archives

© 2006, Creators Syndicate, Suzanne Fields