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Edit: My brother won! Thanks for your support!
I know I haven’t been terribly active here, and I do apologize. Life has a funny way of taking unexpected turns, both new and exciting (but oftentimes time-consuming!) so blogging has taken a backseat for now.
However, I really wanted to plug my brother’s work. He produces music under the DJ name Emissary and recently entered Penn Masala’s IPM Remix Competition. Penn Masala is the oldest (and best) collegiate Indian a capella group in the country. They have released several albums and have even been invited to the White House. IPM=Is Pal Mein, one of the tracks off of their album “Panoramic.” Here is the original track.
Here is my brother’s remix: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IhcdwOzDqIM&list=UUHTOHkoIesovMlUUdfjXy6A&index=1&feature=plcp
Please “like” and comment on the video, these are both used in the judging process.
Thank you so much for your support!
There is a Duane Reade (New York’s Walgreens or CVS equivalent) that we normally go to, not too far from my house. There used to be a small, high-end grocery and delicatessen right next door. It seemed, from the time it opened, that it had a pretty large following, so its closing about a year and a half ago was a bit unexpected. In that area, there tends to be a high turnover of stores and small restaurants, so I figured something new would take its place soon enough. Today, the space still has not been filled. I think that’s probably when I first started to get scared.
I think I’ve railed against Long Island a lot, when it comes to their feeling of invincibility owing to the region’s staggering wealth (with some exceptions). Three years ago, I rode on the LIRR through the whole summer, and the conversations among other passengers were mostly monotonous, vapid, or sometimes (on those rare occasions) riotously funny. Now, some of that conversation has turned somber, speculative, and almost scared (don’t get me wrong, there are still those who manage to carry on the vapid and stupid conversations in spite of anything else). I’m seeing large sales and discounts popping up to lure uncertain buyers. New York/Long Island mainstays (like Fortunoff and Steve and Barry’s) have filed for bankruptcy, and both are (or have completed) the process of liquidation. At the supermarket, the number of people using coupons seems to have increased exponentially. Even big-wig restaurant owners and chefs in the city (Mario Batali et. al.) have started to introduce special discounts at their restaurants that were normally only accessible to a select few with deep pockets (though I think the discounts were only through Restaurant Week, I don’t know about now).
On the other end of the spectrum, though, things like train fares (both commuter and subway) have been poised to increase over the next few months (I believe June is when the MTA is hiking up subway fares), making a more environmentally-sound (and sometimes, cost-effective) form of transportation more expensive. Schools are (still) hiking tuition costs at a rate that’s outpacing inflation (hooray for debt!), though some are increasing their financial aid packages in light of the fact that people are less likely to be able to pay for further education now than perhaps a few years ago.
So essentially I’m stuck in a slightly confused world where some are lowering costs, and others are increasing costs, and I’m struggling to keep whatever little money I have on my person. I try to cut down the amount of coffee I consume outside (such a hard habit to break) the number of times I eat out (another hard habit to break), and the number of times I have to go into the city, trying to plan my trips around off-peak hours for the sake of my wallet (though sometimes traveling at peak hours is unavoidable).
I was riding into the city on one of the Babylon LIRR trains and was listening to a conversation the two men sitting in front of me were having. They were speaking in hushed tones about how, given the state of affairs, crime was very likely to rise in the area. It was a rehashing of a similar conversation I had with my father. As much as I’d like to think that they are being incredibly paranoid, they’re all probably right.
Whenever I leave Penn Station, I walk out and make my way to Herald Square so I can catch the R or W to NYU. For the last couple of weeks, I’ve noticed that there is always one wheelchair-bound hobo at the corner of 34th and 7th uttering the same thing, over and over again. “Guys, can ya please help me get som’in ta’ eat?” Hobos are as part of the city as the Empire State Building and Times Square, but generally I never saw many, at least on the route I normally take through the city. Now–perhaps because there are more or because I’m taking greater notice of them–I have seen an increase in the number of hobos and street performers. At that corner just outside of Penn Station, I have seen on some days, two other wheelchair-bound hobos patrolling that intersection, hoping someone will give them something. The West 4th Station has seen an increase in performers who, sometimes, go to great lengths to attract attention (a full jazz band and a guy playing on a regular piano, for starters). The worst I have seen (at least to me) in recent weeks are the rise of teenage (or perhaps younger) street performers. On the F, I have seen on at least two occasions, a group of kids who breakdance on the moving train for money. I can’t deny that it’s entertaining, but I mean, they’re kids! I don’t know if this was their own choice, or their parents or friends put them up to this, but God forbid one of them fell and broke their neck…
Yet getting back to crime, in desperate times, desperate people will make desperate moves. More people are being driven into poverty, some ending up on the streets. It’s almost understandable that crime would be the next step. I don’t know if I can ever entirely trust the media coverage of local crimes, since it seems like crime activity in an area is always inflated for sensationalist value, but I guess it’s better to be safe than sorry. Usually, when I’m walking to and from the subway, I try to walk with someone. It’s not a terribly long walk, so I don’t mind walking alone sometimes, and usually the streets are very well-lit and well-trafficked. However, I have considered buying pepper spray, just in case I do end up staying later (for class, studying, or just in general), when the streets become less crowded. I’m not exactly a formidable figure, at 5’1″.
So at least here in the Long Island/NYC area, the recession has been moving in like a fog through empty streets, slowly and steadily. I suppose there’s no way to predict where this will take us, absolutely, but I hope that this will only be a temporary situation and that an upturn will start within the next few months. I can only hope.
First, congratulations on the recent birth of your children.
I get that you love children. I can’t think of many people who don’t love children. I get that you wanted to be a mother. That is the dream of most girls. Didn’t you achieve that dream after the first two or three children?
I don’t know what mental force drove you towards having fourteen children, that too, all by in-vitro fertilization. Each treatment involves a whole series of hormones that can cause dramatic mood swings, weight gain, and the very real risk of future infertility. There is certainly nothing wrong with in-vitro fertilization as an option for having children. However, as a patient who has suffered from depression, how could you subject yourself to that after already giving birth to the first few children?
Did you even consider what a house of fourteen children–ranging from the days-old octuplets to a seven-year old–would actually be like? Babies are a handful as it is, requiring round-the-clock care. Multiply that by eight, then add a few toddlers and young children who will all be vying for your attention. There will be screaming, there will be crying, there will be tantrums, messes, homework, trips to and from school, the doctor, and then just the day-to-day chores and errands.
You are a single mother, collecting disability payments as your only source of income. You were on the way to getting your masters, but dropped that part of the way to have more children. Your parents have taken care of your children thus far, but they can’t handle eight more. Even with a nanny, it is still a formidable task. There is nothing wrong with being a single mother–something that our society definitely understands, though you claim otherwise–but a single mother with fourteen children is a cause for concern. Even a mother with a strong support system with that many children raises a few red flags.
Have you considered how much it will cost to raise all of them to adulthood? It has been calculated to be around $200,000 per child. Multiply that by 14. Have you considered that they may go to college? The cost of tuition is only going up. Throw in at least another $10,000 per year, per child. You get the idea.
What were you thinking?
You may want to be a mother, but I think you are more in love with the idea of being a mother than the actual task of motherhood, with all its bells and whistles. You are probably in love with the idea of having children, which is in some ways, you may view as a validation of your femininity, especially after suffering previous miscarriages. Yes, you claim you will be at the disposal of all of your children, that you will give them your attention, and your love. Yet I’m not totally convinced that you know that motherhood involves a lot more than just unconditional love. Motherhood is not easy. It is something to love, but it is certainly not easy even with one child, let alone fourteen.
Please consider the gargantuan task ahead of you, and do what you need to do to ensure the best future for your children. We’re all rooting for you.
I spent most of my formative years in the nurturing cocoon of the Clinton administration. I was vaguely aware of Bush 41, but the first president I chose (in my head) was Clinton, so he was really my president. I didn’t really know what war was. I had heard of the first Gulf War, but it seemed less a war, more a way to keep a madman at bay. I knew something of Bosnia and Serbia, but these were minor engagements (especially compared to what we’re involved in now). All I was aware of was economic excess and of prosperity. I assumed that everything always came easily, not necessarily without work, but without worry. I realize now that I was wrong to assume. This is not to say Bush 43 is entirely at fault, or that Clinton is blameless. There were mistakes being made everywhere, on Capitol Hill, on Wall Street, in banks, and in our own living rooms. Now the fruits have been borne from our mindless sins of ignorance.
I was talking to a sixth grader I tutor yesterday and we ended up discussing various things. At one point, she asked me about medicine and how long it takes to become a doctor. I laughed and went through the whole spiel. I told her that if she doesn’t take any breaks in between, she’ll probably be in her late twenties by the time she starts working. It was the truth; the road to becoming a doctor is a long, winding, pothole-ridden road. She sighed before declaring the world was probably going to end before then. I was taken a little aback by her pointedly frank pessimism, especially given her age. Pessimism wasn’t supposed to kick in until at least the angst-ridden teen years. Yet as I thought about it more, I realized she was right to assume, and right to worry. We have become conditioned to fear.
I’m not saying the world is going to end. Obviously that’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is that the smooth sailing we have had for the last decade or so has come to an end in the most unceremonious and clumsy fashion possible. Gone are the times when wide-eyed, college graduates can expect a job waiting for them within months after their graduation, followed by buying their first home, setting up their children’s trust fund, and letting their 401(k)s bloat with money. Employers no longer are waiting at the end of the college road with open arms and a fat paycheck. Instead we are seeing college grads moving back with their parents, as they wait and wait for employers to come calling. Over 2.6 million jobs were lost in 2008, and the number continues to grow. As the economy shrinks, states are now cutting spending in places that could have drastic consequences (like Paterson cutting hospital spending in New York State in a time where healthcare is suffering). Again I used to assume that doctors were at least a little immune to economic crises; after all, there’s always a need for doctors right? Yet when hospitals can’t afford to take on new doctors, and when people can’t afford to get healthcare, even doctors are finding it difficult to find work. There is no real certainty in the current economic climate, and the possible ramifications are frightening.
As I was buying my ticket to Penn Station from my home station, I saw a man who asked me for a buck or two towards a train ticket. This wasn’t your typical bum though, and this wasn’t the city. This was Long Island. He looked like any other Joe Schmo who lived on Long Island. Maybe I’m naive to have even entertained the idea that Long Island was somehow, immune, from the economic downturn. I can’t help but think that the number of people booted onto the streets will increase as the economy continues to sink.
Many of you must be reading this and thinking, “She is such a pessimist” and “This is so depressing.” It’s the truth. No one wants to envision a world where we have to be fearful for our livelihood as well as for our lives. Certainly we don’t want that for ourselves, and we definitely don’t want that for our children. We want our children to know that they can do anything they want, with little worry, assuming they put in the effort. Yet it’s something to keep in the back of your mind. To continue assuming that everything is perfectly peachy is a sign of sure insanity.
Yet to those that say, “Why bother doing anything if we’re just destined for a rough road to employment in the end?” the point is not to give up, the point is to work harder. Employers (presumably) will favor the more qualified candidates over the guy or girl who just scraped through with a bachelors degree. Go for the unpaid internships to get your foot in the door. Network as much as you can, a resume and transcript can only tell so much about a person. Do whatever you can, short of stepping on another guy’s toes.
We’ll have to make some changes to the way we conduct our lives now. We can’t continue the same wasteful practices that landed us here in the first place. We can’t allow the market to operate of its own volition. We need strict regulations to rein everything back to some sort of stable state. It’s important to note that all situations are temporary, good times, and bad. I’m just hoping that, for the time being, the stimulus plan passed by Congress will have its intended effect sooner rather than later.
Until then, we have to work hard and stay positive. This, too, shall pass.
I have no health insurance. I have to worry about getting a cold, getting a flu, getting food poisoning, or some other unfortunate ill. Heaven forbid I do, I have no way to go and see a doctor for any sort of treatment. In the back of my head, I worry every time I step out off the curb into the crosswalk, worry that some crazed taxi driver will gun his engine and inadvertently take me out. In that case, I hope I go quickly and painlessly, and not have to end up in a hospital and drive my family into bankruptcy. That is my prayer, in the supposed land of freedom and opportunity.
I, along with many of my peers, went to college and are pursuing further grad work. I, along with many of my peers, are in debt up to our eyeballs. Cornell Arts and Sciences costs something in the order of $40K, though I was in Cornell’s College of Human Ecology, a measly $20K as a New York State resident. Meanwhile, I just Googled the tuition cost to attend the University of Cambridge in England and here is what it said:
“In 2009, the University of Cambridge will charge tuition fees of £3,145 (plus a small inflationary rise to be determined by the DIUS) per year for all courses, as outlined in our Access Agreement, which has been approved by the Office for Fair Access (OFFA).” (http://www.cam.ac.uk/admissions/undergraduate/finance/tuition.html). That’s $4654. Per year. At one of the world’s premier universities. In order to succeed in the land of freedom and opportunity [the United States] you must be willing to fork over an arm and a leg, in addition to your firstborn. This is the mantra that the country continues to chant.
So getting back to my story. I have no health insurance, and I’m signing loan after loan to pay my way through school. Theoretically, I have only another…5 more years of school to go before I get a steady paycheck. After that, maybe another thirty years before I pay off my loans. Even if I didn’t take my double-masters detour from medical school, I would still be paying off loans well into my child’s teen years.
I have tried to find a job, but finding a job in itself is a hassle. I finally got one, after 6 to 7 months of searching (not including the tutoring position I currently have). Other friends, though, are still in the job-hunting game, with little to no success. Most, if not all, are from top-tier universities around the country. Even if they’re not, they are certainly smart and capable, yet they are all being denied. Welcome to the United States, the land of freedom and opportunity.
Why have we failed our own people?
Part of the problem is we are still operating in an exclusively capitalistic mindset. Privatize this and that so that the brunt of the cost falls on the individual and the group is spared. Leave it to market forces, because the market will cure all. We have no concern for the group, just the individual, whose health and future is put in the hands of the market. This is the equivalent of leaving them in the hands of a temperamental child, easily swayed, and never entirely stable. Inflation is only driving costs up. While, in the case of healthcare, Medicaid and Medicare do exist and for education, there is state and federal financial aid, they are imperfect solutions.
Medicaid remains a often-abused and neglected system. Millions, if not billions of dollars, are being spent because clinicians are billing the system fraudulently, exploiting loopholes in the system that have yet to be resolved. If they aren’t inappropriately billing the system, they are less likely to treat patients on Medicaid, and those hospitals and clinics that do accept Medicaid are notorious for being sub-par in comparison to their private counterparts. While Medicaid targets those who are often well-below the poverty line, and private insurance takes care of people in the upper brackets, there is still a whole set of people who are neither poor but are neither capable of shelling out money for private insurance that are left without health insurance. There are no resources for these people.
“Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses…” unless they’re above this income bracket and below another. In that case, you’re on your own.
Yet even if you can pay for private health insurance, you are probably out of luck if you were to end up with a major medical condition. While routine checkups and most lab tests are covered by most health insurance plans, the more complex procedures are oftentimes not covered. So regardless of your status, in terms of health insurance coverage, there are problems just waiting to happen from which no one can effectively bail you out. Russian Roulette, if you will.
Welcome to the United State, the land of freedom and opportunity.
If someone wants to have enough money, not just to pay off health insurance, but to have a decent quality of life, they need an education. Education, especially in recent years, has become prohibitively expensive. People who would otherwise be capable of getting into an Ivy League are stopped short by the costs, and have to go somewhere else (which may not necessarily be a bad thing, refer to my earlier post). Inflation is driving up university costs at astronomical rates, and greater pressures are being put on colleges to construct new buildings and upgrade what they already have, adding to the cost. Why do we have to be restricted from attending some of the nation’s finest universities by something like cost? We have become a society of debtors, in part due to this phenomenon. Don’t even get me started on the fact that, despite the fact that we pay through our (insert orefice of choice here) for a halfway decent education, we lag behind most of the world, especially in science and mathematics. That’s for another post.
The irony is that I want to be a doctor with a few grad degrees aside from my MD, and currently I neither have health insurance nor a sound way of even paying for one grad degree, let alone medical school.
Welcome to the United States, land of freedom and opportunity.
Dear President-elect Obama: Do you hear the the death moans of a nation once at the pinnacle of greatness, now reduced to a society of forgotten people, languishing in their own physical and financial sickness? You spoke of healthcare for everyone, where even the poorest person can have the same healthcare as a United States Senator. Coming from a distinguished background, you know the pain students go through to get a decent education, just to enjoy some of the benefits that you have. I will bite my tongue and pay my loans off as best as I can, dutifully carry around my bottle of Purrell in an effort to stave off illnesses for the time being, and look both ways before I cross the street (in a very anti-New Yorker fashion) but at some point this needs to stop. I need to stop worrying about how I’m going to pay for my education and I need to stop worrying about whether my next step could land me in a hospital. More importantly, though, my younger brother shouldn’t have to worry about which college he can afford to go to, or how he’ll be able to get healthcare once he’s older. My parents shelled out a lot just to see me enjoy opportunities that in some cases, they had to forgo. Now that the second one is lining up for his turn, I don’t want to see them struggle anymore.
Can you bring meaning back to the phrase “Welcome to the United States, the land of freedom and opportunity,” and not leave it sounding sarcastic and empty? Can you fix it?
It looks like most of us are pretty riled up now, but just in case the point(s) isn’t perfectly clear, here’s why we need to get the vote out.
This election REALLY matters.
Ok…they said it last time. Remember? When John Kerry ran against Dubya. That race really mattered too…needless to say, the nation collectively dropped the ball. So we embarked on another four years of neo-conservative, country-destroying policies that have borne their poisonous fruit. The economy is tanking, education is tanking, healthcare is tanking, everything…is…tanking.
How does that affect me, you may ask. Let me put it in terms to which we can probably better relate.
The dollar is losing value, so your plans to backpack across Europe after college? Not as cheap as you may think. That trip to the Caribbean will probably cost you a bit more than you’d like. Don’t even get me started on air travel. Oh and that pretty Prada bag? That’s an Italian import, expect a higher pricetag on that. Same for Armani, Gucci, etc.
Are you on par with students from other countries in the areas of math and science. Probably not. Why? Blame Dubya’s “No Child Left Behind.” While the intentions are good (increase passing rates) it also dumbs down the curriculum so far that everything is just watered down to its basics. So you say you want to go to college to further your understanding of some topic of interest? That’s fantastic. Expect the price of a decent education to take off like a rocket, and those loans you were going to take out? Yeah expect it to get harder to get a loan, and expect it to get harder to pay it off once you have your framed, shiny degree (or degrees).
Well now that you can vote, you can also probably buy your own health insurance right? Most health insurance companies make some sort of allowance for full-time students over the age of 18 to continue to stay on their parents’ plan until some age (usually 25). That’s assuming, of course, you can afford to be a full-time student. If you can’t, well then you’ll need to find a job that provides healthcare benefits. That is, of course, if you can find a job. Finding a job in this economy is about as easy as finding a needle in a haystack. Now imagine finding that needle with about a thousand other people clamoring to find it as well. Best of luck.
Don’t expect to be able to buy a home anytime soon. We are probably going to end up a society of renters…until the housing market is somehow, treated…if not cured.
Half our products are being produced abroad, where the regulations are much more lax. Hooray for melamine! Unless you like your food and merchandise with a side of profound neurotoxicity and painful kidney stones, we need to find a way to bring production back to the U.S. Otherwise, expect really high medical bills…since getting affordable health insurance will be pretty hard.
Ok, but cars are better right? Sure, I have a soft corner for imports. Yet the question is…why can’t we get the same quality in the U.S.? Ford, GMC, Chevrolet (for the most part) are still clunky and noisy even though they are cheaper. They are lacking the smooth appeal in function and appearance that their foreign cousins seem to have as a default. Let’s try to change that.
Gay rights need to come now. Let’s stop living in a world that frowns on (at the very least) basic civil liberties for gay couples, while gladly contributing to the juggernaut that is the porn industry. Seriously…does anyone else not see the irony here?
I could probably go on…and on…and on. But we, as youth, generally have the attention span of small rodents. So I’ll stop.
Please vote tomorrow. I’m not telling you to vote for any specific candidate. I’m telling you to vote for the candidate that can save our future. I’m telling you to think long and hard about each candidate’s stance, and decide which candidate brings the most promising plan to the table. We will be the ones inheriting most of the mistakes of the last administration, not our parents (though they will also be affected). We are the ones that need to assure that, at the very least, our children will not have to deal with the same dilemma.
Please…go out tomorrow (November 4th, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise) and vote. Polling centers, to my understanding, are open from 6AM-9PM. Bring your iPod, bring a book, bring something to kill the time because lines will be long but they will be worth it.
Let’s hope this election yields a better future for us, and our country.
I will probably develop lung cancer before I leave NYU, and I’m probably only going to be there a year. No, I am not a smoker, never have smoked and probably never will (yes, this includes hookah). Yet never have I seen so much smoking in one place, ever. This is especially a problem near the Bobst Library. As soon as you step out of the library, you are enveloped in a cloud of smoke, courtesy of at least five or six people within a foot of the building, and another six or so another three or four feet beyond that. Walk down West 4th and you’ll encounter at least another ten or fifteen, smoking. Holding my breath is out of the question, it’s not like there’s much room to breathe clean air.
Am I just being whiny? I don’t think so. Everyone is entitled to good health, and everyone has a choice as to whether or not they want to smoke or not. Likewise, people should have a choice as to whether they want to breathe in someone else’s smoke. While people smoking on the street can’t be stopped, people smoking near buildings can.
There are already laws being pushed nationwide to set restrictions on smoking near buildings, most between 10 and 15 feet of a building, some as high as 25 or 50. In fact, the CUNY system has banned smoking on its campuses. Why not NYU or other private universities in New York State? Even Cornell was bad, but at least there was open air to allow the smoke to dissipate…not so much the case for colleges in New York City. Why do we have to pass through clouds of smoke to enter almost all of the buildings on campus? Why do we have to gag and cough at every step? I’m almost certain that there is law in New York calling for a 10 ft. radius outside of which people can smoke, though for the life of me I can’t find it. If there isn’t a law in place, there should be one and it should be strictly enforced. Washington state already has a 25 ft. ban in place, why can’t New York follow suit? Why are our politicians (pardon the expression) pussy-footing around this issue? Smoking has no benefits, it is a physical and societal detriment…why encourage it?
I’d like my lungs and voice intact. I sing, I talk, I laugh, and I live. I’d like to keep it that way, preferably for several decades if I can help it.
The Cornellian in me would love to say yes outright, no thoughts, just unadulterated (bordering on obnoxious) Cornell/Ivy League pride. I was steered “gently” towards the Ivies while I was in grade school, partially of my own volition, and even in the way of relationships I’ve been steered that way. Yet having emerged from Cornell with my pretty degree, a lot more knowledge than I when first entered, and a lot of debt to prove it, was it all worth it? Could I have just gone to another school, maybe a state school, maybe a small liberal-arts college and gotten the same experience? Probably not, but it would have still been a profound learning experience, just not quite a “Cornell” experience, or an experience at any other Ivy. Brilliance (supposed or otherwise) is brilliance any way you dress it and any way you treat it, it’s ideal to give it the right environment to grow, but if you’re really smart, you will thrive anywhere.
Really what is an Ivy League school? What is the Ivy League. The Ivy League actually denotes an athletic league, but has become synonymous with academic excellence associated with the schools in the Ivy League. They are the storied institutions, some dating back to the pre-colonial era, and have boasted (and continue to boast) and impressive list of alumni. Cornell alone has produced such people as Keith Olbermann (absolutely my favorite Cornell alum ever), Bill Maher, Janet Reno, Kurt Vonnegut, and many others who I will purposely leave out *cough* Ann Coulter *cough*. Being in the Ivy League means having insanely good connections to the top tiers of business, medicine, law, politics, engineering, film, whatever it is that you’re looking to do. There’s a certain degree of exclusivity, earned or not, that comes with that Ivy League title. But at the end of the day, at the end of your time in college, you are just another wide-eyed (or perhaps disillusioned?) kid with a degree and many memories.
Are Ivy Leaguers better than everyone else though? Hardly. Sometimes I think I’m stupider than most, when it comes to the most basic things. Sure I can rattle off a whole bunch of facts about human physiology, disease, neurology, and what not…but explain to you the nuances of mortgages? Tell you how to fix a car engine? Hem a pair of jeans? You know…normal things? That’s a whole other story. This is not to say all Ivy Leaguers come out book smart but wholly incapable of living normal existences, but I’ve seen enough people who veer in that direction to verify a trend does exist.
This is an article a friend sent me a while back that I think really sums this up nicely:
They cited the case of Al Gore and John Kerry, Ivy-educated, but unable to connect with America as a whole. Well George W. Bush was…in a manner of speaking…Ivy-educated…you know what, let’s not even go there. Fast-forward to today, where the Columbia and Harvard-educated Barack Obama is staring down John McCain, just a few places shy of being last in his graduating class at the Naval Academy. Barack Obama, however, is one of those Ivy graduates who have managed to avoid morphing into one of the inaccessible, patrician elite. While sharp and intellectual, he still exudes a warmth and friendliness that draws people in, rather than turn them away. He still seems interested in learning about what everyone is up to and how he can help them, not just the state of affairs of the rich and brilliant, which is probably what makes him a truly successful Ivy League graduate. I’ve seen too many people cloister themselves with only like-minded Ivy Leaguers (or other top tier school grads), and lose sight of the rest of the world that exists out there…equally brilliant and capable, in different ways, but sans Ivy League degree.
But if you get that Ivy League acceptance, don’t let it go. The resources and connections are incomparable, just don’t lose sight of the fact that there is still a lot of learning you can do outside of the Ivies, and that you need to do. At the end of the day, you are also just another person with a dream, among other people with dreams that need reaching. If you are in a position to give them a little push in that direction, all the better.