Friday, September 28, 2007

Holden Caulfield's Antithesis

For your weekend, here is a good reading from NYT Magazine,a tale of three elite high school students struggling for elite colleges' scholarships. Personally, despite admirable competition spirit of those young minds (and their parents), I found the story daunting and somewhat scary. I mean, man, look at those credentials (not only in academic, but also high level French, cross country captain, flutist, novel writings, etc), the goal they set up, the way they made up their application, they don't seem like normal high school students I know.

And unlike Holden Caulfield of Catcher in The Rye, they don't quit.

Yet, one finale of the drama is the following:
It was her mother, who had logged in Maria’s PIN at various top schools that day, knowing her daughter wouldn’t have easy access to a computer as she interviewed. It was the Thursday that so many students across the country were on tenterhooks, waiting to hear from many of the Ivies, but that had slipped to the back of Maria’s mind. “You got into Princeton!” her mother told her. “And Columbia and the University of Chicago!”

Maria was tired. She was hungry. She didn’t feel like talking about college. It was one of those moments when it was hard to imagine that she would actually “ever enjoy the product of all my work.” She told her mother she’d call her back and hung up the phone.
If only they knew.

ps: Instead of Manager's (stupid) self-made quote on learning economics on the right sidebar, this is my line, "You can not learn economics without good coffee."


  1. gee, there's no difference with our moms.

    you cannot learn economics without a sealed fate and a chosen destiny, good friends, lecturers and databases.

    tbh, i didn't pass engineering SAT test and then went to an economics school whilst waiting to reattempt in the next year.

    finding that the 1st yr undergrad economics were interesting and enjoyable, i chose my destiny to study economics by sealing my fate onto it which enlighted me how to find a room for future career and money. although i used to dream getting MBA after engineer (classic Ir. MBA/MM/MA or Dr (in what?) Ir. MBA/MM/MA)

    good friends were for fun, good lectures knew that i'm special and databases helped me out finding references.

  2. Still, apart from the sealed fate, good coffee is great for having fun with good friends, helping you stay sane and awake during lectures, and searching --and understanding -- those bloody references, no? :-)

  3. having cute TA always help... smart bf in the econ dept will definitely make things more fun...

    for some reason, killer lecture improve my analysis.

    oh, and those "unnecessary" economics analysis during coffee with good colleague and friends... a

  4. Good coffee is a must, I just got some "kopi luwak" courtesy of the folks back home:)

    I find music is a great company to study econ., it sort of act as a soundtrack. The regulars on my playlist are Weather Report, Return to Forever, Blue Oyster Cult, Depeche Mode, and several classical stuff.

    Doing your econometrics homework while listening to Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" can be an interesting experience...especially when you get to the last part of the composition while at the same time you are on your way in finishing the proofs:D

  5. econometrics lecture is a torture, needs a very very cute tutor.