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  1. #11
    sammy
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    Great article.

    "At the same time, because these schools tend to cultivate liberal attitudes, they leave their students in the paradoxical position of wanting to advocate on behalf of the working class while being unable to hold a simple conversation with anyone in it."

    Ha! So, true.

    I also agree that taking risks and thinking beyond the next assignment is something most top universities fail to teach. I think they would like to advertise themselves with puffery, like any other business venture, and you as the smart consumer (for yourself, or for your children) must decide how to approach your education formally and informally to become truly "well-rounded."

  2. #12
    Senior Member Lightyear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    I knew someone was going to bring a type specific profile into this eventually. I don't think this is the case.

    Are you making distinction between elite and Ivies vs. the other 98% of colleges and universities? I know the article specifically refers to elite schools but:
    • What are the characteristics and demographics of people who decide to pursue and complete higher education?
    • What kind of schools do they attend?
    • What are the restrictions or limitations placed on their ability to attend a type of university?
    • How often and what subjects of post-baccalaureate education is pursued?
    Then you have to ask yourself what are the characteristics of the elite (or "regular") universities these students attend.
    • What are the endowments or sources of funding at these schools?
    • What is the orientation of the school, i.e. research, liberal arts, classic, art, polytechnic, private, public, etc.?
    • What is the diversity and strength of their programs and departments?
    • How many of these students are legacies?
    Each of these pieces significantly contribute to who attends what school and obscures the typological profile of who attends universities. I've heard it said much on this forum that it's mostly intuitives who attend college because that environment is optimal for intuitive development. :rolli: I'm pretty sure there are many non-ESTJs floating around that alphabet soup of intellectual elitism.

    As a side note, I've typed about half of the people who I work with that have PhDs and MDs as intuitives and I'm surprised the size of their intellectual snobbery and egos allow them to fit through their office doors. They treat anyone who can't hold a lengthy conversation about neurology like alien life forms, if they notice you at all. You're not even worth talking to unless you have at least a master's.
    I think you are overcomplicating things here. My thought process while reading the article was simply that: "Oh these elite unis want someone who knows how to play the system and follow the rules to be successful but doesn't look at the bigger picture and think outside of the box. That sounds like Si to me. (And yes I am stereotyping here.) And the author complained about the students not enjoying being by themselves and introspecting, that sounds like extroversion. Plus these students are obviously supposed to be analytical, a feeler would probably have a harder time studying there, so these elite unis prefer Ts. So that means that they promote ESTJ characteristics." I am not saying that everyone there is an ESTJ or that just an ESTJ could succed etc but that after reading that article it sounds to me like the kind of ideal character that is being promoted would fit an ESTJ very well and they might feel most at home there. (And yes, that is obviously open to debate.) And I didn't come to this conclusion after a lot of deeply scientific analyzing, the thought simply just popped into my head.

  3. #13
    almost half a doctor phoenix13's Avatar
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    I don't agree with a lot of it because it puts responsibility in the wrong hands. If you can't talk to the plumber, it's because you haven't interacted with enough plumbers. College isn't supposed to teach you how. Also, at Hopkins many students chatted with janiters in the halls... none of us froze, thinking "Oh my goodness, he is less educated than me, what do I say, what do I do?!"

    The false sense of self-worth is something instilled in the kids long before they get to college.

    The one thing I do agree with is his paragraph on Ivy league schools being full of second chances, and loose deadlines, etc. That really will train students to believe they're beyond the rules.

    "OMG I FEEEEEEEEEL SO INTENSELY ABOUT EVERYTHING OMG OMG OMG GET ME A XANAX" -Priam (ENFP impersonation)

  4. #14
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoenix13 View Post
    I don't agree with a lot of it because it puts responsibility in the wrong hands. If you can't talk to the plumber, it's because you haven't interacted with enough plumbers. College isn't supposed to teach you how. Also, at Hopkins many students chatted with janiters in the halls... none of us froze, thinking "Oh my goodness, he is less educated than me, what do I say, what do I do?!"

    The false sense of self-worth is something instilled in the kids long before they get to college.

    The one thing I do agree with is his paragraph on Ivy league schools being full of second chances, and loose deadlines, etc. That really will train students to believe they're beyond the rules.

    And this is, unfortunately, quite true for many Ivy League students. The screenplay I was working on during and immediately after my time at Penn reflected this very feeling.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  5. #15
    Feline Member kelric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lightyear View Post
    I think you are overcomplicating things here. My thought process while reading the article was simply that: "Oh these elite unis want someone who knows how to play the system and follow the rules to be successful but doesn't look at the bigger picture and think outside of the box.
    I don't think that's really the cause of the problem, Lightyear. I work at (and attended, for graduate school) an "elite" university, and I think that the problem is both more fundamental and less sinister than that. The problem is that there's a general impression that where you go to school is more distinguishing to your eventual career prospects than what you learned. Like the article says, being able to say that you attended Yale, Harvard, or another very prestigious institution opens doors -- forever. That means that those schools get a *LOT* of applications. It's not so much that the schools are looking for "people who play the system" (my bet is that 100% of them would disagree with this statement completely), but in that applications dominated by easily documented (and quantifiable) achievements tend to pass the "first screening" (which is almost by definition impersonal when so many applications are being considered) of applicants in overwhelming frequencies compared to ones from similar applicants who don't have such easily documented achievements. It's almost certainly not that simple, but I think this is a big factor. Don't get me wrong - the majority of students who can go through this gauntlet *are* exceptional -- but they're exceptional in very specific ways. Is "4.0 GPA, 99th percentile SAT, Student Council President, Varsity Athlete in 3 sports, community volunteer" student really more qualified than "3.7 GPA, worked an after-school job to help out at home, writes music and plays in a band at local venues (but can't afford to travel to competitions, etc.)" student? Quite possibly not... but student #1 *looks* better on paper, at first glance, and may be the only one to make it far enough in the selection process. And we're not even touching on the obvious class factor when it comes to opportunities for such things.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by phoenix13 View Post
    The one thing I do agree with is his paragraph on Ivy league schools being full of second chances, and loose deadlines, etc. That really will train students to believe they're beyond the rules.
    And this is, unfortunately, quite true for many Ivy League students. The screenplay I was working on during and immediately after my time at Penn reflected this very feeling.
    Yeah -- I was discouraged by the author's description of the second (and third ,etc.) chances given to students at Yale compared to the waitress at Cleveland State who almost failed a class she had an A in because her shift ended too late to let her get a paper in on time. What happened with the screenplay, Merc? Sounds interesting.

    One other thing that struck me was the quote about Yale "being in the business of manufacturing Yale Alumni" -- my experience is perhaps a little jaded, but I think that this is really true. Especially for private institutions, "alumni development" (read: getting people to donate money) is one of *the* big areas of focus (along with research grant funding, etc.). These institutions have every incentive to drive students into fields that tend to be highly compensated (medicine, law, finance). How many millions do philosophy and history graduates send back to the institution after graduation, compared to the Wall Street graduates, after all? I do know that when my employer had to institute cutbacks due to the decrease in our endowment over the last few years, there were two areas that were *not* affected, but actually had budget increases. The first was financial aid being made available to students -- we want people to be able to finish school, of course. Second was alumni and development. Even for a non-profit, a lot of it comes down to the $$$.
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  6. #16
    Senior Member Lightyear's Avatar
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    One thing that also struck me about the article was the whole issue of class.

    I remember reading in Toby Young's book "How to lose friends and alienate people" (It's a humorous recollection of this Brit's time spent trying to make it in New York and failing miserably.) that the problem with the US is that it prides itself on giving a chance to everyone, you just need to work hard, but it actually has a class system. In his opinon at least Britain is open about its class-divide while the States sees itself as the country of unlimited opportunity so if you don't make it it's often seen as your fault, why didn't you just work harder? As a result people with influence and money have a far bigger ego and sense of entitlement because in their minds they are self-made while Brits are aware that they are born into a certain class so treating someone from a lower class badly is frowned upon.

    I am German and where I come from we don't have a class system, we don't really understand the concept of class at all, so I find that all very interesting.

    Actually another thing I remember about Toby Young's book was that he described a lot of New Yorkers as weirdly soulless, they looked as if they had all come from the same production line and somehow seemed to lack this spark of uniqueness that makes a human special. That sounds a lot like what the author of the article says about his students who all seem to look the same. I find it scary that people would in a way sell their souls and deny their true desires for an easy access to success and fortune, as the author says people might miss their real calling just because they think it's beneath them to be for example a schoolteacher.

    And to come back to personality tests this whole culture the author describes in the article strikes me as an Ennegramm 3 gone bad, for the sake of fame and fortune people are willing to sell their souls. (Yes I am being a bit extreme here but I am just trying to make a point.)

  7. #17
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lightyear View Post
    One thing that also struck me about the article was the whole issue of class.

    I remember reading in Toby Young's book "How to lose friends and alienate people" (It's a humorous recollection of this Brit's time spent trying to make it in New York and failing miserably.) that the problem with the US is that it prides itself on giving a chance to everyone, you just need to work hard, but it actually has a class system. In his opinon at least Britain is open about its class-divide while the States sees itself as the country of unlimited opportunity so if you don't make it it's often seen as your fault, why didn't you just work harder? As a result people with influence and money have a far bigger ego and sense of entitlement because in their minds they are self-made while Brits are aware that they are born into a certain class so treating someone from a lower class badly is frowned upon.

    I am German and where I come from we don't have a class system, we don't really understand the concept of class at all, so I find that all very interesting.

    Actually another thing I remember about Toby Young's book was that he described a lot of New Yorkers as weirdly soulless, they looked as if they had all come from the same production line and somehow seemed to lack this spark of uniqueness that makes a human special. That sounds a lot like what the author of the article says about his students who all seem to look the same. I find it scary that people would in a way sell their souls and deny their true desires for an easy access to success and fortune, as the author says people might miss their real calling just because they think it's beneath them to be for example a schoolteacher.

    And to come back to personality tests this whole culture the author describes in the article strikes me as an Ennegramm 3 gone bad, for the sake of fame and fortune people are willing to sell their souls. (Yes I am being a bit extreme here but I am just trying to make a point.)
    Ummmm, really? The country that divides people into employment/education tracks in their teenage years doesn't have a class system?
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  8. #18
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    I think it may work the other way around, though, too.

    I was scared away from Tulane because I heard only rich people went there.
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  9. #19
    Feline Member kelric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    I think it may work the other way around, though, too.

    I was scared away from Tulane because I heard only rich people went there.
    Oh, I think it definitely works the other way around. I don't think that there are many people who would be comfortable undergoing a large class culture-shock when they go to college. Even people who want to do something new and get out on their own (ie, not live with the parents), like I was, aren't really looking for culture shock, *especially* when it comes to entering a situation where you think (rightly or not) that you'll be at a disadvantage.
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  10. #20
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelric View Post
    Oh, I think it definitely works the other way around. I don't think that there are many people who would be comfortable undergoing a large class culture-shock when they go to college. Even people who want to do something new and get out on their own (ie, not live with the parents), like I was, aren't really looking for culture shock, *especially* when it comes to entering a situation where you think (rightly or not) that you'll be at a disadvantage.
    Well, that, and the price tag.
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