the high school rat race

A day spent frantically working on grant proposals for CIRCLE and the

Prince George’s Information Commons—three proposals in all. I did

have an interesting phone conversation about the degree to which high

school students volunteer in order to improve their chances of being admitted

to college. This is very common, apparently. I don’t necessarily draw

cynical conclusions about the kids’ characters. Instead, I’d tend to blame

an increasingly efficient system of sorting the whole national student

body by "merit," which causes everyone to compete on a common

scale, whether they aspire to Harvard or the local public college. More

and more people know how to play the game of college admission. As a result,

I fear that kids are waiting until after high school for their real lives

to begin, and much of what they do as adolescents feels hollow.