Tuesday– What’s the best way to destigmatize the college process at Trinity and move students’ focus away from Ivy League schools? That’s the question our administration has been asking itself the past few years. It seems they’ve settled on an answer: to treat the college process the same way they treat health education, just ignore it. That’s right, why discuss the application process that defines many students’ high school experience when you could force everyone to writhe in discomfort by themselves? This controversial path has taken many forms. It adds to the pressure and tension throughout Junior and Senior year, and has even inspired the Garlic’s Pulitzer-nominated reporting when it attempted to end College Shirt Day.
Sources tell us that when deciding who to bring in for the school’s annual Cum Laude Talks, the administration agreed that the student body really needed someone to teach them about the long, prestigious history of the Ivy League. According to our sources, a member of the committee tasked with inviting a speaker exclaimed, “This is perfect! Nobody will be upset by this, and they definitely won’t be able to call us hypocrites like they did last year when we brought in that drug lord. In hindsight, that was a weird choice. What was his name again? Ah, yes… Paul Krugman!”
As always, the student body was vocal about this morning’s community time. Estelle Strangmark ’18 remarked, “I wasn’t there, Will. I had an AP this morning and missed it. You really could’ve found a better person to comment.” Classic Estelle, always finding that extra meaning in everyone’s speech!
The always outspoken Brenton Jaffe ’21 was inspired by this morning’s talk. “Hearing about these universities’ long, illustrious histories, albeit with some dark spots here and there, really has motivated me to work harder so I can get into one of the seven Ivies.” When asked if he realized there are actually eight members of the Ivy League, Mr. Jaffe replied with a sly grin, “I am aware. For personal reasons, I choose not to acknowledge one. You know which… Yeah, you out there, the reader. It’s already in your mind now.” When questioned about who was ‘the reader’ he addressed, Mr. Jaffe quickly scampered away, shouting “it’s Cornell!”
Mahtab Shihab ’18 (did you know he’s going to Harvard?), who will be attending Harvard University next year, a college central to this morning’s lecture, thought the discussion was thought-provoking and important for Trinity to have. “Funny you ask me about this morning’s talk— I haven’t told many people, but did you know I’m actually going to Harvard next year? It was definitely interesting, if not somewhat odd, to hear about everything in the school’s past. As a whole, I walked away from this morning excited to learn more about Harvard and Cambridge. Don’t get me wrong, the whole slavery thing is a bit of a turn off, no doubt about that. But I think that I’m much better off knowing about it than remaining oblivious to the reality of our nation and my future alma mater’s (which, if you weren’t aware, is Harvard) history.”
Plenty of students reached out to us, but there were a few voices we still wanted to hear. The college counseling office released an official statement, in which they advise, “The Ivy League certainly has an interesting history rooted in our national story, but we think schools like The University of Richmond is more in the range you should be shooting for. They too have roots in the civil war, a great housing system, and a national debate team on which you could thrive.” (Is part of that a direct quote from personal experience? Who’s to say… Go Spiders!)
Whatever you may think about this morning’s presentation, it’s undoubtedly been an interesting day. Just remember: don’t talk about college! Or maybe do! But probably don’t. But what if you did? What if we both started talking about it at the same time so nobody has to be the one who started it? What if we all came together and just chose to be normal about all of this? I know that’s the world I want to live in…
Until then, keep your mouth shut and your grades up.