I don't take guest blogs, but I got this wonderful email from a parent whose child graduated from one of my favorite NYC public schools this spring (not Bard or Beacon or Stuy - keep guessing). She is a kid who squeezed the best out of her good old Brklyn high school experience and her hard work was rewarded by the kind of college placement you all dream of. It is so right on the money that I though I would share it with you. Edited slightly for space. My comments in italics.Read More
I am so glad the College Board is being forced to reconsider the SAT because they finally have some competition in the college testing market. I resent their monopoly and the fact I have paid hundreds (thousands?) of dollars to them because there was virtually no other game in town. I don't begrudge them my money for a valuable service, but when that service is warped from a helpful assessment to a huge cash cow that is leading the admissions process rather than supporting it, I object.
This is times-two for twins over a 6 year period:
I have paid them for PSATs, multiple SATs, and SAT 2 times several subjects. I am not even going to mention the books for each SAT, SAT 2, and AP class. I have paid them to send all these multiple test results to 10 schools per kid (we were conservative in the number of schools that the kids applied to - many people are now doing many more).
I have paid $86 per AP test for 5 tests times two kids (and to send all of these scores to the 10 schools each kid applied to)- which, because of top scores may have helped a tiny bit in admissions but didn't yield a single credit in their highly selective private colleges which appear never to take AP scores. I pay iDOC every year to record my tax returns to these schools so that I can apply for financial aid. I am not even adding in my time spent on traveling to the myriad of tests, scheduling and working my way through their system, or the hours and days of childhood wasted. What a racket!
- 2 charming articles from the Motherlode about the send off: sending a son off, sending a daughter off
- tax deductions: (I really had no idea!) this article from Prospect Heights Patch is Awesome!
- I need this book: The iConnected Parent by Barbara K. Hofer and Abigail Sullivan Moore, I have gone to lengths (sometimes great) to not be a total helicopter parent, but the temptation to stay in contact electronically when they leave is too emotionally satisfying to be healthy - for me even more than for them
- linens: after doing the round of BB&B, Marshall's, Target and Amazon we broke down and got the cheapest XL Twin dorm sheets from Residence Hall Linens, and they were good quality too, go figure.
- computers Caroline at Ivan Expert told us what to get (Macbook Pro 13") plus the external hard drive and dropbox for backup. Then we all signed up for skype. I upgraded our homeowner's insurance so that when their roommate steps on the laptop they can get another one and they registered them with campus security. One college had the Microsoft Office for free download as long as she is a student, the other had a link for a cheaper version.
- our favorite dorm room items: shower caddy (small, light, holds everything and the handles don't break off), most dorms don't let you have microwaves or coffee machines but we are hoping this super cute water kettle will pass, this cheap cute and useful drawer unit comes disasembled so it is easy to take in the car and put together on site, and finally the must have dorm poster of 2011
How is it going being a sudden double empty nester? I will tell you in two weeks when we return from the March Through the Arch at Northwestern to the shambles of our once gracious apartment. I do crave a little peace and quiet, no more skyrocketing emotions and last minute fire extinguishing, and the invitations for cocktails from our long lost friends seem to be sincere.