Wednesday, October 12, 2011


I didn't go to the best high school. Oh, it was clearly the best in its district--probably still is--but it wasn't in a great area. I sometimes wonder if not enough was expected of us; we didn't have a single AP class! In fact, I'd never even heard of AP classes until I got to college. If we went to college it was expected that we'd go to the local community college. A few would go to Sac State, and those breathing rarified air would go down the road to UC Davis.

So I found it more than a little entertaining to see the shirts that kids in my 6th period pre-calculus class were wearing today: 2xStanfords, Georgetown, Duke, MIT, UC Berkeley, USC, Yale. And they fully expect to attend these schools!

And many of them will. I teach in a relatively well-to-do area.


Jean said...

I lived in a smaller city with rotten schools--I never heard of AP either. Of my class of ~300, less than 10 went directly to a 4-year college; I was the only one to go to my college (and I was completely unprepared). I was gobsmacked when, in college, I dated a guy who had gone to Gunn in Palo Alto and I found out how some high schools operate.

pseudotsuga said...

Do you think those kids feel "entitled" to attend those schools? Will they be the "99%" taking out large student loans for Grievance Studies degrees? I'm curious.
My High School in a small town in S. Oregon, in the early '80s, had a few AP classes (English, Calculus, and a couple more I don't remember). I certainly don't remember seeing the wide variety of college shirts like your 6th period class sported!

Darren said...

Honestly, I don't think they feel "entitled" to attend those schools, but they certainly don't think those schools are anywhere near out of reach for them. They'll be disappointed if they don't get in, the way a "normal" kid would be disappointed if they got waitlisted at UC Davis.

pseudotsuga said...

Interesting--as a high school senior, I would have considered all of those as out of reach! But then again, I was a small town boy, barely middle class, from a family whose members had never attended college (until my older brother became the first to go).
Good luck to your "elitists" and may those who don't get their first choice enjoy their second (or third) choices!

Anonymous said...

Wearing college shirts in October, safe to assume these are seniors? Surprising that high school seniors can be in Pre-Calculus, as opposed to Calculus or AP Calculus, and still compete for Stanford, MIT, and the UC's.

Darren said...

Most of them were *not* seniors.