270 thoughts on “Advice Column Friday

  1. I was going to say “I’ve been in so many hypothetical discussions of ‘would you do X for $Y…”

  2. “That said, the longer I write this column I more I think that no one should ever work for a small business, especially one where they report to the owner, unless said owner has passed a rigorous battery of assessments of their acumen in both management and life.”

    I gotta say, this does seem to be true. Kinda like the “don’t be the 3rd wife without serious vetting”.

  3. If he held it over their heads for NOT doing it, imagine what he would do if they had agreed!

    Unless as Rhett says there were two more zeros added in which case that could be sufficient FU $.

  4. ” imagine what he would do if they had agreed!”

    I don’t get a blackmailer vibe here. And if the letter writer had agreed, he still has as much basis for a lawsuit — perhaps more — than if he’d declined. So it would be in the owner’s interest to keep it on the DL.

  5. The guy’s just a serious partier. If he wants to film a legitimate, totally legal and above board private porn film, I’m thinking he can do it for a lot less than $135k. Especially if he’s providing the truck and the costumes.

  6. “That said, the longer I write this column I more I think that no one should ever work for a small business, especially one where they report to the owner, unless said owner has passed a rigorous battery of assessments of their acumen in both management and life.”

    It’s not just small businesses. Steve Jobs was a nutcase who was a nightmare to work for. I assume being one of Elon Musk’s direct reports is no picnic. Bill Gates was a screamer with Aspergers who would scream at employees telling them how stupid they were. My theory is most entrepreneurs are crazy at a clinical level.

    Think about Musk. “I’m going to start a business and make my first billion. Then I’m going to leverage that billion to start an electric car company that will make me the richest man in the world. Then I will use that money to build a base on Mars.” That’s something that someone would say in the throws of a hyper-manic episode. Having lost almost all grasp of reality. But Musk not only thought it but is executing on his batshit crazy plan.

    I was just reading something about Bill Gross – also a nut.

    https://dealbreaker.com/2015/11/pimco-wonders-if-bill-gross-remembers-that-he-acted-like-a-crazy-person-in-his-last-months-of-employment

  7. @Rhett – I think the difference is that a larger company is more likely to have a functional HR and legal team. Not that you should ever forget that HR and legal are there to protect the company and not the employees. But it still helps as they are more likely to be worried about the repercussions of things like this.

    “The guy’s just a serious partier. ”

    I don’t think that’s accurate at all. He gets off on the power of making his employees squirm and follow orders. It’s a power dynamic — it’s not just that he wants them to be his drinking buddies.

  8. Not that you should ever forget that HR and legal are there to protect the company and not the employees.

    Exactly – people have way too much faith in HR being there for the benefit of the employee.

  9. Anyone watch the WeWork documentary on Hulu? That company was not functional at all.

  10. Anyone watch the WeWork documentary on Hulu?

    It was so good! Adam Neumann is also a nut along with his creepy emaciated wife.

  11. My aunt was the personal assistant to an extremely wealthy businessman’s wife. The lady started several businesses in her own right. One of these was a fashion line. There were lots of events and parties that my aunt attended in her professional capacity. However, her boss was very demanding. Day and night there were phone calls. Worse, my aunt seemed to think this woman was like her family and put up with a lot of c*ap, that she wouldn’t have in a regular job. I don’t think the pay was high enough to be worth it. The only thing she could say was she worked for so and so. Her boss was in a position to open doors though. I think she did my aunt a couple of favors.

  12. Hey, not as entrepreneurs/business owners are nut jobs. Most of us are just too boring to rate any column space.

  13. I worked for a small law firm straight out of college. Husband was principal and wife was office manager (wanted to prove she was a professional and keep an eye on the money). Wife was a nutjob control freak. It was a miserable place to work, but only 9-5 job. I got out of there as fast as I could.

    Never again will I work for a small private company, unless it is mine.

  14. It’s mid April. Have the junior Totebaggers decided on their college choices ? I get so excited at all the possibilities. Of course one can attend only one college at a time. My kids roll their eyes. But then they never had to scrounge around for books to read or to educate themselves with.

  15. Louise, DD still hasn’t decided. She got her room assignment at MSU on Monday and has changed it twice to get into the dorm she wants. But she hasn’t committed yet.

  16. Rhett, Not Boswells, but others. But also, lots of fairly normal, boring people. I’ve worked with crazy professors, middle managers, government employees. There’s plenty of crazy everywhere.

  17. The guy who wrote the King of California (drawing a blank on his name) clearly has issues with successful growers. Perhaps because his own dad was not successful.

    It takes a strong willed person to develop an empire, and no one is perfect. One of the reasons I find Western resource development history so fascinating is the sheer scope of ambition and the amount of skullduggery in combination. There were some stories in the King of California that were not plausible. It’s been a while since I read the book, but I recall there is a story of the author and Boswell coming back to Boswell’s house and Boswell relieves himself in his yard rather than go in and use his bathroom. Not plausible.

  18. Louise, DS hit the accept button on Wednesday and signed up for housing and orientation yesterday. He is so excited about his pick and going to college.

  19. “Boswell coming back to Boswell’s house and Boswell relieves himself in his yard rather than go in and use his bathroom. Not plausible.”

    LBJ would do that on his ranch in the middle of a freaking press conference.

  20. Not plausible.

    From the interview it looks like J.G. more or less confirmed the story. Why do you consider it implausible?

  21. My reaction to that article on Google was “are there people out there who expect their employer to be like a family????”

  22. MM, you forget how naive some young people are. They’ve been told to follow their passions and work for a company that mirrors their values and on and on…

    I’ve spent the last few years counseling young relatives:
    Don’t love something that can’t love you back
    A list of job requirements is a wish list from the employer, they’ll take much less
    It’s just a job, maybe your first, but likely not your last.

  23. And if you’re a guy and your “yard” is 312 square miles*, I figure you’d be peeing in your own yard all the time as a simple matter of practicality.

    * Fun fact Lee Drummond (The Pioneer Women)’s “yard” is over twice that size at 675 square miles.

  24. Cass – the school you visited ?

    My kids are getting college ideas from Tik Tok. Sigh….

  25. My reaction to that article on Google was “are there people out there who expect their employer to be like a family????”

    I guess you don’t watch TV. On almost every show that involves a work place, everyone is best friends with their coworkers and that is their social group outside of work. That’s the image of work that kids see as they grow up.

  26. “On almost every show that involves a work place, everyone is best friends with their coworkers and that is their social group outside of work. ”

    That’s a really good point. Also, so, so many are single. And — just generalizing here — it seems like there are no kids on TV any more, or at least not in recurring roles.

  27. “Never again will I work for a small private company, unless it is mine.”

    Along the same lines, before I ever bought real estate, I decided that if I ever bought a condo, it would be in a large building with an association that had lots of members and professional management. Not in a condo association with only a couple of other people, where there would be too great a risk that the one or two other members would be nut jobs who would make my life miserable. If there is a nut job in a larger association, at least their nuttiness would likely be watered down by the more normal people.

  28. Also, so, so many are single.

    I assume it’s for the same reason that Disney characters don’t have parents. It’s hard to move the plot along if everyone has kids/parents.

  29. Louise, all of their stuff comes from TikTok. It used to be snapchat or You Tube, but now it is TikTok.
    I am trying to convince DD to study for the ACT because she is taking it one more time later this month, She asked me to buy a thick book for practice exams. I ordered it from Amazon even though she gets free copies of exams from Applerouth and share already has a similar book from Barron’s. She hasn’t opened it yet and it just sits on our dining room table.

    I can’t wait until the ACT and APs are over because she really has no time to focus on college selection until she finishes with the AP exams.

  30. Louise, the college on the central coast of California. Near the origin of tri tip.

    That area is absolutely beautiful this time of year. The Almighty was just practicing when he made the rest of the world. We drove down the Central Coast, through the green hills and coastal ranges. At one point, under his breath, I hear, “this is gorgeous”. We met some friends (my age) for lunch and they took us on a tour of the campus. A beautiful young woman jogged by and the friend explained to DS about Poly Dollies.

    We left the my age friends and then timed the distance to the beach…15 minutes. We then met up with one of DD2’s friends who also took us on a tour, which mainly consisted of walking around campus and hearing about the food availability and quality at each spot. Also in the conversation was how the engineering students were treated so much better than the liberal arts kids. DD2’s friend is liberal arts.

  31. I only had one job experience where I worked for small family owned business. They did a nice job welcoming nonfamily into the company, in that I didn’t feel like an outsider. However, I also felt like it was a little too comfortable among everyone. I just knew didn’t like that amount of “we are family” feeling, and quickly left for a much larger corporation.

    I never could have tolerated the “summer camps” at WeWork. Inspiration quotes and rah rah successions to improve the life of humans are not for me.

  32. There is a whole class of culty tech companies. Here is an inside look at SAS:

    Or Epic which some of you know by their patient facing application MyChart.

  33. DS clicked yes for UMD, and he has received confirmation that he will be in a dorm. He doesn’t find out which dorm or who his roommate will be until July. He has signed up for orientation, which will be 2 virtual days in June.

  34. I don’t mean “family” in the sense of socializing with your co-workers, I mean “family” in the sense that the corporation will care about you. That was what the article was about. When I worked at the software company, I was friendly with many of my co-workers and socialized with some of them, but none of us had any illusions that our employer especially cared about us.

  35. In the Globe article I posted, there was this quote:

    “Jillian Perrone, 17, from Cohasset said the past few weeks have been stressful after several of the 11 schools she applied to wait listed her, including ones she was confident about, such as the University of Washington. But last week she felt a wave of relief when William & Mary offered her a chance to study abroad in the fall with guaranteed admission in the spring.”

    I found myself wondering if kids are really going to be able to study abroad in the fall, or if Jillian is going to be sitting at home in Cohasset doing Zoom classes until January.

  36. I did a summer project with someone from Google a few years ago – we had students building a “humanitarian” phone app – so I visited the NY location a number of times. I also dealt with some of their CA people when I was involved in a particular CS education project. It is definitely very culty, and “fun”.
    I actually like Google as a company in some ways and definitely prefer them to Apple. Why? Because they try very hard to work with the university sector, in ways that are much deeper and more fundamental than the other tech companies. Actually, Facebook is starting to do this too. Apple on the other hand had no interest whatsoever in education except as a sale opportunity.
    But even so, I would not have any illusions that Google cares about any of us as humans, and if they didn’t see value in the university education collaborations, they would stop.

  37. ““Jillian Perrone, 17, from Cohasset said the past few weeks have been stressful after several of the 11 schools she applied to wait listed her, including ones she was confident about, such as the University of Washington. But last week she felt a wave of relief when William & Mary offered her a chance to study abroad in the fall with guaranteed admission in the spring.””

    Schools were doing that before the pandemic. When I went on college tours with DS2, both BU and Northeastern were pushing that idea.

  38. When I worked at the software company, I was friendly with many of my co-workers and socialized with some of them, but none of us had any illusions that our employer especially cared about us.

    The one you always complained about?

  39. “William & Mary offered her a chance to study abroad in the fall”
    IOW, young Ms. Perrone didn’t merit a regular fall admission slot but W&M wants to be sure there are enough students rising to be sophomores a year from now.
    IMHO, Jillian should go to a school that offers her a regular fall admission so she can start with her cohort, go thru orientation with everyone else, etc. If study abroad is important to her, go another semester, maybe with friends from her college. Doing the 1st semester away from campus means she’ll have a tougher time making friends when she starts there in January.

  40. Oh god, Epic, their software is so clunky. I had no idea they were located near UW. I assume it is UW grads who work there.

  41. Everyone on the various “College bound” FB groups are whining endlessly about the unfairness of this year. Everyone thought that with no SATs, somehow the admissions process was going to be magically better. What were they thinking? Without SATs, schools have to rely on GPAs that all kind of look the same, extracurriculars that all pretty much look the same, and the competently written bland drivel in the essays. Of course it is going to be a crapshoot.

  42. NoB, depends where study abroad is – Caribbean, Mexico, Costa Rica?

    Epic’s headquarters is interesting to say the least. I know of a few Wisconsin based companies that have a similar “we are different and we care about you” messaging and the people that work there enjoy it. I’m always more skeptical of places like that.

  43. “But last week she felt a wave of relief when William & Mary offered her a chance to study abroad in the fall with guaranteed admission in the spring.””

    Is that just so her SAT scores don’t bring down the school’s averages that they have to send to US News? This way they can call her a “transfer student”?

  44. “What kind of person pees in their own front yard?”

    A guy I briefly dated in high school, for one. We were sitting in the car and he had to go. So he stepped out and peed on a tree in his front yard. “Things have come to a pretty pass if a man can’t take a leak in his own yard”, quoth he. He was super cute but way too much of a stoner. He teaches history at San Jose State now.

  45. there’s peeing in front of your date when you’re in high school, and there’s peeing on the edge of the woods in your yard when it’s dark out and you’re just letting the dog out before bed and waiting for *him* to pee.

  46. My dad and all his friends drink on the deck in the dark and pee in the yard. I thought that what grown up did who live out of sight of their neighbors.

  47. Epic is kind of clunky, except if you compare it to ANY OTHER electronic medical record. In comparison, it is a Cadillac. What EMR do you think is better?

  48. Interestingly when Judy passes her controlling stake in Epic will pass to a charitable foundation so the company can continue on according to her vision. You might say, that’s novel. But it’s what Milton Hershey did with his chocolate company and Hans Wilsdorf did with his watch company Rolex.

  49. Rhett, I was no longer at the software company when I got on this site.

  50. That would make a good classist SAT question if they still had analogies.

    59. Thin mints are to The Girl Scouts of America as Oyster Perpetuals are to:

    A. LVMH
    B. Hans Wilsdorf foundation
    C. Swatch
    D. None of the above

  51. Ada, none of them. The whole field of healthcare software is a technological backwater. The company that I worked for where I complained a lot was a company that built healthcare software. Boy, was that eye opener. It wasn’t just our crap, it was all the crap software and out of date technology at other companies, especially the payors, that we had to interface with. Everything seemed to be about 10 years out of date in terms of technology, and even more, in terms of testing approaches and software process.
    One of the things that many people don’t know is that the main reason the Obamacare enrollment site failed when it was first rolled out was because the software at the payors did not correctly conform to the interchange standard that had been mandated since the Clinton era. Worse yet, the payor software all non-conformed in weirdly individual ways and often gave wrong results. This was well known in the healthcare IT field, because it was always a problem that led to bugs and failures. I knew this, because I had to work with the same interchange standard. What we had to do was write forty million lines of code completely individualized to each payor, and then change it constantly as their reponses changed format, often without notice. I was no longer working in that world when the Obamacare site was crashing, but I read some deep dive analyses and was just laughing.

  52. “Schools were doing that before the pandemic. When I went on college tours with DS2, both BU and Northeastern were pushing that idea. “

    Were they doing the part about not guaranteeing spring admission?

    When DS was a senior, a number of parents on the CC group I monitored posted about their kids being offered admission at Northeastern contingent on the first semester being spent abroad, but that did guarantee spring admission.

    One of DS’ HS classmates did that.

  53. MM,

    You should call Judy and let her know that she’s doing it all wrong. But seriously, considering the issues they have with women in CS I’m surprised she isn’t a bigger deal. She’s certainly succeed in a man’s world. She’s the second richest self made woman in America (Oprah is #9).

    The richest? Diane Hendricks. The source of her fortune? The 73-year-old co-founded ABC Supply – a roofing wholesale distributor – in 1982.

    Hum, she looks like someone you don’t fuck with.

  54. “It’s mid April. Have the junior Totebaggers decided on their college choices ? “

    A lot of kids were waiting on decisions just announced this week.

    In non-pandemic times, a lot of kids would be doing admitted student events this month to help decide. I’ve heard a lot of schools are doing virtual events, but IDK how much kids will rely on those to help decide.

  55. “Is that just so her SAT scores don’t bring down the school’s averages that they have to send to US News? This way they can call her a “transfer student”? “

    A lot of schools do things like that in non-pandemic times. Both my kids’ schools are pretty well-known for it. At DS’ school, a lot of the kids brought in that way are legacies. One of his freshman year roommates got in that way.

    At DD’s school, spring admission is a thing to the point that they regularly hold orientation for spring admits. It also accepts a lot of transfers, like my nephew.

  56. In non-pandemic times, a lot of kids would be doing admitted student events this month to help decide. I’ve heard a lot of schools are doing virtual events, but IDK how much kids will rely on those to help decide.

    I mentioned that DD did the one for OSU two weeks ago. She said there was some helpful info but it didn’t sway her one way or the other.

  57. In addition to being the richest self made women in America Mrs. Hendricks has 7 children.

  58. “Everyone on the various “College bound” FB groups are whining endlessly about the unfairness of this year. Everyone thought that with no SATs, somehow the admissions process was going to be magically better… Of course it is going to be a crapshoot.”

    I suspect sophomore year grades and XC activities received much more scrutiny than normal this year. And next year, first semester senior year grades will be really heavily weighted.

    I wonder if this year’s admission results will lead to some amount of backlash against test-optional or test-blind admissions.

    I also wonder if there will be a higher than normal %age of kids transferring out of HSS, or flunking out, or experiencing mental health issues.

    At DS’ school, I think next school year will be even more competitive, with about 20% more students than normal because so many deferred or took leave. At a famously competitive school like MIT, I’d guess there will be a lot of stressed out freshmen next year.

  59. “I assume it is UW grads who work there.

    And a lot of Midwest state flagships as well.”

    I know kids from UVA, Clemson, and UVA who work for Epic. Just off the top of my head. What’s not to like about Epic – they have a Treehouse conference room with a slide and a dining room that looks like Hogwarts! Or, you can work in many countries around the world.

  60. HFN, I like Madison but I would go bezerk working at that place
    1. I hate healthcare IT
    2. I would hate working for a company where they try so hard to be trendy and “fun”. One of my job hunting rules from the 00’s was to avoid the companies that pushed their foosball tables. I couldn’t work for Google either which, at least at the NYC location, has a similarly “fun” decor with scooters everywhere, ball pits, ladders going between floors, and other silly stuff.

    BTW, I have a good friend who lives in Missouri and is an EPIC specialist. She works for a healthcare IT company owned by a big hospital chain. It is the opposite world – very boring, very staid, regular hours. She has a special needs kid and likes the low pressure atmosphere.

  61. She told us at dinner and then said we can’t ask her any questions about it until tomorrow.

  62. Yay DD’s DD! I love that she is holding off on all questions until tomorrow – a scheduled press conference I’m sure :)

  63. Congrats to DD’s and Cassandra’s kids who are starting to plan their futures!

  64. Speaking of gimmick laden workplaces, the only one that I visited like that was Monster. It was the dot com era and Monster was the cool place to work. It was in a converted warehouse with a wide open plan. I had an interview there but when I landed there, the person I was to interview with had left and I was made to wait while they found me a replacement interviewer. Then we had to find a quiet spot for an interview as the open plan made the place noisy.,The whole experience was the opposite of what was expected from a firm that was transforming hiring. I think the people who were hired from the outside, left quickly.

  65. The one thing the college choice articles don’t mention is the cost. It costs a good deal deal of money per year for an OOS public school let alone a private school. And the colleges that tout changing the profile of their admitted classes. That’s great but they better not saddle their students with sky high debt.

  66. Mooshi,

    Vax appointments are available in Larchmont, Easrchester and the Bronx right now.

  67. “ I also wonder if there will be a higher than normal %age of kids transferring out of HSS, or flunking out, or experiencing mental health issues.”

    Why would you think this?

  68. Milo, if you’re admitting students without reference to any standardized tests which demonstrate they can master the material taught, there are going to be some kids who arrive and discover that they cannot compete academically. It’s harder to notice if the student is majoring in a soft subject – and grades are more forgiving – but I doubt the professors in the engineering departments and hard sciences are going to grade on a gentle curve for the next four years in honor of the Pandemic Times. When I was in undergrad those kids wound up in the counseling center (one did not transfer out).

  69. This test optional year really is an inadvertent and in many quarters unwelcome study of whether or not standardized tests truly demonstrate whether or not a given student can master the material taught in a given program. For true believers, there’s no question that a greater number of kids who can’t hack it have been admitted this year. The next couple of years will reveal a lot about the testing/test prep system. What if it turns out the numbers of drop outs/flame outs/freak outs don’t change or even decline?

  70. Mooshi – legal software is all like that too (even worse I should think). Now that I am on mgmt I had a mtg with our COO and IT guys to talk about the system and DH gave me some questions to ask…NOTHING is possible unless we change the whole system from scratch.

  71. I saw this on social media:

    Every shore house from Maine to NC is booked already for the summer.

    Is this an exaggeration?

    “Vax appointments are available in Larchmont, Easrchester and the Bronx right now.”

    Yes! Earlier this morning I snagged a CVS appointment for a relative. However, checking right now our closest location is now fully booked.

    Congrats to the college -bound kids who have decided!

    “What if it turns out the numbers of drop outs/flame outs/freak outs don’t change or even decline?”

    I’m not sure what conclusion can be drawn. As Sky comments, especially in “soft” subjects it may be hard to tell how students are performing academically. This may be particularly true if standards drop to accommodate less capable students. Anecdotally I’ve heard and seen this during the last year when professors seem to be less strict and more forgiving in their grading and students seem to be cheating more.

  72. One of my kids is a poor test taker. It’s so contrary to Totebag norms. But there it is. The said kid does decently in school. The school totes it’s high standards.
    The school hesitates to put poor test takers into advanced classes, with the assumption that those kids will flame out. It’s an assumption that has not held true for my kid. I had to fight the school every year. And every year, they have been proved wrong.
    Test optional gives said kid a chance at more colleges. The test score would have eliminated said kid right off the bat. I’ll report back next year on how it all plays out.

  73. Congrats to your DD, DD!

    I am watching with popcorn how this test-optional admissions year / cohort pans out. My nickel is that things will not be statistically different than for e.g. the HS class of 2015, presumably BA/BS 2019, the last 4-yr run in the Before Times. Assuming the incoming class of 2025 gets to do all things in-person.

    I rode my bike W-Th-F. So glad I got it.

    Lawn mowing #1 of 2021 today. It’ll be 80 out so I’m looking forward to spending time outside. I don’t really view this as a chore, more like an alternate workout.

    I really want to drop 25lbs during this outdoor season, roughly 1/wk. The first 10, the “easy” 10, is to get back to where I was in early Sept.

    We’re going out to dinner tonight, restaurant patio, and I’m looking forward to that.

  74. “My nickel is that things will not be statistically different than for e.g. the HS class of 2015, presumably BA/BS 2019, the last 4-yr run in the Before Times. Assuming the incoming class of 2025 gets to do all things in-person.”

    I agree. Wasn’t the thought that there were tons and tons of bright and capable kids competing for few slots like a lottery? This just might mean that they pick different bright and capable kids.

    Congrats to The Totebag seniors who have made decisions!

  75. Last night I got a notification from MLB app that there was a No hitter in progress. So we watched the last 3 outs, the Padres pitcher achieved it. The game was at Texas Rangers. The reason I mention this was that the seats on camera were all occupied, and not by elderly people. No masks. It was like looking at a film of a 2019 game. That image more than any other I have seen brought home to me the regional differences.

  76. The one skill my kid has developed is working through the rejection of class placement and going to the next step of making an appeal. The appeal has become a regular spring ritual.
    My observation is that over the years said kids writing has improved so much. Some kids just take longer than others to reach their stride. They don’t enter high school fully formed.

  77. Meme – the one colleague who said that her family is not vaccinating is in Texas. I think there was a silence as the rest of us, were processing being open, with no masks and no vaccine protection.

    I got my shot this morning. County vax site is a well oiled machine. It was smooth way back in Jan, just less paper now.

  78. I called and made a pedicure appointment for next week, as I’ll be two weeks post second shot. I was happy to hear that my girl is still there. Now I’m wondering, how much do I tip when I went MIA for a year…I’m thinking maybe 100% for the first visit then back to normal. Then, I had to change my hair appointment that’s two weeks out because of a work conflict. Ugh, her next available appointment is late June….some things are returning to normal, her business had been hit as less people were doing color and stretching longer between appointments. It appears that is changing too.

    Here in the Midwest I’m a little worried that vaccine hesitancy is higher than I thought. We are about 30% vaccinated, but the scrum to get vaccine appointments appears to be largely over. There are now walk in clinics, which must mean they don’t believe they will be overwhelmed.

  79. What Ivy said. Also, when I think of the couple kids I knew in college with mental health issues, they were at the top of the class, including the one who was #1 in mech e. before getting booted for a nervous breakdown. The ones steadily moving along with Bs, Cs, and the occasional D in Thermo or EE were perfectly happy and mentally stable. And I tend to think that if a school is admitting 4% of its applicants, they could probably take the top 40% of applicants with no significant impact on overall quality.

    Meme – regional differ. I went into Dunkin Donuts yesterday, and zero of five customers were wearing masks. Employees were, but nobody seemed to care. So I took mine off, too. I brought the dozen to work, and without me mentioning that story, a coworker said he was in Lowe’s Thursday night, and half the customers had stopped wearing masks. So I think people are just starting to ignore the protocols.

  80. This summer we are going to Montana. We can drive, but airfare is reasonable. This morning I was looking around, and Enterprise (my car rental of choice) has no availability. I then looked at Expedia and a midsize car for a week is $1500! That’s more than the airfare for the four of us. I then looked at Enterprise for another airport not at our destination, but still doable and they had cars, but at $1000 for the week. We rented out there before and usually spend about $350 for the week.

    In conclusion, we’ll be driving.

  81. My snowbird friends, flying in from boston, had the same problem with Montana rental cars. for a yellowstone grand teton trip They changed itinerary and are flying into Salt Lake City.

  82. @Meme – We watched the end of the no hitter as well. DS had just come home from practice, and he immediately commented on the full-capacity maskless crowd. We told him it was Dallas & he rolled his eyes.

    Mask compliance indoors here has not changed from near 100% from what I can tell. And while it is still not super easy to get a vax appointment, it is not that hard either. My last friend to get vexed (who also had covid) is switching appointments multiple times on the hunt for the J&J one & done.

    I am happy that the 12-15 emergency authorization is moving forward & hopeful that it will not be difficult to get DS vaccinated before Memorial Day. It would be absolutely wonderful to have a full summer with all three of us vaccinated and back to “normal”. It already feels like a huge weight off with DH & I vaxxed, but with the uptick in cases among the 10-20yo group and a summer full of baseball tournaments and hopefully travel, parties and friends hanging out, it would make me feel much better to get him vaxxed too.

  83. One of my coworkers also is paying > $1000 for a car in Fort Myers this week. More than the plane tickets for a family of 4. Taxi/uber service is not that practical there either.

  84. We are thinking of doing a cross country trip in August to drop DS off at college. DH’s preference would be to get a rental car. I told him he should start looking to see what rates look like.

  85. “This just might mean that they pick different bright and capable kids.”

    ITA. And these schools aren’t going to let their students flunk out. Those who struggle in engineering will transfer to business or sociology, as many under-prepared students have been doing for years. Our university is remaining test-optional for another two admissions seasons, and when the dust settles my guess is that test-optional might become permanent. The university has so much more flexibility to admit the legacy/development/URM/immigrant/athletic students they want without having to worry about how their lower test scores will affect the ranking. It will be much harder for the bright-but-not-brilliant nice well-rounded UMC kids with high test scores to land a slot.

  86. “ It will be much harder for the bright-but-not-brilliant nice well-rounded UMC kids with high test scores to land a slot.”

    I agree, which is just more reason for me to take the Denver Dad approach and simply not worry about it.

  87. When my alma mater went test optional in 2009 the alumni went batsh*t crazy. So much hue and cry about the lowered standards, delegitmizing our diplomas, death knell of the university. Turns out it hasn’t hurt Wake’s standing or reputation in the slightest. I won’t be surprised if test optional is here to stay, and the death knell is for the test prep industry.

  88. HFN – yes, but over the long term, it will diminish the prestige of getting in to and graduating from a particular name brand as it becomes more apparent that it’s increasingly separated from raw intellectual ability. And that’s OK, because we’ve argued for years that the prestige of getting a 1400 or 1500 on your SATs wasn’t all that predictive or transferable, anyway.

  89. Car rental rates are up in many places because the rental companies cut their fleets last year when everything was locked down. They never anticipated that so many people would want to rent cars so they substantially cut back on their fleets. Also, they went through financial hardship and even bankruptcy so they weren’t able to just purchase more cars. Even if they wanted to add a lot more cars…we talked about how the auto manufacturers also have shortages due to the chip shortages etc.

    One of my friends looked into renting a car in Hawaii and it was several hundred dollars per day due to supply and demand.

  90. I’m at a county parks and rec soccer game (starts at 1), first of the season, at one of the massive sites with 20 fields. DW warned me that masks are required for spectators and the county promised strict enforcement. Less than 1% compliance of the couple thousand people here. Coaches generally wear them on their chin or dangling from one ear.

    Wearing them outdoors is absurd, anyway.

  91. “over the long term, it will diminish the prestige of getting in to and graduating from a particular name brand as it becomes more apparent that it’s increasingly separated from raw intellectual ability”

    The tippy top schools will not lose their prestige. If test optional becomes permanent, the application numbers at those places will continue to soar, and they will be turning away 97% of their applicants. The lucky winners of that process will still be regarded as the best and the brightest and the schools will still brag about their brilliant classes — the only aspect that will change is that the schools will not be touting the average SAT scores as part of their brand.

    It’s possible that the top schools will allow but not require students to submit scores, because that will enable their admission staff to remove from consideration the test-free application files without hooks, and focus on the applicants more likely to be serious candidates.

  92. “NoB. NH vax appts are now open to MA residents over 16.”

    Meme — Only beginning on April 19, so NH has the same start date for me as MA. I went to the NH website yesterday, and it wouldn’t let you register for a vaccine unless you had a NH address. So, I still have eight more days of not even being able to try to play the vaccination game.

  93. Here’s my weekly CVS stats:

    16 states lowered their minimum age from last week, with 30 now having 16 as the minimum age of eligibility.

    Minimum ages of eligibility per CVS this morning (* indicates change from last week):

    16 – Alabama*, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware*, Florida*, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa*, Kansas, Kentucky*, Louisiana, Michigan*, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada*, New York*, North Carolina*, North Dakota*, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee*, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin*

    40 – Vermont*

    50 – California, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island*

    55 – Massachusetts*, New Jersey*

    60 – Hawaii, Maryland, New Mexico, Washington

    65 – District of Columbia, Illinois, Missouri, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia

    CVS is not yet providing vaccines in Idaho, Maine, Nebraska, New Hampshire, South Dakota, or Wyoming

    NoB – although California isn’t lowering the eligibility age to 16 until 4/15, SBPHD started to allow appointments for those 16+ at their clinics this week. I don’t know if a comparable situation will be available in your area.

  94. “It will be much harder for the bright-but-not-brilliant nice well-rounded UMC kids with high test scores to land a slot. “

    I’m wondering how many bright-but-not-brilliant kids are able to get 1600s.

    What we as a society will lose is identifying many of the diamonds in the rough, the really bright kids in poor situations that had previously been able to distinguish themselves only by high test scores.

  95. “The ones steadily moving along with Bs, Cs, and the occasional D in Thermo or EE were perfectly happy and mentally stable. “

    Right, those aren’t the ones I think will have the issues.

    But that’s not your typical HSS student. At least in the recent past, most of the unhooked ones were always at or near the top of their classes through HS, and suddenly finding themselves struggling to keep up could be a major stressor to them. My guess is that not all of them will easily adapt to steadily moving along with Bs and Cs, let alone the occasional D.

    I think a higher %age of HSS kids are med school wannabes than in LSS (less SS), and Fred’s DS2 notwithstanding, many of them will feel a lot of pressure to get a high GPA.

  96. “Wasn’t the thought that there were tons and tons of bright and capable kids competing for few slots like a lottery? “

    But that was in normal times, when the qualifications for the lottery included test scores, grades, and XC.

    This year’s kids have had all of those disrupted. So it’s likely that this year’s lottery includes a lot of kids that normally wouldn’t have qualified.

  97. “And these schools aren’t going to let their students flunk out. Those who struggle in engineering will transfer to business or sociology, as many under-prepared students have been doing for years. “

    It’ll be interesting to see if that happens even more with this class.

    Part of that struggle might be that in many cases, the pandemic meant less material covered less effectively in HS, leaving kids less prepared for college. And it’ll be difficult to separate that from admitting kids who wouldn’t have gotten in under pre-pandemic admissions standards.

    But is that in the best interest of those kids, and our society? Would we all be better off if they went to less demanding schools and were able to complete engineering rather than sociology degrees?

  98. “One of my friends looked into renting a car in Hawaii and it was several hundred dollars per day due to supply and demand. “

    A lot of people here kinda like this. There’s hope that it will act as a filter, and result in fewer, but higher spending, tourists, not not mention less traffic.

  99. “So we watched the last 3 outs, the Padres pitcher achieved it. “

    The guy who made the last out was a tee ball teammate of my nephew.

    Nephew and BIL both noted he really stood out by his understanding of the game even at that age.

  100. “ But that’s not your typical HSS student. ”

    So at HSS, it’s atypical for students to earn less than, say, a 3.5?

  101. DD, congrats on your DD’s decision.

    Have you started making plans to help her move in? Will she take her car?

  102. “Would we all be better off if they went to less demanding schools and were able to complete engineering rather than sociology degrees?”

    That’s a great question. This study found that black Duke students (and legacies too) were far more likely than their peers to start out in science and engineering but then switch to humanities or social science after earning poor grades.

    https://izajole.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/2193-8997-1-5

    If large cohorts of students arrive this fall unprepared for college-level math and science courses, the universities will adjust by watering down those courses or providing remedial prep courses or tutoring assistance. What they won’t do is flunk out those kids. Most students, regardless of their inherent ability, will have lots of catching up to do for the foreseeable future, until K-12 schools return to normal teaching.

  103. I first learnt of test optional because of Wake. A mother at kids school was talking about her older kid. The kid was a poor test taker but got stellar grades. He applied to only one college which was Wake and did not submit test scores. He got in. Note, Wake admissions is likely very familiar with the rigor of the school, so they perhaps could make an educated guess about whether the student would sink or swim. They would be familiar enough to be able to call the school counselors if necessary.

  104. “They changed itinerary and are flying into Salt Lake City.”

    We did that once too. It’s a beautiful drive through Bear Lake. We ended up totaling the car in Grand Teton and sadly the SLC rental agency was not kind. Lots of back and forth with my insurer and several attempts by Hertz to send us to collections.

    My MIL reminded us that last year there was a fire in the car rental holding lot in Ft. Myers. Over 3000 cars were destroyed. That also plays a role in limited Florida availability.

  105. For employers that are recruiting at a given school because they require a certain level of cognitive ability they may have to widen the net. I will note that Epic and other companies requires potential employees to submit their SAT scores. That would be another option if employers find that the percentage of graduates from X that are able to get up to speed is lower than it was when test scores were required.

    Many corporate training programs have a regular series of tests to ensure new employees are grasping the information. Do kids who are poor test takers just avoid those types of jobs?

  106. “So at HSS, it’s atypical for students to earn less than, say, a 3.5?”

    It’s atypical for unhooked students to enter HSS with HS GPA less than, say, 3.8.

    IOW, they’re used to earning As and A minuses. Not all will adapt readily, I suspect, to Bs, Cs, and the occasional D.

  107. Do kids who are poor test takers just avoid those types of jobs?

    I don’t think so. I think one component of the whole test taking saga is that the SAT is made out to be such an important component of a young person’s life. It’s the – I am stupid if I don’t get a 1600. Of course, as adults we find out later that it is not the be all and end all of future success or failure. By the time, one is through with college and on to a job, hopefully one gains a better perspective of the situation.
    Going back to the original article, hopefully by your first job you don’t think the work environment is your home and your co workers are family.

  108. I want to add that many mental health issues surface in college. It’s not because of academic pressure, rather biology, I think. Schizophrenia runs in my family. Two bright, high achieving family members started showing signs in their late teens/early twenties. I am sometimes, petrified of kids in my family being quiet high achievers because the before and after a mental health episode is not pretty. It changes the trajectory of a persons life.

  109. Louise,

    It obviously depends on the company but in many cases if you fail a test twice you get fired. That would seem to be pretty stressful and anxiety inducing. But I can see your point about being more mature and better able to manage stress and anxiety.

  110. “Wake admissions is likely very familiar with the rigor of the school, so they perhaps could make an educated guess about whether the student would sink or swim. “

    That would seem to disadvantage kids attending HS with whose rigor admissions is not familiar. Those are cases in which an excellent SAT or ACT can make the difference between admission and rejection.

  111. “If large cohorts of students arrive this fall unprepared for college-level math and science courses, the universities will adjust by watering down those courses or providing remedial prep courses or tutoring assistance. What they won’t do is flunk out those kids. “

    That my be true at some schools, but I’m skeptical that it will be generally true, e.g., at publics whose goals don’t necessarily include remediation (perhaps some leave that more to CCs and JCs?).

    I’m pretty sure some of my profs would’ve balked at watering down courses; they felt that part of their jobs was to ensure that graduates met a certain standard. Combine that with tight resources, for colleges as well as students, making it difficult to cover the cost of remedial courses or tutoring, and I can see kids flunking out, both at the class level and completely from school.

    I think placement testing will increase in value for the next couple years or so.

  112. “I want to add that many mental health issues surface in college. It’s not because of academic pressure, rather biology, I think.”

    My guess is being away from home and the independence that comes with that is also often a factor.

    I wonder if there are any studies done comparing kids who move away for school with those who stay home and commute to school.

  113. “Do kids who are poor test takers just avoid those types of jobs?”

    They probably don’t often get offered jobs for which the employers ask for SAT scores as part of the applications.

  114. “Many corporate training programs have a regular series of tests to ensure new employees are grasping the information.”

    A lot of government jobs also use tests to screen prospective employees.

  115. Wasn’t doing well in civil service exams historically one way for people to lift themselves from low SES?

  116. SBJ, IDK if CVS vaccination availability reflects this or not, but here, 3/4 counties have vaccinations open to everyone 16 and over.

    One county goes to 50 and over on Monday.

  117. I was in a corporate training program and I passed the test at the end of the month long training with flying colors. My GPA was on my resume. I don’t know if other candidates were asked for SAT scores.
    However, the training program did not prepare me for the stress of the actual day to day job. The stress of the exam at the end of training was a lot different from the daily job stress. We had two young people abandon the job. One left on a Friday and didn’t report back on Monday. The other came to work, greeted everyone, went to get breakfast and never returned.
    In all this, I had the added stress of losing my visa if I couldn’t cut it which other co workers did not have.

  118. “I’m pretty sure some of my profs would’ve balked at watering down courses; they felt that part of their jobs was to ensure that graduates met a certain standard.”

    When most of the students in the intro biology classes, say, have missed out on labs during their senior year in high school, the faculty will be forced to adjust. The deans and provosts will simply not allow them to do otherwise. It’s not the fault of the students that their school systems shut down.

  119. When most of the students in the intro biology classes, say, have missed out on labs during their senior year

    If they can’t figure it out, I’m not sure how they are going to survive in corporate America where so much is going to be remote – training and otherwise.

  120. It will be much harder for the bright-but-not-brilliant nice well-rounded UMC kids with high test scores to land a slot.

    Test optional is going to really hurt kids like Mooshi’s DS.

    Wearing them outdoors is absurd, anyway.

    ITA. Unless you are getting face-to-face with someone for 10 minutes the risk of transmission outdoors is very minimal.

    I’m wondering how many bright-but-not-brilliant kids are able to get 1600s.

    Test prep. Total tangent, but relevant: On the most recent “People I mostly admire” podcast, Steve Leavitt interviewed Sal Khan (of Khan Academy). Leavitt asked Khan what the College Board thought of their test prep stuff, and he said they really like it because they are showing how to solve the problems, not how to game the test like Kaplan and the others do.

    On Montana rental cars, we are paying an absurd amount for three days for when we take DD to orientation in July. The airfare and hotel are very reasonable, though.

    Have you started making plans to help her move in? Will she take her car?

    We were just talking about this. She probably isn’t going to take her car, but we’re thinking we’ll drive her up. She’ll have a lot more stuff than DS (we can’t ship stuff to Grandpa’s for her like we did for him) and it’s “only” about 10-11 hours so we can do it in a day. DS wants to take his car when he goes back. It’s about 13-14 hours so one of us will go with him.

    IOW, they’re used to earning As and A minuses. Not all will adapt readily, I suspect, to Bs, Cs, and the occasional D.

    My latest NP student was just telling me that she is having a hard time because she is used to getting As and between working full-time, clinical hours, and having two teenagers at home, she doesn’t have the time to study as much as she’d like and has been getting some Bs.

    When most of the students in the intro biology classes, say, have missed out on labs during their senior year in high school, the faculty will be forced to adjust. The deans and provosts will simply not allow them to do otherwise. It’s not the fault of the students that their school systems shut down.

    They wouldn’t let students fail well before COVID. I knew someone who taught at an Indiana directional school, and he was told flat out that he wasn’t allowed to fail anyone.

  121. “They wouldn’t let students fail well before COVID.”

    Maybe it’s changed since I was in school, but I saw a bunch of kids flunk out when I was an undergrad.

    Perhaps it’s also different based on admissions philosophy. I’d guess that the more schools rely on their admissions process for screening, the less they rely on classes for screening.

  122. It looks like additional Pfizer appointments have dropped for 4/15 at CVS’s located at:

    24 MAMARONECK AVE, WHITE PLAINS, NY 10601
    1310 BOSTON POST RD, FERNDALE S/C, LARCHMONT, NY 10538

  123. Finn,

    My university was a bust out school both in my day and in my parent’s day. We all remember the freshman orientation meeting with the Dean who said “Look at the person to your left, look at the person to your right, they won’t be there when you graduate.” While visiting several years ago my parents stopped at my Dad’s old frat house and asked whether it was still a bust out school. They were told no, since that would reduce the university’s US News rankings.

  124. The director of DD’s preschool said, “Look at the person to your left, look at the person to your right, because they will be your friends and support system until your child’s HS graduation.” I remember this quote from parent orientation when DD was 2 years old. The reason that it always sticks with me is because my BFF in my town is someone that I met that night. Our girls are barely friends, but we are still friends and our families are close.

    I don’t remember kids flunking out of college, but there were plenty of Cs and Ds. My freshman year roommate was pre med and I lived through Organic Chem with her and her friends. There are plenty of kids that started out as premed, but switched to other majors because their coursework was too challenging.

  125. “Look at the person to your left, look at the person to your right, they won’t be there when you graduate.”

    Words cannot express how much I hate that messaging. The arrogant students just gloat, believing they’ll clearly be the survivors, and the insecure students will just internally collapse. Note that “arrogant” and “insecure” don’t map to “smart” and “dumb”.

    Just shut up, let all the kids try, and the chips will fall where they may.

  126. Lots of smart girls of my ethnicity internalize going into medicine. Some really want to go into medicine, others decide in college that a career in medicine is not for them, so they switch. It’s not that they can’t do the school work, they can. However, as they get closer the dream that was once so exciting, doesn’t seem as attractive.

  127. Kids are playing in futsal (indoor soccer) regionals here. There is 100% mask compliance by spectators and players. For mask compliance, everyone is wearing one but there are some people who only have it over their mouth but mostly people have mask up over their nose too. Only two guests allowed per player and you have to sign in when entering the building. The players are playing with masks, and I think proper mask wearing (covering mouth and nose) is greater than 80%. On my kids teams proper mask wearing is 100%. DS2 commented on a player wearing a mask under his nose that it would be more uncomfortable to play with a mask under your nose than over it.

    DH is concerned about the possible long-term impacts of having covid. He is nervous about the kids not being vaccinated. He said he doesn’t want to go to a restaurant indoors with the kids until they are vaccinated.

  128. “I’d guess that the more schools rely on their admissions process for screening, the less they rely on classes for screening.”

    Not only that, but after accepting only a fraction of applicants, the top schools can’t possibly admit that they made some mistakes. Allowing more than a few students to flunk out would make the school look bad, so it won’t happen. Grade inflation in college is already a thing — not only do few students fail, few even get C’s.

  129. My bigger point is that there isn’t that much difference between the kids they let and and the kids that they don’t. Test scores were one sorting mechanism. I assume that the admissions team (including the alumni volunteers like those on this board) are looking at a whole bunch of Top 5% kids on every measure – grades, test-taking ability (which will be measured by other tests along the way if not the SAT), parental wealth or Finn’s “hook”, agreeability (through interviews), etc. Picking a slightly different bunch of 400 kids from the pool of 10,000 qualified kids is not going to have a material impact.

    I think some of you disagree with me about what percentage of HS seniors could do just fine at a HSS. And SO WHAT if they aren’t engineering/STEM majors?

  130. Freshman year I made friends with a girl who lived in a 4-person dorm room. Only 1 of them ended up graduating from my university. 2 busted out, and my friend transferred to Stanford.

  131. “Test optional is going to really hurt kids like Mooshi’s DS.”

    But with “test optional,” Mooshi’s DS could still submit his super-impressive test scores, and I imagine the admissions committees would give a lot of weight to those scores. I think Mooshi Jr. would only be at a disadvantage if schools started prohibiting kids from submitting test scores.

  132. I went to a HSS in the mid-late 1980s, and I can only think of two kids who left. Both left during freshman year, neither for academic reasons. Both came from very religious families/communities — one was a Jehovah’s Witness, the other a Mormon. In each case the kid was overwhelmed by culture shock and wanted to go home.

  133. I think some of you disagree with me about what percentage of HS seniors could do just fine at a HSS.

    Is the goal just to go to a HSS?

    My bigger point is that there isn’t that much difference between the kids they let and and the kids that they don’t

    For the sake of argument let’s say AcmeSoft has a very intense 6 month training program with weekly exams. If you don’t get above an 85 on any of them you get fired. AcmeSoft needs to hire 1000 new college grads a year. Are you saying that if they went with 1 percentile kids or 5th percentile kids the % that ended up getting fired would be the same?

    Would you be surprised if 95% of the 1 percentile kids passed while only 85% or 75% of the 5th percentile kids passed?

  134. “My bigger point is that there isn’t that much difference between the kids they let and and the kids that they don’t.”

    There isn’t much difference among the top 20-40% of the application distribution.

  135. A couple of articles in the Denver Post today relate to some of our frequent topics. On becoming a landlord, a startup called Flock Home is trying to make it much simpler – https://www.denverpost.com/2021/04/10/denver-flock-homes-startup-real-estate/

    There are 25 states considering bills on requiring financial literacy education in high schools. This is actually a NYT article so it might be paywalled: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/02/your-money/financial-literacy-courses.html

    Two dozen state legislatures are considering bills on financial literacy education, an unusually high number, proponents say.

    They attribute the interest to concern about the burden of student debt, as well as heightened awareness about income and economic inequality as a result of the pandemic.

    “There’s a recognition that folks are being left behind,” said Tim Ranzetta, founder of Next Gen Personal Finance, a nonprofit group that creates free courses and funds training for high school teachers. Next Gen compiled a list of bills submitted for consideration in 25 states. It’s unclear how many will pass, Mr. Ranzetta said.

    As of early 2020, high school students in 21 states were required to take a personal finance course to graduate, according to the Council for Economic Education, which promotes economic and personal finance education for students in kindergarten through high school. That was a net gain of four states since the council’s previous count two years earlier.

  136. “My bigger point is that there isn’t that much difference between the kids they let and and the kids that they don’t.“

    I agree with you for kids at the margin, but the further you get from that margin, but bigger the difference.

    There’s a big difference between a 1600/4.0 and a 1200/3.5.

    “Picking a slightly different bunch of 400 kids from the pool of 10,000 qualified kids is not going to have a material impact.”

    Only if it’s slightly different. My guess is that eplacing the top 10% with the bottom 10% would make a huge difference.

    “And SO WHAT if they aren’t engineering/STEM majors?”

    I’ve read about a lot of hand wringing about URM in fields like medicine and STEM, and my guess is that this is a contributing factor to that underrepresentation.

  137. “Not only that, but after accepting only a fraction of applicants, the top schools can’t possibly admit that they made some mistakes. Allowing more than a few students to flunk out would make the school look bad, so it won’t happen.“

    Also, the students and their parents often see the HSS diploma as having significant value, and many HSS are very generous with need-based aid, thus there’s reluctance to transfer to a less rigorous school So my guess is that students in HSS are generally likely to change majors rather than change school.

    I wonder how often students transfer to less rigorous schools to facilitate staying in certain rigorous or competitive majors, e.g., STEM or pre-med majors. My guess is this happens less at ‘prestigious’ schools than at other schools.

  138. “When most of the students in the intro biology classes, say, have missed out on labs during their senior year in high school, the faculty will be forced to adjust. The deans and provosts will simply not allow them to do otherwise. “

    While I get your point, bio may not be the best example.

    At my kids’ school, most kids take bio as freshmen. Kids taking bio as seniors are usually in AP bio. My HS experience was similar, but without the AP bio.

    But back to your point, I think different schools will handle it differently. One big difference would be whether or not they use placement tests, perhaps including AP exams.

    BITD, my undergrad U required all incoming frosh to take math placement exams. I imagine next year there may be a much higher %age placed in pre-calc relative to calclus than in previous years,

    My guess is there will also be fewer students placing out of intro level classes.

  139. “For the sake of argument let’s say AcmeSoft has a very intense 6 month training program with weekly exams. If you don’t get above an 85 on any of them you get fired. AcmeSoft needs to hire 1000 new college grads a year.”

    Thus,AcmeSoft, like Epic, McKinsey and GS, will require applicants submit their SAT scores, as that is a good predictor of who will do well on these weekly exams, and save both AcmeSoft and those who would’ve washed out the time, expense, and in the case of the would-be washouts, anguish.

    So I wonder what those companies will do in a few years when some of the kids they recruit turn out to not have taken the SAT or even the ACT.

  140. There’s a big difference between a 1600/4.0 and a 1200/3.5.

    Only if it’s slightly different. My guess is that replacing the top 10% with the bottom 10% would make a huge difference.

    @Finn – Where is the worry that either of these things is going to happen coming from? If tests aren’t included, then they are even less inclined to let in 3.5 GPA’s. And there are plenty of people in the top 10% of applicants to fill in the freshman classes. They are still going to cherry pick the “best” kids, it’s just that the way to measure who the “best” kids are is not going to include the SAT as a measure.

    @Rhett – Your example goes against everything you’ve said for years. NOW you think that tests are *the* be-all end-all measure of ability and success in a job? And no – I don’t think that the ability to pass an employer test drops that quickly with a person at the 95th percentile of test taking ability.

  141. What’s interesting to me, from this discussion, is that not a single person — not even Finn, who lives and breathes by worshipping at the altar of “HSS” — has even considered the idea that a school that is “ranked” in the top 10 should in any way be better equipped to, you know, actually *teach* calculus to those miserable dregs who scored 3.5/1200. Is that idea just completely laughable? The point of a good school is not better teaching, it’s simply to be able to count oneself among the most genetically exclusive population possible.

    OK, go on and tell us about how it only works when the peer group is just as brilliant and gifted as one another so they can all celebrate their shared virtue.

  142. But with “test optional,” Mooshi’s DS could still submit his super-impressive test scores, and I imagine the admissions committees would give a lot of weight to those scores. I think Mooshi Jr. would only be at a disadvantage if schools started prohibiting kids from submitting test scores.

    Yes, I misspoke. If was talking about if the tests go away.

  143. Milo, now you’ve got it. The value in going to a HSS is the reputation, not the quality of the teaching.

    And in general, colleges don’t talk about the quality of their teaching because it isn’t a factor in the US News rankings. They talk about class sizes and research opportunities (it’s amazing how so many schools are among “the few” that provide those for undergrads), and they promote the rec centers and dining halls. In all the tours and online sessions I did with the kids, I didn’t hear one school mention the quality of instruction.

  144. “the idea that a school that is “ranked” in the top 10 should in any way be better equipped to, you know, actually *teach* calculus to those miserable dregs who scored 3.5/1200. Is that idea just completely laughable?”

    MIlo, you should know from my posting history that I’m an advocate of homogeneous grouping.

    This idea is contrary to that. The place for calculus classes targeting 3.5/1200 students is at colleges that enroll 3.5/1200 students.

  145. @Milo – I totally agree with you. The kind of university that can’t possibly teach the plebes at the 95th percentile doesn’t sound that great.

    On another note…this conversation is so maddeningly snobby I don’t even know what to say.

  146. “Where is the worry that either of these things is going to happen coming from?”

    What, me worry?

    I’m not particularly worried. My kids won’t be directly affected, although there is a close family friend will be.

    I was just responding to your post with my thoughts.

  147. “Mooshi’s DS could still submit his super-impressive test scores, and I imagine the admissions committees would give a lot of weight to those scores.”

    Mooshi’s DS isn’t the only totebag kid in that boat.

  148. “The value in going to a HSS is the reputation, not the quality of the teaching.”

    Don’t forget peer groups.

  149. “this conversation is so maddeningly snobby I don’t even know what to say.”

    Keep in mind that this is, after all, the forum (and successor to another) in which common discussions were how to pass the time in class while waiting for the other kids to catch up, or how to deal with teachers who had a hard time with students smarter than they, or how to hide being smarter than one’s classmates.

  150. “ Keep in mind that this is, after all, the forum (and successor to another) in which common discussions were how to pass the time in class while waiting for the other kids to catch up, or how to deal with teachers who had a hard time with students smarter than they, or how to hide being smarter than one’s classmates.”

    To me, the kids who would potentially be admitted who you are worried will cause a massive downgrade of the quality of HSS and not be able to hack it are in fact the very Totebagesque kids who didn’t get in under the slightly different old rules. Maybe specifically some of the actual Totebag kids!

  151. Pfizer appointments have dropped for 4/16 at CVS’s located at:

    24 MAMARONECK AVE, WHITE PLAINS, NY 10601
    1310 BOSTON POST RD, FERNDALE S/C, LARCHMONT, NY 10538

  152. “ MIlo, you should know from my posting history that I’m an advocate of homogeneous grouping.”

    Yes, we’re all well aware.

  153. I am going with humor and leave it at that…..

    3.5/1200 = The new (classic) Totebag put down.
    As in – you with 3.5/1200, can’t you see the point, I am making…it’s as clear as mud.

  154. SBJ, thank you for posting that info. I hope Mooshi will respond with an update because the state run sites near Mooshi also have thousands of appointments for Pfizer. I hope she was able to secure an appointment for her DS because there seems to be a lot of supply right now for end of April/May.

  155. “this conversation is so maddeningly snobby I don’t even know what to say.”

    I would remind you we’ve been “holier than thou since 2012”. Snobby is who we are, for better or worse.

  156. My SIL reports that the UK is moving to Pfizer/Moderna due to the blood clot issues with the Astra Zeneca.

  157. “Milo, now you’ve got it. The value in going to a HSS is the reputation, not the quality of the teaching.”

    Well…yeah. The quality of teaching at HSS is notoriously bad, actually, because it’s either the TAs doing the teaching or the super-successful faculty who are geniuses at research and sometimes/often incompetent in the classroom, because they’ve never been rewarded for good teaching.

    It’s the aura, the metaphysical glow, that comes from being one of the Select Few. And Lauren is completely right that a certain set of employers cares very deeply about that. Fortunately many employers are looking locally, especially in these dreadful flyover states.

    Finn, Calculus classes go at the speed they go. If you, the student, didn’t cover the material in the allotted time, you fail and retake the class.

    Even at dreadful state flagships in flyover country, if you can’t get through Fluid Dynamics in, say, two tries, then you drop back from being an ME to being a CE and all the MEs spend the rest of their lives being condescending to you.

    (I have a friend who went to UCSD, couldn’t hack fluid dynamics (the poor dear), dropped back to CS, and has made a ton of money working for years at Apple. It’s all very sad.

  158. “HSS is notoriously bad, actually, because it’s either the TAs doing the teaching or the super-successful faculty who are geniuses at research and sometimes/often incompetent in the classroom, because they’ve never been rewarded for good teaching.”

    That is true at the HSSs that are research universities. Not so much at the very selective SLACs, where faculty have to be good at research AND also the kind of teacher that students love. Faculty are expected to have a lot of personal connection with the students, eating meals with them and doing out of class activities with them. But they still have to publish, get grants, and so on. How do they do it? Very light teaching loads, a third year sabbatical, lots of support staff…. And they also quickly learn to never give bad grades.

  159. Yes, all of that is true, Mooshi. And I did have the big research institutions in mind when I posted that.

  160. Lauren, I got DS an appointment at CVS for Wednesday. I snagged it on Saturday just by chance – took a look at availability at CVS that morning, and saw that while most of the CVSs were booked, there was one in Westchester that claimed to have appointments. I couldn’t get hold of DS,so I just booked it after looking at his class schedule, figuring I could cancel it if it didn’t work. He texted me a couple of hours later and said it was fine.
    Now, we just have to wait for the 12 to 16 set to get approved. I know that Pfizer has applied for permission to give vaccines to that group

  161. “I got DS an appointment at CVS for Wednesday”

    I told you, didn’t I? It would be very soon.

    I continue to be somewhat surprised at the number of people I’m seeing (from “HSSs”!!!, and some with STEM backgrounds!) declining the vaccine.

    DW and I were wondering last night…might the fact that so many adults are choosing not to get it do anything to light a fire under the FDA’s ass to accelerate authorization for younger age groups? Like, if 97% of adults were taking it when available, we’d be happily progressing on “getting shots in arms” [I’ve come to loathe that expression] and still have a lot more work to do in the already-authorized demographics. But since it seems like we’re very quickly running out of willing recipients, at least in the numbers and rates that the mass vaccination sites are accustomed to serving, is there added motivation to add kids into the mix, and soon!, for that ever-elusive “herd immunity”?

  162. MM, that’s great news. One of my friends works for Pfizer and she said the approval shoudl be announced soon. She also mentioned that the rollout might be more complex because states and/or the feds also need to finalize whether the vaccine has to be given by a pediatrician or an urgent care, hospital or other setting that has staff that can administer a vaccine to kids. The dose is the same for the 12-15 year old group.

  163. ^these are people who never post anything remotely political or controversial on Facebook

  164. Lauren, awesome! My #1 will be able to get it in the 12-15 tranche and then #2 is turning 12 in January.

    RMS – I got rid of all but 1 of my skinny jeans and bought 2 bootcut pairs. The kids were confused when I wore them to my parents’ over the weekend – it was the first time I had worn jeans (not fleece leggings, joggers, or shorts) in over a year!

  165. ” In all the tours and online sessions I did with the kids, I didn’t hear one school mention the quality of instruction.”

    First of all, it doesn’t get mentioned on the tours because honestly, no one really cares.

    Secondly, no one really knows what “quality of instruction” means. We don’t know what it means in preschool, we don’t know what it means in K12, and we definitely don’t know what it means at the college level.

    I am about to spend the rest of my week doing a virtual conference on assessment for ABET. Ugh. In theory, assessment should be a great way to find out what is succeeding in the classroom and what is not. It is a lot of work but if taken seriously, could be a really good way to improve teaching. Unfortunately, nobody cares. The administration only cares that the assessment numbers look good, so the faculty who have to design assessments simply come up with things that everyone will do well on. It is an utterly pointless exercise in pushing paper around.

    To students, high quality instruciton means a professor who is likeable, jokes around (male instructor) or who “cares about me as a person” (female instructor), and gives high grades without too much work. To faculty, high quality instruction means running a well-oiled machine of a class that “covers all the material” without too much grading or student whining.To administrators, high quality instruction means no student complaints.

    And from what I have seen, it is pretty similar in the K12 world.

  166. RMS, my own experience was that there was a big difference between early grad level classes at flagship and HSS.

    “If you, the student, didn’t cover the material in the allotted time, you fail and retake the class.”

    That’s similar to what I saw as an undergrad, although I saw a lot of kids fail and change major rather than retake the class, and a smaller number fail and flunk out of school altogether. However, that seems inconsistent with what Scarlett and DD have posted.

    In fairness to Scarlett, I think she was referring to schools more selective than my undergrad U.

  167. Sorry, I am not giving up my skinny jeans. When fat leg pants were big from the late 90’s into the late 00’s, I just stopped wearing jeans, and actually, most pants in general – I wore a lot of skirts and dresses back then. Skinny jeans reappeared about 2006-2007, and I was so excited that I bought a whole bunch of them.

    I will admit that I do not care for the jeggings style jeans, but that is because I don’t like leggings in general. I am also not a fan of the jeans that come pre-ripped.

  168. “whether the vaccine has to be given by a pediatrician or an urgent care, hospital or other setting that has staff that can administer a vaccine to kids.”

    How about like we got a lot of vaccines BITD, marching kids to the school cafeteria and lining us up for nurses to give us the shots?

  169. I don’t have any skinny jeans to give up. I like baggy jeans.

    So does DD, She’s took my baggy jeans that I stopped wearing because of holes, and is using them.

  170. Finn, I heard that they are considering this idea for the kids, and especially the younger kids under 12. In school or mass vaccination sites that are just for kids.

  171. is there a difference between skinny and slim fit? because I’m keeping the latter. loose fitting pants, and especially jeans, make you look like a bag of ass, I agree with Mooshi there.

  172. I never joined the skinny-jean movement, as I look awful in skinny jeans. I will always look for a slight bootcut in my jeans, whether or not that is “in.”

    I agree with the article that sweaters should always have some sort of closing mechanism — buttons, snaps, a belt, whatever. I have declined to buy a lot of pretty sweaters because they were open-front with no way of closing them.

    I disagree with her about chinos, though. I love a classic chino and will never swap mine out for cargo pants.

  173. Mooshi — I think you have described yourself as somewhat tall and thin. I bet skinny jeans look great on you. For those of us who are short with “junk in the trunk,” it’s a really hard look to pull off.

  174. ““getting shots in arms” [I’ve come to loathe that expression]”

    Me too. I don’t even know why. But every time I hear it it’s like nails on a chalkboard.

  175. “I don’t even know why.”

    I think, at least for me, it’s because it carries this air of “oh, we’re all experts now, let’s imitate the cool lingo that we just heard a week ago.”

  176. Guys, I have a confusion – I’m the 3.5/1200 kid all you totebaggers are trying to avoid your kids from hanging out with. Actually, lower gpa and higher SAT (actually ACT, never took the SAT). It will all be okay. My parents lived where they did for the quality of schools, they encouraged and supported me. I was in the orchestra, I took AP classes. My best friends all went to Ivies, Duke, Stanford. And guess what? We are all doing okay and successful. The HSS (and your snowflakes) will be okay with taking slightly less than “perfect” students.

    Now, onto reading about skinny jeans…

  177. I looked at my work wardrobe yesterday. They are “timeless classic” pieces but everything looked so neglected and unworn, that I felt like donating the whole lot. Of course, I won’t because then, I will struggle to find the right fit of black pants or new “timeless classic” tops.
    I do have to prune my closet though, some items are out of date. Athletic wear has taken over shelves in my closet.

  178. ““getting shots in arms” [I’ve come to loathe that expression]”

    Over here the term for ‘shot’ is ‘jab,’ as in, “The French are still struggling to roll out jabs.” I hate the term ‘jab.’ To my ears it sounds so much more violent than ‘shot,’ but when you think about it I guess ‘shot’ has a much worse connotation.

  179. NoB – I’m pretty sure the chino section was directed at guys – good news for my DH who never stopped wearing his Costco cargo pants! ;)

  180. “I’m the 3.5/1200 kid all you totebaggers are trying to avoid your kids from hanging out with.”

    I think my oldest will be the 4.0, lower SAT, and equally unworthy. Her level of diligence is off the charts — certainly got that from DW’s genes and not mine. Standardized testing has never been her strong point.

  181. L – I still stand by my chino comment. I would much rather see a guy in a nice pair of classic chinos than a baggy pair of cargo pants! But I’m old and boring.

  182. You wanna hear about unworthy? When DS took the SAT in December, his math score was in the 500s. The high 500s, but still. I will now go hang my head in Totebag shame. Or maybe just banish myself from The Totebag altogether.

  183. Congrats DD and SBJ!!!

    Re: test optional: I don’t think you can really compare this year’s admissions to those at schools that do test-optional permanently. I can attest from personal experience that the Wake “test optional” approach is not just “do the common app minus SAT scores”; they have a whole administrative architecture and process that are designed around the assumption of no standardized tests. It is much more heavily interview-focused, and there’s a lot more writing in the application to draw out kids’ personalities and interests. Schools cannot shift to that kind of approach overnight, and even if they want to, they don’t have the experience in identifying the kinds of kids who are most likely to contribute and succeed.

    “To me, the kids who would potentially be admitted who you are worried will cause a massive downgrade of the quality of HSS and not be able to hack it are in fact the very Totebagesque kids who didn’t get in under the slightly different old rules. Maybe specifically some of the actual Totebag kids!”

    +1000. I think for very specialized top schools — like, say, CalTech — there would be a noticeable difference between the top 1% and the top 5%. But when we’re talking about (say) the top 20 or 50 universities, the difference is absolutely meaningless. It’s the difference between DD getting into Olin instead of Wake. Based on everything I’ve seen of DD’s attitude, work ethic, and maturity over the past couple of years, she’d have been more than capable of the work at Olin or at any of the other places she applied.

    I feel very, very bad for all the kids who are stuck in this limbo and dealing with far more rejection since colleges lost their primary sorting method. But I care not one whit about the alleged pending downfall of HSS based on that same loss. If you take the Finn Jrs. out of the equation, kids within the top 10-20% of cognitive ability will be fundamentally indistinguishable from each other; at that point, the variations in habits and preferences and skills will have far more impact on success than the variations in cognitive ability.

    And yeah, it is insulting to suggest that engineering/premed majors are the arbiter of intellectual ability. Why assume that kids drop out of those majors because they can’t hack it, instead of assuming that they’ve figured out that the juice ain’t worth the squeeze? Given how much more work those kinds of majors require, I honestly don’t know why *anyone* would pursue them unless they really, really, really wanted that career path. Anyone who pays attention to Rhett’s dollars-per-unit-of-effort metric would skip out of that major within the first year. I certainly did. It wasn’t that I didn’t like chemistry — I loved it! But BOY it took WAY more hours in the lab and doing problem sets and all that. And yet despite my lowly English major, somehow I’ve managed to build a career that pays me just as much as Mr. EE Ph.D DH.

    It strikes me very much as how Rhett describes HS success: sure, it’s partly about ability, but it’s also partly about hoop-jumping — except in this case, the hoop is simply the willingness to put in hours and hours of work. The difference is that in college, kids have other options available that provide much easier paths to degrees and employment — and the future engineers get to watch the kids who have chosen those easier paths play and have fun day after day after day. So I don’t wonder why kids drop out of those majors, regardless of intellectual ability; I wonder why more of them *don’t*.

  184. Why assume that kids drop out of those majors because they can’t hack it, instead of assuming that they’ve figured out that the juice ain’t worth the squeeze?

    This is SUCH an important point. Some of you need to read it twice.

    On vaccines, one thing I’m really curious about and have seen zero data on is what % of people who are “refusing” vaccines already had COVID. If you already had it, and you know that therefore you have some immunity*, it seems pretty rational to not bother getting a vaccine, if getting a vaccine is both inconvenient and comes with the possibility of physical discomfort.

    I don’t advocate this position! But I think for those of us who work in healthcare, these are important distinctions to understand.

    *We don’t know how long immunity lasts, but to be fair we don’t know how long it will last with a vaccine either.

  185. U. of California will be going test-blind in 2023 for in-state students. IOW, they won’t even look at your test scores. On the other hand, they’ll be designing their own test. So there’s that.

    I wear LL Bean Perfect Fit pants, and I have done for 20 years, and I’m not walking away from them now. They’ve been good to me.

  186. “On the other hand, they’ll be designing their own test. So there’s that.”

    Do you go to a designated location at some point on a Saturday to take it?

  187. “On vaccines, one thing I’m really curious about and have seen zero data on is what % of people who are “refusing” vaccines already had COVID. If you already had it, and you know that therefore you have some immunity*, it seems pretty rational to not bother getting a vaccine”

    This. Also, there is evidence, both anecdotal and scientific, that those who have already recovered from COVID have more serious side effects if they get the vaccine. And some people in this position are making a conscious choice NOT to take a vaccine dose away from someone else who is more vulnerable to a bad outcome with COVID and hasn’t yet been infected.

  188. “On the other hand, they’ll be designing their own test. ”

    Yep. And then lots of UofCal test prep services will pop up.

  189. my neighbors across the street got COVID right around Christmas time. We quarantined for like 10 days leading up to Christmas before visiting my in laws’, and during that time is when it seems like half the neighborhood got it. Anyway, the ones across the street have been fairly ambivalent about getting the shot (DW walks with her and the other neighbor — the drunk — regularly) because they figure they’re already immune.

    Because the Totebag always evaluates people on these bases, I’ll note that she’s a lawyer.

  190. That WSJ article was amusing, but why did the author feel the need to tell us, in the second sentence, that she was going to a “socially distanced lunch in New York” when she caught sight of her shamefully outdated look? The topic of her piece already clues us in that she cares very very very much about what others think of her.

  191. “Do you go to a designated location at some point on a Saturday to take it?”

    TBD, I would imagine.

  192. Mooshi, I’m very glad you were able to get your DS a vax appointment.

    I’m still looking for J&J appointments for a friend’s sister. I’ve definitely observed the impact of their manufacturing issues on availability.

    I get my 2nd Moderna shot this Thursday morning, and I have a big meeting scheduled 5 hours later.

  193. “TBD, I would imagine.”

    They should take the writing samples at the same time. Do your standardized math and English testing. 30 minute break, come back in, here are five writing prompts, choose three, you’ve got 1.5 hours.

    No essays on the application that are just written by parents and counselors.

  194. @Rhett – Your example goes against everything you’ve said for years. NOW you think that tests are *the* be-all end-all measure of ability and success in a job?

    Most certainly not! Just some jobs. What really strikes me is the idea that testing and sorting using a near infinite number of different metrics doesn’t continue after college.

    Sort of on topic, starting a 4:53 apparently having a deep voice is 90% of the battle.

    That documentary is also very interesting.

  195. @LFB – Excellent, excellent post! ITA on all points.

    “Because the Totebag always evaluates people on these bases, I’ll note that she’s a lawyer.”

    But what was her SAT score? If it wasn’t over 1550, you should stop associating with her. Peer group.

    I think there are probably some people who had Covid who are not rushing to get vaxxed. Does that mean they’ll never get it? I don’t know – probably some will, but it’s not illogical not to be in a rush for that population. Anecdotally, one of my friends who had Covid at Xmas said she was waiting until it was a little easier to get, and she wants the J&J since it’s just one dose. She happened upon one for this week, but she was not going to be setting alarms for a CVS time slot release or anything like that.

    I don’t really care what the WSJ thinks I should wear. And I do care about my appearance. But their “fashion” section is so odd. Skinny jeans were starting to fade awhile ago, weren’t they? The alternative jeans they show are just as extreme and hideous. The last jeans I bought (in fall 2019) were more like this:
    https://www.nordstrom.com/s/frame-le-sylvie-high-waist-straight-leg-jeans-freedman/5827596

  196. I’m curious what others think. Personally, I think that due to the continuous sorting process that occurs during ones career most people, most of the time, end up where they belong. If the planets align and you get into a better school than otherwise might be the case, you might get a head start but you’ll gradually drift down to where you belong. If the planets align and you end up going to a worse school than you otherwise would have, you will eventually drift up to where you belong.

  197. Rhett, I think that your claim might be like “the fittest survive”. If you survive, you’re the fittest. I also think that women don’t wind up “where they belong” when they have kids to care for and no social or business support for constant travel or long hours.

  198. Rhett: I agree with you by and large, but it depends on how you define “belong.” If you are basing it on IQ/innate ability, then I think that is far too limited; you also need to consider factors like tolerance for bullshit/boredom, diligence/conscientiousness/hoop-jumping, how well a specific job “fits” a particular individual’s skillset, personality, goals, family/school connections, EQ, etc. E.g.: I am absolutely intellectually capable of doing/managing the kind of work BigLaw partners do. But (a) I have never, ever wanted to work that hard, and (b) I do not have the schmooze skills to breach the equity partner barrier and make the really big bucks (and even if I could learn those skills, again, FAR too much effort involved). So I ended up as a geek at a specialty firm that suits both my skills and my personality. I self-sorted to a place that fit both my intellectual and my non-intellectual abilities.

    I do want to agree that if you’re too stupid for a particular role, you’ll eventually get fired. But I’ve seen too many dumb-asses who know how to play corporate politics do far too well for far too long to believe that’s true. Which goes to the hidden truth that most jobs rely far less on intellectual ability, and far more on connections and hoop-jumping, than we might like to think they do.

    And then on the flip side, it is much harder to sort “up” for various groups. Take Finn’s hidden gem, the high-SAT URM guy. All the intellectual potential in the world, but doesn’t have the family connections or school support to get into a top school, and therefore doesn’t get into the pipeline for those top firms — or if he does, he can’t afford to take the unpaid internship and so has a more limited job track. And even if he does get the great job, he doesn’t look and act like everyone else there, and so a few years later he’s let go for lack of “fit.”

  199. I am someone who actually went to a HSS and had super high scores (first gen college), and my kids 1 1200 3.0 public college plus special needs, 1 3.0 late bloomer public college high scores, and 2 HSS/prep school super high scores. And 1 husband from elite public HS and HSS and 1 queens college lived at home, neither of them first gen college, Everybody a bit quirky, not all in the same way. I can safely say that all of us ended up about the same place economically and socially. The one who deserves a standing ovation is number one son, who had a very tough time until 30.

    Some truly believe that outcomes can be controlled, and I used that term advisedly, by choices and parental steering , but are disturbed when external actors change their expected behavior midstream, that upsets the long range planning. Many others believe that there are multiple paths to a satisfactory end, and also that there are satisfactory ends that we cannot even imagine because of our own limited experience and biases.

  200. you are basing it on IQ/innate ability, then I think that is far too limited; you also need to consider factors like tolerance for bullshit/boredom, diligence/conscientiousness/hoop-jumping

    Of course! As an example, I know of a few companies that have had issues with HSS grads being very unwilling to do work they consider beneath them. The kid with a CS degree from Ohio State has fewer such qualms. That’s just one of many sorting issues.

    I can certainly imagine a HSS CS grad having MMs a dismissive attitude about Epic. And Judy thinking, “You, I can do without.”

  201. Finn, I heard that they are considering this idea for the kids, and especially the younger kids under 12. In school or mass vaccination sites that are just for kids.

    Denver Health is starting vaccine clinics at their in-school health centers for HS students 16 and up. There is one at DD’s school on the 24th. She is getting her second shot today at Children’s so it’s moot for her.

  202. LfB, I switched out of the pre-med track in college because I hated chemistry so much, specifically chem lab. It wasn’t the hours, I just really hated it.

    You seem, though, to wonder why kids go into engineering when the workload is so high. One big reason is that it is possible to land a well paid job and have a good career without needing to go on to get another degree. There are certainly other fields like that as well – nursing and business come to mind – but those are also high demand majors. And from what I have heard, nursing is a high workload major too. I think it is harder for people who graduate with degrees in say psychology or anthropology to have a straightforward path to a job without going on to some kind of graduate or professional program. Of course there are exceptions, but many students perceive that if they put up with the workload, their path to a job will be easier.

  203. Isn’t the nursing field changing and advanced degrees are becoming the norm? Recently several college kids have posted their available for summer nannying. They are graduating this spring from undergrad, and going to get their masters in nursing in the fall – undergrad degree in “pre-nursing”. This is the first time I’ve heard of nursing undergrads going directly to grad school, as most I know have gotten further degrees while working as a nurse.

  204. I’m going on a spur of the moment girls’ weekend Friday, so am all of a sudden thinking about clothes. I haven’t bought anything new in over a year, so just ordered about five shirts from J Jill and paid for overnight shipping. Hopefully a couple of them will work. I should have ordered some jewelry in case I don’t like the shirts.

    One of the friends is in the exact same spot of life I’m in and is moving her dad into independent living today. One of our recent “let’s have a glass of wine and Zoom chat on Saturday night” calls was entirely spent on comparing independent living facility amenities and costs. I have spent two weeks of the last month at my parents, and although I know I’m a help I cannot solve any problems. I want to just make the decisions and get everything moving forward but have to wait for some medical issues to be resolved before they are prepared to talk about moving out of their house. The whole situation is emotional and the lack of control is frustrating because I am a fixer by nature. I struggle with not being able to control, especially when my ideas are so clearly the correct solution 😉. My girlfriends and I are just going to Galveston, but I am so very, very much looking to this weekend. Even if my clothes are worn and outdated.

  205. I think straight leg jeans are still acceptable even if the skinny jeans are out. I happen to like skinny jeans with boots. I think it is so much easier when you are wearing any type of tall boot, but I will shove my skinny jeans on a shelf. I have some jeans with ripped knees, but they are skinnies because the boyfriend and girlfriend styles look terrible on me. I think boyfriend is over and girlfriend is in. I would love to own these jeans, but i want them to be under $100. I would never pay this much for a pair of jeans, but this style is what I want for the summer. I can find similar at the Gap, but I have to order about 20 pairs to find one pair that will fit/feel as great as the premium denim.

    https://agolde.com/collections/womens-riley/products/riley-high-rise-straight-crop-clear-skies
    https://www.bloomingdales.com/buy/mother#2578276

  206. I have to admit – I have never heard of pre-nursing before. Maybe that is a new trend because schools are having trouble providing enough slots in their 4 year nursing programs? Or is it a way to let students who didn’t start early enough as undergrads to get into the field? Certainly, the masters in nursing is a way for career changers to get into the field, but I hadn’t heard of pre-nursing.

  207. Lauren, do you like those jeans because of the rips or because they are crops? Just curious. I have some cropped jeans like those and like them quite a bit.

    Traditional straight leg jeans are pretty much unwearable with boots – too fat to tuck in unless you like than paratrooper puffy pants look, and too skinny to wear over the boots. So does that mean that boots are also over? I remember they came back into fashion pretty much at the same time as skinny jeans, around 2006.

  208. I know a nurse who graduated a couple of years ago with a BS and is working as a nurse at one of the better NYC hospitals with no apparent need to pursue an advanced degree except if she decides to go for a NP designation.

    I love my high-waist skinny jeans so I’ll stick with them for a while. I’m not up on fashion trends, so that WSJ article took me by surprise. Prairie dresses were in and now they’re out? Fanny packs are back in? I thought they had become popular a couple of years ago. And I don’t see women giving up their no-show socks this summer.

  209. LT, to be an RN, you only need to an associates, although many hospitals require a bachelor’s. Those going to grad school are doing it because they want to do something that requires a higher degree like an NP.

  210. MM, I haven’t worn these shorter pants with boots, but that is the sale for the winter. You find a boot that just gazes the bottom of the pant. All of my jeans that I wear in the winter are longer and darker.

    For me, I like the color and shorter length for the summer. I don’t care about the “right” shoe for summer and i will wear with flip flops, sneakers or even birks. There is no way that I am spending this on jeans so I will keep looking for an alternate brand. There are plenty of great options int he $40-75 range.

  211. “You seem, though, to wonder why kids go into engineering when the workload is so high. One big reason is that it is possible to land a well paid job and have a good career without needing to go on to get another degree.”

    Hey, you don’t need to convince me — I’m married to one and raising two. My comment was more directed at this notion that kids who leave engineering/hard sciences do so because they aren’t smart enough to handle the work (but are sufficiently smart to succeed in some “lesser” major). Whereas from my own experience (and from watching DD), there are many kids who *can* handle the work intellectually but just decide they don’t want to, for one reason or another.

  212. @MM – I think it depends on the type of boot. I have short boots with snug ankles that look fine with straight leg jeans, but they wouldn’t work with tall boots or boots with wide shafts. There is also the area where “straight” starts to be like a “baby boot” cut so I guess some of it is semantics.

    I haven’t worn either jeans OR boots much since February 2020 though.

  213. “Why assume that kids drop out of those majors because they can’t hack it”

    Speaking for myself, I assume that because I’ve seen it. I’ve also seen a lot of people struggle right around the cut line. These were mostly people who really wanted to be engineers, who tried really hard.

    ” instead of assuming that they’ve figured out that the juice ain’t worth the squeeze?”

    What I don’t assume is that not being able to hack it was the only reason kids dropped out. E.g., BIL wasn’t struggling to hack it, but didn’t like how much he had to study.

    But people dropping these majors for this reason is largely irrelevant to the mismatch issue we were discussing.

  214. “And some people in this position are making a conscious choice NOT to take a vaccine dose away from someone else who is more vulnerable to a bad outcome with COVID and hasn’t yet been infected.”

    So are a lot of people who haven’t been infected.

  215. “And from what I have heard, nursing is a high workload major too.”

    The nursing majors I knew back in my undergrad days all put in a lot of time and effort, especially for their organic chem classes.

    Nursing majors were pretty much up there with engineering and medtech majors and premeds for the amount of time and effort spent studying.

  216. “You seem, though, to wonder why kids go into engineering when the workload is so high.”

    As I’ve posted here in the past, IME a lot of guys go into engineering because they really want to be engineers. They grew up tinkering, building things, fixing things, etc., and see engineering as a way to make a living doing something similar.

    Some cultures also see engineering as a prestigious profession.

  217. “They should take the writing samples at the same time.”

    ITA. I think the SAT should be doing that too. They don’t need to score the writing; just let it serve as a proctored sample of true writing ability, with no outside review or editing/ghostwriting help.

    “No essays on the application that are just written by parents and counselors.”

    Not sure I agree with that. The essays aren’t just to demonstrate writing skills. And polishing is a writing skill.

    A combination of essays for their content, and proctored writing samples to show applicants’ actual writing ability would make sense for HSS.

  218. Some cultures also see engineering as a prestigious profession.

    Yes, mine is one of them. However, IMO, the mistaken view is that if you are good at science and Math you should take a STEM major. Many students in my culture feel compelled to do this. There have been many instances where kids did graduate in engineering but never continued on the engineering track or made sub par engineers. The reason, I didn’t take engineering was because I wasn’t interested enough in the subject. I have lots of engineers in my family and though I have a logical mindset, I don’t have an engineering mindset.

  219. Finn – if they are looking for certain content, why can’t they solicit that in the writing prompts? If you want to know about what the student considers his most challenging experience and how he persevered, wouldn’t the most honest answer be found in a proctored writing exercising, without the “polish” of parents and paid consultants?

  220. One of the undergrad schools was Baylor, which has a school of nursing, and pre-nursing major. So now I’m even more confused when trying to understand. Perhaps she switched majors late.

    I remember when I was an undergrad getting into my university’s nursing school was tough. All the Fresh and Soph nursing students studied like crazy and worked and volunteered all hours of the day and night to get a hook for junior year admissions. Same for the school of Education. As for the school of Business, I had a lot of free time, and no Friday classes.

  221. “if they are looking for certain content, why can’t they solicit that in the writing prompts?”

    The UCs might be able to do that, since it’ll be their test.

    But for an SAT writing test, it might not work as well because different schools will want to ask different questions, or some will want more writing (e.g., Wake).

  222. “However, IMO, the mistaken view is that if you are good at science and Math you should take a STEM major.”

    Right, being good at science and math is necessary but not sufficient to be a good engineer.

    I’ve posted before about my observations that people, especially women, who get pushed into engineering because they’re good and math and science tend to leave engineering at higher rates than those who majored in engineering because they were attracted to engineering.

  223. DD is going to Baylor school of nursing in the fall as a second degree student in their accelerated degree program. As far as I can tell, the nursing school is for a BSN of you do not already have an RN. I believe you can go straight to a masters if you already have an RN but those would not likely be students coming out of undergrad. It sounds like maybe they are not graduating but are moving from the Baylor campus in Waco to the school of nursing in Dallas.

  224. “Majors matter, they say. At UC Irvine, admissions officers had to review a record 108,000 applications for freshmen spots. Almost half of the students applied to just six of 85 majors — with biological sciences the top choice, selected by nearly 12,000 applicants. Other popular majors were business administration, nursing science, computer science and psychology.”

    Biology is eternal. There were tons of bio majors in my day too. It’s not any more employable than philosophy with just a B.A.

  225. “But many California parents expected that, unlike private universities, UC campuses supported by their taxes would have more room for their children who had toiled to earn top grades, challenge themselves in multiple college-level courses and engage in sports, student clubs and community service.”

    1. Your taxes don’t provide as much support as they used to, California parents.
    2. Did you think space in already-overcrowded universities was going to magically open up? How was that supposed to happen, exactly?

  226. It’s not any more employable than philosophy with just a B.A.

    For all the “smart warm body” jobs in Corporate America something with a STEM wrapper is going to count for more.

  227. RMS – I don’t quite get biology and psychology. Is it because it’s better than saying undecided ?

  228. It certainly didn’t used to. I knew a lot of bio majors working McJobs. Of course we all (philosophers too!) eventually got real jobs.

    After all, Rhett, most bio programs only require one semester of Calc. I mean, c’mon.

  229. Louise, psychology is both interesting and has a reputation for being not-that-difficult. A couple of semesters of statistics is probably the hardest part, and that’s not that hard.

  230. “For all the “smart warm body” jobs in Corporate America something with a STEM wrapper is going to count for more.”

    For a “smart warm body” a Business major is way way better than a Bio major.

  231. DW has a psychology degree, and it’s not from the flagship! She credits her minor in industrial relations, or whatever it’s called, with getting her second job that she has segued into her area of expertise.

    Her brother has a bio degree, and, for various reasons, took over a decade to settle into a warm-body job.

  232. “Louise, psychology is both interesting and has a reputation for being not-that-difficult. A couple of semesters of statistics is probably the hardest part, and that’s not that hard.”

    You do need Calc 1 as a prereq for the Stats. :) But no – it’s not a weed-out major.

  233. For a “smart warm body” a Business major is way way better than a Bio major.

    Of course. And toss in a minor in accounting and they’ll be exposed to things in like addition, subtraction, multiplication and in some cases division!

  234. A couple months ago, we had a sales call from a kid from UCLA with a degree in psychology. He was selling a tech service where his company takes high res pictures of fields, translates the images into maps that can pinpoint issues with irrigation, plant health, other problems.

    He also spent a few years after graduation as a flying fishing guide in Alaska and New Zealand.

    We didn’t buy the service, but it was a pretty fun sales call.

  235. Usually you do not need Calc1 for the stats class taken by psychology and sociology majors. Psychology majors generally do not take Calc at all.

  236. Several weeks ago my 6yo DD said, “I’ve made a decision. I’m going to be an engineer.” This weekend, she looked at me with big, earnest eyes and said very seriously, “I have a dream. I want to be the kind of engineer that designs and builds spaceships” and then gave me a hug. I’m storing this memory away as a happy place for when she’s 13, decided she’s passionate about going into fashion, and yelling at me that I’ve ruined her life because I continue to wear skinny jeans and Allbirds flats when we’re out in public together. ;-)

  237. Since we’re discussing college issues here, I’ll post this here rather than today’s thread.

    Lawyers out there, and those familiar with the law school admissions process, it it common for law schools to admit more students than their class, then cut off deposits once they reach their class size?

    Or is Notre Dame unique or unusual in the way?

    I’m wondering if one could deposit at the first accepting school, then rescind that if accepted at a more desired school. I guess while that would require being able and willing to forfeit the deposit, ND’s policy might encourage students the accept to do that.

    https://www.insidehighered.com/admissions/article/2021/04/12/notre-dame-law-asks-students-compete-each-other-deposit-fastest

  238. I did two semesters of stats w/o Calc, but maybe it’s all different now. Anyway, I had enough classes for a psychology minor, but for reasons that are lost to history I didn’t bother to fill out the paperwork. It is interesting, and I didn’t learn til decades later that none of the studies are ever reproducible. It’s all essentially mythology.

    Here’s the latest example that Scott Alexander pointed to:

    24: The marshmallow test has – say it with me – failed to replicate (study, article). Possibly related – how do cultures of patience and risk-taking affect international differences in student achievement?

    Link for the first first sentence: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167268119302641?via%3Dihub

    Link for the second sentence:

    https://www.nber.org/papers/w27484#fromrss

  239. Finn, I am not a lawyer, so hopefully some of the Totebag lawyers will add to this comment. Two of my friends are lawyers, and their children applied to law school admission for the fall of 2021. There are 14 law schools in the top tier. Notre Dame is not in this group of 14, but applications were up significantly at the competitive schools. It mirrored the undergrad admissions surge. As a result, students were caught off guard when they were not accepted to “within reach” schools. Those students are now looking at the next tier. For example, my friend’s kid would have been accepted to Georgetown, Michigan and Cornell in a typical year. A reach school for her was NYU. She was waitlisted at all of the top schools where she applied, so she is now deciding between BU and Wash U. She eliminated GWU from her list because GW also did something with deposits that she didn’t like and it involved a contract and loss of money etc. The law schools were able to get away with this because applications were up significantly for the class of 2024.

    I was educated in law school admissions last year because it is all they talk about. One of them actually decided to open her own business to advise students about law school applications. She worked in admissions at a large law school in NYC. She partnered with another lawyer in our town because she is a former professor at a law school. I would estimate that 90% of my friends are lawyers. The local moms, my BFF from HS and my college BFF.

  240. Amy, Amy, Amy. What have you been up to?

    “The Yale University law professor Amy Chua was recently removed as one of the school’s small-group leaders for this fall’s entering law students, after students accused her of violating a 2019 agreement that stemmed from misconduct allegations. Chua has denied holding dinner parties, one of the restrictions adopted to stop her interacting with students outside of class. (Yale Daily News)”

    https://yaledailynews.com/blog/2021/04/07/law-professor-amy-chua-loses-small-group-following-allegations-of-parties-misconduct/?utm_source=Iterable&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=campaign_2212707_nl_Daily-Briefing_date_20210413&cid=db&source=ams&sourceId=38572

  241. Jeez! I hadn’t kept up at all with that scandal. She’s a malicious drunk and her husband’s a groper. And yet, they control the Yale Law universe, as well as their students’ futures.

  242. “Usually you do not need Calc1 for the stats class taken by psychology and sociology majors. Psychology majors generally do not take Calc at all.”

    I had to take it at Clown College.

  243. “Rocky Mountain Stepmom on April 13, 2021 at 6:31 am said:
    Jeez! I hadn’t kept up at all with that scandal. She’s a malicious drunk and her husband’s a groper. And yet, they control the Yale Law universe, as well as their students’ futures.”

    Lovely

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