HS Students and

Karen Allendoerfer ravena at cco.caltech.edu
Mon Dec 1 10:13:44 EST 1997


In article <Pine.HPP.3.96.971126180313.23114B-100000 at lyra.U.Arizona.EDU>,
Wildcatz  <abe at U.Arizona.EDU> wrote:

>	In high school, academically speaking, I was in with this crowd in
>question, in three different high schools.  Two of them were very
>challenging - one public, one the largest private school in the nation (in
>Hawaii).  The sense I get from having been in such academic situations and
>knowing kids who were also in these situations - is that part of it is due
>to pressure to perform, whether it's from the parents or from the school
>itself.

I was a "gifted" student too, and two years ahead in school (graduated
at 16) besides, and I got a LOT of that--I think I can sympathize.  But
at least in my case, it didn't lead to an inflated sense of self-worth,
but rather a sense that nothing I could do was ever good enough.

  Faculty and administrative folks at these schools would tell us
>that we, as opposed to students at other high schools, were going to be
>the leaders of tomorrow in our communities.  That may lend to some
>inflated sense of self-worth, yes.

Well, this I didn't get.  I could see where this might lead to an inflated
sense of self-worth.  But let it be said that some schools have the
pressure and competition only, without the (dubiously) "positive" message
behind it, that if you "win" the competition there is some reward awaiting
you.  

I think what I absorbed, mostly, was that if you "lose" the
competition, you're stuck rolling burritos for the rest of your life, or
if you're a woman, you will have to join the endless army of suburban
carpool moms and spend the rest of your life behind the wheel of a minivan,
chauffering your children around to tutors, lessons, and activities, 
hoping that they will somehow get luckier than you did and "succeed."

 It's an 17 year old's perspective
>on the rest of the adult world.  That the job (and therefore the quality
>of the rest of your life, professional and otherwise) depends on the
>college and the college depends on the grades in high school, plus you
>don't want Mom and Dad on your back about keeping 3.8 GPA...

I don't know if this has anything to do with cheating, per se, but I
think it says a lot about why many students, even gifted ones, lose their
love of learning.

Karen A.




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