Friday, November 02, 2007

Who Says We Ain't Smart?

High school kids all across the country take the SAT test before college. The scores are added to the myriad other factors that are supposed to be indicators of their potential academic success. These include their high school grades, class ranking, community activities, and parental legacy status.

George Bush, for instance...noted moron, dismal student, failure at everything he's ever attempted including numerous businesses, baseball operations, and of course...presidenting. However, the one thing he DID have success at was riding into Yale on the legacy coattails of George Senior and Prescott Bush, proving that it can certainly help your academic career to be spawned by the right sperm.

But I digress, as usual.

Every college-bound high school kid in the country takes the SAT except Midwestern kids. Kids here inexplicably take the ACT test. The ACTs are used by Midwestern colleges and universities the same way that the SATs are used everywhere else...to ferret out the kids that may actually graduate, and then sign them up. But the ACTs also have another purpose: they tether Midwestern kids to Midwestern colleges.

No one who's spent an entire day in a high school auditorium trying to decipher "Dog is to table leg as pencil is to..." really wants to repeat the experience with the SATs. So kids who have parents who can actually afford out-of-state tuition frequently choose to apply to Midwestern colleges anyway.

Sneaky, huh?

Katie is signing up for her ACT test today. She's an honor student with a crapload of AP courses, including the math and science classes that kids are supposed to dread. She's also in the marching band, which ought to help her chances in college, since it proves that whether she actually absorbed any calculus in high school, she can at least count to four.

However, since she's taking the ACT, I hope that means she'll be staying right here, going to a good solid Midwestern University the way God intended. Heck, I've already paved the way for her. I'll bet she can get some legacy points from Southern Illinois University for my distinguished SIU career, in which I managed to skulk away with a 4 year degree in a mere 6 years. Besides, I'm sure SIU looks just like Yale if you drink enough.

People scoff, but mark my words...someday this country will be run by SIU Ag majors. Then those Yale sissies will be sorry. Skull and Bones has nothing on "taking the Strip" in Carbondale on a Halloween night. THAT prepared a kid for post-academic greatness.

So Katie, do a good job on the ACTs, graduate from a nice Midwestern University with a good Ag program, and then take over the world. And if you can do it in Carhartts, so much the better.

9 comments:

URBAN PEDESTRIAN said...

I have no idea what you're talking about because in Canada we just send in our high school marks to 3 or 4 of our favorite universities and see which one(s) want us. Once you have your first degree and want to go to law school or something then you have to write LSATs and probably there are similar tests for other specialities. Good luck to Katie, though -- sounds gruesome.

Kwach said...

Damned Canadians. No SAT's, no ACT's, no gun crime, publically funded health care AND gay marriage.

Could you please annex your backward neighbors to the south? Pretty please??

Kwach

URBAN PEDESTRIAN said...

You forgot legalized marijuana and elections that are over and done with in less than a day and that gay partners are now allowed to be legal parents to each others children and we have proud, gay elected members of parliament.We freakin' rock! And we really have been trying to drag ya'll into the 21st century, but you keep regressing instead of progressing. If you guys vote in another republican next time, we're giving up on you altogether.

Kathy said...

And forget all that nonsense about going to a "big name" college like Harvard and all that. Well, okay, if it's really important to Katie, go ahead. But Seth Godin had a really good post http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2007/10/the-greatest-ma.html
about fancier colleges that actually aren't that much better for the exorbitant tuition they charge. More than anything, maybe it's a matter of what college does she really like and is it any good?

Kwach said...

Is there some way to be Canadian and still live in Southern Illinois? I'm afraid you're a little too close to the Pole up there for Ev. This is about as arctic a climate as she's up for!

If, however, we could extend the Canadian border to include the southern seven counties of Illinois, that would be swell. I can learn to say "eh?" and call a can a "tin" and a stocking cap a "tuque" ... and Ev already likes beer!

What say you? Honorary citizenship, eh?

URBAN PEDESTRIAN said...

We'd be delighted to have you. You should know though, that we have some perfectly lovely weather up here, too. In Vancouver it rarely gets below 40 even in the middle of the winter. Here in Ottawa the winters can be cold, but the rest of the year is nice to quite hot in the summer. I don't think it's that much different from Illinois in most of our populated areas. It's really only arcticky up around the arctic. And our beer is much better than that American piss-water and we have poutine, which I think you guys would love, for some reason. Eh?

Flippy said...

And they have Tim Hortons...and much better chocolate...and Roots...and, well, I'm convinced. I don't need any more incentive. Luckily, I got me a Canadian, so I can get the stuff translated - like elastic bands are rubber bands and nothing is pronounced like it would be in the Southwest. Not pasta, not Sympatico.net, not scone, not nothin'.

Kwach said...

Dear UP ... I'll have you know that we don't imbibe "piss water" beer in this house. If Ev can't find a hoppy enough microbrewed IPA within a 25 mile radius, she brews her own. She's thinking of brewing up a nice oatmeal stout with hints of coffee and chocolate for the winter.

:)

Suzanne said...

I took both the ACT and SAT. I wish that I had known that schools outside of the Midwest DO, in fact, take the ACT. They just convert the score to some SAT equivalent. That would have worked to my benefit as I did most poorly on the SAT and most excellently on the ACT because the ACT is a better test.

Good luck, Katie.