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Experience with Prep Schools?? - Page 8

post #106 of 147
I think it's a testament to how well-rounded prep schoolers are that we have two separate, civil discussions on this thread going on at the same time - math PhDs and high school football.
post #107 of 147
Exactly. There's no branch of mathematics so abstract as to have no potential use sometime in the future - not that utility is a necessary requisite for studies having value anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yachtie View Post
Your view forward is too short. The stuff math PhD's do is fundamentally important but the practical results are usually a generation or two out. Can't describe it if you don't have the tools. The mathematicians provide the tools.
post #108 of 147
I went to a prep school in the Northeast and my brother went to Milton Academy and then to Harvard. I also have a few friends who went to Phillips Exeter and then to Harvard. A few friends who went to top tier high schools and then went to Harvard. At the end of the day, to get into an Ivy or other really good schools, your daughter has to be well-rounded (grades, extra-curricular activities, sports) and excel in at least one of those. I met a lot of amazing people at Harvard and many of them can change and some have changed the world in varying ways, these people are not NORMAL. I'm an inner-city kid and most of my local friends are completely uneducated and fell into that ignorant trap where being uneducated somehow was cool. I was lucky to have parents who found that unacceptable. Prep school changed my life and I promised myself that I wouldn't have children until I was able to provide them the same opportunities my parents provided to me and my brother. That being said, don't send your daughter to mid-tier prep schools, it's a waste of money. I went to one and maybe the top 5% got into decent universities. The other 95% hardly stood a chance with the competition being so fierce these days.
post #109 of 147
Other than not getting in to a great college, how do you think your "mid-tier" prep school effected your life in general?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nahmeanz View Post
I went to a prep school in the Northeast and my brother went to Milton Academy and then to Harvard. I also have a few friends who went to Phillips Exeter and then to Harvard. A few friends who went to top tier high schools and then went to Harvard. At the end of the day, to get into an Ivy or other really good schools, your daughter has to be well-rounded (grades, extra-curricular activities, sports) and excel in at least one of those. I met a lot of amazing people at Harvard and many of them can change and some have changed the world in varying ways, these people are not NORMAL.

I'm an inner-city kid and most of my local friends are completely uneducated and fell into that ignorant trap where being uneducated somehow was cool. I was lucky to have parents who found that unacceptable. Prep school changed my life and I promised myself that I wouldn't have children until I was able to provide them the same opportunities my parents provided to me and my brother. That being said, don't send your daughter to mid-tier prep schools, it's a waste of money. I went to one and maybe the top 5% got into decent universities. The other 95% hardly stood a chance with the competition being so fierce these days.
post #110 of 147
This is a good thread (typed by a lowly public school kid (from a very crappy rural public school).

I know plenty of smart young folks but I'm not even sure if I know anyone who went to an elite NE boarding school. Most of the boarders I've met went to a place in Virginia or SC to do drugs and ride horses.
post #111 of 147
I traveled the suburban public school to Ivy League college route.

I will observe anecdotally that, of the six guys I knew who ended up in the ER for alcohol poisoning during the first weeks of our freshman year, five went to NE boarding schools.

YMMV.
post #112 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by rexthedestroyer View Post
Other than not getting in to a great college, how do you think your "mid-tier" prep school effected your life in general?

The main thing you get when going to a prep school vs. an inner-city public school (those were my choices) is the whole culture is different. Stating the obvious here but prep schools are there to actually prep you to get into a decent college. The whole vibe was competitive, both in academics and sports.

On the other hand a lot of public schools are just detention centers, kids are sent to school just so they're not on the street. Only the very motivated, either self-motivated or through good parenting, are going to make it anywhere. I remember going to public school and the kids who coasted through school and got away with the most were the cool kids. Hell, the ones who even made it to college might've been the first in their family.

In prep school, you wanted to be on the varsity squad, you wanted to be class president, you wanted to have the highest SAT score - because that was cool. The majority of my classmates in prep school were well-off Jewish sons and daughters of doctors, lawyers, executives, etc. They knew who they were and they knew what it took to stay where they were in life. Going to college was a standard, getting into a good college was the goal.

This is my experience, I don't know much about suburban public schools but even the "elite" public schools in Boston (Latin, Latin Academy, O'Bryant) are very sink or swim. In fact, when you get into Boston Latin, the first thing they tell you is "Look to your left, look to your right. By the time you graduate, one of you won't be here."
post #113 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibonius View Post
Math is a really, really tough major and few people really know what they're getting into. A friend of mine was a really bright guy, came into undergrad one class short of a math major. Then he hit the upper level classes, and almost immediately realized he couldn't handle it. He has a doctorate in geology now.

I was an UG math major. It was difficult. Students taking PhD level graduate classes as Freshmen wasn't uncommon at my school.
post #114 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by yachtie View Post
Your view forward is too short. The stuff math PhD's do is fundamentally important but the practical results are usually a generation or two out. Can't describe it if you don't have the tools. The mathematicians provide the tools.

+1000

Same thing with theoretical physicists. People seem to forget that hard physicists and mathematicians are responsible for giving us the modern world. Without them, we wouldn't have MRI's, bar code scanners, GPS, and the list goes on and on and on. In the long term, Physics and math have had a more profound impact on modern technology than anything else. Physicists come up with the scientific principles, and engineers apply the science to benefit humanity. In fact, this is pretty much what the definition of engineering is, according to ABET. I'm proud to be an engineer. Woot!
post #115 of 147
I think the spoon feeding that happens and incredibly homogenous student bodies at elite prep schools are pretty gay, but the boarding aspect is invaluable. I think it makes kids less selfish and self centered.

Too bad there aren't many public type schools that board. I went to an elite NE prep school and honestly I don't recommend the force feeding they do, but the boarding was great.
post #116 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by Another New Yorker View Post
Oh I don't mean they particularly excel at sports. I probably misspoke. I simply mean that it's such a rooted part of the prep school image, that to say prep schools don't have football is ridiculous. And I'm certainly not talking down on Harvard's classes. They were also very smart. I'm not saying my AP gov class was filled with Economist subscribers and daily cover to cover NYT readers (though there were those). People just always had great questions, remarkable debates, and an openness for accepting others' ideas. I should give credit to a fantastic teacher that brought the best out of all of us, but I will stand by what I said, that my upper level high school classes were a focus of intelligence I haven't seen again in the year that I've been gone.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConcernedParent View Post
Uhhh. I don't know about New York, but in the states with historically strong high school football (California, Texas, Florida) the majority of the best teams (and subsequently the best prospects) are either public schools (Katy, Long Beach Poly, Judson) or athletically oriented privates (Mater Dei, Concord De la Salle) that hardly resemble boarding schools or rigorous academically oriented prep schools. Really?
Have to kind of agree... first year humanities courses at Harvard can be pretty retarded. It's kind of shocking how poorly read the kids are... until you get into upper levels and then master's seminars, most american kids grew up in a mediocre education system that didn't teach critical thinking very well. School in the US is easy. It's just a fact. Prep school is harder only because of the extra shit they make you do. And yes, that includes Andover and Choate. I also think the fact that american kids are congratulated so often for every fucking little thing they do makes them very sure of themselves even when their position on any given topic is tenuous at best. I've never seen more wrong, poorly rendered ideas spewed with such certainty and self satisfaction than in my freshman and sophomore years there. Sciences are a totally different ball game, as I'm sure LA Guy will attest to. I think it's all the indians and koreans with the strong sense of humility and shame that runs deep in their culture.
post #117 of 147
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post #118 of 147
I went to a Catholic prep school (Chaminade). Our more famous alumni include Bill O'Reilley, and Senator Al D'Amato (crook). My university (St Andrews, UK) is a haven for NE boarding schoolers. A prep schooler is easy to pick out. They had boat shoes, loafers, and khakis before preppy recently became cool again. We prefer better beer or more likely, spirits. Further, we're motivated on something: high finance, international politics, technology etc. They're an interesting bunch ranging from a stoner, old money who prefers Wal Mart jeans, to laid back because wealth lets them bribe life's problems, to the polo playing power-snob. I cannot stand group 4, yet I envy them their privilege. Groups 2 and 3 make for fantastic friends. Even the (now retired) stoner is going onto a surpassingly excellent graduate program.

What you're buying is access to the finest and most loyal alumni network in the Western World. Education is useless if your mind is a wonderment of culture, foreign language, history, taste, and literature, yet you're living in a dumpy to slightly below average neighborhood where the best conversation is about Bob and Mary's leased Corolla. Being able to secure a summer internship because your friend's father is well connected in your favorite industry is far better than having to submit applications with the other plebs.
post #119 of 147
Quote:
Originally Posted by SField View Post
Sciences are a totally different ball game, as I'm sure LA Guy will attest to. I think it's all the indians and koreans with the strong sense of humility and shame that runs deep in their culture.

lolwut


surprised no one posted these yet:

[NYC] Private School Tuition Bill Tops $40,000
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...private+school

Peeking Into Private-School Paranoia
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...DDLETopStories

note: GTFO out of New York or get rich before having kids.
post #120 of 147
Thread Starter 
Amelorn, I just got back from a whirlwind tour of 4 prep schools with my daughter, a wedding, and conference in the States (I live in Europe). What is up with that St. Andrews college? All of the prep schools we visited send graduates there. Pardon my ignorance, but most people are familiar with the usual graduate school stand outs - LSE, INSEAD, Sorbonne, etc. Just didn't realize there is a top-tier undergraduate school in Scotland. Your comments were right to the point, my friend! Will post some pics as soon as I unpack.
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