#SOL19 Day 15: Two Stories in One

Screen Shot 2019-03-02 at 5.28.56 PMFor the month of March I will be participating in the Slice of Life Challenge sponsored by The Two Writing Teachers Blog.  I have been quick writing from SPARKS all month but today I share a small moment slice.

The college admissions scam struck a raw nerve in our family this week as my son awaits a decision from a college he’s dreamed about his whole life. We always knew the odds would be tough. Less than 8% of applicants make it into this school. We can’t help but think, there is a growing divide between the Have and Have-Nots.  The odds for admission to elite schools tilt to those with money for tutors and coaches, with enrollment in private schools and access to the best resources, with legacy and social connections to maintain a segregated status quo, and now we have evidence that bribery and scamming can also be at play.

“But nothing ventured, nothing gained.” “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” My son is not afraid to dream, not afraid to try. I won’t be a braggy mom and tout his credentials, but his SAT scores, GPA, class rank, athletic awards, and extra curriculars are more than enough to make the cut without the benefit of those financial or social advantages. His application reflects grit, hard work, and determination. He’s undaunted.

So tonight we await the email. They are sending them out on Pi Day (3.14) at 6:28. I’m guessing that’s Pi doubled? Clever, huh? However tonight we have to go to a mandatory player/parent meeting for baseball that starts at 6:00. We’ll be in the middle of the meeting when the emails go out.

We drive over to the high school and I ask him before we go in, “Will you let us know what you find out?”

“I’m not checking ’til I get home.” Right. That makes sense.

So we walk into the meeting and take a seat. I watch my son’s knee bounce a bit and wonder how his nerves are holding up. I know how nervous I get waiting for news. Not sure if I’m projecting, but I see his hand slip into his pocket and touch his phone several times. I know the decision has been made days or weeks ago and no hoping and wishing is going to change it, but I can’t help it.

How long can this damn meeting go on?

See you at practice on Monday, boys.” We head to the car. The ride is silent and so is the walk into the house. I’m trying to keep busy and not hover as he opens his computer and taps away at the keys. I find I’m holding my breath.

From the look on his face as he’s reading I know right away… but that is his story to tell.



My story is a stinging affirmation that there is a growing divide between the Have and Have-Nots that this mom can’t fix today.




9 thoughts on “#SOL19 Day 15: Two Stories in One

  1. This scam is so disheartening to the young people who work so hard to do it all right and families who support them. I am saddened that the moral compass of people in our country is waning. I hope your son finds his way to his goals. In my experience with my daughters, the most important factor in school choice is the student themselves. They will find their way, and the journey is the thing.

  2. Paula, you bring up so many important points about equity in this country. I too, am frustrated and angered by this scam. I second what Margaret said, not matter what, your son will achieve his goals!

  3. “I know the decision has been made weeks ago and no hoping and wishing is going to change it, but I can’t help myself.” So true of so many situations in life.

    I hope that your son continues to dream big! Whether or not this particular one was realized, he will find his place.

  4. Oh! I can really feel his disappointment. I’m so sorry to hear that he didn’t get in. Another piece of evidence that credentials aren’t enough anymore. Wish the college admissions game wasn’t a game at all. Hugs to you as you help him through this.

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