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What's so great about the Ivy League anyway?

Thursday, April 30, 2009

What's So Great About The Ivy League Anyway?

Everything.  And nothing.

Everything. In my humble or elitist opinion (take your pick), a good education is both very costly and utterly priceless.  Maybe I am an odd bird, but I loved school.  I loved Dalton.  (And, yes, it is part of the Ivy Preparatory School League in athletics; why would I make that up?)  And I loved Yale.  And I loved Columbia. Yes, these happen to be Ivy League schools, but any good school (and there are so many) will do.  Some of the smartest, best people I know did not go to an Ivy (hello, Dear Husband).  And some of the most maladjusted, lost, and sad people I know did go to an Ivy (not dumb, will not name names).

If you are lucky, an Ivy might teach you:

1. How to write.
2. How to read.
3. How to think.
4. How to tailgate.
5. How to craft a resume.
6. How to schmooze.
7. How to BS artfully.
8. How to drink coffee.
9. How to drink beer.
10. How to hide your deepest insecurities.

Nothing.  It is a myth that an elite education is the ticket to utopia, to happiness.  There are things for which no league can prepare you.  Important things. One such thing? Life

No school will teach you:

1. How to take a risk or take a compliment.
2. How to laugh loudly or love deeply.
3. How to find truth or a good man.
4. How to have a happy birthday or a happy marriage.
5. How to birth a baby or a book.
6. How to survive a bad breakup or a brutal hangover.
7. How to toilet train a toddler or train the toddler within.
8. How to let a child separate or watch a parent die.
9. How to handle vicious criticism in life or on a blog.
10. How to stop lying and start living.


  1. Hi there. Found you via Gretchen Rubin's blog. Wrote about some of this myself, a while back, and thought you might find it interesting. (The link to my post about Ivy League schools at my old blog, Stay of Execution, should work if I did things right.) I've enjoyed the poking around your blog that I've been doing.

    (I'm an ex-lawyer too, and am pleased to have a conference to bring me back to New Haven the week after next.)

  2. Attending an Ivy (in most cases) says more about the student's parents than it does about the students. What 5 year old says "Screw the cartoons; I want piano lessons". And that's ok..except when it comes to compensation in the business world. I just don't see the connection between playing piano when you are 5 or getting good grades because your parents will beat you if you don't and the ability to make a lot of money for a company.


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