Monday, March 25, 2019

More Hollywood Foolery-The College Years

Disclaimer:  I apology in advance for a long post.  This has hit my heart more than you may know, and it involves people who I like watching on television. 
Deep in the catacombs of your local 4-year college or university, you might find a kid with a silver spoon in their mouth.
Now, I do not have a problem with that as long as it does not interfere with my kid’s, or in my personal case, my niece or nephews’, getting into and studying at the same school. After all, they are supposed to be getting a good education and have a halfway decent career ahead of them.  It should not matter how a kid gets into a school (legal scholarship, grant, or loan), as long as they enjoy all that the school has to offer (both academic and non-academic), and graduate with at least a 3.0 GPA.  Not all high school students are college material.
It is nice to see that a rich kid can get into a 4-year college or university of their choice, worked hard to get the “A” s and “B” s, (with a “C” on the side for trying) that they deserve, sitting beside another kid, whose parents worked hard and saved so they can get the same education.  Some get scholarships (full-ride or not), some get grants or loans, while others get their education through the work-study programs.  It should not matter how a student got in, as long as they apply themselves.
Now, I said in my revamping of this blog that I would not talk about trending topics anymore.  The reason is that these are my opinions, and they were snarky opinions at best.  Unless it really matters, I would like it to stay that way.  Today is not one of those topics I can keep my mouth shut about because it has to do with two of my favorite actresses, and the way each of them treated their status in life and in Hollywood.  I am talking about Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives) and Lori Laughlin (Full House), and the college scandal that rocked the world. 
I liked both Desperate Housewives and Full House when they were on the air.  Both happened to be on ABC, which is owned by Disney.  That has nothing to do with the problem.  The problem is that both women admitted to this bribery to get their kids in the best colleges, money can buy.  When I first heard about it two days ago, I thought it was about something that Felicity said, not what she did.  Then a day later, Lori Laughlin was named, along with her husband, and I thought, “What is going on here”?
A little backstory is that people have always accused African American college students on the Affirmative Action bill, which, according to Wikipedia states, “Affirmative action in the United States is a set of laws, policies, guidelines and administrative practices "intended to end and correct the effects of a specific form of discrimination"[1] that include government-mandated, government-sanctioned and voluntary private programs. The programs tend to focus on access to education and employment, granting special consideration to historically excluded groups, specifically racial minorities or women.[  What Huffman and Laughlin are accused of did not have to do with affirmative action, but the fact that they wanted their kids to go to better colleges and universities.  They did this by bribing the staff of these schools to let their college-age children in, no matter what their grades were.  It is totally different from affirmative action. 
Please let your child get into
college the right way. 
(c) 2019 P.Lynne Designs
What makes it so sad is that Laughlin’s daughter, Olive, was seen on camera, stating that she is only at USC (University of Southern California) for one thing, and that is to party.  My question is, “why didn’t she tell her mom and dad that she did not want to go to college”? I guess she plans on flunking out.
My Backstory.
College is a serious thing to do.  For some families, it is not an option, but mandatory.  I did the same thing.  I was not ready for college when I was 18.  I took what I thought was the easiest major, Drama, which I really wanted to be an actress, and flunked out after the first quarter.  I thought I would sleep my way through it, not showing up half the time, and not waking up until it was time for my 4th class of the day.  When I did show up, I did not do the homework.  It did not hit me until was I home for winter break and my grades arrived.  All “F” s.  Yikes!! “What did I do to myself”?  That January, I found myself at a local community college, with Social Work as my major.  I did not like that either.  I wasted my parent’s money.
I did not get serious until 1993 with a major in marketing and loved every moment of it.  My GPA could have been higher because I aced almost every one of my classes, on my own terms, and with my own money.  The reason for the low GPA score has to do with how well I did in the other two colleges.  Yes, young people, your GPA carries from school to school if you do a transfer.  The transfer only helps you with not duplicating classes you already had taken, but it also shows future employers how well you did in school. 
Now, I hope to continue this fall at the same school I graduated from with a dual-major, A master’s in marketing and communication and a subsequent degree in Entrepreneurship. No one to bribe for my education.  My parents are in their 80s and this time it is to help me get a better grip on my business. 
How can I avoid situations like this?

For the students

Start creating good grades in Kindergarten.  “I know, I know, I hate school, and I am here to form relationships with my friends because friends are cool.”  Everyone says that, and nothing beats from being a cool kid in school.  You are not in school to see if you can get into the latest party, start the latest fashion trend, or even still see if you can get a scholarship for being on the basketball team.  Everyone wants to be loved and admired.  Everyone wants to be popular, but I am here to tell you that popular does not get you the $40,000+ a year job and eventually having some major adulting skills.  Being popular may get you Miss Popular Teen or some other title, but those are few and far between.  You need to be earning grades that will get you into those ivy league schools.  What if I do not want to go to Yale”?  You do not have to go to an ivy league school, apply to a state university, community college, anything that have you “ivy league bond”, but, choice the school that you want to apply for.
What if I do not want to go to college”?  That is fine too, but, I suspect that your parents want you to do something in your life.  One tip that I wish I had done was take a year off.  Seriously, take a year off after high school.  Why?  To decompress and get ready for something greater than high school education.  Discover what you like to do and research it.  Learn about that thing which drives you.  It is called passion.  Learn about you during this year.  If you want to go to college, earn your books and living expenses by getting a job.  Do you think that by taking off a year of academia you are going to sit?  Not in this lifetime. Why not make it worth your while to have a job, learn the job, and you will earn money at the same time.  There is an added plus to all of this.  If the job you have gotten for the year is something you want to pursue later on, employers may help you with your education.  At least that was the way it worked when I first got started. 
I was working in a tech company at the time, CompuServe, and they had all kinds of programs from the company, including life and health insurance, a PC loan so you can purchase a computer, and a program to earn a degree.  I wanted to go to the marketing department, and I learned that CompuServe would help me with my education with an education loan.  The payback at the time would have been a transfer from customer service, which was where I was working in, to the marketing department.   I had to make good grades in order to do it. Unfortunately, I left the company before I could get started, but I was already taking one class in Macroeconomics from the university I would eventually graduate from before I could ask HR (Human Resources) about the program.  Yes, you have to keep up with your job while taking classes.  After a year of soul searching and you still feel like you are not college material, you will at least have a job to fall back on.  Not everyone is cut out for college, but at least you will not waste your parent’s money either.
One last tip for students is making sure that you are doing good in academics if you decide to go.  It is so easy for parents and other relatives to lose sight of why you are in college in the first place.  You are there to learn, and to have fun while you are learning, but college is not just a place to party, join sororities and fraternities, and being part of a sports community, it is also a place where you learn and grow in the field of your choosing, not where your family and friends want you to go to.   I followed my friend to my first school.  We were not in the same dorm.  We went our separate ways after that first quarter.  The next time I saw her, I was working at a craft store in 2008.
 For the Parents…
Oh, you did not think I was leaving you out of this little talk, right?  First thing, we all want our children to have what we did not have as children.  It does not matter if your parent was a millionaire or barely keeping the lights on each month.  They wanted what was best for us too.
At times, we want to interfere with our children’s lives, and you do not have to be a parent to do so.  As an aunt, I often want to take the weight of my siblings and foster their children when they are unable to, or when they ask me to. 
One of the first things as a parent you must do is accept your child’s strengths and weaknesses.  This should have started before he/she enters preschool, and you take note of it until they receive that diploma or GED.  There are bumps along the way, and they are going to grow from the cute little kid, who will ask you “why is the sky blue?” to “Mom, I need the keys to the car”.  At that time, you know how you want to prepare their next stage in life.  One of them should not be, “I am going to make sure this kid of mine gets into Yale no matter what”.  If your child is not Yale material, or they want to start off at a local college, then advise on what steps to take.  You can ask why, but overall, it is your child’s decision to go in that direction.  Do not threaten them and do not bribe administrators for that spot.  Yes, you want the best, and yes, it is going to hurt, but they may not be ready to go back to school.  Hey, there is always the military.  Whatever your child (oops, young adult) decides on doing (including taking a year off to find themselves), the best thing you can do is love them and ask what you can do to help.
I hope you understand where I am coming from with this.  Should these ladies of television pay for their crimes?  Yes, I believe so.  You may have a lot of money but cheating in any form is not the way to go, and at the end of the day, you may end up hurting your child more than helping them.  They may start thinking that if I am in a jam, mom and dad will come to my rescue.  That may be true, but they need to learn the value of doing it for themselves, unless it is an emergency, and getting into a college on a sports scholarship when you are not athletic is not an emergency.
Update on this story:
It seems that Olive Jade (the name she goes by on YouTube), has made a mess of things before all of this took place.  In addition to the video she made on how she felt about school, she mentioned in a YouTube video in 2017 that she guess she will go to school (high school) today to do the school prank (there are many pranks out there, including the one my class did which was to sell the school). She also said that she barely goes to class.  Also, Olive’s guidance counselor asked how did she manage to get on the Crew (which is USC’s rowing team) when she has never rowed before. In fact, it was the guidance counselor who made the discovery in the first place or Lori Laughlin and her husband would never have been discovered in the first place.
It makes me wonder how many students who have mediocre grades and a bad attitude towards school have parents like hers?  All I know is It keeps students who want to go to school, have excellent grades and a healthy activity rap sheet from getting in.  It is as much the administrator’s fault as it is the parents. 
If you have a child who is preparing for the next stage in their promising academic career, think about cheating for your child, and how it affects them before you act.  You may have to settle on your child going to a community college, trade school, or not at all.

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