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Old 07-23-2011, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
22,533 posts, read 46,075,513 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarlaJane View Post

I think that I would similarly criticize or wonder about someone who was also always expending a lot of energy looking for the "best" car, the "best" house, etc. It's one thing to consider your children's needs but it's another thing to be competitive about it and, consequently, constantly obsessing about the "best," especially when the "best" is just a label.
I can remember being younger and being a bit bothered by competitive parenting. I had a cousin that was constantly crowing about when her child was toilet trained, the best nursery school, blah, blah, blah. I think it was more about her than the kid, in retrospect. The kid turned out fine but my cousin kind of dropped the ball after awhile because it was more of an "appearance" issue. I tried not to get caught up but I was young and it did get on my nerves.

Now? Heh. I don't care what little Johnny is doing, let alone Bif and Buffy. More power to them if they are valedictorian or end up as president of the Harvard Law Review. In fact, I'm the type that gets crazy happy for other people. So much is wasted on envy.

I care that I do my very best by my children. I have the 11-year-old and another starting college in the fall. The youngest will go to a middle school that is far from the best* in the city. It's kind of middle of the road. The oldest daughter will be going to a small, private liberal arts college in MA. It's not ivy league but it is probably going to be a good fit.

Best does not mean driving a Rolls Royce or a Lamboghini. To me it means reliable, with good gas mileage and affordable parts. In other words, the best for me.

*When I say "best" I mean based on the data. It's all comes down to socio-economic levels once you find a good school system. We live in a middle-of-the-road neighborhood and she will attend the same kind of school. But it is the same curriculum, same level of teachers throughout the city.
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Old 07-24-2011, 01:17 AM
 
Location: Eastern time zone
4,469 posts, read 6,161,613 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shmoov_groovzsd View Post


My understanding was that only raw data and "I want to be around people like me" were the underlying factors for that determination or process.
To a point, maybe-- but then you have to determine what "people like me" means. Is ir ethnic? Economic? Religiously based? Politically minded? Quirky-people-friendly? A;; pf the above, I think, depending on who answers, which leads us down that garden path of subjectivity again.
I don't think people ever, in the history of the world, have made decisions based just on raw data, if only because somewhere, there's a person who interprets it. And people are notoriously emotional and unobjective. They may claim to be purely logical, but IME that's a broad hint that they're not. Even that lauded fictional logic-fan Mr Spock, was driven by the most illogical of motivations: rejection of his human parent's culture.
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Old 07-24-2011, 01:24 AM
 
Location: Eastern time zone
4,469 posts, read 6,161,613 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarlaJane View Post
Perhaps we are agreeing but just saying it differently. I get that parents want the best for their children, and that this might come off as an obsession to someone who doesn't have children. But the OP raised a good point about the fact that so much energy is expended labeling and searching for the "best" when the "best" is a meaningless/misleading label. It comes across as more narcissistic than necessary.

I think that I would similarly criticize or wonder about someone who was also always expending a lot of energy looking for the "best" car, the "best" house, etc. It's one thing to consider your children's needs but it's another thing to be competitive about it and, consequently, constantly obsessing about the "best," especially when the "best" is just a label.
It's not meaningless, precisely. Subjective and dependent on unfixed quantities, certainly. But a lot of people derive considerable comfort in the idea that they've acquired the "best" for their children. And some derive even more comfort in thinking they've done a better job at it than anyone else and consequently little Isabella will be ahead of the game. (Of course, Isabella may not give two figs and may well not only refuse Yale to join the carnival but bear the lovechild of the Snake-headed Boy into the bargain. But you pays your money and you takes your chances...)
And "label" is an underappreciated term these days. What is any noun (or most adjectives), if not a label of some sort?
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Old 07-24-2011, 08:47 AM
 
Location: 92037
4,631 posts, read 8,583,185 times
Reputation: 1931
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aconite View Post
To a point, maybe-- but then you have to determine what "people like me" means. Is ir ethnic? Economic? Religiously based? Politically minded? Quirky-people-friendly? A;; pf the above, I think, depending on who answers, which leads us down that garden path of subjectivity again.
I don't think people ever, in the history of the world, have made decisions based just on raw data, if only because somewhere, there's a person who interprets it. And people are notoriously emotional and unobjective. They may claim to be purely logical, but IME that's a broad hint that they're not. Even that lauded fictional logic-fan Mr Spock, was driven by the most illogical of motivations: rejection of his human parent's culture.
Aconite,

I would say that this is 110% accurate. I like the Spock reference too

True story: in a past life, I worked in a complex sales position for a large corporation. We had sales "classes" that we needed to attend on a weekly basis (which was far more interesting than the actual job itself).
Anyway, it mostly discussed the psychology and interaction in the sales environment we were working where big bucks were involved and actually getting to "the question" or pain(problem) a customer was having was teh holy grail.
IN essence when the pain is exposed (if there is any) lo and behold you start getting somewhere. Thus, after all the mundane data and spec sheets are tossed, its ultimately how the person feels that is making a decision on a purchase. Only the data is used to justify the position.
I dont see how this mechanism would be any different than the topic at hand.

Yes so its totally subjective. I used in quotes "people like me" because although its never said verbatim on city-data forums, it sure seems implied for those seeking "best" via the forums.
But yes, "people like me" can totally mean something different to everyone.
Political correctness is sooo late 90s
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Old 07-24-2011, 11:44 AM
 
Location: Massachusetts
4,033 posts, read 8,249,926 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aconite View Post
It's not meaningless, precisely. Subjective and dependent on unfixed quantities, certainly. But a lot of people derive considerable comfort in the idea that they've acquired the "best" for their children. And some derive even more comfort in thinking they've done a better job at it than anyone else and consequently little Isabella will be ahead of the game. (Of course, Isabella may not give two figs and may well not only refuse Yale to join the carnival but bear the lovechild of the Snake-headed Boy into the bargain. But you pays your money and you takes your chances...)
And "label" is an underappreciated term these days. What is any noun (or most adjectives), if not a label of some sort?
Label is not an unappreciated term; in fact, if anything, it is overappreciated, which is exactly my point. And it isn't meaningless so much as hollow. As I've previously stated, "best" is highly subjective, and high test scores and $$ do not equal a good education. Moreover, while parents might derive comfort from *thinking* that they have obtained the best for their children, they have simply enveloped themselves in a false sense of security that will cash itself in later on as a big reality check

Your post assumes that the kid who goes to a "best" school is automatically going to another "best" school [Yale], which is flawed in its logic. Even if Isabella doesn't join the circus and graduates from a "best" high school with a 4.0, that doesn't necessarily mean that she has obtained an education or will attend a "top" university. Moreover, I'd love to know what your criteria is for considering Yale (or any other "best" school) as top-notch outside of its prestigious reputation.

Seriously, how much more difference is there between Levi's ($50) and JBrand ($150) jeans? Much as one might think that the latter is better b/c it costs more, I need more than a big price tag and the approval of the "best"-obsessed in-crowd to convince me that they are *actually* better than something cheaper and less prestigious. And, yes, it is the same thing.

In fact, in recent years, many colleges and universities have acknowldeged this fact and forego consideration of standardized testing in the admissions process b/c the scores have become meaningless: not only does every student on the planet seem to boast high test scores as well as attendance of a "best" school, those labels do not take into account tons of other factors that are important to a university and will determine a student's success. For example, gifted individuals--especially artistic individuals--tend to excel in one specific area and will, based on average, appear to be average or even below average. Hence, many grad programs don't even require the GRE anymore and prefer a writing sample, portfolio, experience, etc. instead b/c they are better indicators of *actual* ability.

But hey, if a parent is so insecure and narcissistic that he/she has to believe in the labels ("It said 'best,' which means that it is or, at least, should be") based on data that really doesn't ensure anything, then by all means, have at it. I just happen to be one of the people who is not going to obsess about "best" labels.
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Old 07-24-2011, 05:18 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee
22,533 posts, read 46,075,513 times
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Starla Jane, this is all very, very true. Of course you are assuming that all people think the jeans that are $100 more are better. Not I. I examine the jeans construction and base my choice on that. I may walk away and come back when the better jeans are on sale or clearance or find them at a store where they are cheaper.

Not all parents are in a never-ending quest for the best, let alone the most expensive. In fact, on these forums I find a lot of parents that are more interested in how the area suits them and the kid's education is almost an afterthought.

Of course the goal for parents that care is suppose to be to get the child in the best high school so that they can get in the best college so that they can be top of the class so that the best companies will come a-courting.

And we also know that the odds of that actually happening are very low.

But I also noticed that you don't have children Starla Jane and that explains your not understanding why parents have this urge to do the best for their children.

But once again, most expensive does not mean best.
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Old 07-24-2011, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Eastern time zone
4,469 posts, read 6,161,613 times
Reputation: 3481
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarlaJane View Post
Label is not an unappreciated term; in fact, if anything, it is overappreciated, which is exactly my point. And it isn't meaningless so much as hollow. As I've previously stated, "best" is highly subjective, and high test scores and $$ do not equal a good education. Moreover, while parents might derive comfort from *thinking* that they have obtained the best for their children, they have simply enveloped themselves in a false sense of security that will cash itself in later on as a big reality check

Your post assumes that the kid who goes to a "best" school is automatically going to another "best" school [Yale], which is flawed in its logic. Even if Isabella doesn't join the circus and graduates from a "best" high school with a 4.0, that doesn't necessarily mean that she has obtained an education or will attend a "top" university. Moreover, I'd love to know what your criteria is for considering Yale (or any other "best" school) as top-notch outside of its prestigious reputation.

Seriously, how much more difference is there between Levi's ($50) and JBrand ($150) jeans? Much as one might think that the latter is better b/c it costs more, I need more than a big price tag and the approval of the "best"-obsessed in-crowd to convince me that they are *actually* better than something cheaper and less prestigious. And, yes, it is the same thing.

In fact, in recent years, many colleges and universities have acknowldeged this fact and forego consideration of standardized testing in the admissions process b/c the scores have become meaningless: not only does every student on the planet seem to boast high test scores as well as attendance of a "best" school, those labels do not take into account tons of other factors that are important to a university and will determine a student's success. For example, gifted individuals--especially artistic individuals--tend to excel in one specific area and will, based on average, appear to be average or even below average. Hence, many grad programs don't even require the GRE anymore and prefer a writing sample, portfolio, experience, etc. instead b/c they are better indicators of *actual* ability.

Maybe we'd better define "best" in terms of high schools first. I would maintain that "best" and "public" are a contradiction in terms, with maybe a handful of exceptions nationwide (and not necessarily the ones Newsweek thinks are best). Using the commonly accepted (though admittedly not universal) criteria of achievement, grades, potential for turning attendance into earning power-- and yes, social interaction-- "best" is limited to the likes of Phillips Academy and Miss Porter's.
I'll agree that graduating from a public school isn't necessarily an indicator of having received an education, though I would question how one would get through even Sweathog High with a 4.0 and not learned something. So perhaps we're back to needing to define education.
As for whether Ivies, Southern Ivies, and the like are truly "better" than, say, USC-Selkahatchie or Polk County Community College...that's a debate for another thread. I'm guessing, offered free rides to both, there are relatively few people who would turn down Williams or Princeton for PCCC. And while a price tag alone is not necessarily proof that something is "the best", reputation counts in higher academic circles, insofar as endowments, attracting teachers, and a number of other things-- most of which will impact one's collegiate experience.

Quote:
But hey, if a parent is so insecure and narcissistic that he/she has to believe in the labels ("It said 'best,' which means that it is or, at least, should be") based on data that really doesn't ensure anything, then by all means, have at it. I just happen to be one of the people who is not going to obsess about "best" labels.
Congratulations?
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Old 07-25-2011, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Lexington Ky
891 posts, read 2,700,251 times
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Trying to make intelligent, informed decisions on what is the best path for your child is part of being a parent. For me it's about what path will put our son in line for the most scholarship dollars. Sending him to a high performing magnet program in a great school will hopefully increase his odds. We won't have the budget to pay for all of his college and don't want him burdened with lots of student loans.
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Old 07-25-2011, 05:12 PM
 
25,084 posts, read 13,914,091 times
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My kid is in a decent school district and at one of the best schools in that district and I am fighting for minimal education privileges. I think u should be concerned about the school district, but being in the right school district does not mean u get a superior or a quality education.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,965 posts, read 98,814,535 times
Reputation: 31376
I am a parent, and understand the wanting to "move mountains" for one's kids.

This obsession, if you want to call it that, as the OP did, is in evidence on the Denver/Colorado forums as well. On almost any given day, there is at least one active thread about "best schools". In a metro area of 3 million people, it should be obvious there is no one "best" district, let alone any one "best" school. I think part of the "obsession" is that people who are relocating have to live somewhere, and have to make decisions based on something, so they pick schools.
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