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Old 09-02-2010, 03:44 PM
 
74 posts, read 114,797 times
Reputation: 102

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Charles--one more thing:

I don't agree with your blanket statement that "No one needs any other competition or belittling distractions." That may be true for you (and for me) but it is not true for all.....

Like it or not, some people thrive on competition or are stimulated by other bright people. A place like Millburn attracts the best teachers which turns some students on. They literally offer every single possible AP course there is.....and have relationships for things like internships etc that blow my mind. (The kid down the street is doing some high level government work as an elective--I did not understand half of what he is working on!) Finally-- place like Millburn has relationships with top colleges. There are personal relationships with admission due to year of placing kids in ivies--there is the value of the "Millburn" brand. So on.... Fair or not; it delivers and that is the reason why people hock livers and kidneys to live here. I am not saying it's worth a kidney or a liver, by the way--I am just explaining the rationale!

I really want you to understand that I do not subscribe to the idea that "Millburn is better than yours, nyah nyah nyah..." :-) I struggle with whether it's the right place for one of my children--- whereas I know it is going to serve my other child well..... All kids are different as are family situations, intellect etc. But if you read my other posts, you will see that I share your concern about the "cost" of a competitive environment like MHS.... the competition is more intense than what I am comfortable with.

My point in posting is not to get into a peeing match (!) about whose school is better or whose father can beat up the other. I am just trying to illustrate what I (a relative newcomer to the township) have observed first hand about the considerable PLUSES and MINUSES of that particular high school. The rest--well we all have to decide for ourselves and I will say it a third time:

An elite education can serve as an on-ramp to an economically successful life--but it does not guarantee it nor is it the only way in!!!

In the end, it pains me that all high schools are not created equally---not in our state and not across the nation. It is a shame because the purpose behind public education was to provide an economic equalizer and that is no longer the case. It makes people's skin prickle because it seems unfair that living inside one boundary can give you access to one track and living on the other side a second. Rightfully so!

Ok---now off the soap box!

:-)

Last edited by MommaBear2Cubs; 09-02-2010 at 03:57 PM..
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Old 09-02-2010, 07:19 PM
 
Location: North Brunswick
877 posts, read 1,585,963 times
Reputation: 168
I like your rationale. And I didn't mean to come off sounding argumentative. But yes, anyone going to public schools in Millburn or any similar area has to have a thick skin and enough rock-hard self-confidence not to let anyone's bullying or belittling comments get the best of him or her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MommaBear2Cubs View Post
Charles--one more thing:

I don't agree with your blanket statement that "No one needs any other competition or belittling distractions." That may be true for you (and for me) but it is not true for all.....

Like it or not, some people thrive on competition or are stimulated by other bright people. A place like Millburn attracts the best teachers which turns some students on. They literally offer every single possible AP course there is.....and have relationships for things like internships etc that blow my mind. (The kid down the street is doing some high level government work as an elective--I did not understand half of what he is working on!) Finally-- place like Millburn has relationships with top colleges. There are personal relationships with admission due to year of placing kids in ivies--there is the value of the "Millburn" brand. So on.... Fair or not; it delivers and that is the reason why people hock livers and kidneys to live here. I am not saying it's worth a kidney or a liver, by the way--I am just explaining the rationale!

I really want you to understand that I do not subscribe to the idea that "Millburn is better than yours, nyah nyah nyah..." :-) I struggle with whether it's the right place for one of my children--- whereas I know it is going to serve my other child well..... All kids are different as are family situations, intellect etc. But if you read my other posts, you will see that I share your concern about the "cost" of a competitive environment like MHS.... the competition is more intense than what I am comfortable with.

My point in posting is not to get into a peeing match (!) about whose school is better or whose father can beat up the other. I am just trying to illustrate what I (a relative newcomer to the township) have observed first hand about the considerable PLUSES and MINUSES of that particular high school. The rest--well we all have to decide for ourselves and I will say it a third time:

An elite education can serve as an on-ramp to an economically successful life--but it does not guarantee it nor is it the only way in!!!

In the end, it pains me that all high schools are not created equally---not in our state and not across the nation. It is a shame because the purpose behind public education was to provide an economic equalizer and that is no longer the case. It makes people's skin prickle because it seems unfair that living inside one boundary can give you access to one track and living on the other side a second. Rightfully so!

Ok---now off the soap box!

:-)
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:00 PM
 
7 posts, read 2,392 times
Reputation: 13
I had the opportunity to attend both top rated Chatham & Millburn school systems back in the 90's. My first job out of Cornell was a Student Advisor for a expensive private high school in Union County.

All these years, let me share my two cents on some of my observations .

1) In my humble opinion, a strong majority of parents in Chatham & Millburn ( particularly the thousands of families who have moved into these towns in the last 25-30 years despite the expensive prices compared to other towns) do have a " TOP EDUCATION" for their kids as their NUMBER 1 priority over everything else.

what exactly do I mean? Thousands of these parents/homeowners decided to SACRIFICE " Smaller, Older, less impressive homes" that their money could buy by going for Chatham or Millburn
when they could have VERY EASILY bought in tons of NJ suburban towns nearby towns in Morris, Essex, Bergen, Passaic, and Union counties . Most did it for one reason. SCHOOL SYSTEM
Their purchase price in Millburn or Chatham for a 50 yr old cape code or 60 yr old ranch would have bought them a BRAND NEW or ALMOST brand new 1,2,5 year old Two car garage in other 'respectable, nice towns.

This was the " Common Regular Conversation " among parents in many gatherings whenever the topic of school system came up. This was the " Common Bond" that many many parents in these towns like to talk about.

Conclusion: EDUCATION CAME before anything else for many of these parents. ( Never forget that majority of parents in Chatham, Millburn & similar towns with top schools like Ridgewood, Demarest, Livingston, Mountain Lakes, Tenafly, Princeton have ALL sacrificed Less Home for Better Education.
And Never forget that Majority of these parents are NOT WEALTHY. Most are Two Income six figure Income households who worked their behinds off . They are your typical upper middle class parents who are by no means wealthy)

2) Expensive Private schools: What I've noticed is Majory in this group has "EDUCATION" as the HIGHEST priority for them as parents . Believe it or not, MAJORITY of these parents are Middle/Upper Middle class W-2 employed parents who have chosen to SPEND the money to send their children to the KENT PLACE, the Morristown Beard, the Newark Academy, the Pingry's, the Delbarton's, the Oak Knolls.

Most of these parents have jumped in , open eyes, both feet in, knowing very well that they are sacrificing both their Current Lifestyle & their Future Retirement Lifesytle.

Again, for the sake of getting a TOP EDUCATION. ( with increasing their chances to get into one of the TOP 25 Colleges in the nation as the end game )

Conclusion:

Any argument about " is Millburn worth it or is paying $30K per year at Kent Place for High school worth it " is really a mute point.

Why? because its really a Very Personal Decision that every parent makes. A parent who decides to pay $650K to live in a 50 yr old 3br, 1 garage home in Millburn for the sake of School System , would be viewed by a parent who just bought a brand New 5br, 3bth 2 car garage home in sayreville or Old bridge as totally Insane and out of their mind.

A $150K w-2 INCOME earning NJ couple who send their son to Delbarton at $28K per year for high school would be viewed as "nuts" by a $150K w-2 Income earning NJ parent who is happy with his son's public school education in West Caldwell or Nutley.

Do you see my point? There will never be total or even close agreement on this because we are talking about a "VALUE SYSTEM" that is very personal.

So its pretty much to each his own. Its after all a free world. One parent believes this route is best for her son while another thinks this path is best for her daughter.

This is it for now. Too long for one post.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:23 PM
 
7 posts, read 2,392 times
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If I may also add one thing.

For majority of all americans, putting their children into a "High Pressured, Very Competitive" school setting is almost unthinkable and foreign for them. They would never put their children into that kind of school setting.

But people forget that one's CULTURE is a Big Factor in all of this.

In particular, the Jewish community & the Asian-American community share an almost IDENTICAL view on thriving to send their children to " Highly Competitive, Highly pressurized" school environments. For a vast majority of parents in these two communities, 'EDUCATION" comes over everything else.

As we have all witnessed, the results year after year from these two " small ethnic communities" of a combined joint only about 6% of the entire US population having 55% of Stanford's student body, 50% of Harvard, 48% of Yale, 60% of MIT, 50% of Princeton, 45% of U of Penn is almost unbelievable.

Many parents don't understand that these numbers above are NOT by accident. When 6% of a combined ethnic group within the US population now represents close to 70% of All New US Scientists that this country produces yearly- that's a 20 YEAR GAME PLAN that these parents implemented since Kindergarten.
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Old 09-02-2010, 09:32 PM
 
2 posts, read 528 times
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listen.. most dads & moms out there would never trade paying for private school if it meant driving an old car. most moms out there who got approved for a 600K mortgage would never buy some oldie 40 year old house with 3bedrooms, 2 bath colonial when they can buy a new 2 year old house for 600K in some suburd for the sake of school. It aint gonna happen in our american culture
you can put all the evidence in this world that graduating from a top school increases your childs chances in the world. but the idea of driving a BMW, that Escalade, that impressive home is way too much to say no. Little Jake will be okay. my neighbor and friends are doing the same thing. so it must be okay and acceptable. ill take my chances with little jake.
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:39 PM
 
Location: WFNJ
953 posts, read 1,132,384 times
Reputation: 849
We are pretty much in this situation right now, selling our condo in Brooklyn and move to either Millburn or Westfield. When I mentioned these 2 towns, my friends think I am crazy because the houses are so expensive (for what you get). But my primary concern is a great public school system for my little girl. Yes, I could buy a McMansion in Franklin (like my coworker) but I am perfectly fine with an older/modest home.

I will be very involved with my daughter's education and plan to go over her homework every night (and double on weekend). Balance that out with lots of activities (probably something musical and martial arts) so she can grow up well rounded. I don't mind the competitiveness, it is the real world so she might as well be prepared and get used to it. Life isn't a picnic, if you don't work hard, you won't get anywhere.
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:04 PM
 
2 posts, read 6,101 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamie411 View Post
If I may also add one thing.

For majority of all americans, putting their children into a "High Pressured, Very Competitive" school setting is almost unthinkable and foreign for them. They would never put their children into that kind of school setting.

But people forget that one's CULTURE is a Big Factor in all of this.

In particular, the Jewish community & the Asian-American community share an almost IDENTICAL view on thriving to send their children to " Highly Competitive, Highly pressurized" school environments. For a vast majority of parents in these two communities, 'EDUCATION" comes over everything else.

As we have all witnessed, the results year after year from these two " small ethnic communities" of a combined joint only about 6% of the entire US population having 55% of Stanford's student body, 50% of Harvard, 48% of Yale, 60% of MIT, 50% of Princeton, 45% of U of Penn is almost unbelievable.

Many parents don't understand that these numbers above are NOT by accident. When 6% of a combined ethnic group within the US population now represents close to 70% of All New US Scientists that this country produces yearly- that's a 20 YEAR GAME PLAN that these parents implemented since Kindergarten.
I have been in the Human Resources industry for 23 years. Worked for 4 different type of industry- Banking, Aerospace, Drug, Information Technology. Was a Senior Recruiting Manager, AVP of Hiring, VP of Personnel for 16 years before becoming an independent HR consultant last year. Was an Officer of the SHRM for 8 years ( the national trade HR organization in the US)

Ive said this 100 times in all my years. --------

" If only the general public including parents knew that 90 percent of All corporations in america in the last century has always had Three Sets of Career Tracks. One career track for new hires from Ivy league schools , another track from top tier non Ivy league schools, and a 3rd track for hires from all the other 275 colleges & universities.---- i think more parents would put value in the schools that their children attend.

----here is a simple, clear, very normal and pervasive example for everyone to understand.

My ex-employer was a top wall street brokerage firm. One of the oldest and largest in the nation.

preconditions: they only hire fresh grads from ivy, non-ivy but tier 1 and tier 2 colleges.

so joe (ivy-Yale U), rick ( non-ivy but tier 1-Georgetown U), mike ( tier 2 Seton Hall U )

---- what would happen very typically?

starting salary offer for SAME/VERY IDENTICAL POSITION:

joe- $45,000 starting, rick $ 35,000 starting, mike $ 29,000 starting

% of yearly salary increase offered ( excluding any performance bonuses)

joe- 8%-10% annual salary increase
rick- 4%-6%
mike-3%-4%

note: in 5 years, joe at a minimum will be making double his original salary not including bonuses. joe's salary mobility every year would be faster than rick and mike---aside from a much higher starting pay

----Realistic chance/ potential for Upper level Management in next 7-10 years ( promotion to sr. manager, AVP, Director level )

joe- Very high, almost automatic promotion- wide open door if performs as expected

rick-high, wide open door if performs as expected

mike-very possible but will need to perform above expectation

-----Realistic chance/potential for Senior Level Management ( reaching
top 1% of company structure- CEO, CFO, COO, SVP,Managing Director

joe- a 60%-70% chance of being seriously considered for Senior Level- if he performs above expectation in his role as upper level management .

rick-50% chance of being seriously considered for Senior Level - will have to perform above & beyond expectation as upper level

mike-25% chance- odds are against him UNLESS he performs as a superstar Sr. manager or superstar director.

Caveat: mike can increase his chances dramatically, even equal the playing field with joe for someday becoming CEO, Chairman, President, CIO, COO, SVP etc if mike goes for an MBA from an IVY school or at a top tier MBA non-ivy program.

all three will have to almost have to have an Masters degree to be considered for top 1% level position within company.

joe, having an IVY undergrad does not need another IVY school for MBA. a top tier MBA like NYU would be sufficient to remain competitive

rick- must have an MBA from a top tier school even if not ivy. but an ivy will put him at par with joe.

mike- if he wants to ever be considered for say CEO someday, he will have to go for the top IVY if he is to be considered CEO .
( a Seton Hall MBA, a Pace U MBA, a Rutgers U MBA won't be good enough for today's 90% of corporations If one's goal is to reach the corporate ladder. The bigger the corporation, the larger the stakes of one's School plays a role)

---- yes, at the end of the day---- its still up to the person---- we all can i agree with that. ( its the favorite saying/justification of most people)

---but a big yes. School does & will always make a difference if many cases of joe,rick, mike or jane, lisa, janet.

---- an ivy does not guarantee success. NOTHING in this world guarantees anything. ---- but make no mistake---- IT DOES MATTER. IT HAS CERTAINLY made a world of difference to thousands of Men & Women who CAME from working class families, even poor families, even minority families in inner cities who ROSE UP the CORPORATE LADDER to become CEO's, CFO's, Chairmen & women, even Senators, Congressmen & even President's of the United States because of the College--- the University that they chose to attend and graduate from.

---- nothing is life is guaranteed--- NOTHING---- any parent can only aim to INCREASE the chances of their kids future success.

---what's the biggest one factor for a Fighting chance???? EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION- A Very good education.

---education literally and figuratively LEVELS the Playing Field for any person regardless of color, religion, race, gender, or economic background of parents------
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:07 PM
 
Location: North Brunswick
877 posts, read 1,585,963 times
Reputation: 168
Quote:
Originally Posted by Praxis View Post
We are pretty much in this situation right now, selling our condo in Brooklyn and move to either Millburn or Westfield. When I mentioned these 2 towns, my friends think I am crazy because the houses are so expensive (for what you get). But my primary concern is a great public school system for my little girl. Yes, I could buy a McMansion in Franklin (like my coworker) but I am perfectly fine with an older/modest home.

I will be very involved with my daughter's education and plan to go over her homework every night (and double on weekend). Balance that out with lots of activities (probably something musical and martial arts) so she can grow up well rounded. I don't mind the competitiveness, it is the real world so she might as well be prepared and get used to it. Life isn't a picnic, if you don't work hard, you won't get anywhere.
I don't like McMansions, I think they are bland, soulless and ugly. They'll go in Franklin for a very low price because that area is practically ghettofied. Franklin's school district isn't even considered decent.
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Old 09-02-2010, 11:37 PM
 
2 posts, read 6,101 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Praxis View Post
We are pretty much in this situation right now, selling our condo in Brooklyn and move to either Millburn or Westfield. When I mentioned these 2 towns, my friends think I am crazy because the houses are so expensive (for what you get). But my primary concern is a great public school system for my little girl. Yes, I could buy a McMansion in Franklin (like my coworker) but I am perfectly fine with an older/modest home.

I will be very involved with my daughter's education and plan to go over her homework every night (and double on weekend). Balance that out with lots of activities (probably something musical and martial arts) so she can grow up well rounded. I don't mind the competitiveness, it is the real world so she might as well be prepared and get used to it. Life isn't a picnic, if you don't work hard, you won't get anywhere.

Praxis, Kudos to you. --- you are on the right track- do not ever let anyone doubt you on this. do you know that 60% of today's Forbes 500 CEO's came from either middle class or working class families? --- For 95% of them,they would have never moved up to that level if not for their TOP EDUCATION.

there is no right or wrong here. its all about what is important for you and your spouse. everyone has their own views and rankings of priority in aspects of life. let me leave you with this.

shoot, ive read this several times of the forum.

----You think a black boy with a foreign sounding name and coming from a single parent household would have ever been President of the US, even Senator of the US, or even a Law partner of a top law firm IF he did not
go to Columbia U. undergrad & Harvard Law school ???? just think about that---- ask Prez Obama if Columbia & Harvard helped him get to where he is.

---- You think some poor white southern boy from rural Arkansas
who came from an abusive step father's home would one day become Governor & US President of the United States? if not for his undergrad at Georgetown & his Yale Law degree??? ---- ask Bill Clinton if the school he went to helped?

---Two girls came out of Illinois. Both girls became top lawyers, both became Law partners in their law firms. One was black, one was white.
Both girls had Moms & Dads who NEVER went to college.

the black girl got her Law degree from Princeton. the white girl got her Law degree from Yale . One is a current First Lady of the US while another was a former first lady of the United states.

now ask michelle & hillary if Princeton & Yale helped them in becoming successful women today????----

--I already stated above for you an simple-clear-normal daily Human resources recruiting process for 90% of corporations in america. ( this same scene is practiced in all industrialized and developed nations in the world. a graduate of London Business school has a 100 times better chance of being a CEO someday in Europe over a person from a lower university. )

---Your child may never want or be President, CEO or CFO.
---Yes there are no guarantees in life.
--- But at the minimum, regardless of your current status in life as parents- you are giving your child the best possible tool for him or her to use and take with her. it can & will only help her no matter what she does as an adult.
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Old 09-03-2010, 08:02 AM
 
74 posts, read 114,797 times
Reputation: 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by kinglazarus View Post
I have been in the Human Resources industry for 23 years. Worked for 4 different type of industry- Banking, Aerospace, Drug, Information Technology. Was a Senior Recruiting Manager, AVP of Hiring, VP of Personnel for 16 years before becoming an independent HR consultant last year. Was an Officer of the SHRM for 8 years ( the national trade HR organization in the US)

Ive said this 100 times in all my years. --------

" If only the general public including parents knew that 90 percent of All corporations in america in the last century has always had Three Sets of Career Tracks. One career track for new hires from Ivy league schools , another track from top tier non Ivy league schools, and a 3rd track for hires from all the other 275 colleges & universities.---- i think more parents would put value in the schools that their children attend.

----here is a simple, clear, very normal and pervasive example for everyone to understand.

My ex-employer was a top wall street brokerage firm. One of the oldest and largest in the nation.

preconditions: they only hire fresh grads from ivy, non-ivy but tier 1 and tier 2 colleges.

so joe (ivy-Yale U), rick ( non-ivy but tier 1-Georgetown U), mike ( tier 2 Seton Hall U )

---- what would happen very typically?

starting salary offer for SAME/VERY IDENTICAL POSITION:

joe- $45,000 starting, rick $ 35,000 starting, mike $ 29,000 starting

% of yearly salary increase offered ( excluding any performance bonuses)

joe- 8%-10% annual salary increase
rick- 4%-6%
mike-3%-4%

note: in 5 years, joe at a minimum will be making double his original salary not including bonuses. joe's salary mobility every year would be faster than rick and mike---aside from a much higher starting pay

----Realistic chance/ potential for Upper level Management in next 7-10 years ( promotion to sr. manager, AVP, Director level )

joe- Very high, almost automatic promotion- wide open door if performs as expected

rick-high, wide open door if performs as expected

mike-very possible but will need to perform above expectation

-----Realistic chance/potential for Senior Level Management ( reaching
top 1% of company structure- CEO, CFO, COO, SVP,Managing Director

joe- a 60%-70% chance of being seriously considered for Senior Level- if he performs above expectation in his role as upper level management .

rick-50% chance of being seriously considered for Senior Level - will have to perform above & beyond expectation as upper level

mike-25% chance- odds are against him UNLESS he performs as a superstar Sr. manager or superstar director.

Caveat: mike can increase his chances dramatically, even equal the playing field with joe for someday becoming CEO, Chairman, President, CIO, COO, SVP etc if mike goes for an MBA from an IVY school or at a top tier MBA non-ivy program.

all three will have to almost have to have an Masters degree to be considered for top 1% level position within company.

joe, having an IVY undergrad does not need another IVY school for MBA. a top tier MBA like NYU would be sufficient to remain competitive

rick- must have an MBA from a top tier school even if not ivy. but an ivy will put him at par with joe.

mike- if he wants to ever be considered for say CEO someday, he will have to go for the top IVY if he is to be considered CEO .
( a Seton Hall MBA, a Pace U MBA, a Rutgers U MBA won't be good enough for today's 90% of corporations If one's goal is to reach the corporate ladder. The bigger the corporation, the larger the stakes of one's School plays a role)

---- yes, at the end of the day---- its still up to the person---- we all can i agree with that. ( its the favorite saying/justification of most people)

---but a big yes. School does & will always make a difference if many cases of joe,rick, mike or jane, lisa, janet.

---- an ivy does not guarantee success. NOTHING in this world guarantees anything. ---- but make no mistake---- IT DOES MATTER. IT HAS CERTAINLY made a world of difference to thousands of Men & Women who CAME from working class families, even poor families, even minority families in inner cities who ROSE UP the CORPORATE LADDER to become CEO's, CFO's, Chairmen & women, even Senators, Congressmen & even President's of the United States because of the College--- the University that they chose to attend and graduate from.

---- nothing is life is guaranteed--- NOTHING---- any parent can only aim to INCREASE the chances of their kids future success.

---what's the biggest one factor for a Fighting chance???? EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDUCATION- A Very good education.

---education literally and figuratively LEVELS the Playing Field for any person regardless of color, religion, race, gender, or economic background of parents------

Wow--great, great post. You've said clearly what I have been trying to articulate for the past twenty years.... There is a ton of truth to what you are saying.....

As a person of humble background who has climbed a few rungs, I think a lot about the politics and dynamics of financial success. Although there are no absolutes, for sure, there are broad generalizations that tend to be pretty spot on.....

I started work in a media firm in my 20s--a state school kid that graduated with honors and distinctions. I was one of twenty hired that year and the rest were all ivy leaguers. I had to be twice as "impressive" on my resume in college to be hired to work along side 19 kids all of varying ivy degrees.

So there is that.....

The other thing is that NJ and the Northeast in general are becoming so prohibitively expensive--so reaching the upper rungs is suddenly more critical.

But lest we get all depressed, let me throw this out too.....

There are many many really good places throughout the US where normal people can make normal salaries and be happy. We've moved a great deal in the past twenty years and having lived in newer cities etc---there are great lifestyles to be had for a lot less stress and money that you incur in NJ. Significantly less......

Also--and I can tell you this first hand too--being a corporate muckety muck is not the end all, be all---it's stressful and demanding and consuming. My dreams for my kids are to avoid those kinds of jobs and find success in more creative fields. But of course--those are my dreams--that they are destined to is going to mostly be up to them. In the end, I become increasingly convinced that reaching the top is not the most worthwhile pursuit in life. I try and remind myself that all the time and to ensure my kids appreciate their middle school currriculums on its own merits--interesting, thought provoking "brain growing" vs a means to an end.
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