Ellen (ennienyc) wrote,
Ellen
ennienyc

How's that book cleaning thing going?

Well, I've been blogging up a storm about all the books I've read and they're flying off the table. Oh wait...

If I don't finish before the window replacement, I'll just have to box these books in a separate place. I've done a ton of rearranging, sorting, moving, cleaning, clearing throughout the apartment, and it looks like I've done nothing. Two weeks to go.

This set of books is college-related. My own experience applying to college was memorable and I like reading about this topic, as well as what happens once you're in college.

"Acceptance: A Legendary Guidance Counselor Helps Seven Kids Find the Right Colleges - and Find Themselves" by David Marcus - This is a nonfiction account of some students at Oyster Bay High and their counselor Gwyeth Smith, but it reads like a novel. Loved it.

"The Price of Admission" by Daniel Golden - If only I'd known I'd be a future crossword champion, I probably would have gotten into the schools that rejected me (Will Shortz's proteges do extremely well in college admissions). Or perhaps if a parent was a huge celebrity, active legacy alum, or zillionaire. Or if I'd played an obscure sport (nope, crosswords aren't a sport). This book talks about all those things (not the crossword angle). It's a little disheartening, but that's reality. As an example not discussed in the book - assuming she's remotely qualified, would any college reject Emma Watson? Yet I have my doubts she'll return to graduate Brown. Many of these child stars leave to continue their careers (hello, Olsens!), which admittedly are more happening than sitting in a classroom.

"Jane Austen in Scarsdale: Or Love, Death, and the SATs" by Paula Marantz Cohen - This is part of a series of modern novels based on Jane Austen works, in this case "Persuasion." I saw and barely remember the movie, but still enjoyed the story of a Scarsdale college counselor dealing with her competitive charges, once-rich family, and former lover newly back in town (now attached, oh NO!).

"Restless Virgins: Love, Sex, and Survival at a New England Prep School" by Abigail Jones and Marissa Miley - This nonfiction look at Milton Academy barely fits in the college category. While the students do apply to and get accepted by colleges, most of their time seems to be spent hooking up and indulging in other teen behavior. Classes and studying are barely mentioned. Not my kind of place.

"Binge: What Your College Student Won't Tell You" by Barrett Seaman - I am so glad I'm not in college these days, as I'd be upset by all the binge drinking and drugging that reportedly goes on. My own experience in the early '70s was very tame (or maybe it was just Barnard). As detailed in this book, students are doing all sorts of things on campus with administrators seemingly looking the other way and no real supervision. Efforts are being made, and it's not all chaos, but... ick, drinking.

"Halfway Heaven" by Melanie Thernstrom - Harvard isn't paradise for everyone (they rejected me as an undergrad so I can't speak to that, but I did go there for grad school which was "eh"). This is the sad story of a troubled student from Ethiopia who in 1995 killed her Vietnamese roommate and then herself. The book delves into the backgrounds of the individuals involved, and Harvard's less-than-ideal treatment of the incident.

"Nothing But the Best: The Struggle for Perfection at the Juilliard School" by Judith Kogan - I used to think I wanted to go to Juilliard, but my piano playing wasn't nearly good enough to even attempt this. The school as portrayed in this 1987 book does not sound appealing, even to those with more talent. It's pressured, competitive, impersonal. No sugar-coating or coddling for world-class musicians.

"Cheer! Three Teams on a Quest for College Cheerleading's Ultimate Prize" by Kate Torgovnick - I love watching cheerleading, dance, gymnastic and similar synchronized routines (and was, after all, a majorette), so this book should have been up my alley. But the description of 3 very different schools' paths through competitive cheering was not too interesting. There wasn't a whole lot of drama, and I got bogged down in descriptions of moves I wasn't familiar with. This might have been better as a documentary, where the visual aspect could be better portrayed.
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