College Daze

Great essay by George Will that captures the essence of the Baby Boomers for me–self love through the abuse of their kids in the name of getting into college. At Duke, about once a semester, I meet a kid who is just completely finished because of how much they were driven in high school by their parents.  Stop.

About Don Taylor
Professor of Public Policy at Duke University (with appointments in Business, Nursing, Community and Family Medicine, and the Duke Clinical Research Institute). I am one of the founding faculty of the Margolis Center for Health Policy, and currently serve as Chair of Duke's University Priorities Committee (UPC). My research focuses on improving care for persons who are dying, and I am co-PI of a CMMI award in Community Based Palliative Care. I teach both undergrads and grad students at Duke. On twitter @donaldhtaylorjr

4 Responses to College Daze

  1. Bill Michtom says:

    I’m surprised that a man who wrote about cancer survival vs mortality would recommend this shallow column while damning an entire generation for the behavior of its richest few percent.

  2. Bill Michtom says:

    Meanwhile, I’m criticizing your inconsistency when I’m comparing you with another person.

    However, the criticism of your observation & Will’s column hold.

  3. SidewaysShrink says:

    Conversely, I have to say that I have never seen a generation (Boomers) so many of whom paid so little for their own educations (no student loans!) and who have not wanted to pay much, if anything, for their own children’s education. This was before the stock market crash in 2008. Having had every educational, career advantage and real estate equity advantage, they either refuse to acknowledge that you can’t “work your way through college” anymore or know and are caught up with their 2nd, 3rd spouse and set of children or are just plain self centered. I’ve never seen a more selfish generation. My parents aren’t Boomers so I’m not grinding a personal ax. This is the generation who didn’t fix Medicare 15 years ago because the ones in the middle to upper eschaelons don’t care how many generations it takes to pay off what they are entitled to.
    It is hard to laugh at when I have seen the bright young people trapped without financial aid until they are 26 in the most competitive college admissions process ever. According to demographics, this fall top of the demographic bell will be reached and begin to fall off.

  4. Don Taylor says:

    @ Bill M
    was a bit of a flip indictment of millions of people. I will say that the undergrads at Duke are either (1) more messed up than when I started in 1998; or (2) I pay attention more, maybe because my kids are older (oldest is 10th grader). The degree to which parents at the parties I attend compete with one another about academics and sports is completely exhausting. It is always about the parents, not the kids. It is also possible it is a small proportion of folks as Duke undergrads are not exactly a random sample of 18-21 olds, and maybe profs and over-educated types around the Research Triangle area are much worse about this. Not sure. Maybe should hold my criticism for my little bit of the pond. I will say that a big step for me as a dad has been to learn to pray that God would make me the dad my kids need and not to pray that they would be the kids I want. I mean this very sincerely.
    Don

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