Posted in Family, Faith and Fitness

University Entrance: Liars and cheaters use side door only

LENTEN REFLECTIONS #10

Years ago after watching a packed James Bond movie, only a few of the audience exited through a side door labeled EXIT ONLY, which led directly to the parking lot. My husband did a crafty Bond somersault as if dodging bad guys and it was just one more reason I knew I married a cool guy. He pushed the door open and there was our car.

It was the easy way out.

Typically side doors are EXIT ONLY. If someone sneaks IN the side door, another someone has to open the door for them, rendering them both at fault for wrongdoing.

Here’s where I’m going with my side door analysis:

This week’s biggest news story centered around the corruption and cheating in the college admissions process.

According to an interview on NPR,

“Between 2011 and 2018, wealthy parents paid Rick Singer, the head of a foundation and a for-profit admissions consulting service, more than $25 million. Singer would then use that money to pay a ringer to take the SAT or ACT for children or correct their answers. He’d also bribe Division 1 coaches.”

According to Joseph Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the Boston FBI, “More than 30 parents flaunted their wealth to cheat the system and set their children up with the best education their money could buy…Some spent anywhere from 200,000 to $6.5 million for guaranteed admission. Their actions were, without a doubt, insidious, selfish and shameful.”

Aha! A virtual “elite college” SIDE DOOR held open by Rick Singer, coaches, and others allowing these high school graduates into universities without the rigamarole the rest of the world endures.

The disturbing part of this mess (and there are many) is most of these kids have no interest in college and are swiping spots away from numerous high school graduates who DO want to go to college.

While most teenagers were filling out applications, writing essays, HONESTLY laboring over the SAT and ACT tests, and actually sweating from the sports they REALLY played, these wealthy students were settling into their Instagram-ready dorm rooms unscathed and unphased.

This may be the one time our 4-year-old selves can yell out “NOT FAIR” and be completely right.

When I grew up my parents would and still do anything for us, IF it was the right thing to do. On the weekends, we would schlepp along with Mom and Dad and help maintain our rental properties. We painted, cleaned, and weeded. We hammered, held ladders and climbed. We worked. We learned. Ultimately, we understood what hard work meant. There’s a saying in Spanish mom would throw out when she noticed we were slacking. “No se sopla” she’d say. It’s synonymous with “things don’t just happen”. I know it’s part of a longer ditty, but when I grew up it meant to get off your duff and work.

Unfortunately, there are many parents (at least 50 in this scandal) who feel it’s easier to lie, cheat, and buy admittance into college for their kids rather than teach them the value of work. What message is it sending their kids? Most of the elite students were allegedly oblivious. I’ll bet most rarely speak to their parents. I hope I’m wrong.

Am I being judgy? Sure I am. It’s infuriating. But I’m thankful there are honest students busting their toush to get that 4.zillion grade point average kids need these days, solidifying their study skills and powering through sports practices every day.

Will people continue to slither through those side doors? Always. Everybody does things differently.

I’d rather choose the front door entrance. Sneaky never wins.

Spiritual Workout: Pray for the families who made poor decisions.

Workout: Take 5 minutes, just 5, close your eyes and listen to your breathing. Focus on honesty and goodness.

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