Robert (gurdonark) wrote,


I noticed this morning on Twitter that ACT scores were coming out. It cast me back to high school days, when my score was above average but not outstanding. Other than tuition amount at my university for the first semester, it ever mattered to me a bit what ACT I achieved.

For others in my high school class, though, in the late 1970s, ACT scores and SAT scores were the last home stretch in a long race to try to be upwardly mobile. Kids who could not easily afford to go to university counted on scholarship money to get them to places they could not easily get.

In the event, in my high school class, nobody made the truly exemplary ACT and SAT scores that led to Ivy League admissions or even the next tier or so down. The top kids did get full rides to solid but not elite regional universities. They went on to medical careers and other things in which nobody asks anymore about one's ACT, SAT or MCAT scores.

I was never bound for elite universities, but only for the state university. My folks could pay my state school tuition. I would never try to go somewhere expensive. I've always been grateful that I did not have large student loans to pay at graduation. The ACT and the SAT were fun to take, but not so essential to me.

I read a tweet by someone who bewailed that their ACT scores did not qualify her to attend any university to which she wished to go. I thought about how folks and in particular younger folks get so certain that there is only one narrow path to happiness. Life teaches me every day there are many paths. I am pretty certain that a less-renowned university or community college would not be the end of her world, but I know, somehow, how she felt. Yet I have friends with Ph.D.'s and friends with no college at all, and that is not the litmus test of life.

Beatrice has a new friend--a two year old girl named Vivienne. She said "hi" to Beatrice during Beatrice's walk. I like berries in November.


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