Bringing up baby daughters: The Sarah Lawrence Difference.



Bringing up baby daughters: The Sarah Lawrence Difference.

A tranquil, yet very pricey, setting for baby, in scenic, bucolic, Yonkers.


Comes now to you, well past press time, a hearty hail to all addressed, in which, a caution is sent  to the usual suspects, about the insatiable appetite for American prestige in all things imitative of the, now moribund, English nobility.

Today’s epistle follows on now to the group in which we touch on, the singular, unrelenting, hilarious American fascination, conceit and vanity concerning all things thought by the Americans to represent upper crust English life, manners, styles, and, now, The Sarah Lawrence Difference. 

We ask, for instance–What price Ivy prestige?

Today, for instance, The Associated Press, in tandem with The Chronicle of Higher Education, brings us news that American College presidents are highly compensated and lists the most high paid of the lot.   Attend:

Follows now today’s note from the AP:

The Associated Press
Published: Today Ivy Leaguers (sic)

Top 10 recipients, in total compensation, among private-college leaders in 2010.

1. Bob Kerrey (x), The New School, $3,047,703

2. Shirley Ann Jackson, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, $2,340,441

3. G. David Pollick (x), Birmingham-Southern College, $2,312,098

4. Mark S. Wrighton, Washington University in Saint Louis, $2,268,837

5. Nicholas S. Zeppos, Vanderbilt University, $2,228,349

6. Steven B. Sample (x), University of Southern California, $1,963,710

7. Lee C. Bollinger, Columbia University, $1,932,931

8. Richard C. Levin, Yale University, $1,616,066

9. Robert J. Zimmer, University of Chicago, $1,597,918

10. Jack P. Varsalona, Wilmington University (Del.), $1,550,218

(x) No longer president.

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education

© 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

As free information to the AP, The Chronicle of Higher Education, both of which should know better before writing such nonsense, and our Sunday group, the boys Ivy League is made up of:

The Ivy League is a grouping of eight schools, named for the ivy plants that adorn their older buildings. The term Ivy League originated in the 1940s as a label for athletic competition among the schools, but today it is most commonly associated with the institutions’ academic excellence. An “Ivy League education” is quite prestigious due to the high academic standards of these schools.

The members of the boy’s Ivy League are:

  • Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, founded 1764. Brown’s total enrollment is 7,595 students, nine percent of whom are international. Find out how to apply.
  • Columbia University, New York City, New York, founded 1754. Columbia’s total enrollment is 23,650 students, which includes 4,083 international students from 150 countries. Visit Columbia’s International Community.
  • Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, founded 1865. Cornell currently enrolls 19,620 students; the international student body includes 3,120 students from 123 countries (16 percent of the student body). Check out the International Students & Scholars Office.
  • Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, founded 1769. Smaller than the other Ivy League schools, Dartmouth has a total enrollment (undergraduate and graduate level) of 5,664, including 219 international undergraduate students. See the International Office for more information.
  • Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. This university, founded in 1636, is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Harvard’s student body of more than 18,000 is dominated by graduate and professional students (12,250); undergraduate students typically number around 6,500. Approximately 3,500 international students attend Harvard in undergraduate and graduate programs. Visit Harvard’s admissions office.
  • Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey, founded 1746. Total enrollment is 4,676, including 390 international students (eight percent). See A Guide for International Students.
  • University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1749 as the Academy of Philadelphia, this university was the fifth college founded in the United States and the first to train students for business and social endeavors. The first four colleges—including fellow Ivy League members Harvard, Princeton, and Yale—all focused on training members of the clergy in their early years. Today the university enrolls 23,305 students, including 807 international students from 89 countries. SeeInternational Admissions for more information.
  • Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, founded 1701. Yale’s total enrollment is 11,359; 1,800 international students, representing 108 countries, attend this school.Office of International Students and Scholars.

Seven Sisters

Early American schools typically enrolled men only. Beginning in the 1800s, widespread attempts were made to bring educational opportunities to women that would equal those already offered for men. Formally organized in 1927, the Seven Sisters includes seven of these early schools and was named as a reference to the Pleiades, seven sisters in Greek mythology. Today only four of the original seven remain independent all-female schools.

Yes, of course, girls have their own Ivy League, the Pleiades, the seven astrological sisters, and here they are:

Barnard CollegeNew York, New York. Barnard, founded in 1889, is now affiliated with Columbia University. The undergraduate student body of 2,297 includes students from 40 countries. Access International Student Advising and Columbia’s International Students and Scholars Office.

  • Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, founded 1885. Bryn Mawr has 1,781 students, ten percent of whom are international students from 60 countries. Astarting point for international students.
  • Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts, founded 1837. Mount Holyoke is the nation’s oldest institute of higher learning for women. Today the school has 2,100 students, 17 percent of whom represent 33 nations outside the United States. Learn about the international community at Mount Holyoke.
  • Radcliffe College, Cambridge, Massachusetts, founded 1879. Radcliffe merged with Harvard University in 1999 and is now officially known as the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.
  • Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts, founded 1871. Smith enrolls 2,750 students, including 200 international students from 58 countries. Find out aboutinternational admissions.
  • Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, founded 1861. Vassar has been coeducational since 1969 and now has 2,400 male and female students; international students from 45 countries make up eight percent of the student body. See Vassar’s International FAQ.
  • Wellesley College, Wellesley, Massachusetts, founded 1870. Wellesley enrolls 2,400 students, nine percent of whom come from outside the United States. See theSlater International Center.

Dear American Mommies and Daddies—how much do you want to pay for a name when unsavory people try to re-shuffle the deck and put aces and faces into the deck that don’t belong there?  The term Ivy League is kicked around today so loosely as to have lost all valid meaning.

People associate the Ivy League today with schools that have the best curriculum, the highest price, and yes, now and then I hear, the best basketball squads.  As such, in American mythology, who is and who is not in the Ivy League is subject to capricious change without notice.  Attend closely to this caprice that can, and will, cost you heavy nickel if you fall for the new head fake, for the latest canard.

Only 2 Ivy Leaguers out of 10 make the highest paid president’s list, a list which does, or at least ought to, represent the value and price point of the schools these presidents represent.  Only 2 Ivy League schools make this list, not to mention that nobody has ever heard of most of these other schools.  This makes you think kids, or at least it should: What price prestige?  This may even make you ask, just what is prestige?  And, all that left aside, despite what the AP and The Chronicle of Higher Education might be thinking, the Ivy League doesn’t ever change, you are either in it or, as they say in New Haven, you are not in it.

To get a better bead on this, as a base point, think about the order of ascension to the English throne, or, to a far, far less interesting and important degree, the line of ascendancy to the American Presidency–you are either in those lines of ascension or you are not in them.  Period.

Do you know what a college President does?  He takes people, principally rich widows, out to luncheon to shake them down for donations.  And, that’s ALL he does.  He’s a hustler, a salesman, just like the rest of us, trying to get his hand into other people’s pockets all day long–that’s it.

There’s nothing the matter with being a hustling salesman, in fact, that’s America, we all have to eat, but let’s not mislead ourselves that things are what they are not.  Most particularly so when the misleading can be so pricey.

Clearly, such misleading can be very costly.  Avoid costly traps.  Young Daniel, for example, think to prep to send the baby to UVa–one of the better schools in America and she’s a resident and it won’t blow up your bank.  Young Jenny and Vanessa, likewise have a think about UMD, for same reasons.  And, young Doctor Steve??  Steve….

The high and mighty schools are becoming a ridiculously costly trap, particularly since some of the most expensive are unknown to anybody, this is a costly trap that we all ought to endeavor not to fall in to–send the kids to your home State Schools is the message I get here.

When baby gets out of college, her having gone to college will be of some, marginal, significance in getting her first job–after that, nobody knows and nobody cares where anybody went to college.  All anybody in real life in America cares about is your capacity to deliver high quality product in a creative and contextual way.

The Americans make a habit of not understanding why they do things and college presidents and other salesmen take merciless advantage of this, by now hereditary, lack of American self-assessment and lucidity.

The fact is, at core, the Americans are ambivalent about democracy and always have been.  They have yet today not cut the umbilical cord with the Mother Country, England, despite their vehement protestations to the contrary.  The  Americans have inbred social class prejudices and aspirations.  American colleges have made relentless profit from these delusional aspirations.

Colleges are not the only places that feed on this vanity of the Americans.  Polo, Ralph Lauren, a very successful clothes store was built, consciously, as mimicry of dressing Americans in the manner Americans think the English nobility dresses.  Polo makes a fine quality product, and made one short little man richer than he ever dreamt possible.

But Polo in fact, sells its customers a pipe dream, a myth, a fiction, of what English upper class life is and profits remarkably in feeding on how Americans, in their frenzy to look and live that illusory life, are willing to pay eye-popping sums to join a club that both does not exist and, if it did, no amount of money would buy membership in it.

Polo is simply selling a familially related, yet in first appearance somewhat different, sort of pipe dream from the earlier listed colleges, as is yet another pipe dream of a type similar in degree and kind, now ruthlessly and aggressively marketed most compellingly, and today seen in, The Sarah Lawrence Difference.


Late today, well past press time, further word likewise reaches my ears that next year The Sarah Lawrence Difference, provided American baby daughters by The Sarah Lawrence College, will be the priciest in United States.  The Sarah Lawrence Difference,  I am sure is most compelling—to find out just how so, schedule a luncheon with the, likely very well compensated president there, and I am sure he will tell you just how compelling, but guys, come on now, really, compelling or no, would you really pay top dollar price to send baby daughter to a school in Yonkers?

Yes, I said, Yonkers.  Quite a way off Park Avenue location aside and not to be caddish and intending no slight to Sarah as we are sure she tries her best, she is simply one of those girls colleges that is not in the Ivy League.


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