The New York Times reports that Marilee Jones is back doing college admissions work, after nearly three years of self-imposed exile. Ms. Jones, you may recall, was the revered Dean of Admissions at MIT, who left in disgrace after she was found to have falsified academic degrees on her resume. During her tenure as dean, she had developed a national reputation as an advocate for dialing down the stress of the college application process.
She is now continuing that work as a consultant, with a focus on parents, whom she identifies as being both perpetrators and victims of much of the hysteria that surrounds applying to college, as they sort through a mess of their own issues about status and worth and fear of failure.
My kids will tell you that I am the queen of nag, nag, nag, and that I was a nightmare when they were applying to college. But in my own defense, assuming they didn’t go for a terrible match like the Citadel or Bob Jones University, I really wasn’t that worried about where they might end up. However, I did want them to give it their best effort, and that meant starting early enough to be able to do their applications carefully and well. It’s a rare 18-year-old who can knock out a good essay in one sitting, the night before it’s due. (I say the same nag nag nag to my Swarthmore pre-med and pre-law students, too.)
After a good effort, even though the waiting can be agonizing and the ultimate decision is sometimes disappointing, one can say “Je ne regret rien,” not “coulda, woulda, shoulda.”