Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Seems I Really Am the Snob I’ve Always Been Accused of Being

I recently overheard a conversation at work amongst coworkers (they were in the next cubicle over so they could hardly expect the conversation to be private) and struggled some with my internal responses to the conversation.

Assertion in Conversation: One particular coworker gave his tried and true speech about how it doesn’t matter where your college degree is from or what your GPA was just as long as you have a degree.

My Internal Reaction: As I rolled my eyes I once again thought that only those with low GPAs from second rate colleges would make such assertions.

Assertion in Conversation: The ACT test is really hard and not a good measure of how well one will do in college.

My Internal Reaction: Do NOT be knocking those of us who did really well on our ACTs and got into prestigious universities.

Assertion in Conversation: One coworker’s score of 17 on the ACT might have been enough to get into U of I if she’d wanted to attend there. After all, she doubted very much that many of the Illini football or basketball players had scores much higher than that.

My Internal Reaction: While I have no facts to back me on this, my guess would be that almost the only way to get into a major university with an ACT of 17 would be to be a highly recruited athlete in a major sport like football or basketball. Okay, just checked the U of I website and found that for 2009 admitted freshmen only 5% have an ACT of 22 or below. I think that supports my reaction pretty well.

Assertion in Conversation: The only way to do well on tests like the ACT, SAT, GMAT, and so forth is to study like crazy in preparation for them.

My Internal Reaction: People study for those types of tests?!?!? I thought you just went in and took them to get a measure of what you already know.

Oh, how I wanted to just pop over to that cubicle and chat about my 32 ACT score, my ranking in the top 2% of my graduating class in high school, my excellent GPA from high school, all of which allowed me to attend the University of Illinois on a full tuition scholarship for four years, in which time I earned a bachelors degree and all but one semester of my graduate program. But I didn’t. I didn’t because I know how I would come across as an elitist snob if I did. I didn’t because I felt kind of (kind of but probably not as bad as I should have) bad having those elitist snobbish type feelings about the whole situation. Listening to the conversation made me feel like these conversations always make me feel: All I have going for me is a high IQ, and in the real world a high IQ just doesn’t count for much.

3 comments:

Cocotte said...

I'm a snob too then. I HATE that they have "classes" on how to take those tests. Back in the day, you rolled out of bed on a Saturday, took the test ONE TIME and that's was that. It's just a big money maker now!

The one difference I may have with you is that one of the dumbest people I ever met was a graduate of Harvard Law School.

Desmond Jones said...

I wonder if it means anything that two of my best friends, from various times in my life, are Harvard Law grads. . .

I really appreciate the opportunity to have gone to the university I did (altho, in our state, the 'Snob School' is an hour or so down the road), and I'll stack my test scores up against anyone's. . .

But I also know that, when the curtain is rung down on my life, and I have to give account to my Maker, He won't be so impressed by my test scores as what I might wish. . .

Fusion said...

I don't know, I think street smarts are as important as book smarts in some instances. My son went to Uni for 5 years and a summer internship, received a scientific degree, yet doesn't know how to check the fluids in his car...
Oh, and now he works at Target because he doesn't want to forcast weather anymore... Sigh...
And I agree with Cocotte, the testing is a big moneymaker nowdays.