Comparing Obama and Romney’s Schooling Years

Education plays a big role in my life. I grew up in Arkansas, my family bobbing above and below the poverty line throughout my childhood — from a very early age, I knew that education was going to be the determining factor of my success in life.

I studied hard, took Advanced Placement courses in high school, attended America’s “dream school,” and am now in the process of applying for graduate school.

Education has made all the difference in my life. I am the first person in my family to graduate from college, and at 26 years old, I’ve accomplished a lot more with the cards the world dealt me than would have seemed possible.

Though education has been a central pillar in my life, I had never thought to take a look at the educational backgrounds of the world’s top leaders and compare them to my own schooling. Until now, I found it presumable that most of America’s presidents probably attended elite colleges and graduate programs, but I hadn’t thought about the full picture, beyond secondary school.

That all changed this week, though, when I came across the below infographic that takes a look at the educational backgrounds of presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. While I shouldn’t have been surprised to see that both candidates attended elite elementary schools, I couldn’t help but to be taken back a bit.

Yes, education is important. But when does the choice of attending a particular school over others start to become pivotal in a person’s success trajectory? Pre-school? Kindergarten? Middle school? High school? College? Or is a person’s success determined by many other factors beyond their schooling, such as his or her will to succeed and break molds?

I’m sure this question and others that I’ve been pondering as a result of this infographic are ripe for debate, and there’s no doubt that America’s education system still has a long way to go before every student is served well from the day they enter school until the day they graduate.

I’m not really going to get into all of those discussions, though. I merely wanted to share this infographic with you, which looks at the entirety of Obama and Romney’s schooling. Very interesting read. If you have any thoughts to add, please do comment below!

Enjoy, and feel free to enlarge the infographic by clicking here or on the image.

Image courtesy of Cain and Todd Benson and infographic courtesy of Degree Jungle

College Time Line.

My friend, Cheng, sent me this via email. It’s a timeline of college. It’s completely fitting, being that I just took my last final last week and I’m graduating in two days. Cannot wait! Enjoy this perfect illustration of what college is really like!

Every New Semester:

After 1st Week:

After 2nd Week:

Before the Mid-Term Exam:

During The Mid-Term Exam:

After The Mid-Term Exam:

Before the Final Exam:

Once We get the Schedule of Final exam:

7 Days Before Final exam:

6 Days Before Final exam:

5 Days Before Final exam:

4 Days Before Final exam:

3 Days Before Final exam:

2 Days Before Final exam:

1 Days Before Final exam:

Night Before the final exam:

1 Hour before the final exam:

During the final exams:

once walk out of the examination room:

After the final exam during the holiday:

That’s College!!!

Getting a Job for My Ego

Above: If I don’t get a job soon, I’m going to have to find more inspiration from bathroom wall drawings. This one isn’t really reassuring.

Is anyone else out there looking for a post-graduation job? Does anyone else out there have thousands of dollars in school loans encroaching on their life? Does anyone else out there despise the economic meltdown? Does anyone else just wish that they’d win a million dollars and be set for life?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, too bad. That’s life. It’s kind of sad. But do you know what I did to try to make myself feel better about not getting any post-graduation offers?

I made a new page on my website, catered towards my ego – it’s all about me in the Press. It’s a list of  sites, articles, and brochures that are all about me. I’ve also attached my resume in case any employers happen upon it.

I’m going to find a job. My ego hates me!

Feeling Entitled to Good Grades

Today the Most Emailed New York Times article is entitled “Students Expectations Seen as Causing Grade Disputes“. It’s a good read, especially for professors or college students tired of the endless grading battle that occurs every semester in almost every course.

The article describes how students bring a certain expectation of making good grades to college and are disappointing when they realize that their work ethic has earned them less than their expectations. Some researchers attribute this feeling to Generation Y’s sense of entitlement. Due to an increase in the competitiveness of the learning environment, researchers think that students have suddenly gone bonkers trying to make exceptional grades at the cost of true learning.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt the same way about my grades, though. Sometimes, I definitely deserve B here and there, but in other cases, I find it difficult to rationalize why I didn’t make at least the A- cut. I think that most of my work could be described as “quality work”, with the exception of the essays that I crank out at 1:00am the day of the due date. Yet still each semester my transcript reveals an unexpectedly low grade for a course that I thought I had in the bag. Am I one of these so-called students with a “sense of entitlement”?

Perhaps, but there are a lot of students out there that feel the same way. Each semester at NYU Stern professors pass out their syllabi and voice disclaimers that go something like this, “The grading system is outlined in my syllabus. The grade on your transcript will reflect the effort and quality of your work. Please do not call or email after this course, asking to negotiate your grade. There is a system to my grading, and I haven’t made a mistake yet.”

Maybe it’s our generation that needs to chill out. Or maybe it’s the elementary school environment that we grew up in. Perhaps it’s our parents’ faults for pressuring us to be super duper awesome. Who knows? So, for the meantime, I think we can all stop emailing our professors for grade negotiations, and our professors can continue to keep up the great work in outlining their expectations.

How about we all give organic learning a try? I’ve realized that classes that are the most fun are the ones that I genuinely enjoy and forget about grades in.

With all of that being said, I’m interested in student stories about grading! Comment below!