February 9, 2022

college applying, with layers

Mini is a good student. Good SAT scores, but she isn't a great test taker. She has an excellent GPA, takes advanced classes, blah, blah. blah. I was fine when she said, YEP, DONE WITH THAT SAT THING. I'M HAPPY WITH THAT SCORE. PLUS SOME SCHOOLS ARE STILL GOING OPTIONAL WITH TEST SCORES.

So, she applied to schools that she could attend if she gets the Evans Scholarship, which is the full ride scholarship for caddies. We felt a few of the boys, mostly Eddie because of his strong academics, might get this based on the feedback from the golf course where they caddy. Never happened. We weren't financially needy enough. I was perfectly happy to submit our grocery bills, but that wasn't requested. So, while we feel we might fit the financial profile, we're not holding our breath. 

ALSO - twice while Mini is in college, we will have a total of 3 kids in college. And, she is a girl caddy. There are far fewer girl caddies and they need to award it to both girls and boys, so from a numbers standpoint . . . well, still not holding our breath. 

Evans schools that she applied to include Indiana University, where Ed goes. It has an excellent business school, but it's crazy big and we think she'd do better at a not so gi-normous place. And, Notre Dame. If (big IF) she was to get the Evans, she'd rank her top Evans schools, and they send her to one. Fingers crossed.

She applied to Creighton, where Tank goes and where Coach went. She applied to the school that I graduated from, Saint Mary's College. It's  a very small all women's college across the street from Notre Dame. She also applied to Wake Forest and a few others, but these are the schools she is most focused on. She is very interested in which school is going to give her the most money. 

She and I brainstormed the different angles she could use to incorporate her greatest attributes in her college essays. Needless to say, we didn't mention her lack of attention to detail while in the kitchen, or her ability to outsmart the system to arrive at school late and not be marked tardy

The Notre Dame essay prompt asked something like:  IF YOU ATTEND ND, HOW WOULD YOU EXPECT ND TO CHANGE YOUR MIND AND YOUR HEART?

We really wanted to start her essay off with:  DEAR HAUGHTY BASTARDS, but we refrained. Mini did write the essay from the angle that she'd anticipate her mind to be informed, grown, etc - duh, isn't that what college is for, educate me? But, she also noted that while her heart might grow, her heart was not in need of change, thank you very much. 

I mentioned layers, here's one. My dad told Mini:



I know. Archaic. So offensive. This implies that she should attend college in the hopes of marrying a man from Notre Dame. This mindset diminishes how capable my kid is and obviously, no girl should attend college, regardless of how bright she is, in the hopes of landing a husband. Last time I checked this is 2022. 

This ticked Mini off. I was fired up. I told my dad from his front stoop during one of my walks in the fall what I thought of this approach. I told him (among other things like she's going for an education, etc.) YOU DON'T KNOW HOW BRIGHT MY KID IS. SHE COULD GET INTO NOTRE DAME.


Background note, so you can fully appreciate this layer:  my dad, his brother, one of my mom's brothers, both of my brothers, and my sister, Marie all went to Notre Dame. Two of Marie's daughters attend Notre Dame currently. Marie is the one who acts as if she is an only child. Hard to describe the dynamic, but she would do anything to align with our parents. Always needs to be in their camp. Drinks the Kool-Aid. Having 2 kids at ND is a feather in her cap that she wears with SUCH pride. 

Meanwhile, Pat's daughter Opal is Mini's age. She's always been billed as very brilliant. Haven't you heard? We don't share test scores or grades with my folks, not how we roll. Mini likes to say that perhaps if she showed up to family parties reading a book, maybe my folks would decide that she, too, is brilliant. 

Years ago, when Lad was in 8th grade my dad took him to a special athletic club dinner hosted by the ND club. This was SUPPOSED to be an exciting evening for Lad to get some much needed individual attention. One on one time. He was the only grandkid invited.

Lad asked my dad that night:   Do you think I can get into Notre Dame?

My dad:  NO, BUT ALL OF PAT'S KIDS WILL. *outrage:  whether this is true or not, read the damn room* 

I remember waiting for Lad to come home, anxiously anticipating his reaction to this big night out. Instead, he shared the above and I felt like someone had kicked me in the gut. 

Mini and I visited Saint Mary's in early November. While she is underwhelmed by the small size, she was actually more impressed than she thought she'd be. Our visit happened around the same time that the president of the college sent out an email with a link to an article in Forbes that highlighted how great it is for women to attend an all women's college. 


He emailed back and admitted that Pat wouldn't allow him to discuss Opal's college search with her. Translation:  growing up Pat was praised for being SO smart, well even I must admit, this move was very smart on his part.


Do you know people who still think it is 1950? Who influenced you/your children in your college/career/job decisions?  Did some people need to told to zip it? 

Next part should be ready to post on Monday. 


Nicole said...

Wow, those comments of your dad's are really mean.

Good luck to Mini on the college applications! When does she find out where she is accepted? The process is different here, I think.

I know it's not super relevant, but I had a boyfriend in high school who was OBSESSED with the movie Rudy, and I can't think of Notre Dame without thinking about that. "Coach...this is for Rudy."

Beth Cotell said...

Yikes! Your dad is a real piece of work. Mini has applied to some excellent schools! Best of luck to her on the scholarship.

ccr in MA said...

Wow, your dad! Tell him the clueless train is departing and he should take a seat in the quiet car.

I didn't know what I wanted to do after high school; I ended up doing a year at a boarding school in England, and then, realizing that college would at least mean putting off bigger decisions for four more years, I applied to UMass Amherst because my best friend was going there. No idea what I would have done if I hadn't gotten in!

Ally Bean said...

First of all I'd like to start a letter to my undergraduate alma mater with "DEAR HAUGHTY BASTARDS." I got no career counseling at said university, which to this day is a bitter topic for me.

As for Mini, I've no doubt she'll do great wherever she lands. I also think that where you attend college becomes less relevant as you get older and prove yourself to the world through your efforts. Earning a degree important, living the rest of your life priceless.

Pat Birnie said...

I’m so sorry about your dad. Has he no concept of people’s feelings - esp his kids or grandkids?? I sure as heck hope Mini got into ND! Can’t wait for Monday’s instalment! And - go find a husband? Lordy......

Martha said...

I'm so sorry Ernie. I'll never get the dynamic in your family!

Ernie said...

Nicole - Yes, my dad can be thoughtless. By definition. He simply doesn't bother to think before he speaks and it can be really unpleasant.

Mini has heard from most of the schools, except one that she didn't apply early to.

Fun fact about the movie Rudy . . . I was in college when they filmed that, at St. Mary's. SMC students can also attend the ND football games in the student section. They filmed the crowd scenes for the movie during half time of a real football game in the early 90s, so I am in the crowd (somewhere) during the football game scenes.

Ernie said...

Beth - My dad has a history of not thinking. I know he's old, but WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? No one thinks that way anymore. Additionally, I pointed out to him that my sister, Ann, went to SMC and married an ND man . . . who was abusive. I literally asked him how he could still talk that way after Ann's situation.

Thanks, it would be amazing if she got one of these full ride scholarships.

Ernie said...

ccr - Oh my gosh, I love your crazy train, take a seat in the quiet car suggestion. LOVE.

That is a very interesting path. Boarding school in England. Wow. I'm glad you got in to your college with your friend too.

Ernie said...

Ally - I am on that same page. I think college do a better job now. Part of it is not my college's fault. I should NEVERE have been a business major. After spending the day with Mini touring my alma mater, I wish I could go back. I think things would've been clearer for me. Ah, damn hindsight, AND age.

Thanks, I agree, Mini will do great wherever she lands. I wish I could see which school will have the best of friends/ best experience for her. How amazing would it be if she got both full rides? That's my hope, so she has a level playing field as she decides.

Ernie said...

Pat - My dad's comments - ugh. It gets me riled up all over again just to think about it. Lad has always managed to draw the short straw - from getting the worst teachers at school, when a perfectly understanding, delightful teacher is on the other side of the hall, to the nonsense from my father.

I will say that Mini did NOT submit her test scores to ND. It was optional. I assume that they say optional, but that they really only admit the people with the top scores. Not submitting scores probably looked like an applicant was hiding something. A school that shares our district, the school I call entitled high, well they had dozens (I want to say 70, but that might not be accurate) kids apply to ND. I think maybe 3 got in and a few got on deferred. So, the odds are not great - in case you need a decent dose of the reality that lies ahead. I will share more info on Monday assuming I have time to draft it.

Ernie said...

Martha - It is rather frustrating. Especially when people, like my siblings who my dad considers FABULOUS because they are smart, hold him up as flawless. They dynamic in my family is really hard to sort out. Heck, it still confuses me.

Jenny in WV said...

I'm sorry your kids have to endure such comments from your Dad. My grandpa was very kind and supportive of all of my education activities and aspirations, you make me realize how very lucky I was to have him!

I'm sure Mini will find a school that is a great fit for her and fingers crossed maybe that Evans scholarship will come through!

Anonymous said...

I told my grandfather how I wanted to own a restaurant and he said I should be a hairdresser or teacher, the only jobs for women in his mind. Luckily my father never put such limitations on me.

Unknown said...

All great schools that she's applied to. As you know, IU has a very highly regarded business school.
I believe that she will excel where ever she is. During college visits with my kids, I heard people as "which is the best dorm?" I believe kids will make the best of things, and the dorm they are given will become "the best dorm" in their view.
Luckily, when I grew up my parents' question was "Where do you want to go to college"? Never, "Do you want to go to college"? It was a given in my home that we would continue our education, whatever that looked like, even though neither parent did. When you grow up with that attitude, there is never a question whether a woman can do it. I'm almost 60, and I have three older sisters. We all have different career paths and chose the best education options for us.

Kara said...

CCR! UMass Amherst represent! I also went there. I was there from 1996-2000, Accounting major. I lived in Southwest. My Mom went there in the 70's, and my sister was there for her undergrad from 2001-2005. It's our family legacy school, I guess.

My kid didn't submit her SATs or ACTs to any school, and still got in and got merit scholarships.

If I was Mini, I'd use her Grandfather's statement as a starting point for an essay. It's such a dated viewpoint and so mean.

me said...

A couple of my kids applied to Notre Dame - I wish they would have gone there because I fell in love with their mailings! They got in, but their first choices won out. The nice thing about having kids apply to college is that the mailbox is never empty!(I think U of Chicago has the best, most creative mailings. I'm a connoisseur after 6 kids on the college hunt!)
I hope she realizes where ever she goes, she can learn a lot and have a great time. Follow the money! ;)
I'm surprised your dad has such an archaic point of view - my parents who grew up in the depression always encouraged us to get educated and make a career for ourselves. (Which is why I got a teaching certificate which I only used for one year.) Let it roll off your back - he's not the boss of you anymore, and you can't change his mind at this age.

Charlie said...

Wow Ernie, your family really do sound quite oblivious to their ways and to your family’s feelings. It’s really different in the UK for Universities, people do ask where you are going or where you went, but also WHAT you are studying. There seems to be much less focus on the actual college here. Although it’s still impressive to get into Oxford or Cambridge, there really isn’t the loyalty through families for the same University.

Cheryl said...

Your dad may be very intelligent, reads a ton of books, etc, but appears to have a complete lack of common sense and and so unaware of people's feelings. Based on some of the things you have mentioned, it's a wonder that you and your children are as well adjusted as you are.

Mini will do great wherever she goes. She has a mom and dad and brothers and a sister to help and support her in wherever she goes and whatever she does. :)

Funny thing, in my family, college education was not a big thing. Out of seven only one went to college (RIT) and only for 2 years. The idea, was once you graduated from high school, which we all did, it was time to work a full time job and pay your own way. We all had jobs during high school and only took a break to play a certain sport.

On the other hand, I married into a family with five children, and each and everyone of them attended college for 4 years, except my hubby who went to Erie Tech for 2 years. He is the youngest (read:spoiled!) with older siblings 18, 17, 15 and 9 years older than him. When asked if he was a "mistake", his mom always said, "he was a nice surprise". I loved my mom-in-law.

Ernie said...

Jenny - I think my dad does value an education for the women of the family, but it is his way of holding up those he thinks are CRAZY smart as opposed to those he believes are average (go find a husband). In a way, it's almost worse. Right?

Oh, the Evans. Dare to dream.

Ernie said...

Anonymous - Yes, exactly. So glad your dad saw you for your abilities.

Ernie said...

Unknown - I do know IU has a great business school - it currently ranks higher than Notre Dame's. My dad didn't like it when I pointed that out. I agree, Mini will do great wherever she goes. Fortunately, there is no grading how they keep their rooms.

That's great that you and your sisters all landed in great career paths. There wasn't a lot of focus on my career goals. I'm bright, trust me, but not the kind of bright that spoke to my folks, so they were like SURE, WHATEVER. I was not terribly motivated and didn't have a lot of direction. I wish now that I'd have been a teacher. Then instead of going back to school, which wasn't as easy back then - no online classes like they have now, I put Coach through school and cared for the kids. I wouldn't trade it, but I hope that my girls choose something that they really feel called to do. Something they can come back to if they choose to take a break.

Ernie said...

Kara - You two can look for each other at the next reunion. So funny.

Is it too much to hope that college continue on this streak of not requiring test scores? Hooray for your daughter.

I am dying at your essay prompt idea - pretty good idea. Dated is right. And mean.

Ernie said...

me - Curious minds want to know, what were their first choices? I cannot stand the junk mail we get from a zillion colleges. It's already begun for Reg. Most of it comes from school he would never, ever consider. There is some part of the PSAT or whatever that they must learn not to fill in. I'm laughing that you enjoy the mailings.

Yes follow the money. And yes - he isn't the boss of me anymore.

Ernie said...

Charlie - Yes, oblivious. I don't know that all families are so geared towards all going to the same place for college. It is interesting how different things are here from over there. I believe that people would still be like YEAH, I GO TO OXFORD.

Ernie said...

Cheryl - My dad really is unaware of people's feelings. Like completely clueless. I do think that I'm doing fine, all things considered but there are certain things that still set me off. The favoritism I grew up with and the focus on the brightest children. I'm not even an academic slacker, but once they zoned in on the ones they thought were crazy bright, I'd start to feel kind of lost in the shuffle, or not as worthy.

I'm excited to see what Mini decides to do with her degree, but first where she will get said degree. Exciting, and is it wrong to hope that she doesn't go too far away. I'm not sure how Curly and I will survive.

I do think there is something to be said for getting out there and working and there are so many people who are super successful without a degree.

How great that you had such a wonderful mother in law. She sounds lovely.

me said...

Those two kids had Princeton as their first choice - which is why Notre Dame got ignored. They loved/love their choice, so it worked out. My two latest kids who went through the college search had a harder time - not because of lack of academics - but I think the pandemic shifted some schools' priorities. However, both got accepted at one excellent school at least- the one works hard all summer so she doesn't need any loans, and the other thriving.
My messy daughter , despite our hope that she'd go through a small liberal arts college for basically free, wanted to go to iowa state university. So she managed it - it wasn't too expensive by everything is more expensive than free! But she did wonderfully , got great internships and was paying off her loans during school, and got a great job. So even if we think we know best, it's really the kid who makes it work.

Ernie said...

me - That would've been my guess, Princeton. Curly and I went there to watch Lad play water polo a few years ago and I loved the area. So very cool. It sounds like all of your kids made good choices for college. That's great. I don't think Mini can make a bad choice, but it is true: EVERYTHING IS MORE EXPENISVE THAN FREE. We really wanted Lad to not choose to play football in college, but he did anyway. He then ended up transferring to play water polo sophomore year. I had that story included in my next post as a comparison with how my sister handled college choices, but I took it out because the post got lengthy.

Suzanne said...

I am kind of spinning with outrage at your dad's comments. OMG, Ernie. OMG.

Now Mini HAS TO GET IN TO NOTRE DAME. (Although that essay topic is legit stupid.) Apparently I am full of strong opinions today! But I am fired up!

Ernie said...

Suzanne - You've come to the right place, if you are fired up. Join my fired up party. This one really set me off. Ugh. She had to write two or three essays for ND. That one was dumb, but she got to pick the other(s) - drawing a blank on how many. The other one was something along the lines of how you got your name and what it means to you, so much more fun. Her essay was hilarious, because in an Irish family there was a lot of boxing out for names and as the youngest sister several names were taken before I gave birth. Mini is also named (her middle name) for my grandma, who was a spunky woman, so that was a no brainer essay.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Your Dad is something special, isn't he? Hey, it WAS a different time. But really, even being the father of daughters? hello? Are we equal? Close to equal?

Your girls are so lucky to have you as a role model and Coach as a loving father. I can't wait to see what Mini does as we know it's going to be awesome. (even if she decides to do the stay at home thing, she'll kill it)

WTH with that essay? *checks calendar year again*

Neither the Coach or i attended college; it was trade school for us both. No one in our family went to college, it just wan't the thing to do. Honestly, if we had, I don't know if we would have ened up in the (pretty damn awesome) position we are in now. I can't imagine our outcome being better, but maybe we would ahve gotten there sooner? Who knows. I do kind of wish I had a degree (other than my self-given ones) but I'm really happy with my life as it turned out.

With our girls It was always a given that they would go to college; we wanted them to have the option that we didn't. Are they both utilizing their degrees? *meh*

Ernie said...

Suz - He is a piece of work. He sent his daughters to college, but there was a different focus. He wanted Ann and I to be nurses. I pass out way too easily for that. There was a much stronger focus on what Marie would study because she's so smart. The fixation with how brilliant someone is is almost worse than the GO FIND A HUSBAND mentality. He's hard to explain. One thing is for sure, he is OFTEN stepping in it.

I do look forward to seeing what she decides to do.

That essay - weirdos. I do wonder if her answer put her in a 'oh, she's not just telling us what she thinks we want to hear' category. Can you imagine how many people begged for ND to change their heart? Goofy.

I think it's great that you ended up on that path that you took, since it landed you in your current awesome position. I feel guilty at times for getting a college degree and not really using it much. Like I've said, I didn't have a ton of guidance or direction. And silly me, I didn't graduate from SMC with a husband either (I found him down the street from my house). A true flunky. :)

Lad's not using his degree either. but I'll take functioning, contributing to society, and keeping options open.