College: Did You Hear Yet?

Apr 15, 10 | 7:45 AM   byMichael Wolff
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Today is April 15, which is, as well as tax day, much more importantly, the official college acceptance—or rejection or waiting list—day (though there seems to be a little fudging and slippage of the calendar nowadays). All of high school culminates here.

One’s own hideous high school experience is, it turns out, merely continued by one’s children. It is, appallingly, the same experience—or even worse. The same monstrous teachers, moronic assignments, and vast collection of misinformation, all designed to somehow trip you up on the way to getting into college. (Many parents put their children through this excruciating experience for free, but some of us—stupidly, and more painfully—pay for it.) A very valid reason not to have children is not to have to go through these terrible high school years again—and not to have to endure that most extraordinary time on the cross: your child waiting to hear from his or her most hoped-for college.

Anyway, after my own torture, and then the torture of my three children, today is the last day of high school for me: My son, my youngest, is a senior.

We have fought the good fight—which, more often than not, was low down and dirty, though sometimes strategic and courageous—and made it to the end.

I am sorely tempted to retrace my steps, both through my children’s schools and my own, and punch various teachers and administrators in the nose (in the case of my own teachers, they would be very old, but still, I’m sure, deserving). That’d be a kind of bliss, those blows.

Indeed, of all the grudges I hold, none are so dear as those against the sticklers and the sadists whose true home is high school.

In fact, we have outwitted them. While they have tried, through inventive ways, to break my children’s spirits, my children are, it seems, of hardy stock. They slipped through (though in each case it was often nip and tuck). They made it. Many others, of course, did not.

April 15 is a good day for certain kinds of young people. It is a good day for the savvy, clever, and lucky (those who can game the system) and for the aberrant (an adolescent who accepts authority, does absurd amounts of homework, and is a dedicated standardized-test-taker).

As for me, I have a brilliant and charming and handsome and lucky son. And my worries are done.

More of Newser founder Michael Wolff's articles and commentary can be found at, where he writes a regular column. He can be emailed at You can also follow him on Twitter: @MichaelWolffNYC.
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