Write It Poetry
Critic's Picks: HUMOR

This piece came out of my amusement at the seemingly random process of college admissions. (Note to Colleges: By “seemingly random” I mean “logical and straightforward and calculated to result in my admission. Please.”) I think levity in situations like the college admissions process can be very helpful. As Oscar Wilde once remarked, “Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.”

Editor’s Comments:
This is a fun piece that speaks to the seemingly random college admissions process; many high school students will be able to relate! Alexandras use of the journalistic form gives a voice of “authority” to a silly idea — an excellent example of satire.

Colleges Examining “New Criteria” for Admissions

By Alexandra Petri
age: 15
Teacher: Kay Dunkley

New Haven, CT, November 15, 2003 — Spokespeople from major Ivy League colleges announced today that they plan to look at “new criteria” when evaluating students for admission.

“SAT scores are all very well,” said press secretary Linda Beckner, “but we’ve been getting a lot of very convincing results from studies across the country, saying that the real indicator of how a student is going to perform in college and in life is his or her behavior in the kindergarten years.”

Beckner laughed. “I guess you might say that everything you need to know, you did learn in kindergarten.”

Beckner pointed to a diagram of study results. “You have three classic types in any kindergarten class. You have the people who are eating the crayons. You have the people who are drawing with the crayons. And you have the people who are crying. Each type of behavior is a real clue to the individual’s ability to succeed in everyday life,” said Beckner.

Child psychologist Herman Menkopf was able to provide a further explanation. “You see, the ones eating the crayons are showing their aggression. They’re the real go-getters. They don’t care about societal standards — they’re going to do whatever it takes to achieve their goals. Even if that means ignoring the ‘inedible’sign on the crayon box. Heck, they can’t even read. They’re not going to let that get in their way.”

Menkopf continued. “The ones drawing with the crayons are very good at thinking inside the box. These are your cubicle-dwellers; they function best in a highly structured environment. Put these kids in a situation that requires creative thought and — bang! You lose them. They’re very conventional.”

“Last but not least are the ones who are crying,” said Menkopf. “Do not overlook them. These will be your poets and your artists. You’d think that the artists would be the ones drawing with crayons, wouldn’t you, eh? But you’d be wrong. Crayons are for sissies. Crayons are not for real artists. Real artists want to go home to a more conducive environment, and if it takes tears to get them there, it takes tears. I bet Picasso bawled like a baby every day of kindergarten.”

Concluded Menkopf, ”Kindergarten is the key. I’m glad the colleges have finally smelled the coffee.”

Menkopf and Beckner refused to provide their own kindergarten histories.

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