Setting the bar high on purpose
Fri 13 Feb 2009, 07:41 AMTweet
by Ben Langhinrichs
Copyright © 2009 Genii Software Ltd.
What has been said:
788.1. Lars Berntrop-Bos (02/13/2009 01:51 PM)
788.2. Rodney Scott (02/16/2009 02:23 PM)
Maybe off-topic, but I'm not certain a good place to post the question will come up. I did the math and was wondering if you were first accepted to Swarthmore when you were 16? If so, what's the story?
788.3. Ben Langhinrichs (02/16/2009 03:39 PM)
Well, that is pretty far off-topic, but I'll go with it. I skipped 6th grade because I had already covered everything they would teach (in 5th grade, I was in a combined 5th/6th open classroom, and just did everything for both years), and transferred to a private school for 7th grade and up. I was there for five years, but was finished with pretty much everything they had to offer, so I decided to graduate early (skip 12th grade) and go on AFS (cultural exchange program) for a year. I didn't want to try and apply to college from abroad (much harder back then than it would be now), so I actually applied at 15 (birthday in December), got waitlisted (they thought I was pretty young!), then accepted, and then asked to be deferred a year to go on the cultural exchange. They said OK, and I got a bit of a chance to catch up maturity-wise before starting school at 17 instead of 16. It probably wasn't enough, but what could I do?
That explain things at all. Were you reading about my getting accepted when Barack Obama didn't?
788.4. Rodney Scott (02/16/2009 04:40 PM)
Yeah. Is that where your son is studying now? You said you were encouraging him to study what interested him, so I gather he is in college right now.
788.5. Ben Langhinrichs (02/16/2009 04:46 PM)
No, he thought Swarthmore was "OK", but wouldn't apply there. He decided to go to the University of Chicago, where he seems very happy.
788.6. Rodney Scott (02/17/2009 08:03 AM)
Okay, two more questions - where did you go for the cultural exchange program, and did that influence your choice of college major? Sorry, just putting pieces together? (Latin American studies)
788.7. Ben Langhinrichs (02/17/2009 08:08 AM)
I went to Venezuela, so it did influence my major, although mostly I wanted to study Poli Sci and History and wanted to avoid two courses required by both. Swarthmore let you design your own major if you could get it approved, so I designed a major which avoided those two courses, but included lots of Poli Sci and History, as well as Latin American stuff I was interested in, and they approved it.