THE OLD COLLEGE TRY

first_img Gavel Gamut By Jim Redwinewww.jamesmredwine.comTHE OLD COLLEGE TRYMary Tyler Moore’s theme song advised:“Love is all around, no need to fake it.You can have the town, why don’t you take it?You’re gonna make it after allHow will you make it on your own?”The Mary Tyler Moore show first aired September 19, 1970. Mary’s character was a single woman competing against the odds. She triumphed with grit, hard work, and good character. Mary saw herself as America saw itself before the days of instant success achieved via money and proximity to power. The show’s message was clear and believable; work hard, do right, be honest, and success will inevitably follow.The antithesis of this infallible formula was the show’s character of Ted Baxter who invariably failed because he sought fame and acclaim through hook and crook, much as did the people and the institutions shamelessly enmeshed in the current fraudulent attempts to have unqualified students admitted to some colleges.Mary Tyler Moore only lasted until March 19, 1977. Perhaps the Viet Nam War and Watergate were too much for the message of high hopes and ethical behavior to overcome. Much the same may be true of the exhortation to students and student-athletes to work hard and play by the rules if they wished to be accepted to colleges such as Yale, Texas, U.S.C., Stanford, Georgetown, and several others.America’s self-image as a country where anything is possible by putting one’s shoulder to the wheel and one’s nose to the grindstone suffered a wet blanket of reality when it came out that all one needed to do to be a successful applicant to some universities was to have wealthy and unscrupulous parents. The Mary Tyler Moore message of honesty and devotion was transformed by some parents to You are not good enough on your own; Hard work is for suckers; Lies and bribes are the way to succeed; It is more important to get into a university than to learn something while you are there; and, It is more important for your parents’ friends to be impressed by which school you get in than by your accomplishments.The real danger is not that some people game the system, but that the system has produced or is still producing a generation, or generations, many of whom fervently believe dishonesty in the pursuit of their goals is preferable to risking not achieving those goals.For more Gavel Gamut articles go to www.jamesmredwine.comOr “Like” us on Facebook at JPegRanchBooks&KnittingFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more