I think your Oct. 15 Opinion piece “Choosing between my education and my education” (written by Julia Aizuss ’14) misses a few important points regarding the college process and in-class learning.
The article asserted that it was important to attend on-campus college meetings to “show interest” in schools you are applying to, and that having these meetings during class time leads to a decline in the quality of the education we’re receiving at Harvard-Westlake. I disagree with both of its key assertions and feel it fails to acknowledge the counterpoints to its arguments.
Firstly, the sole purpose of college informational sessions is not just to write your name down to demonstrate interest, as your article asserted. The purpose of these sessions is to learn about the schools you are applying to and make a connection with the person who will be reading your application. Not everyone has the resources or time to fly to each college they’re applying to. College websites often have limited information and emailing an admissions director isn’t as effective as in-person conversation.
Regarding the issue you raise about missing class time for these sessions, I think you’re ignoring the provisions our teachers make to help us when we miss class for any reason.
Nearly everything we learn in class is on the internet, in the reading or in a peer’s notes.
If those resources aren’t quenching your unwavering thirst for knowledge, then you can meet with a teacher during a free period or after school. I don’t see how missing class leads to a lower quality of education. Teachers aren’t offended if you miss class for a legitimate reason, and accordingly, if you take time to independently learn class material, your teacher will be impressed with your commitment and will be willing to answer your questions.
Furthermore, I would argue that these sessions actually save time in class. Assuming that you are applying to eight colleges, which is roughly average, you would miss the equivalent of one full day of school.
If you wanted to replicate the experience and actually meet your admissions person and these sessions didn’t exist, you would have to miss much more than one day of school. I would personally much rather miss a period of school to meet someone than miss a day of school to fly cross country.
Ultimately, I feel that you are too quick to criticize great opportunities that we’re lucky to be provided with by our school.
—Matt Klein ’14