Saturday, July 18, 2020

Next Stop, NYU... Wherever That Is

I'm thrilled that my son won acceptance to his first-choice school, New York University. He is eagerly looking forward to being a student in the Big Apple. He has family there, at least one high school friend who will also be at NYU, and very much wants to become a real New Yorker.

He gave me no opportunity to participate in the process of choosing where he would go, nor has he asked me for any input about being a college student. That's okay. I'm still excited for him, even if I have no role in this part of his life myself. The only question left that any of us really needs an answer to at this point is this:

Will he be starting on the ground in the city of New York this fall or not?

The school keeps sending him and me lengthy emails, all of which state emphatically that they are going to do something at some time in the future, and it will be done in a way that makes sure it happens, one way or another. They never say what it will be or when it will happen, but you can be sure they are working on it very hard and will keep us informed that it is pending as often as they can.

What they mean, of course, is that the answer to the question above is, "We don't know."

They could just tell us that in so many words, but I guess they are afraid to do so. But NYU tends to limit its student body to bright young people who, typically, have bright parents. None of us is dumb enough to miss the fact that they just don't know yet if he will be going or staying home this fall.

The email we got today has several links in it to Web pages NYU maintains. Many of them likewise commit the school to making sure they remain firm in their resolve to declare their goal of keeping us informed about their efforts to make plans for the future. After using one of the many links in that email and playing follow-the-links for several hops, then scrolling a long way down one page, we finally get this:

Why not just say that to begin with? They just don't know if they will be holding school on campus yet or not. My son is a big boy now. So am I. We could take this information straight. But, no, they want to be mealy-mouthed about it and try to obfuscate the obvious.

I learned  most of what I know and virtually everything I use to live my life from books I read on my own, and experiments I tried with my own resources. Increasingly, the value of a deep six-figure education is hard to see. Communications like this make it harder. If NYU is going to teach him to hide the truth, avoid bad news, and just blow smoke when the facts can and should be clear, I suspect he will have a lot of reading to do on the side, if he ever wants to learn anything useful.

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