spacer
Donate Image

Your Donations Count Donate Graphicat the Westside Observer!


Puzzle Pieces

Selective Admissions

• • • • • • • • • • July 17, 2023 • • • • • • • • • •

Years ago, when I was in college, our University Center decided to sponsor a themed dance. In our innocence, we called it a computer match dance.

The idea was that we would ask everyone to answer a series of personal questions that would then be matched. The matched pairs would then be announced at the dance; they would be a "couple" for the rest of the evening.

We spent hours devising questions that would divulge unique characteristics and personality traits that would add value to our party.

What is your special talent?
How have you demonstrated leadership?
What hardships have you overcome?

quotes

There was one small problem. Although we called it a computer match, we did not have a computer. Yup, it was that long ago.”

You know, the kinds of questions you always ask when trying to decide who to take to a college dance. 

The good news was we limited the answer to one sentence to make it easier to score.

We also asked some easier questions.

What is your favorite book? If there was no answer to that, we added a bonus question, have you ever read a book?

We sprinkled in questions about favorite songs, favorite dance, favorite color, and favorite ice cream. We knew that these were real criteria that college students used for a first date.

Then we sprinkled in some data questions: Number of brothers and sisters? What state do you live in? How tall are you?

Then the fun began. The computer match. Who would be matched? We were all really anxious to find out the results.

There was one small problem. Although we called it a computer match, we did not have a computer. Yup, it was that long ago.

We had planned to put all the answers in different piles sorted by answers, and then some magic would happen. It didn't. We had piles and piles of surveys with no simple way to make a selection.

We finally determined there was absolutely a simple way to do the sorting.

We matched everyone by height.

This mysterious computer run left everyone at the dance looking eye to eye at a partner, trying to find out what they had in common.

And that, my friends, is how selective admission policies were born at elite schools in days of yore.

Carol Kocivar is a children’s advocate and lives in the Westside. Feedback: kocivar@westsideobserver.com

July 17, 2023


Have Your Say

More Trending Articles


Removing density controls in western and central SF?

Redevelopment

Mayor’s Upzoning Plan Endangers Our Neighborhoods

by Dennis Antenore

Demolitions, speculations, and displacement are in store if the city moves forward with Breed’s approach.

Check it out
Employee Disparagement

SFPUC’s Employee discontent under Herrera

by Dr. Derek Kerr

Herrera’s team has settled in. The disruptions from the FBI probe and COVID had abated. Employee satisfaction should have improved. It didn’t.

Check it out

Twin Peaks Aerial

Big Changes in Store for Twin Peaks

by Jonathan Farrell

“As it is right now...there is no plan to manage and care for Twin Peaks

Check it out

School Closed

SFUSD Considers School Closures

by Carol Kocivar

No one wants to close schools. Not the communities. Not the school boards. Not administrators and school district personnel..

Read More

Turf a GGP

Phil Ginsburg: Stop poisoning our world

by David Romano

Will Rec and Park be satisfied when every square foot of Golden Gate Park is concrete and artificial turf?

Check it out

Every five years, the EPA determines the success of superfund cleanups

Gantry Crane

New Shipyard Report Confirms: Unsafe for Habitation

by Dr. Ahimsa Porter Sumchai

Take-home message: Cleanup efforts in 15 parcels and sites do not protect residents from hazardous substances, pollutants, and contaminants emanating from the dirty base

Check it out

© 2023 Westside San Francisco Media. No portion of the articles or artwork may be republished without expressed consent. Legal disclaimer.