SHAME ON YOU. College Admissions Cheating.

I’m sure by now you’ve all heard or read about the dozens of wealthy parents who have been caught in a nationwide cheating/fraud. In order to get their brats into a hard to get into college such as Stanford, Yale, USC, and UCLA, these parents bribed coaches to say their children were star athletes, and they paid a college prep organization to take SAT and other tests on behalf of the students, or correct their answers.

This included famous parents such as actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin.

In 2012 when I started this blog most of the posts were about Middle School and High School happenings.

Over the past few years it has been about college. That includes college admissions.

I’ve watched about a dozen kids, including my own, work hard to get into Colleges and Universities. They’ve busted their butts to get good grades. They’ve worked hard and smart in their extracurricular activities. They’ve put their hearts and souls, and everything else they have into getting into their chosen school.

I’ve also heard heartbreaking stories of amazing kids, with great grades and impressive achievements get rejection letters from all of their top choices. There is absolutely no logic or reason these kids should not have been accepted. My heart just broke every time I heard about another unreasonable rejection letter.

Maybe now we know at least part of the story. Douchebag parents with a shit load more money than your average middle class family are bribing and cheating to get their little lazy ass darlings into good schools.

Is this jealously of the rich and famous? No, because I could have afforded to cheat to get my child into a fine university, but the price would have been too high. The price of losing my child’s respect and knowing I’d done a bad thing would have been too high.

There is no room for cheating when it comes to parenting. There is no room for cheating when it comes to life.

History is full of people who have cheated to get into the right college and get where they are right now, including some who hold extremely high offices. They threaten to sue those who uncover their dishonesty. They brush it off. Some die with their secrets.

The same kids who cheat to get into a school are the same ones who get money from mommy and daddy to hire someone to write their papers. They’re the same parents who will pad their children’s resumes with fake jobs. The list goes on and on.

Felicity Huffman and her husband William H. Macy are acting as bad, or even worse than the characters on his show Shameless.

Families who are involved from admissions cheating should be banned from any respectable College or University, public or private.

For those of you who say the students should not be punished, only the parent: I say bullshit.

Most kids I know don’t even let their parents help with applications, writing admissions essays, helping with their SAT, or anything else that has to do with the actual admissions process.

As parents we are allowed to go with them on school tours, listen to their concerns, pay for anything we can, and give them moral support. The young people in my life would be absolutely horrified if they knew we’d cheated on their behalf. None of these kids would want to ever talk to their parents again. They’d say NO.

But you know what? I am sure the pampered children of the rich and famous cheaters were fine with this. They never say “NO MOM.” Cheating and paying to get everything they want is normal for them. They don’t know what it means to work hard.

The children I feel sorry for are the ones who did not know what their parents did. They will suffer in the fall out of their parent’s bad actions.

Money can buy a lot. I have no problems with money. I have problems with cheaters and bad parents. I have no problems with parents who help their kids get jobs and educational opportunities HONESTLY and above board. I have problems with cheaters and liars.

I have problems with people who STEAL university spots from hard working deserving kids.

  • Don’t cheat.
  • Don’t be a douche.
  • Support your kids in their dreams without doing it all for them.
  • Talk with your kids.
  • Encourage your kids to be independent.
  • Be a person that your child will look up to, or at least love and respect.

 ~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Unknown-2

This looks like how I feel about the subject of you cheating to get your child into the university of your choice.

 

For more information go to slate.com, npr.com, cnn.com or your favorite news source. Read all about it.

 

 

 

 

 

Noir

45189857_2279839595362728_1732779137954742272_nI rarely show photos of my own family but this time I’ll bend my rules.

My daughter and her boyfriend decided to be Bogart and Bacall from The Big Sleep for Halloween. I think they did an extraordinary job of pulling off black and white, and of course the glamour. Yes, their makeup and all of their clothing is black/white/gray. Nice job kids.

45121061_2279839695362718_5523174616618500096_n

45195573_2279839592029395_4139284176153083904_n

45141390_2279839602029394_5499492673754497024_n

By the way, they’re both nineteen, and in their second year of college. If you want to disparage the youth of today then you must not know any young people. This is a creative and savvy generation.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

45123556_10215040416662972_5465129533772398592_n

I guess we’re all going to Hell.

45142596_10215038232448368_3468725444923097088_n

My daughter just sent me this photo with the message “I guess we’re all going to hell.”

This guy was out in front of the Student Union building at the college.

Happy Halloween Sports Nuts!

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Allegory of Art and Life and Whatever (and College Students and Vampires)

I couldn’t sleep last night thinking about art.

Yesterday I stopped by my brother Val’s office/house downtown. I’ve always loved this large stick style home. He purchased it around 1910 and has done a remarkable job of keeping it up over the years when so many Victorian and Craftsman style homes went into disrepair.

Val’s office is on the bottom floor. The second floor is a comfortable space where Val keeps his official home address. On the third floor is an apartment occupied by a couple of college students.

Neither one of the young men, now in their third year of college, would have been able to go to school away from home without the horrible nightmare of college loans had it not been for Val’s Home Away From Home (so they call it.)

I’m not completely sure where he found Colton and Luke. I think Val met Colton studying in the old cemetery or something along those lines and the other kid came along. Colton was worried he’d have to move home and transfer schools and majors, or maybe just drop out. In exchange for rent they watch the place when Val is gone, do yard work and house cleaning, and keep their grades up.

The boys aren’t Vampires either, and they have no idea about Val. All they know is that Val is exceptionally cool and a little different.

Anyway, I was at Val’s thinking about art. Luke showed me some sketches he’d done of some friends of his on his way out to classes at UC Davis (a short trip across the causeway.) The kid is good. I’m ready to beat the crap out of anyone who discourages him.

Val was at his big desk with his computer checking all kinds of financial stuff I know nothing about. I looked up on the wall at his Maynard Dixon painting. It was of a woman wrapped in a shawl looking in profile towards a gold and orange landscape.

“You should donate that to the museum,” I said. “It is a hidden uncatalogued gem.

“Maybe. I haven’t had it that long.”

“You bought it from the artist. How old can it be?”

“Sometime in the 30’s. A mere matter of days for the typical Vampire.” He smiled and gave me that amused look that makes the girls all melt. Well except me because I’m his sister and I know his tricks.

“Why don’t you donate some of your art Juliette? God knows you’ve got it coming out of your ears.”

“I can’t. Not yet. I’m too attached. And I need more. I always need more art.”

Val laughed. I continued. “I bid on something for the art auction, you know the one for public television. I’m spending at least one day a week at the museum. Clara is taking an art history class so we’re talking about a lot of art. That isn’t a bad thing mind you. I’m also working on my art again. I’m also reading a book about art. My house is full of art. I’m going to go into an art coma.”

“Is that a bad thing?” My brother looked at me as if I’d lost my mind.

“No Val, it isn’t a bad thing. It is a good thing. I’m just kind of overwhelmed. And I don’t have a Burning Question for Saturday.”

He told me to make it about art. We thought about it and threw around a lot of really stupid ideas, which is par for my Burning Questions feature.

I’ll think of something, or use one of our ideas.

Around that time Luke came rambling downstairs to say hello to Val. He was a typical twenty year old male with that sort of cute and, always together, always smart, and always on the verge of some sort of disaster look. It was charming.

“The outside lightbulbs are out, on the front and back porches.” said Luke. “Do you have any extras?”

“Sure. In the second story hall closet, next to the laundry room.”

“Thanks. Hey, can I ask you something?”

“Go ahead,” said my brother.

“You kind of like the dark don’t you. I know you aren’t cheap so it isn’t the electricity bill you’re worried about,” said Luke.

“Good observation,” said Val. “Glad you asked. My eyes are sensitive to the light and I just need to rest them.”

“Makes sense. OK I’ll change those bulbs, then I have to study.”

“On a Friday?” I asked.

“For a bit. I’m going out later. There’s a movie at the Tower, Sisters Brothers or something like that. I’m going with Madeline.” Then he gave a shy smile.

Val slipped him a couple of twenties. We talked for a little bit longer.

Val and I are very old. It is always good to be around the very young.

But now my old brain must think up a Burning Question for October 6. It will be something about art – that thing which has twisted up my heart and soul for as long as I can remember.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Allegory of Painting

Allegory of Painting, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA

 

 

 

Transitions

When I started this blog I was working full time for an organization outside of my home. My brain and the rest of my time was filled with Middle School and High School activities. I spent more time with my brothers. The canine love of my life was in her prime.

I couldn’t imagine having grown children.

Now everyone is in college. We discuss school but I’m not that involved, except to be a cheerleader, a therapist when needed, an entertaining distraction, and the one who pays for everything. Jasmine the white sled dog has gone over the rainbow bridge – her ashes sit in a box among old photographs. My cats are still here. A new dog Alice, a large goofy GSD is now in my life. I work alone at home. I rarely see anyone, except ghosts, and my ancient family members who welcome my visits, which need to be more frequent.

The sports and the activities have trickled off to almost nothing. I don’t have to drive anyone anywhere. I am alone here with a house full of books and animals.

Then again new activities call me. There is the art museum. There is my art. There are books in the works. There are walls to be painted. There are funny stories to tell.

And if I muse into melancholy madness Nigel the ghost will show up and kick my ass so I’d better move on.

We all change and evolve. That is part of being on this strange, horrible, and wonderful planet. We are trapped here so we need to be fluid. We need to keep evolving no matter how old or young we are. Growth never ends.

I find myself telling my kids not to judge others for what they do or the choices they make. Not all young people have it as good as they do. They don’t have someone helping them pay for school and everything else. They don’t have someone who is there 24/7 to listen. They don’t have someone who doesn’t judge them or question their every move. They have a safety net. Not everyone has that so their choices can’t be judged. I urge everyone to understand the choices of others.

There is no clear path. Five year plans are wonderful until a tornado hits your house, or someone you love dies, or you get sick, or the economy crashes, or your heart gets broken. So you take another road, or climb out of another window, or up another tree, or make where you are a better place. You add more books to your shelves and make an effort to call your friends, and your mom.

Parenting adults is tricky because they don’t want to listen, they need you to listen more than anything in the world, and they start to parent their own parents.

Yes, they do all of that.

It is scary. More scary that a pack of zombies banging at your back door. You can deal with zombies. You don’t love them. They just make a mess. But dealing with your kids, no matter how easy and wonderful they are, is always a challenge.

Dealing with Zombies: Shot gun. Flame thrower. Pissed off Vampires.

Dealing with Adult Children: Listening. Worrying. Loving. Worrying. Listening. Loving. Laughing. Learning to let them be adults. Learning not to be afraid.

Don’t be afraid.

Everything will be alright.

With your kids, and with you.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Vampire Maman

 

 

Summer School Daze

My almost 19-year-old daughter Clara is taking a college English Class this summer. They’re reading and writing about poetry and literature. The exact name of the class isn’t important.

Clara: I can’t believe some of the other students.

Me: What happened.

Clara: Some girl bragged about being an English Major, then she said she hated to read. She actually said she hated to read. She just wants to write. She just gushes about how she loves to write. But she hates to read.

Me: But how can she be a good writer if she doesn’t read?

Clara: She LOVES to write. I bet she writes awful fan fiction. She’s that type.

Me:

Clara: shrugs shoulders

Me:

Clara: I feel sorry for the teacher.

Me: Wow. You have to wonder.

Clara: I know.

The moral of this true story is that if you love to read you don’t have to write. HOWEVER, if you love to write you have to read. That is one of the fundamental laws of the universe. Live it. Teach it. Preach it.

And keep listening to those kids of yours. They’ll tell you all kinds of unbelievable things. Also, hug a teacher.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

funny_cat_pictures_lolcats_this_cat_is_pushing-s500x485-301701