Friday, February 22, 2013

The New Rat Race

From a comment on the NYTimes article Not Just a 'Feminine Mystique': (as usual, the comments are better than the article):
Cheryl of Huston:

My cry of rage would be, "Why did it all become such a huge rat race?"

When I grew up (I am 48), my father's one job, with regular hours (home by 5), provided health insurance, enough income for a comfortable, middle-class life for a family of 5 and for retirement.

Meanwhile, my mom went to college as an adult at a good state university. It cost a few hundred dollars a semester. Even then, that was no big deal.

There was enough time for them to be with their kids and to hang out with extended family. They renovated houses, made art, participated in local government, grew extensive gardens, even kept bees as hobbies.

There was no angst in our house about where we kids would go to school. We went to the local public schools, where the teachers were not overwhelmed by huge class sizes and where they did not grade using rubrics. I remember getting papers back where it seemed like they had written more in commentary than I had written in the paper itself.

And getting ready for college? I didn't worry about grades, I wasn't inundated with homework, it never occurred to me to participate in an extracurricular because it would look good. In fact, my friends and I all had part-time jobs strictly so we could have walking-around money. I walked into the SAT cold, without having taking any kind of test prep, and took it once. I submitted all my applications myself. This got me into a great college.

Why is everything so hard now?

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