Friday, May 12, 2006

How Opal Metha Got Desperate, Got Hustled, And Blew Thirty Grand

Of all the things written about Opalgate - schadenfreude over the failings of an overachieving Ivy League student, the stereotype of hyper-driven Indian kids, the role of book packagers, Ambien-induced writing (or whatever her excuse was) – the one that got the least attention, and that I’m still stunned by, is the $30,000 her parents dished out on a college admissions guru – let’s call her the Harvard Whisperer – to nab a place in an Ivy League school for their daughter. Thirty thousand freakin’ dollars!

Now perhaps college admissions have changed since the girls (and by girls I mean the lovely R&R, although I’m still not sure if that’s one or two people) and I went through that hell. Maybe now you have to create a series of haikus in Latin explaining why you are the superior choice for admission to Yale. Maybe a short feature is now required, shot on digital that captures the essence of your favorite director and genre. I guess that might justify throwing a few bucks at IvyWise. But, should they still be using the same crappy three essay question format that I endured, I’d ask for my money back if I were Mama and Papa Viswanathan. I mean, do you really need to pay someone to help you craft your “How I Worked Hard To Make the Junior Varsity Soccer Team Even Though I Knew I Wouldn’t Play Much Because It Would Build Character” or “Serving Homeless People On Thanksgiving Is Not Just A Cheap College Admissions Stunt But Something I Care Deeply About” essay? And that jaunty section at the end where you fill in “fun facts!” about yourself, such as favorite movie, favorite thing I own, cast member of Dawson’s Creek I’d bang. (ok, maybe that last one wasn’t included). Do you really need to pay someone to tell you what you like?

Nope. IvyWise is IvySnakeoil. You simply can’t justify paying someone to tell you which uneventful high-school activity you should write about on your application. The people at IvyWise are frauds. Like, worse than Ms. Cleo (you remember, the psychic who had the hysterical late night ads and was later hauled off to prison. Didn’t see that coming, did ya Cleo?) So keep your chin up, Kaavya. This too shall pass. And call Elliot Spitzer. He lives for this stuff.


Blogger Robin said...

Again, I point all aspiring plagiarists--and entrepreneurs!--to SHAKING HER ASSETS, wherein our main character creates a business on just such IvyWise-Snake Oil.

You know, considering all the prescience we've exhibited of late, I'm beginning to know what it feels like to be Nostradamus, aka the original Miss Cleo.

May 12, 2006 1:25 PM  
Anonymous JB said...

I know how she feels, my dad paid a "college consultant" to help get me into a "good college" and the best Ms. Ivy leauge could do for me was the wait list at Rollins. I later got in when my dad donated part of a library . Talk about robbed.

May 12, 2006 2:02 PM  
Blogger Jay said...

N.B. SHA's protagonist ran a respecetable and affordable business that offered, among other things, legitimate editing services.

IvyWise is just shuffling three bent playing cards on a cardboard box.

May 12, 2006 2:53 PM  
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