Friday, June 29, 2012

From Yearbook to Youbook

It seems that we’ll never exhaust ways to expand the lattice of esteem building.
Our everybody-wins-a-trophy society has taken another step in the pursuit of pretending that everyone’s incredible.

A new concept, provided by an upstart but growing company called Tree Ring, provides a platform where students no longer have to get  lost in the generic high school yearbook. A spokesperson for the company says that while a regular yearbook is a nice memento,
it’s not always about each student.

Now it can be.

No longer must students suffer by paging through reality.
No more must they see themselves as they are.
Now they can be the Big Man on Campus.
The Senior Rock Star.
Mister Popularity!
Young Tom Edison!

Tree Ring provides a computer program which allows students and their adoring parents to create a personal, one-of-an-overly-kind electronic version of the yearbook, inserting their own pictures, captions, and compliments.
Over 1000 schools are now participating, including some from Long Island.
No surprise.
Heck, our designer-label Island just might be the Sutter’s Mill of youthful esteem.

Parents are among the most avid supporters because it eliminates the stress over counting the number or location of their child’s photos.

Twenty years from now when the old book is pulled from the shelf no one will know the difference.

Or the truth.


jim "formerly ben's friend" said...

Yes, we are all special and should be treated accordingly. Let no one cast doubt on the greatness of each.

JoshuaE73 said...

“I believe in equality. Equality for everybody. No matter how stupid they are or how superior I am to them.”
― Steve Martin

Anonymous said...

School spirit I going the way of the cassette.

quicksand said...

Charles Murray gave a talk to a room full of educators.
He said, "I must tell you, half the students in America are below average."

The audience gasped!

quicksand said...

right jim...we declare everybody extraordinary. that takes care of that! whew...

quicksand said...

your lovely daughter won't need mercy-trophies. her intelligence will continue to be obvious.

quicksand said...

Note: excerpt from today's New York Times

Redefining Success and Celebrating the Ordinary

I’VE been thinking a lot about the ordinary and extraordinary lately. All year, my sons’ school newsletters were filled with stories about students winning prizes for university-level scientific research, stellar musical accomplishments and statewide athletic laurels.

I wonder if there is any room for the ordinary any more, for the child or teenager — or adult — who enjoys a pickup basketball game but is far from Olympic material, who will be a good citizen but won’t set the world on fire.

“In our unspoken but not so subtle Darwinian competition with one another — which springs, I think, from our fear of our own insignificance, a subset of our dread of mortality — we have of late, we Americans, to our detriment, come to love accolades more than genuine achievement.
“We have come to see them as the point — and we’re happy to compromise standards, or ignore reality, if we suspect that’s the quickest way, or only way, to have something to put on the mantelpiece, something to pose with, crow about, something with which to leverage ourselves into a better spot on the social totem

High school seniors will find that the world might not embrace them as unconditionally as their parents have. That just because they’ve been told they’re amazing doesn’t mean that they are. That they have to do something to prove themselves, not just accept compliments and trophies.

So where did this intense need to be exceptional come from?

Madeline Levine, a psychologist, said that for baby boomers, “the notion of being special is in our blood.” She added: “How could our children be anything but? And future generations kept building on that.

Ordinary and normal smack too much of average. It seems that we all want to live in Garrison Keillor’s mythical Lake Wobegon, where all children are above average.

Ms. Levine said she was once scheduled to give a talk on parenting the average child at a school in Marin County, Calif. Although she usually packs in the audiences, not one person showed up.

“Apparently no one in the county has an average child,” said Ms. Levine, the author of the forthcoming book, “Teach Your Children Well: Parenting for Authentic Success” (HarperCollins).

While there are some extraordinary children out there, the myth is that all children in high school will be like that, she said. And that, Ms. Levine said, is putting enormous stress on students.