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View Full Version : Nice article on Rachael in the San Jose paper (not Skate Canada centric)



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PDilemma
10-30-2011, 10:10 PM
Stanford is on the quarter system, meaning she's in school from mid-September to mid-June (I remember being SUPER mad at one of my friends from HS when he tried to make plans during the week after I started school in mid-August! Those Stanford kids).

My understanding is that most private schools are pretty focused on the first-year experience. Mine certainly is. I don't know anyone who's a part-time undergrad. My school is really, REALLY intimidating about taking anything under a full load every semester from the very start. I can only imagine Stanford.

I know a lot of traditional students who are part time now because this economy means they need to work their way through and they have little help from their parents. And non-traditional students often are as well and always have been because they have other life obligations. Not that I don't understand that some universities don't allow it, but maybe she needed to have settled for one that would give her some flexibility.

If an elite private university is that important to Rachael, then skating on the elite level at the same time may not be possible. She may have to make a choice. And her team has spent so much energy building her image around being a full time student (I doubt ESPN-W came to them) and a full time elite athlete that that may be a hard pill to swallow.

Louise
10-30-2011, 10:12 PM
Right. But she will have to recognize this yesterday or last month. Isn't she only taking two 'hard-ish' classes? It's only going to get worse, and sorry, she might have been belle of the ball at Cheyenne Mtn HS, but at Stanford she will get eaten alive in competitive majors. A close friend taught at Cheyenne, during the Jill Trenary years, and I think it took Jill five or six years to get her HS diploma. I really didn't want to ask if they awarded her 'with honors'. They were VERY accommodating to skaters. What I found so strange was with all the talk about her AP classes, she didn't AP out several of them. So what was the point? Just call it an "honors" class. AP is an entirely different world. I only AP'd out of two semesters of history, because it made no sense to suffer a bad test grade. Did she just not take the exams, and got her A in Honors/AP classoftheday? AP classes were no joke 25 years ago when I was in school and most of my classes were "Honors/AP", eventually you just accepted you were only taking an Honors class, and only getting the GPA benefits from it, but NO college credits for them. Something seems phony about "AP" Rachael and her AP classes. Was all that while Modlin was her agent?

mkats
10-30-2011, 10:17 PM
What does it mean to AP out?

bek
10-30-2011, 10:19 PM
What does it mean to AP out?

There are AP tests you can take and then you can get college credit.

mkats
10-30-2011, 10:20 PM
ETA: nevermind - google is my friend :)

Coco
10-30-2011, 10:22 PM
Some colleges require higher AP test scores than other. Maybe you needed 5 out of 5 to test out at Stanford.

PDilemma
10-30-2011, 10:23 PM
What I found so strange was with all the talk about her AP classes, she didn't AP out several of them. So what was the point?

Does Stanford even let students use AP credit for required coursework? I got a 5 on the lit/composition AP test many years ago. My small private liberal arts college gave me three hours of credit then proceeded to still make me take all the required English courses for the major. In every area, they would stick three hours on your transcript, but they didn't let you skip coursework because of it. My alma mater is a strong school regionally and slightly selective, but not on the level of Stanford. So it wouldn't surprise me if any AP credit she earned merely got slapped on her transcript as hours and she still has to do coursework. If they accept it at all.

Carolla5501
10-30-2011, 10:27 PM
I have a friend whose daughter started an elite college this year. They purposly did NOT use the AP credits for her college. My friend did that 20 plus years ago and realized later that her friends who chose just to skip that option had a MUCH easier transition as a freshman as they were taking "freshman" classes that they were well prepared for. For all we know Rachel and her family made the same type of choice.

mkats
10-30-2011, 10:28 PM
Same - my university's policy was that you would only receive credit for 2 APs (if you earned a 5 on the exam), regardless of how many 5s you had.

IceAlisa
10-30-2011, 10:39 PM
If both skating and school are not "A" level, something will go, and I would imagine it would be elite skating. She's an above average intelligent young woman, it will become obvious to her.

Rachael is a very smart and a very ambitious young woman. I have nothing but admiration for someone attempting a task as challenging as attending an elite university full time, taking very challenging courses and attempting to compete on elite level. That takes guts to even try.

However, even smart people make mistakes. I was willing to believe that it's possible because Rachael seems so incredibly determined, although I had doubts. It appears, the experiment is not working as expected. Question is, what has Rachael learned from the SC experience, as she said she did? What exactly was the lesson?

Far more gifted skaters, like Kwan for instance had tried the college/elite skating thing. And Kwan had oodles more of natural talent. She also had common sense, as she knew that she could always go to college but she could not always skate. So college went on the back burner. And look at MK now--one of the most accomplished skating careers in history and a budding career in diplomacy, just like she wanted. She has it all by being smart about timing and not spreading herself thin.

As far as skating goes, Rachael's only natural talent was her fighting spirit and perseverance. What does she have to offer the sport at this point of her career? And how realistic are her expectations of a medal in Sochi, no less, while being a full time bio-engineering student at Stanford, no less? This is a skater who usually has a hard time getting to an international podium when clean. What gives?

If she were to stay competitive, she'd have to either postpone or minimize Stanford and rework her skating, her basics, her conditioning, carriage (which means a lot of ballet lessons) and last but not least, her packaging. All of this takes total commitment, meaning full time.

She is an intelligent and determined young woman but I wonder what decision, if any, will she make now. It seems obvious to the most casual observer that a decision is in order.

Louise
10-30-2011, 10:42 PM
I was in HS 25 years ago, and from my experience, if you were confident that you could get 4 or 5 on the exam you were in good stead. A 3 could get you credit, but the grade was obviously not an A. Also it made NO sense to try to AP out of BIO or CHEM or MATH or ENG or whatever if you needed them for your major or for grad school credits. All it meant was that you were applying to grad/MD school having had to take an extra harder BIO or CHEM or MATH class with the ensuing result on your GPA. I probably could have AP'd out of Calculus, but I'd rather only have to compete in one math class for pre-grad school prerequisites then have to take Cal2 or Differential Eqn to fulfill my prerequisites. I only AP'd out of History for two semester credits which fulfilled part of the core graduation requirements, but for my major? Heck no, I'd have just bought myself PChem, Differential or worse. Rachael might not be a genius, but I think she is at least smart enough to know that it's better to start college with Cal1 than Cal2, or whatever. I always got a sense of falseness with the whole "AP Rachael" PR. If it is now different I would love to hear how it has gotten better or worse. Thanks.

mkats
10-30-2011, 11:28 PM
I graduated from high school in 2006 and earned 5s on 8 AP exams, but my experience once I got to college was that the college class was nothing like the AP course I took, and that getting a 5 on the AP didn't mean that I had learned everything I was expected to know in the college class. Having that 5 on the AP Chemistry exam placed me into a much harder chemistry class, which I royally bombed :shuffle:

However, I am SUPER glad that I had the 5 on BC Calc, which yielded enough credits to get me out of all college math. It was a huge effort for me to get that 5 in a small-group high school calculus class and there is NO way I would have achieved a passing grade in our college calc I class, especially given that I had a hard time transitioning to college life. I was absolutely certain that I was not going to go into a field that required math, so I was thrilled.

There's a potential pitfall with that, though - sometimes grad schools pre-reqs won't accept that the only math class you took in the last 6 years was in high school. I had one grad school, can't remember which, that wanted a college level algebra class. I told them I never took math in college but had the 5 on BC Calc that fulfilled my college requirement. They didn't bite.

Louise
10-31-2011, 01:25 AM
I graduated from high school in 2006 and earned 5s on 8 AP exams, but my experience once I got to college was that the college class was nothing like the AP course I took, and that getting a 5 on the AP didn't mean that I had learned everything I was expected to know in the college class. Having that 5 on the AP Chemistry exam placed me into a much harder chemistry class, which I royally bombed :shuffle:.

Okay so you are 20 years later than me. But if you received a 5, how would you know what you missed out on? I would have loved to AP'd out of my English, but was never confident I'd 5 on AP's.

And yes, if you are going into CHEM, BIO, whatever, as a freshman you are only asking for misery to start out in Organic Chem, or Physics2, or A/P. If you ever wanted to go to med school, or grad school as a Chem or Bio, you REALLY needed those Freshman classes to build your GPA. Sure, get rid of history and macroeconomics, but don't leave yourself to more hours of intensely insane upper level Chem or Bio or Math courses.

Seriously, EVERYONE knows this, right?!?!?

burntBREAD
10-31-2011, 01:28 AM
Okay so you are a decade later than me. But if you received a 5, how would you know what you missed out on? I would have loved to AP'd out of my English, but was never confident I'd 5 on AP's.

And yes, if you are going into CHEM, BIO, whatever, as a freshman you are only asking for misery to start out in Organic Chem, or Physics2, or A/P. If you ever wanted to go to med school, or grad school as a Chem or Bio, you REALLY needed those Freshman classes to build your GPA. Sure, get rid of history and macroeconomics, but don't leave yourself to more hours of intensely insane upper level Chem or Bio or Math courses.

Seriously, EVERYONE knows this, right?!?!?

Everyone knows this but it doesn't stop us (I'm taking Organic Chem as a freshman right now :slinkaway:fragile: ) ... we're too used to taking the hardest classes in high school..

Also, I do regret all of these AP credits, some of them don't even count for any requirements, they're just CREDITS, and it has bumped me to the point where I will be a second-year junior next year because I have too many (useless) credits and now have to pay upperclassman tuition..

Louise
10-31-2011, 01:48 AM
Everyone knows this but it doesn't stop us (I'm taking Organic Chem as a freshman right now :slinkaway:fragile: ) ... we're too used to taking the hardest classes in high school..

Also, I do regret all of these AP credits, some of them don't even count for any requirements, they're just CREDITS, and it has bumped me to the point where I will be a second-year junior next year because I have too many (useless) credits and now have to pay upperclassman tuition..

I have no clue how I ever got A's in freshman CHEM, but Organic and I were like lifelong friends. I had like a 120 avg due to curving, and I was well at home. Fresh CHEM, I had no idea what I was doing, what I was trying to do, but I had sorority/frat friends who took those classes and failed and had the old exams. Org was a dream.

My parents are both extremely well educated and they convinced to NOT take any AP for a class I would need for my major or for grad school admittance. They were extremely wise. Graduated with a 4.0 and never suffered, really, though freshman BIO and CHEM kicked my butt.

If you know you are going into a difficult major, you might AP the bs english and history that are required but mean NOTHING.

Like I said, it all rang untrue when Tara Modlin would promote her as this AP gal who's going for pre-med or engineering and it made no sense. Well, because it apparently didn't, she didn't AP out of those classes.