Sasha Cohen tries new name, starts over as student

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Prancer, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    I would think Kwan would have been accepted into any school she applied to, assuming they could bend admission requirements in the academic department (and they can, but will they?). I would think the same would hold for Cohen. Those schools would love to have a Kwan or Cohen on campus. I would if I was the Dean and not because I am a figure skating fan but because it would be good press for my school.

    I've never really gotten the impression that people think Kwan is smarter than Cohen. We've really never had any reason to even remotely compare them in that department.
     
  2. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member

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    It's not necessarily an extreme name change per se. Her legal name IS Alexandra after all so Alex for short makes sense. Sasha is more the Russian diminutive of her name which is generally less common in the States.
     
  3. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't Kwan dating a native Coloradan when she chose to go to Denver? I doubt she applied to many other places if that motivated her choice.
     
  4. carriecmu0503

    carriecmu0503 Member

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    I don't know where you get your information from to come to your conclusions, but your assumption about The College of General Studies at Columbia University could not be more wrong. Here is an excerpt from Columbia University's website:

    Is General Studies as competitive as Columbia's traditional undergraduate colleges?

    Yes. Columbia University School of General Studies (GS) is as competitive as Columbia's traditional undergraduate colleges, which include Columbia College, the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, and affiliate Barnard College. Though admission requirements differ slightly from the aforementioned schools because of our nontraditional student applicant pool, GS admits only the best and the brightest prospective students. For more information on admissions requirements and procedures, please visit the How to Apply page.

    Also from Columbia's website:
    Columbia University School of General Studies (GS) students are those with nontraditional backgrounds who seek a traditional education at an Ivy League university. What defines our students as nontraditional is that GS students have taken breaks of one year or more in their educational paths. GS students are returning and adult students who seek to complete a rigorous undergraduate degree. Despite these differences, GS students take the same courses as all other Columbia undergraduates, are taught by the same professors in the same classes, and are fully integrated into Columbia's undergraduate curriculum.

    The only differences between the School of General Studies and the "regular" Columbia is GS students have taken at least a year off from school, and, as non traditional students, don't live on campus. Many GS students DO go to school full time, and they take the exact same classes as "regular" Columbia students. Yale University has a very similar program. A recently retired competitive ice dancer I know attends that program- her admission letter states she was one of only FOUR people accepted to the program, out of hundreds of applicants. Please, spend a little time actually researching things before making snarky assumptions and belittling the achievements of others.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
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  5. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    Yes, IIRC she was dating that guy from the Anschutz (sp?) family that owns the AEG entertainment company, and a lot of arenas.
     
  6. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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    Thanks for clarifying this with facts. I would say, however she got in, it is irrelevant. She is studying at one of the centers of scholarship and higher education in the Western world, so this is a very serious environment.
     
  7. carriecmu0503

    carriecmu0503 Member

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    It is only serious in that the students are there because they are very bright and are very eager to learn (you used the words uppity and snooty in your original post). I think there are so many misconceptions about the Ive League out there, and it is so unfortunate. The Ivy League schools admit people on a need blind basis, meaning they admit the people they think are the best and the brightest before checking an applicant's financial status. Those who are admitted are then given grants from the university (money that does not need to be paid back) to cover expenses they can't cover on their own. I used to work at an Ivy League institution as a career counselor, and I loved the students there. Having gone back to a state school to work towards my doctorate, I have grown tired of teaching many of the students. So many can't be bothered to come to class, to participate if they do come, to do their homework, writing that is barely intelligible, etc. Considering the fact that I am at a major research institution, this is very disappointing. I was at another highly selective public school (a "public Ivy") as a residence hall director and academic advisor, and I was shocked there, as well. I had students with 0.6 GPAs at the end of the first semester because of partying to much and just not caring about school. Once I get my doctorate, I will not be teaching undergrads anymore (my field only has MA and PhD programs- I teach in another department), and I am grateful for that. About the only way you would get me to spend my time and life teaching undergrads (at least, first and second year undergrads) anymore would be at an Ivy League school (or one like it) because of the learning environment and the quality and MOTIVATION to LEARN of the students admitted.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  8. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    "Uppity"? I'm sorry, did you really just say "uppity"??
     
  9. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    Yes. You are correct. All of the non-Ivy students in the entire universe are thoroughly unmotivated, never learn anything, and never care about anything. Thank God you understand that and you don't come off at all like a snob in this post.
     
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  10. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Épaulement!!!

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    Even if the admissions committee wouldn't know who they are, reading their resumes and about their skating careers would convince anyone that these are extremely hardworking and driven young women.
     
  11. carriecmu0503

    carriecmu0503 Member

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    Really PDilemma? I was talking about my OWN personal experience in teaching. Where did I say all non-Ivy students in the entire universe? I don't see that anywhere in my post. I said from MY experience in teaching the students at the two universities I have worked at, I have grown tired of the lack of motivation I have seen from many (NOT all), and the crap work turned in by students. This past week, I actually gave my students exam questions with the answers, and they still got those questions (multiple choice) wrong! This is a trend my colleagues have complained about, as well. Look at higher education literature- this has become a trend in higher ed wit the Millenial generation of students. For your information, I am not "a snob." All my education has come through public schools. But the Millenial generation is a whole different generation of students, and the "entitlement" attitude and instant gratification desire is alive and well. It's tiring to work so hard, dedicate your life to something, give your students all you have, and to largely not have any of those efforts matter anyway. How would you feel if work was like that on a daily basis for you? Would I fault you for leaving that job if you were dissatisfied with it and found something that made you happier? Of course not. So, until you have been in MY experience, please don't make assumptions about me and my experiences, and don't pass judgement on someone you don't know. Thanks.
     
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  12. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    Many non-Ivies are like that too. All that proper Ivies are good for, IMO, is networking. They are their own "old boys club." One of my friends, from a highly-ranked liberal arts school, visited a friend at Harvard and his friend's classmates thumbed their noses at him when they found out he didn't go to Harvard too. Doesn't sound like someplace I'd want to send my kid to. :p

    You can find motivated and bright students anywhere, but yes, a selective school will have a greater proportion of motivated, bright students. I go to a community college now, and there are a few motivated and bright students here too, and some great teachers who obviously don't have your mindset. :p
     
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  13. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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    By uppity I meant courses in Islamic civilization and Kant's Critique of Pure Reason vs. public relations and graphic design. I went to a snooty school myself, so I frankly think all of academia outside of education in professions and applied sciences/technology is elitist and uppity. That's my opinion based on personal experience. It's not a judgment concerning the Ivy League at all.

    We shouldn't be dwelling on my opinions. I'm just clarifying my thought. :) I also think we should avoid going into debate about the value of an Ivy League education.

    Thank heavens no one has any issues with Stanford! LOL... or the Rachael Flatt thread might have become similarly contentious.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  14. googooeyes

    googooeyes Member

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    Wikipedia says her name is Alexandra Pauline Cohen. Quite lovely!
     
  15. carriecmu0503

    carriecmu0503 Member

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    I teach at a community college now, as well as at a four year school. That is where I gave the students the multiple choice exam with the answers before the test, and most of the students still failed it. What gives? I work so hard to create a class that is interactive and fun, provide lots of office hours, give lots of application examples, etc, and students still don't do well. I don't know what else I can do to help people, save for taking the test for them. Yes, there are a few great students in the class, but most of them role their eyes at me if I politely ask them to please stop text messaging during class. Then, they blame me when they fail the class, or ask me if "the missed anything important) after they skipped class. How would you feel if you spent 3 hours preparing for class, only to have students ask you if they "missed anything important?" You don't know me, my experiences, the efforts I make to provide a great class, etc, so please don't assume you know my mindset. The reason I am so frustrated is because I love learning and teaching and put an insane amount of effort into my students, only to have so many of them not care anyways. You said yourself a selective school will have a higher proportion of students who care about school and want to be there. That is why I would want to be there if I was to choose to continue to teach undergrads. I want my efforts to mean something. Doesn't everybody want that- for their work to be fulfilling, not discouraging?
     
  16. falling_dance

    falling_dance Happy for Kozuka, Sad for D. Murakami

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    Tsk, tsk, Margaret. Just because you couldn't switch from Chemistry to PPE at Somerville. :rolleyes: :saint:

    ETA: Or was it Law? Well, in that case, you're consistent. :p
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  17. Lacey

    Lacey Well-Known Member

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    Ali Cohen?

    Polly Cohen?
     
  18. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    Oh, carrie, poor child....

    I taught high school for 16 years. I know more than you ever will about unmotivated students. Here's the secret: one of the main parts of your job is to find ways to engage them.
     
  19. carriecmu0503

    carriecmu0503 Member

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    There is zero need to call me a poor child, or to assume that my classes are disengaging, or that I don't know I am supposed to be engaging (or that you "know more than I ever will"). Some students do participate in class- we have some very enlightening discussions. If you need proof of that, PM me and I will gladly invite you to come check out my class. The problem is that at least half the class can't be bothered to come to class, or if they do, sit there like a bump on a log. I can understand that in HS. The law mandates they go to school. However, college is not required. Why go if you don't want to be there? Every time I have to waste time to tell someone to put their phone away, I take time away from the students who do want to be there. How is that fair to them? Bottom line- it's college. If you don't want to be there, don't go! And, don't expect a free A just because you showed up. That is all I am saying.
     
  20. TheIronLady

    TheIronLady New Member

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    Yes, all of those PPE men in Parliament were dreadfully long winded.
     
  21. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    I . . . don't even know how to respond to that.
     
  22. carriecmu0503

    carriecmu0503 Member

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    My psychology major that gave me the foundation to go to graduate school to become a mental health professional is "elitist and uppity?" Wow.
     
  23. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    I'm a graduate of a selective liberal arts college, and I'm at a community college now for a career change. The teachers always impress me, the students somewhat less so. :lol: (The great CC teachers impress me even more, due to your reasons!) Some of the students ARE unmotivated yes, but many of them just don't have wherewithal or (hell, I'll just say it) just aren't that smart.

    I'm fairly intelligent and resourceful, but even I was too shy/intimated to go to a professor's office hours when I was in undergrad. And I went to a college where all the professors were super-friendly and knew your name, even in the giant chemistry class! (One of them even called students in their dorm room when they overslept for the test! I know from personal experience. :eek: )

    And at a CC, some folks are working full-time too. There's a kid in my class who works night shifts at Ralphs, and then has a 7am class. I have no idea when he sleeps. Yes, there are spoiled wayward kids in college, but there are also kids who are trying their best in sub-optimal conditions. It's not easy to tell which kids are which, but I think the teachers who teach CCs and enjoy it, have to have different expectations from professors in highly-ranked unis because the students are different.
     
  24. carriecmu0503

    carriecmu0503 Member

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    I really enjoyed your post, Anita, and think you are right about a lot of things. I just sometimes struggle with the "different expectations" part. Does that mean I should lower my expectations academically? I don't want to do that, because doing so would be telling students that shooting for "just good enough" is okay. Honestly, I am fine with a student getting a C if they did their best in doing so. But if I lower my standards to a C being acceptable for everybody, am I then not challenging students to be the best they can be?

    I also understand how some CC students have work/ family/etc obstacles that can keep school from being their priority. I do my best to be flexible with those students in particular to help them as best I can. But when it comes down to it, CC is still college. We as instructors there are told we must have the same academic expectation there as we would at a 4 year school, lest we want the 4 year schools to stop accepting transfer credits from CC. I also hold my office hours in the classroom before/ after class, as opposed to an office. I find I am in general much more accessible that way.
     
  25. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    No, I don't think you should lower your standards. Well, you probably should a little bit. I was never a great paper-writer, but my teachers at the CC are so impressed I can string coherent paragraphs together, that I've always gotten A's on my papers. :lol: Not 100%, but still A's.

    But I think even lower-achieving students respond to someone who cares about their progress. One of my instructors this semester is an older gentleman who's very easy-going and friendly and very obviously caring, but he still doles out C's to people who hand in subpar work. This isn't to punish them - he always reminds us that we can always hand in revised work for a better grade. The lower grade is to push people to do better.

    In my undergrad, if you could revise your grade, the average of the two grades was taken. This worked for higher-achieving, resourceful kids, because a B is better than a C and we could work past that "I can't get an A" block. But there are still many CC students who simply don't show up for a critique or test or paper-due-date when they don't have it done. For some reason, "a C is better than an F - hell a D is still better than an F" reasoning doesn't motivate them enough past the embarrassment of showing up not ready. I'm not sure what a teacher could do about that, but being among these students, I don't think that they simply don't care.
     
  26. Sasha'sSpins

    Sasha'sSpins Well-Known Member

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    :respec: Thank you! As one who is taking the 'non-traditional' route I take offense at anyone who seems to suggest that it's not 'all that' compared to the 'traditional' route. And as for the 'uppity' remark? Not sure what to make of that one. :confused:

    IIRC Sasha was an A student in high school and she's apparently doing very well (from her posts on twitter) in her classes at Columbia so far. I'm glad she seems to be flourishing there. :)
     
  27. UMBS Go Blue

    UMBS Go Blue KWEEN 2016! YES WE KWAN!

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    Likewise. Moreover, nothing in agal's post was snarky or belittling.

    Agal correctly mentioned that GS is "not the regular university" in that the admissions requirements for GS are not as rigorous as traditional CC. And as you've pointed out, the admissions requirements for GS and CC are, by definition, different. GS is for those who have taken a break for at least a year since high school, while CC is the traditional undergraduate liberal arts college for those coming straight out of high school. Also, Agal is not incorrect about rigor if you look at the admissions rate as one sign of rigor (and it's pretty much the only sign we have to rely on, as GS reports little else - not even median SAT scores of admits). From what little GS reports, their admissions rate ranges from 20-35%, while at CC it's been 6-8% in the last few years. As an added point of reference, at most of the other Ivies, the admissions rates to their traditional undergraduate programs (like, for example, the one Christina Gao is enrolled in full-time at Harvard) were between 6-16% in 2012.

    Agal is also not incorrect in mentioning that you can go at whatever pace you want at GS, where 38% of students are part-time. Also, at GS, you can switch between full- and part-time every semester. This is different from CC, where students must get special approval to go beyond the normal 4 years. Therefore, the lack of a time limit at GS is inherently a more lenient or, at least, "different" academic requirement than the traditional CC path. For the benefit of the doubt, however, I'd have to assume that GS part-time status would generally be granted to students with significant professional obligations outside of school.

    What does merit clarification is the fact that the GS program has been changed over the years to align it more closely with CC. GS students sit in the same classes as CC students and therefore, within those classes, have the same requirements as CC students. The requirements for attaining a BA degree through GS are similar to those of CC (although not identical). This means there is no separate GS faculty; evening classes in the Harvard Extension School / UC Continuing Studies / NYU SCPS sense are completely separate offerings of the Columbia continuing education program.

    The GS / CC relationship is sort of like being in parallel universes - they all sit in the same classes and to some extent participate in the same activities, but they have different selection processes, different paths towards getting in to Columbia, and, ultimately, different labels during and after Columbia.

    Also, the only reason I care is because I actually have a soft spot for Columbia, having had a blast living there for an entire summer, and also from being friends with people who went to CC and also Barnard (itself a parallel Columbia universe) for undergrad.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2013
  28. Garden Kitty

    Garden Kitty Tranquillo

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    Kudos to both Sasha and Michelle, and every other skater who is able to make the transition from a competitor to an off ice life that is meaningful and continues to challenge them. I'm sure it's not easy to make the transition after spending so much time training and feeling the adrenaline of competing, so I admire anyone who can find something that engages them in their "adult" life.

    I was thrrilled reading the recent articles about Michelle and seeing her so happy and passionate about this stage of her life. I wish "Alex" all the best for her future.
     
  29. kwanette

    kwanette Fetalized since 1998

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    Good for Sasha. I had a lovely conversation with her at FSIH and she was animated about going to school and living in NYC. I think that it is terrific.

    And what does any of this have to do with Michelle? Second post and her name is brought up.:rolleyes:
     
  30. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    Not really. Some schools have reputations substantial enough that they don't require a celebrity boost. In fact, it can actually hurt a school's reputation if they are seen as granting admission on the basis of fame rather than merit. Some Ivies are rather notorious for turning down famous students for that reason.
    It's not an assumption--it's widely known. I'm rather surprised you wouldn't know that if you actually worked in an Ivy at one point.

    The school of General Studies at Columbia is very separate from the regular College. Admits to the College are done on a need blind basis, but students from the General Studies program have to self-fund in order to go. Financial aid for GS students is basically government loans and grants. Funds from the university are not made available to GS students in part because they don't have to meet the same admission requirements (the admit rate for the College and Engineering programs are combined, and figure around 6-7%. The admit rate for GS is calculated separately, and is *far* higher).

    The reality is the GS program is an extension program where people who cannot qualify for regular admission apply (there is a transfer program to the College, but the admit rate for that is on par with the 6-7% for the College and Engineering programs). You only apply to GS if you can't get in through the front door. The advantage such programs have for universities is they bring in self-funded students, and that essentially covers part of the costs for the regular College and engineering students. That's why extension programs have become so popular with universities--they don't use up university-funded financial aid, and thus help cover the expenses of the regular students. International students function similarly. And while you might think Ivies don't need to bring in money that way, only a few don't (namely Harvard, Princeton, and Yale). The other Ivies aren't in the same boat financially--not even close. So they do what they have to do.

    Anyhow, this is rather widely known (I did my doctoral work in an Ivy and taught there too). See the article below for backdoor ways to get into Columbia:
    http://www.ivygateblog.com/2009/01/how-to-sneak-into-columbia/

    ETA: Oh, and I was a non-traditional student btw. I actually prefer non-traditional students because they bring so much to the classroom. But there is a substantive difference between an extension program and the regular university programs, and people should understand that when they go that route.
     
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