Self-Destructive Behavior

Commentary by Dr. Gerhard Falk


The College Admission "Scandal"


Yesterday it was announced that actress Lori Laughlin was released from prison. She and her husband were convicted of spending $500,000  to bribe a number of faculty and administrators at the University of Southern California in an effort to enroll their two daughters without passing the entrance examination.  A “fixer” was given the money in order to distribute it to several university employees.

 The stupidity of this effort to bribe is evident. First. It should have occurred to these parents that they could have given the University a gift of $50,000. That would have insured the admission of their children ipso facto.

Moreover, there is no reason to believe that any high school graduate cannot pass an entrance examination at any American college, since millions of college students who are not Einstein pass such examinations every year.

Long experience has taught me that there is a good deal of ridiculous propaganda among students which claims that certain courses or examinations are extremely difficult and cannot be understood by most students. Yet, the fact is that normal Americans sit in all the classes taught in our universities and year after year learn everything from anthropology to zoology, including math, English, history, writing, foreign language, etc.

I am writing of the average, normal student. Therefore, the two children of the Giannullis could of course have passed the entrance examination. 

There are without doubt a few, a very few, who are intellectually somewhat superior to us average people. Yet, it is evident that the average student learns the entire curriculum. Anybody who has an interest in a subject matter and wants to learn it can do so. Anybody who wants to learn calculus can do so, although someone who hates history or English may have a problem with these subjects. All that is needed is willingness to learn and an effort to achieve results. There is no need to bribe anybody. There is only a need to forget about the boring TV and enjoy your Latin lesson, the beauty of mathematics, the excitement of reading history, and the great happiness that study and scholarship brings to all who love it.

“Fools rush in where angels fear to tread,” wrote the great poet Alexander Pope. Unfortunately, so many of us allow ourselves to miss the wonderful books, great operas, magnificent Renaissance art, and all that is useful and satisfying in life in favor  of loud screaming which passes as popular music, or badmouthing our fellow men, despite the work of Yisroel Kagan, “The Chofez Chayim.” It is also noteworthy that books and ebooks can be borrowed from public libraries for free, so that real enjoyment costs nothing, while smelly nightclubs and so called entertainment wrecks your budget and isn’t worth the entrance fee.

May Shem Yisborach protect us from being our own worst enemies.

Shalom u’vracha.

Dr. Gerhard Falk is the author of numerous publications, including Gender, Sex, & Status (2019).

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