We All Stand

by Matthew Stollak on Monday, August 3, 2009


It was with equal parts laughter, derision, and shock that I read of a recent college graduate who is suing her former school for $70,000 when she found that she was unable to find suitable employment:

Thompson, a graduate of Monroe College, is suing her school for the $70,000 she spent on tuition because she hasn't found solid employment since receiving her bachelor's degree in April, according to a published report.

The business-oriented school in the Bronx didn't do enough to help her find a job, Thompson alleges, so she wants a refund. The college says it does plenty for grads.

Instead of blaming the economy, her own lack of experience, poor job interviewing skills, she puts the blame on the college. Was she seeking the degree, but not the education? Perhaps the potential employers did not want to hire people who do not take responsibility for themselves and are not inclined toward action, not whining? What role does parenting play in preparing children for potential failure?

As a professor, I often hear horror stories from colleagues about receiving calls from parents regarding grades, registration for classes, career advisement, etc. We call them "helicopters" as they are always hovering over their children. Fortunately, I have not received such a call, but it reminds me of a classic "Everybody Loves Raymond" episode called "The Lucky Suit" where Robert goes into a job interview with the FBI, only to be torpedoed by the well-meaning efforts of his mom:

Lucky Suit - Clip 1


Lucky Suit - Clip 2

Any experiences of your own with "helicopter" parents?

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