*** Our Sunday lunch with the boys was intended to focus on education. Where was Henry going to college? Would Edward like to go to boarding school next year?
Pater Familias laid his cards on the table even before the entrée was served.
“Look, I’m almost 60. I’ve had children around the house for the last 30 years. And for at least a quarter century, my life has been tied to the school schedule; I’m ready for a change.”
“Oh…so you want me to go to boarding school, so you can do whatever you want?” Edward saw the point immediately.
“Wait, it’s not just that,” Elizabeth entered the conversation. “We’re not sure you’re going to be able to get back into the French school in London. It would be nice to have an alternative.”
“A Plan B,” said your editor…who suspects that all Plan A’s are doomed to failure.
“Not only that,” the voice of reason returned. “I went to boarding school when I was about your age. I loved it. And I think you’re the sort of person who might like it too. The English boarding schools are very focused on sports and outdoor team-building activities. Those are the sorts of things you like. Most likely, you’ll go to the French school, but we should look at these boarding schools to see if you like them…and just in case the French school doesn’t work out.”
“But I don’t want to go to boarding school,” Edward replied. “You didn’t make any of the others go to boarding school. Why should I have to go? It’s not fair.”
“No, we’re not going to force you to go to boarding school. But you might want to go.”
“I don’t want to…”
“How do you know you don’t want to? You haven’t tried them.”
“Well, I don’t want to try…”
“Well, you might try anyway. You know, you don’t have the best grades. If you want to get into a good college, you’ll have to make yourself interesting by doing something different.”
“Maybe he should go to St. Georges in Buenos Aires,” suggested Papa. “That’s different…an English speaking boarding school in Argentina. They can’t get too many applications from there.”
“That might be over-doing it,” Momma replied. “If it’s too strange or too far off they’ll think he was a discipline problem that we wanted to get rid of.”
“Well, I wouldn’t worry about getting into a good school anyway…it doesn’t make any difference.”
“Oh no…here we go again. And you know it’s not true. People from the best universities get the best jobs.”
“Maybe…but they don’t really learn anything. Edward would be better off learning on the job. Look at this subprime crisis. Who created the crisis? It was smart guys who came out of Ivy League schools and worked in sophisticated financial firms all Wall Street. They were the ones who packaged subprime debt…who did the math and the analyses that told them this stuff wouldn’t go bad in a million years…and who also worked at the rating agencies who gave it AAA ratings…and they’re the ones who work for Citigroup and for Societe Generale. All so well educated…and so smart that they couldn’t think straight. You’re better off not getting that kind of education.”
“Maybe…but then you’d never have gotten a job at Citigroup and you wouldn’t have an expensive house on Long Island.”
Markets and Money