The Best and Brightest – and the Nicest
Penn, Stanford, Cal Tech, Stanford again, Dartmouth, and Duke. This evening, my daughter is hosting a group of friends who graduated with her this spring before they scatter to those top colleges this fall. These young women are this generation’s “best and brightest,” but they add to it a charm and character that goes far beyond what David Halberstam meant by that title in his book. It has been a great joy overhearing them chat, giggle, and scream with laughter today.
I was especially struck with one story. They were talking about how often students broke down and cried during tests are their all-girls school. One girl said that she had cried during a math exam because it was too easy. She didn’t think she would be able to really show what she knew and regretted all the time that she had spent preparing, which she realized had been wasted. Another answered “I remember that! I figured that the test must really be hard if it was making you cry.”
Until I found myself the father of two teenage girls, my experience with teenagers has been exclusively with teenage boys. I do have a sister, but she was enough older than me that I really wasn’t paying attention to what she was like as a teenage girl. I have three brothers, and all of my friends and their friends were boys. I know how much teenage boys can eat – but I continue to be amazed at the healthy appetite of rail-thin teenage girls! It is great fun to watch the zest with which they enjoy food.