Perhaps with the exception of the UCs and a handful of other “private-like” public universities, I think a lot of people working for state schools have a chip on their shoulder, knowing that ivy gets you more respect in the “real world” and opens doors that otherwise are difficult to open. (Though there are signs this may be changing.)
One of the advantages to teaching in a state school is that you don’t run into as many spoiled rich kids. Even here, during my first year I recall walking behind two Long Islanders who were complaining that they felt “ghetto” because they were carrying last year’s Prada bags.
I’d like to think that professional stand-ins are a problem most of our students can’t afford to give us. This — from a short Newsweek article, is just depressing:
Welcome to the world of professional paper-writing, the dirty secret of the tutoring business. It’s facilitated by avaricious agencies, perpetuated by accountability-free parents and made possible by self-loathing nerds like me. For three-hour workdays, the ability to sleep in and the opportunity to get paid to learn, I tackled subjects like Dostoevsky while spoiled jerks smoked pot, took naps, surfed the Internet and had sex.
It’s depressing not because it happens — I doubt that is all that new. It’s depressing because I suspect that if I asked a random student on our campus, about half of them would aspire to having parents that would do this for them. It’s depressing because I suspect about half the administrators of this university would privately not mind so much either.
A partial solution would be a 100% inheritance tax, but the truth is that this would only partially level the playing field. After all, Dad can still get them a job when they are done.