By Marlene Kern Fischer of Thoughts From Aisle Four
A family and community are shocked and stunned by the fact that their class valedictorian was rejected by his first-choice school: Harvard University.
The young man, who wished to only be identified as “Andrew” so as not to further embarrass his loved ones, seemed like a shoo-in for the school. His high school principal, an educator for 32 years, described Andrew as “one of the most perfect human beings on the planet.”
Andrew’s mother told us that he started speaking by six months and that his first word was actually the polysyllabic “Harvard.” By age three, Andrew was reading and by four, he had his first book published. An accomplished musician, Andrew made the entire audience weep with his piano solo at the fifth-grade concert, a solo he would later perform at Carnegie Hall to a standing ovation.
Although Andrew has not yet managed to regrow severed limbs, he has worked since middle school with a team of top researchers helping them get closer to that coveted objective, with his related Science Talent Search project earning him the top prize and a trip to Washington to meet the President. His flawless GPA and twelve Advanced Placement classes (which go well with his perfect SAT and ACT scores) have already earned him the slot of valedictorian, which his school classmates are thrilled about.
One of his friends stated that “Andrew is just so kind and humble, he probably won’t tell you that he donated a kidney to a complete stranger last summer, after he returned from doing volunteer work in Haiti.”
Another friend cited Andrew’s All-State athletic prowess, mentioning that he played three varsity sports and adding that, “Although he does feel badly when the other team loses, he always gives 100% and never lets his teammates down.”
When interviewed for this article, Andrew admitted that he was “slightly disappointed by Harvard’s rejection” but he was sure that in the end, it would all work out for him and that “the applicants who were accepted to their school are probably more deserving than I.” He said he appreciated everyone’s support and there was no need to feel badly for him.
Andrew’s mother was less sanguine about the situation, fuming, “What the heck are these schools looking for these days?!”
Others viewed Andrew’s story as a cautionary tale that absolutely no one should expect to get into a school they are clearly qualified for, let alone one of the top three of four schools. It left Andrew’s bewildered principal to ponder, “What more do you need to do – what more could one do – to get into Harvard these days?”
A version of this post was originally published on Thoughts From Aisle Four
About the Author
Marlene Kern Fischer is a wife, mother of three sons, food shopper extraordinaire, lifelong writer, blogger, and college essay editor. She graduated cum laude from Brandeis University with a degree in literature. Her work has been featured on CollegiateParent, Kveller, Grown and Flown, the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, Her View From Home, Beyond Your Blog and Better After 50. You can read more of her work on her blog: Thoughts From Aisle Four and follow her on Facebook.