Sunday, June 6, 2010

Summer Reads - The Gatekeepers

I finished my first book for June on Friday, two days earlier than I had planned.

Here's the summary of the book:
Education reporter Steinberg presents a compelling tale in this account, told from the perspective of Ralph Figueroa, an admissions officer at Wesleyan University. Expanding on a series of articles in the New York Times, Steinberg provides an insider's look at how Figueroa and the school's admissions committee factored grades, test scores, essays, extracurricular activities and race into account as they winnowed 700 students for the class of 2004 from nearly 7,000 applicants. Using real names, applications and interviews, Steinberg follows six applicants of varying backgrounds from their first encounter with Figueroa to their final acceptance or rejection. 
(from Publishers Weekly, found on Amazon)

Pretty interesting, right? I've always loved articles and books that fall into the undercover journalism category. I think Steinberg's experience with the admissions process at Wesleyan is similar to how things are done at other liberal arts colleges, which makes it an accessible read for anyone interested in the process of admissions whether they're applicants, parents, teachers or counselors, or just someone that happened to pick up the book.

This was a quick read and I think it's the only non-fiction book I have picked out for this month.

If you want to read more reviews (some of them are extremely interesting and go more in depth on the topics of admissions) you can find them at Amazon or at Goodreads.

Currently, I'm about 30 pages into Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind. I'm not really feeling it so far, but the style and tone are much different from The Gatekeepers, so I think I'll enjoy it more once I'm adjusted to the more lyrical prose. I've also noticed that there's very little dialogue and the book relies heavily on narrative.

Don't forget to send me your questions!


Kate said...

That does sound like an interesting read - it must be difficult to have your rejection documented.. but I'm sure it would be a story with the potential to resonate with so many having been through, or going through that situation of anxiety before acceptance.. or having to rethink ones plan if rejection is the case.

Anonymous said...

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