My brother, my sister, and I went to Harvard; our father taught there, so it was no great accomplishment for us get in. But my wife's brother and his two sons all went to Harvard as well. To say that my daughter (currently a junior in high school) feels a certain pressure is an understatement.
My daughter visited Hamilton College today. Right before she left I said brightly, "Well, at least it begins with an H-A."
My daughter muttered, "You're such an asshole." She didn't say it loudly, as if for effect. She said it barely audibly, the way people do when they really mean something.
I'm not arguing with her assessment.
All I'm saying is that I am trying, in my own awkward way, to make a joke out of that pressure, so she'll feel it less.
I guess the key word here is awkward.
I'm hoping my daughter will look at this in a couple years and understand.
Preferably, from Cambridge.
My son has a better attitude. Right after he enlisted in the Army, he pointed out, "You know how every now and then you hear about someone who is the first member of his famly to go to college, and how proud he is of that? Well, I'm even prouder to report I'm going to be the first member of my family not to go to college."