I find the ongoing story about wealthy helicopter parents paying outrageous amounts of money to bribe their children’s way into prestigious universities more than a bit baffling. When I was deciding on a college, my dad tossed me a state map and the car keys. He said he’d see me in a couple of days and sent me on my way. After a week of travel and sleeping in dorm rooms, I chose Eastern Kentucky University.

Let me be perfectly clear. My parents never bribed anyone to get me into Eastern Kentucky University. However, after four years in Richmond hanging out at the Family Dog, I am pretty sure someone at the school bribed my parents to take me back.

Still, as with many Americans, the admission scandal fascinates me. So I began looking at the universities involved in the case and the rationale behind parents wanting their children to have a degree from a particular college. With the Family Dog out of business, EKU not being on the list came as no surprise.

Several cases involve admission to the University of Southern California where parents lied about the athletic prowess of their kids in order to make them a Trojan. I get it. Who doesn’t want to go to the institution of higher education that bestowed a degree on OJ Simpson?

The same type of sports fraud occurred at the University of Texas, where the tennis coach has been fired over his involvement in assisting unqualified students gain college admission. At the Austin, Texas, school, attending classes as a Longhorn allows kids to learn Klingon. Seriously, UT offers a class in Klingon.

Several people also face time in the pokey for getting their young’uns into the University of California, Berkley. Lucky for them USC, Berkley, offers a class on Judge Judy.

I wonder if Judge Judy ever decided a case speaking Klingon.

The sailing coach at Stanford has been fired over his role in allowing unqualified students to attend a class in virtual friendship.

Teaching young people to choose virtual people over human interaction will certainly assist them in using their degree from Stanford to gain a job in the drive-thru line at any major fast-food chain in America.

As a sentence in the criminal cases that have been filed, the judge for each of these charges should make each parent and child attend a class at Occidental College in—wait for it—stupidity. The course outline explains: “Stupidity, which has been evicted from the philosophical premises and dumbed down by psychometric psychology, has returned in the postmodern discourse against Nation, Self and Truth and makes itself felt in political life ranging from the presidency to Beavis and Butthead. This course examines stupidity.”

Stupidity. Thinking back to my days at the Family Dog, maybe that was my major at EKU. 

Rick Robinson’s award-winning novels can be found at Joseph Beth in Crestview Hills and on Amazon.

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