When I was in high school I don’t remember anyone making a big fuss over college admissions. In fact what I remember most about senior year was shopping with my mother for my college wardrobe, walking around Greenwich Village with my friends, and slow dancing to 50s rock ‘n’ roll in dark living rooms. And I certainly don’t remember writing my college essay, because in fact my father wrote it for me.
I don’t remember why he did, I guess I was just too busy trying on clothes at Loehmann’s, wandering around the Village, or dancing to the Platters.
My dad went to NYU Heights and loved it, and he was sure I would too, and so he sat down one night and wrote my essay. I think the gist of the essay was, “My dad went to NYU Heights and loved it, and I am sure I will too.”
Well, it must have done the trick because I got in, and of course I did love it, and not for a minute did I feel guilty about that ghost-written essay.
In 1973, nine years after I graduated, New York University closed it’s arts and engineering schools at the Heights and sold the buildings and grounds to CUNY. And so my old Alma Mater became the new leafy campus of Bronx Community College.
I guess some things change.
Years later when my son was too busy studying his Torah portion, my husband sat down one night and ghost-wrote the kid’s bar mitzvah speech.
I guess some things never change.
Dana Susan Lehrman