Obviously, I was picturing Yosemite Sam the whole time.
The customer was pissed, but the ghostwriting gig can get tedious if you don’t take the occasional creative liberty.
I received an illuminating reply: I have to tell you that I am Jub-Jub’s mother, some replies were not from Jub-Jub, but from me…Anyway, I hope you will finish the ordered essay in a good quality and hope Jub-Jub will get it from you as soon.
thanks very much Mrs Jones Suddenly, everything had become so much clearer. They were co-conspirators, partners in crime, both in pursuit of the same goal. They wanted to go to the same Ivy League schools as the rich kids.
If you could take that description and refine it into a target demographic, you’d have the perfect marketplace for a full-service college cheating business.
The act of photoshopping your kid into a coxswain action pose — this is not uniquely the behavior of a wealthy person. An abbreviated story from my ghostwriting days: Way back when, I was writing a 13-page paper on Human Resources for a college senior that we’ll call Jub-Jub.The Brown essay included the usual boilerplate prompts: In reading your application, we want to get to know you as well as we can.We ask that you use this opportunity to tell us something more about yourself that would help us toward a sense of who you are, how you think, and what issues and ideas interest you most. I wrote a really solid essay about his character-building experience as a grizzled 1850s gold prospector whose specialty was dynamiting passageways into Old West mountainsides.Truly though, the most absurd details of them all concern parental behavior. Fast-forward to 25 years later, when she doctored a photo of her daughter on a rowing machine to convey the ruse that she was a varsity coxswain on her high school crew team.I’m sorry, but that’s funnier than any part of star Felicity Huffman, and a bunch of big, bad CEOs are just like hundreds of other customers I dealt with back in my ghostwriting days — cockpit parents determined to steer their children through life, to spare them challenge, hardship, failure and all the other things that allow us to become well-adjusted human beings.When news of the giant college admissions cheating scandal broke last week, I couldn’t help but feel a little sentimental.My old business was grabbing some big-time headlines. Clearly, not a lot has changed since I left the academic ghostwriting business.That was probably the first time I spotted the tell-tale signs of parental interference. Whether it was the Daddy’s name on the credit card, Mommy’s voice in email, or even just the pressure applied by family expectation, parents are more often than not standing close by their cheating children, encouraging, cajoling, insulating, inciting. Like the rich kids, they were hardly above cheating to get there.And most importantly — like the rich kids — their parents just wanted what was best for them…even if the best was probably just outside the reach of their abilities.Defendants include Hollywood stars, corporate CEOs, college coaches, test proctors, test-takers, and — at the center of the scheme — “entrepreneur” William Rick Singer.As I read the hot-takes and watched the wall-to-wall cable news coverage, it all felt a little personal. Watching the Varsity Blues news, It was all so familiar, and obvious. But equally predictable is our ability to compartmentalize these events, to contextualize them, and to eventually forget them.