13.8.05

THE MISERY OF LIVING UP TO OTHERS' EXPECTATIONS. At Phantom Prof, a bull session on the lost souls of the pre-meds.
The greatest thing I feel for the pre-meds is pity. Too soon it becomes all too apparent that these kids, for all their thoroughness and regaled smarts, have never thought of what they wanted to do with their lives for a second. They just "want money" and heard they were "good at science," so why not be a doctor? These are the kids who end up drinking in excessive amounts because they hate who they have become but lack the clarity to see a way out.
We've recognized that phenomenon here for some time; noted more generally.
There is nothing quite so miserable as the middle-aged partner in a law firm, ostensibly prosperous, who is there primarily because his (or her, parental programming is ubiquitous) parents aspired to have a lawyer in the family. There's a particularly nasty parody of the phenomenon, John Hersey's Child Buyer (details or compare prices,) that ought to be required reading for any parent that wants to program a kid in that way.

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