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the kids stay in the picture

March 19, 2009

I am temping once again, and so spent the last two days working at the Teach for America Bay Area headquarters essentially editing the resumes of incoming teachers. Although these people have already been accepted into the extremely competitive program their resumes need to be formatted uniformly and edited for sentences like, “I love love love helping others!” This is where I come in. Some people might think it would be depressing to spend 6 hours reading the resumes of Ivy leaguers who did more on their spring break than I have done in my whole life, but I have to say I kind of got a kick out of it, not least because these kids claim to be about to graduate from Harvard, but cannot for the life of them put the apostrophe in Dean’s List. Whose list? The Dean’s!   Things like this make me feel highly superior right before I’m smacked back down when I read that they started their own software development company during the summer they turned twelve.

I do feel like I know a little bit more about how to write a successful, or at least a less annoying resume. First, the furthest you should round your GPA is to the second decimal place. We get it, 3.6666 is almost a 3.7, believe me I understand the pain, but it’s time to move on to bigger things. Second, don’t write that you enjoy “snow skiing, yachting, and world travel,” if you also went to Yale. If you want any street cred at all, and let’s remember that these people are going to be teaching in the worst schools in the nation, you can only admit to so many WASP tendencies. Third, don’t ruin the fact that you worked at Camp Wannataka helping disabled children by ending the sentence like this, “Worked with campers suffering from autism, fetal alcohol syndrome, cystic fibrosis, mental retardation, etc…” Etcetera meaning, additional odds and ends, just seems wrong when classifying disabilities in children, “Oh you know little Jimmy has a sweet personality and some additional odds and ends like downs syndrome.”

Almost every one of the applicants listed “avid runner” in their personal section and then went on to add in parentheses, 5k and 10k. An important distinction, as everyone knows that middle distance runners make the best teachers. Which, come to think of it, is probably true, but then at least three of these applicants had been interns at Lehmann Brothers during summer 2008, and we all know how that turned out. So, what I’m saying is that I think Bay Area youth will be in good hands with this group, an athletic bunch, more into content than punctuation, and smart enough to get off Wall Street just in time.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Kent McMIllan permalink
    March 20, 2009 1:18 am

    I am temping once again, and so spent the last two days working at the Teach for America Bay Area headquarters essentially editing the resumes of incoming teachers.

    […]

    Some people might think it would be depressing to spend 6 hours reading the resumes of Ivy leaguers who did more on their spring break than I have done in my whole life, but I have to say I kind of got a kick out of it, not least because these kids claim to be about to graduate from Harvard, but cannot for the life of them put the apostrophe in Dean’s List.

    Hmmm. I think I’d prefer to believe that some internet institution of higher learning with a name similar enough to “Harvard” to be worth the $2500 that a master’s in Russian literature wlll cost has scaled up operations.

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