,Malaysia, Nicaragua,adultery

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


The Packaging of the Plagiarist

Or How She Got Into Harvard * End of Berlusconi Era

In the din about Kaavya Viswanathan's plagiarism there was one item that didn't draw much attention---the fact that her parents paid Ivywise, an admissions counselling service to get her accepted by Harvard. Perhaps not a rare situation. Other wealthy parents do the same for their offsprings who cannot make it on their own. In this case, Ivywise not only prepped Viswanathan for Harvard but also steered her to a "book packager"! Ruth Marcus in the Post: "It's no excuse, but with all this third-party positioning, is it any wonder that a person -- especially a teenage person -- could forget (or ignore) the fact that some of the writing in her book is not actually hers? How easy it is for authenticity to be obscured in a world in which hired help packages preschool applications, in which the line between a real relationship with an adult and strategic sucking up is blurred."

It is doubtful that Ivywise would suffer because of the brouhaha over Kaavya Viswanathan. In fact it might benefit from it. There are enough monied parents out there who will continue to retain admissions counselling services.

Recently, two young women I know (one from Israel and the other from Pakistan) went through the process. One failed to make it; the other got accepted by Harvard but decided on Duke instead because it offered her a better scholarship package and she felt that the program at Duke was more in line with her objective. Both of them did their own work.

Late breaking news

From Associated Press: "
A reader alerted The New York Times to at least three portions of "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life" that are similar to passages in the novel "Can You Keep a Secret?" by Sophie Kinsella."

And so it goes.

Good news. Another friend of President Bush, Italy's Silvio Berlusconi has resigned. Centre-Left leader Romano Prodi will now form a government.

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