April 18, 2011

Letter to the Editor: Unblossomed egos

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To the Editor:

Re: “The Poison Ivy League,” Opinion, April 12

The Bigger Picture on April 12th got me racking my brain.

Nobody out there professes that those who graduate from the Ivies are the best. Some of us just end up believing because it sounds so irresistible and convenient. And education, very truly, doesn’t determine the inbuilt character or moral traits. The author explicitly states about how the Ivy League is branded and how social yap-yap circles around the Ivy-ism. It’s a shame to get yourself branded by anything in this world except for being yourself.

I am appalled by the tragic truth that societies indeed brand students — the same thing happens when students come from institutions like the IITs in India. Coming from great schools doesn’t guarantee anything — except for the degree you already possess. It is also true that many Ivies don’t choose “brands” for their incoming students. That might play a part in recognizing your academic merit — but that is not and should never be the deal closer.

Why do we have classes on ethics, leadership and team building at Cornell, if not to harness those unwieldy energies? Once inducted into Cornell, you have a greater resource and infrastructure at your hands (pity those who think hitting a bar is being Ivy). No education or degree can surpass good upbringing, character and ethics.

It is imperative that an Ivy atmosphere gives you a heads on lead with others. You have a cherished candy in your pocket — now if you want to spread that on your face instead of savoring it, it remains purely your call, and nobody is to blame for self-idolization.

Be the “real” one — don’t get stereotyped.  After all, anything can get poisonous when misused. The same stands true for any of our “still looming large” Ivy egos, which better realize they could never blossom.

Lavanya G. Sayam, Vet School