June 2019 Newsletter

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The Inner Scorecard

At our visit to U of M Dearborn, one of our students asked our tour guides:

“What were your GPAs in high school?”

Sheepishly, they answered, one by one: “4.4” “4.1.” “3.95.”

I could feel the air leave the room.

Never mind that every one of our students will get into UM-Dearborn and that those GPAs are on the top end of admittees. My students heard, “You’re not good enough to get in here.”

I don’t blame my student for asking the question; she's a product of the American obsession with The Outer Scorecard, a term coined by Warren Buffet which refers to our tendency to construct our self-concept around how we match up with others. This could be GPAs, SAT scores, the colleges we go to, the size of our house, or the size of our bank account. The Inner Scorecard, conversely, refers to how we measure ourselves against our own standards, regardless of what others think.

On the Enneagram personality continuum, the majority of Americans fall under #3 (The Achiever), so it’s no wonder we're both the most innovative country in the world but also the most anxiety-ridden. What drives threes? "Want to be affirmed, to distinguish themselves from others, to have attention, to be admired, and to impress others."

So what does this achievement-centric culture mean for our kids? It means they can be reduced to tears when they get an email with their SAT score or can be pushed into depression if they’re not admitted to their dream college. To make matters worse, thanks to social media, it’s easier than ever to share information with peers. Parents often post on Facebook when their child is admitted to a specific college or even high school.

I submit that if we can help kids define their Inner Scorecard, they will recognize that what they have been taught are signals (GPAs, test scores, other arbitrary numbers) are actually just noise.

I want to be clear here - I am all for achievement(I do coordinate an Honors program, after all). But if the drive to achieve comes from a place of vanity, (which is actually a place of insecurity--Achievers most basic fear is that of being worthless), the achievement lacks authenticity. I've had students whose 3.0 GPAs are far more substantive than the 4.0s of others - if you flip them around to see the Inner Scorecards.

Comparing ourselves has always been a foolish and dangerous game.

But here’s why I’m hopeful: one of our juniors shared that although he has a good shot of getting into a more “prestigious” college, he's chosen to stay closer to home and attend Wayne State. He articulated that he knows what makes sense for him, and he doesn't care what other people think. That's a kid with a clear Inner Scorecard. We should all be so wise.




Class of 2019...What's next?

Frances - Michigan State

Sara - U of M Ann Arbor

Alyssa - Michigan State

Leelyn - Howard

Trinity- Northern Michigan

Marc - Wayne State

Darnyel - Michigan State

Andre - Michigan State

Alexander - Wayne State

Jessi - Eastern Michigan

LaNeise - Eastern Michigan

Franklin - U of M Ann Arbor

Carlton - Michigan State

Adam - Pratt Institute

Trinity - U of M Ann Arbor

Skyy - Western Michigan

Kenneth - Rochester College

Kayla - Oakland University

Jamesa - Georgia - Gwinnett County

Tristen - Western Michigan

Rhianna - U of M Ann Arbor

Madeline - U of M Ann Arbor

The CAN survive without phones!

College Visits

Spot the bald man


Important Dates:

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5/30: Honors Night

6/3: Eagle Scholars Program Orientation

6/3: AP Kickoff night

8/5 - 8/8: College Application Boot Camp


Important Dates:

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5/29 - 5/31: 8th Grade Philadelphia Trip

6/3: Eagle Scholars Program Orientation

6/5: 8th grade Honors Night

8/29: Service Hours Due

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"Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes." --Carl Jung


100% of proceeds go toward Eagle Scholars Award winners' college education. Awards will be presented at Honors Night. These are students who have gone above and beyond the requirements of the program. This is a tax-deductible donation.

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