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Overly Advantaged California Student Sues To Enter Berkeley

Del Norte Vista, CA (APUPI)

In a case reminiscent of the famous Bakke decision, a California high school senior is suing the University of California over their refusal to admit him to their prestigious Berkeley campus, despite his sterling biography and SAT score of over 1700, under the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Todd Hepplewitt, an honors student at Caca Fuego High, in Del Norte Vista, is claiming that, in today's society, he's handicapped by his lack of hardship in life. He contends that the difficulty of making it in a victimized society, and getting no government or institutional support, is underestimated and can't be appreciated by those who have been burdened all their lives by life.

"I wrote an essay describing my difficulties to them, but they completely ignored it."

"I've done everything I could to struggle through, and to make changes at home. I asked my parents to get a divorce, but they refused, no matter how much I pleaded. My father tried drinking, but he turned out to have an allergy to alcohol, and I couldn't get him to beat me when he wasn't drunk. I wanted him to quit his job so we could go on unemployment and put pressure on me to drop out of school and work full time, which I could then resist, but he wouldn't do it."

"They just kept on paying the bills, encouraging me to do well in school, providing a nurturing environment for success." He went on, the faintest hint of tears gleaming in his eyes, "It's as though they didn't even care whether I got into college or not."

Despite living daily with the unceasing ravages of normalcy, Todd managed to graduate valedictorian, earn three letters on the track team, and serve as president of the student council, all while starting and successfully growing a mail-order Mongolian ferret business on the internet into a multi-million-dollar powerhouse of rodentiary commerce.

He worked hard, and hoped that, despite his appalling paucity of sob stories, he could still somehow persevere and achieve his lifelong dream--to attend the jewel of the UC system.

But alas, it was not to be. He received his rejection letter last Tuesday, though he knew that several people with more chaotic home lives had been accepted with much lower scores.

Undaunted, he made a determined decision to use the tactics of the elitists, those who rose to the top solely through adversity, to press his case, using government pressure.

"Actually, I'm not sure I want to go now, after the way they've treated me, but there's a principle involved. I'll continue to fight until everyone realizes what a true challenge it is, in today's America, to make it without challenges."

UC Berkeley officials were unavailable for comment.

(Copyright 2002 by Rand Simberg)

Posted by Rand Simberg at August 14, 2002 10:30 AM
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Rand, you're my hero!
But you failed to point out an easy way for Todd to 'overcome adversity'. All he needs to do is say he's gay. Then he's a protected minority who has to daily overcome perceived stereotypes about the trustworthiness, masculinity, and morality of homosexuals. He is also automatically protected under the ADA.

(disclaimer: its the ADA and special preferences for some people that i dislike, not homosexuals.)

Posted by Celeste at August 14, 2002 10:54 AM

You once told me, in reference to Media Casualties Mount, that you doubted that the muse would ever again smack you upside the head.
How does it feel to be twice smitten?
I am really not much into space issues but it is things like this that make me check Transterrestial Musings at least once a day.

Posted by tom scott at August 14, 2002 11:26 AM

"Caca Fuego High?" Who named this boy's school?

Seems apt, I suppose...he certainly left a generous flaming bag of poop on UC Berkeley's front porch.

Posted by Charlie at August 14, 2002 02:16 PM

UPDATE: OK, OK, I read the rest of it, and I know it's a spoof post now. Please stop leaving the flaming bags on my porch.

Posted by Charlie at August 14, 2002 02:19 PM

Somewhere, some smart-aleck intelligent high-school student should do exactly that. I would be cheering him on.

Posted by Just John at August 14, 2002 02:51 PM

Rand, I know that they changed the SAT a lot, but, how do you get an SAT over 1700? When I took it (about 12 years ago), the highest score possible was 1600. I know that they started calling what used to be called "achievement tests" SATs in the last few years, but my understanding is that there are several of them, all scored on a 0-800 scale, so if they are included, his score is very poor, and if they are not, his score is impossible. Sounds fishy to me.

Posted by Paul Orwin at August 14, 2002 04:23 PM

You got me. That's what I get for not reading the whole thing. Its going to take a while to scrape all this egg off my face.

By the way, funny stuff!

Posted by Paul Orwin at August 14, 2002 04:26 PM

So uh, where can I get a Caca Fuego High bumper sticker?

Posted by J S Allison at August 14, 2002 07:39 PM


Actually the kid could have claimed adversity by claiming to be a sexually dysfunctional gay, which pretty much rules out demonstration of dysfunction. Taking my former life as a freshman as an example, there wouldn't be too activity in contradiction of that claim.

Posted by David Perron at August 15, 2002 03:21 AM

Great story! Reminded me of an entrance essay (don't know if it's real or not) allegedly written by one Hugh Gallagher. It's worth a read:

Posted by Chris at August 15, 2002 09:31 AM

Satire about California is redundant.

Posted by Kevin McGehee at August 16, 2002 11:08 AM

This is very funny. But I'm not surprised some of your readers had trouble recognizing it as satire. It's a little too close to reality.

My daughter is working as an SAT tutor this summer. Most of her students come from wealthy families with all the advantages -- except for disadvantage. Just yesterday a mother told her that they're paying for tutoring -- which the older siblings didn't get -- because a non-disadvantaged applicant now has to make National Merit and beat 1500 on her SATs to be competitive.

Middle-class parents who can't afford tutoring had better start drinking, divorcing and beating their kids.

Posted by Joanne Jacobs at August 16, 2002 12:27 PM

I recommend divorce, because it's a two-fer: not only do you get victim points for admission, you also get the head of the class for financial aid, since it's all based on mom's income and doesn't even include child support. A great deal all the way around.

If the parents don't want to cooperate, single motherhood for the chicks and gay for the dudes would be the next best thing.

Posted by Richard Bennett at August 16, 2002 05:11 PM

good one

Posted by ken anthony at August 18, 2002 05:44 PM

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