Thursday, March 14, 2019

Really, Lori Loughlin? Really?

Ironic that just last week I stumbled upon my notes from all my phone calls with the College Board in preparation for Benjamin and Mason to take their college entrance exams. I spent hours doing the leg work to acquire the accommodations they would need in order to take the SAT.

I acquired medical documentation from various doctors.

I wrote letters.

I spent hours on the phone.

I scheduled the test at a local high school. And then I re-scheduled when less than 24-hours before the  SAT the proctors for my sons decided they would not work that Saturday, leaving the test-site no opportunity to replace them and no way to administer the test.

We fretted knowing that waiting for the next scheduled SAT opportunity would greatly reduce the window for re-taking prior to college application deadlines. We wanted the boys to have a practice-run since this was so important and such a physical challenge for them. But we were completely at the mercy of the test-site and the proctors so we had no options. None.

In the meantime, my boys (and sweet girl who didn't need special accommodations) were working tirelessly on their regular high school curriculum while also adding in hours of SAT-prep work to ensure they were as prepared as possible.

They faced nay-sayers who challenged their ability to even go to college. And yet they forged ahead determined to overcome the barriers, determined to reach for their goals, and chase down their dreams.

So my blood threatens to reach a boiling point as I read the news of Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman (and many others!) buying and cheating and bribing to get their children top college options. And when I read that some of the accused in this scandal faked disabilities to get more test-taking time, my reaction was physical pain.

Because while I was pushing and working and getting all the reams of paperwork in place to show that Benjamin and Mason do in fact have Cerebral Palsy resulting in loss of motor skills that would allow them to fill in those tiny bubbles on the SAT, I was also grieving AGAIN, the fact that Benjamin and Mason have Cerebral Palsy and could not just sign up to take the SAT anywhere, anytime.

We have spent years watching people at Disneyland and Walt Disney World push a wheelchair around and rotate who uses it in order to get to the front of the line. We knew that when a cast member gave us a hard time or questioned us about the boys' disability, it was because they had been burned one time too many by someone who didn't actually need the wheelchair.

I always want to shake the people and tell them that standing in line is a privilege they should celebrate. STANDING is not something to be taken for granted. Oh man, would we love STANDING in a line!

So its not that I am shocked that these families thought they could work the system and give their children an "easy" college entrance. Oh but I am so sad. And frankly, I am so mad. Because now, just like at Disney, where we have to show we actually NEED the wheelchairs, things will get even harder for young people like my sons who actually need the accommodations in order to take college entrance exams. And because these parents have waved some cash in order to WORK LESS for admittance, I -- and all the mothers like me who already spend days juggling doctor visits, therapy sessions, medicines, medical equipment, and so much more -- will have to WORK MORE, will have to jump through more hoops, and say again and again that our children have limitations that require them to have test-taking accommodations. We will have to prove we aren't just looking for an easy way in to college. As if anything has been easy in the road to academia for these amazing kids who have endured so much in their lives.

I read a quote from Lori Loughlin's daughter that said she was just in college for the party scene, she wasn't sure she would even go to class. And I thought, of course not. Why would you? You walked in with fake credentials. You didn't work for the opportunity in the least. Of course you can not understand the utter privilege of attending an institute that could challenge your mind, help you grow into an adult who contributes to society and makes the world a better place to live.

In less than two months, my trio -- including my two sons with Cerebral Palsy -- will graduate from college. They have made the absolute most of their years on their respective college campuses. They will graduate with honors, with a myriad of honor society distinctions, and with an eagerness to be contributing members of society.

They did not take an easy road into college. They did not choose easy majors (as a matter of fact all three will graduate with majors and minors -- one with TWO majors and a minor!) and they did not let the roadblock of their disabilities get in their way.

I know they make the world a better place.

I am not sure these mothers who have cheated and lied, and bribed will be able to say the same.

Carol - The Blessings Counter


Unknown said...

Well said, Carol!

Unknown said...

I think it is such a wonderful thing that your Sons have done this on there own .cheaters never win in the end God knows what you and your sons have done tell your sons im so proud of them. Lucy Russell Clark

leslie m said...

Beautiful post!!!

Margot Cole said...

I feel the exact same way as you about this scandal as I have Cerebral Palsy and loved college. Congrats to your kids on graduating!

Nancy said...

congrats to you r crew

m8kadiff said...

You have helped your kids do an amazing thing and they will be forever grateful for the work it took to get them where they today.