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Eliot Schrefer
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Entries by Eliot Schrefer

Resourceful Teens Will Always Find Books To Read

(1) Comments | Posted November 19, 2014 | 9:10 AM

When I was a teenager, what I most wanted to read were fantasy novels. Not Tolkien and Malory, but sword-and-sorcery pulp. I craved glowy blue magic, chainmail bikinis, dragons with unpronounceable names. Today I might head into the young adult section to find these stories, but this was the nineteen-eighties,...

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What the Monster Wrote: How Will the College Board Grade a Well-Written Endorsement of Evil?

(3) Comments | Posted January 31, 2012 | 5:06 PM

I wrote the following after I pretended to be a teenager and took the SAT. My experiment was to write an essay endorsing evil and see how it got scored. The result was written up by the New York Times.

I work as a private tutor, and every...

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Despite Reports, Gay Cheating Elves Haven't Quite Rocked the Video Gaming World

(3) Comments | Posted December 7, 2009 | 4:00 PM

Oh my God, Zevran's seeing someone else.

That was my reaction when I first read the New York Times article yesterday about the controversy surrounding the gay romance option in the popular new video game Dragon Age Origins.

The article included a screenshot from the game, a beefcake...

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A Governor is a Governor Isn't a Governor: Palin's 2006 Campaign From the Ground

(3) Comments | Posted September 25, 2008 | 1:59 PM

Truth: Palin won the race to become Governor of Alaska.

Truth: The number of registered voters in Alaska is smaller than the population of Staten Island.

Palin won the election through speeches given in fields and door-to-door canvassing. Without a doubt, she did both effectively....

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Five Scientific Reasons Not to Commit Suicide

(11) Comments | Posted September 18, 2008 | 3:20 PM

Dismayed by the recent news of David Foster Wallace's death, I've been wondering about suicide prevention. The traditional messages we offer to those who are suffering - you are not alone, help is always available, don't let temporary mindsets seem like life sentences - are crucial but clearly don't work...

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The Anxiety Business

(1) Comments | Posted July 12, 2008 | 2:12 PM

With admissions rules and testing procedures changing seasonally as colleges struggle to adjust to the introduction of the new SAT in 2005, it's easy for the press to grow numb to the details. But this summer the College Board quietly announced a new policy that will allow students to take...

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The Death Expert?: Apocalypto and the Bravado of Expertise

(7) Comments | Posted December 28, 2006 | 1:10 PM

As I watched, and failed to enjoy, Apocalypto, I realized that Mel Gibson was producing a spectacle of death that he himself didn't have to endure - after all, he got to wipe away the fake blood and have lunch with the actors after he killed them. The audience,...

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The Working Class SAT

(19) Comments | Posted August 30, 2006 | 12:19 AM

Elite private school educations leave students unprepared for a standardized test with which their public school counterparts are innately familiar.

My high school English teacher liked to read Elle while she graded our final exams. There was nary a red pen involved in the process. The Scan-Tron machine puttered...

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The Disability Gap

(18) Comments | Posted July 6, 2006 | 1:48 PM

Nationwide, under 2% of students have learning disabilities severe enough to qualify for extra time on the SAT. In private school Manhattan, the percentage is substantially greater. And that means dramatically higher scores.

At Horace Mann high school in affluent Riverdale, New York, one of the top schools in the...

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Tutors Take Manhattan

(15) Comments | Posted June 12, 2006 | 8:32 PM

In New York City, a year of SAT tutoring can carry a price tag of $25,000, all to secure a competitive edge over middle class America.

In my business -- SAT tutoring -- you get used to sighs. A client's mother frets over the sheer amount of work her...

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