Apology To Graduates

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Summary Response Essay In the May 2004 Newsweek article “Apology to Graduates,” author Anna Quindlen states, “It is no longer enough to make it; you must make it BIG. Television has turned everything into a contest, from courtship to adoption.” Quindlen is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. She has also won many other awards for her many articles and columns on topics ranging from motherhood to politics. She has been a successful columnist for The New York Post, New York Times and Newsweek magazines. She has also written four best-selling novels, one of which was made into a movie. She holds many honorary doctorates and is a graduate of Barnard College in New York City. Quindlen shows great insight into the shift in values and goals in today’s generation as she addresses a graduating class with a tone of regret and apology. She begins by comparing herself to modern day children with growing up in a fairy tale; once upon a time, her life was a lot simpler. There is too much pressure on children from such a young age, not long after they start walking and talking, to become overachievers. She writes of people who set challenging goals of attending college with unreasonable, and often unreachable, expectations. There are too many forces at work showing them how easy it is to fail. She points out that although the average life span is longer than ever, the pace is exhausting and children are pushed to do more, and do it faster and better than everyone else. She also implies that children are made to feel that they must not disappoint those who hold such high expectations and have provided them with all of the opportunities to become successful. In life, they compete with others to see who can achieve the most in terms of education, career, money and prestige. Quindlen implied that the perfect lives, at one time, clearly revolved around a good life and healthy

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