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"You're making how much an hour"
"Two hundred dollars."
"Do you ride in on a pony" All she wants to do is teach. For Anna Taggert, an earnest Ivy League graduate, pursuing her passion as a teacher means engaging young hearts and minds. She longs to be in a place where she can be her best self, and give that best to her students. Turns out it isn't that easy. Landing a job at an elite private school in Manhattan, Anna finds her dreams of chalk ...
"You're making how much an hour"
"Two hundred dollars."
"Do you ride in on a pony" All she wants to do is teach. For Anna Taggert, an earnest Ivy League graduate, pursuing her passion as a teacher means engaging young hearts and minds. She longs to be in a place where she can be her best self, and give that best to her students. Turns out it isn't that easy. Landing a job at an elite private school in Manhattan, Anna finds her dreams of chalk boards and lesson plans replaced with board families, learning specialists, and benefit-planning mothers. Not to mention the grim realities of her small paycheck. And then comes the realization that the papers she grades are not the work of her students, but of their high-priced, college-educated tutors. After uncovering this underground economy where a teacher can make the same hourly rate as a Manhattan attorney, Anna herself is seduced by lucrative offers—one after another. Teacher by day, tutor by night, she starts to sample the good life her students enjoy: binges at Barneys, dinners at the Waverly Inn, and a new address on Madison Avenue. Until, that is, the truth sets in.
Lakhani paints a darkly comic picture of what a five-figure tuition bill really gets you at an elite Manhattan private school. The former Dalton English teacher knows the territory, and it is bleak. Here's Anna, a newbie teacher with Ivy credentials whose passion for the low-paying teaching profession is cause for celebration at the upper-crust Langdon school, where as the exotic-looking newcomer, she is mistakenly identified as a coveted minority hire. With low pay and even lower expectations from teachers and parents, Anna realizes there's no way she can survive-until she learns about lucrative after-school tutoring gigs. And just like that, Anna's ideals go out the window. In a hilarious out-of-control spiral into obsession with all-things designer, expensive and showy, Anna transforms into someone who believes money can buy everything and everyone. There is redemption, of course, in the form of a teacher who bucks the system, and Anna discovers some of her students are pretty wonderful. The realization comes rather abruptly, and the happy ending is a bit pat, but the romp through an unsettling, soulless world of adults and children who'd rather coast through life than live it provides plenty of laughs. (Aug.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Sharply observed debut."—People Magazine
"Witty, entertaining, and all together tantalizing."—Town & Country
"Biting teach and tell debut."—Redbook Magazine
"Utterly terrifying and delicious. I inhaled this novel in hours."—Jane Green
"Schooled easily finds itself to the head of the class."—Miami Herald
"By turns dishy, delightful, and hilarious, Anisha Lakhani's debut novel is also a biting teach and tell. Required reading!"—Claire Cook, author of Summer Blowout, Life's a Beach and Must Love Dogs
I vaguely remembered a desire to become a teacher and a belief that it was the most noble profession on earth. I was going to be Mother Teresa and Angelina Jolie rolled into one, motivated only by the desire to help others. Okay, and maybe wear cute little Rebecca Taylor skirt suits and look good while doing it. How could I have believed that the entire private school system was anything other than absolutely corrupt?
Just before graduation my singular goal had been to convince my parents that becoming a teacher was more important to me than any role I could ever hope to fulfill in my life. Their skepticism and disappointment had only served to further ignite my resolve. Our face-off had, like so many family arguments, been at the kitchen table. The lava had been simmering throughout dinner. The eruption was inevitable.
"I have never been so disappointed in all my life." One simple statement from my father, and I was liquefied. I looked across the table at my mother.
"Mom?" I started tentatively.
"I'm with your father, Anna. Honestly, what do you want me to say?"
"So this is it? This is your chosen profession?" I could swear the table was starting to shake.
"Yes. I'm going to be a teacher." Stay calm, Anna. I willed myself to look my father straight in the eye.
"Like in a school?"
"Yes, Dad, like in an actual school." I didn't get it. Where was all the disappointment and anger coming from? Wasn't this a good thing? Had I said I wanted to be a porn star? Or a poet?
My father's face was ashen.
"With metal detectors? And unions? P.S. pay nothing? P.S. screw you, Dad, for my Ivy League education?"
What?! Here I was, professing my decision to pursue a career that was considered quite possibly the most noble profession on Earth, and my father was ... angry?
"Dad! I have such a passion for it. You should see me in my student-teaching class. I really get these kids and they love me!" It was true. I knew the word passion sounded cheesy, but it was appropriate. For the last two semesters I had been doing my student teaching at P.S. 6 on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Despite the constant supervision of the head teacher, I had basically been teaching a seventh-grade history class. I remembered the look of pain on my students' faces when I had told them we would he learning about the Bill of Rights in the Constitution, and how it had turned to excitement when I had announced that we would be creating rap songs to explain each amendment. A few eyebrows had been raised by teachers who passed my room in the hallway-there was music playing at any given time in my classroom with at least two kids standing on chairs performing their rap-but I got twenty-two initially apathetic students to understand the American Constitution by the unit's end. It was the proudest day of my life.
I took a deep breath and resolved to try a fresh approach.
"Dad, when I teach, I am the best of who I am." It was true. "I am never more proud of myself, more certain of my purpose, than when I'm with my students." He seemed to be softening.
"Anna, do you realize how lucky you are? You are going to graduate from Columbia. You can be ANYTHING. Do you remember how hard it was for all of us to get where we are? Your mother and I worked so that you and your brother could have the education that would allow you to lead comfortable lives ... better lives than ours. One of my greatest achievements, Anna, is that I am in a position to pay for you to go to any law or business school in the country that you get into. Hell, you can skip grad school and I'll start you with an analyst position at Merrill Lynch. We can drive in to work together. Is this making any sense to you? Do you know how much teachers actually make? Less ... than ... a ... gar ... bage ... man." My father said the last five words slowly, as if to chastise me with each syllable.
Before I had a chance to open my mouth, my mother chimed in: "Honey, we love you so much, and truth be told you've had a pretty cushy life so far. You really haven't had to pay for anything substantial. I know you think this is noble-your father and I do, too, but really, Anna, you can teach anytime. Go have a real career, and then teach after you've had your kids. Not now!"
I was furious. How condescending could they be? Apparently, I was a three-year-old more in need of a sippy cup than parental support. Teaching was not a fallback career. Okay, it wasn't cash-centered, but it was important. Very important. I suddenly looked at my parents through new eyes. Hypocrites. All my life I had heard my father complain about the long hours he spent at work. Phrases like money means nothing when you are old and can't enjoy it and nothing beats spending time with your children were thrown around our house on a daily basis by my mother. The beeping of the microwave, which signaled Mom reheating dinner in the middle of the night for my dad, was practically my childhood soundtrack. If I had a dollar for every teacher who thought my parents were divorced (my dad had the distinction of having never once attended a parent-teacher conference), I would have been able to retire by junior year. And now this? My parents wanted me to be an analyst? I was feeling deeply self-righteous and suddenly quite sarcastic.
"I'm sorry, Dad. You're right. Merrill Lynch. I can't wait to lead a lonely existence full of zero fulfillment. I'll be like all the other daughters of your friends who you are so proud of. I forgot that my sole existence in life is to please you and Mom. Gosh, how could I have been so carelessly independent?"
The look on my father's face was clear: I had gone too far. But I wasn't sorry. The direction this conversation had taken was entirely their fault. I had envisioned teary pride and heartfelt congratulations that they had raised such a well-intentioned, nonmaterialistic daughter. I hadn't announced that I was running away with my rock star boyfriend (not that I had one, but I could have). I hadn't made a dramatic declaration that I was going to join the Peace Corps. I opened my mouth to continue, but judging from my mother's face and her position right next to my father, I knew that anything I had to say was futile at this point.
"Okay. Go. Teach. But we're not helping you out one bit. Pay your rent. Buy your food. Ha-even more hilarious-pay your bills. Go have fun. We just wish you had told us you were going to take a Columbia University education and go teach. We wouldn't have bothered paying for it."
That did it. My parents were officially the most unreasonable people alive. Any desire to rationalize with these people was gone. They were mercenaries. Republicans. Supporters of the system that kept the working man (me) from ever getting a break.
I stormed out of the kitchen, brushed past my brother who had been eavesdropping in the hall, and went straight to my room. In a blur of tears and frustration I zipped open a duffel bag and crammed in as many clothes as I could, throwing my cell phone charger on top. I knew my parents were downstairs talking about me, but I was beyond caring. I was against everything they stood for. I didn't need them or their money. I would be fine on my own. I would make my own way. Okay, I guess that I would have to drive their BMW to the train station, but that would be the absolute last time I would drive a luxury car that promoted the evil empire. After that I would make my own way.
I couldn't stop thinking about how mean my parents were. Or how noble I was. If it weren't for people like me, the children of the world would never be educated. There would never be a cure for cancer, a car that would get sixty miles to the gallon, or a poet laureate to usher in the country's first female, African American president. I felt lonely, abandoned, and completely misunderstood. I had never had such a fierce argument with my parents, had never before left my house vowing never to look back. Well, actually, there was that one other time in the first grade when I had huffed my favorite Barbie chair all the way to the end of the driveway, sitting and stewing there till lunchtime because my parents had, in my wise opinion, favored my brother a little too much over breakfast. It was the smell of grilled cheese that had lured me back in that day. But there was nothing-nothing!-that could change my mind this time. I just knew I was right.
By the time I reached Grand Central, I was drained and homeless with only fifteen hundred dollars in the bank (an accumulation of graduation gifts) to last me for the summer. Or maybe a lifetime. Who else to turn to but Bridgette?
Bridgette Meyers was my best friend and sorority sister from Columbia. We had been suitemates in Carmen Hall-"suite" being Columbia's charming euphemism for a multi-occupancy cinder block cell-before upgrading into the Delta Gamma brownstone. Now Bridge had upgraded once more, and was living in a gorgeous doorman building in the East Seventies. She was an analyst at Morgan Stanley and was already making enough money to have decorated her entire space in subtle shades of sleek gray. I had visited her once over the summer, and even though I secretly felt like she had re-created a Maurice Villency showroom, complete with low couches, shag rug, and lighting fixtures that looked just like little spaceships, her apartment was definitely grown-up. Bridgette had been working part-time at the firm for the last semester; the week after graduation she moved to full-time. I really hadn't given much thought to what that had meant until she opened the door to her apartment. Almost overnight, Bridgette appeared to have aged a decade, but in that very sexy twentysomething way. She had just gotten home from work and was wearing a black pencil skirt, a fitted silk shirt, and what looked suspiciously like Jimmy Choo heels. Suddenly I was very conscious of my jeans and T-shirt.
"Hey, sis," she said warmly, opening her arms and engulfing me in a big hug. "Are you okay?" One look at her I'm-so-sorry-you-have-a-blue-collar-job expression and I was dangerously close to bursting into tears. Seemed like the whole world was either mad at me or felt sorry for me.
"Bridgette, I am seriously going to be out of here before you know it," I promised, and I meant it.
"Sweetie, are you kidding? What are sisters for? But seriously, are you sure this is what you want to do?" Bridgette looked sadly at my one lonely duffel, then directed me to the fold-out couch. "I mean, all the Delta Gamma sisters thought you were just messing around. Nobody thought you actually wanted to teach."
"Why is everyone acting like I have a disease or something?" I cried. "This is a normal career. Teaching. Normal. Some parents are actually happy when their children take this path! And Langdon is the most prestigious school in Manhattan. Do you know how lucky I am that I got this job?"
"I guess," Bridgette responded vaguely. "But Langdon is a place people go. It's not like a place where you work.... Listen, there's this thing tonight. Do you wanna go? You aren't going to start at Langdon till the end of August anyway. Come, it'll get your mind off ... stuff."
Stuff. That's what my dreams had been reduced to.
"Where?" I was suspicious, and just a little resentful that a few weeks after graduation my best friend from college wore designer clothes, lived in a designer apartment, and had a "thing" she was invited to in Manhattan.
"Just this Morgan Stanley summer analyst thing at Bungalow 8. They like, I don't know ... rent clubs and stuff. It's so lame, but lame fun, you know?" Rent out clubs? For summer analysts straight out of college? I may have gone to college in New York City, but my Manhattan had ended at Tom's Diner on 112th Street-fraternity and sorority parties on campus and nearby bars had erased my need to venture downtown. I was definitely not a New Yorker and the fact that Bridgette had beat me to it irrated me more than I was willing to admit.
"Downtown is too ... far," I finished lamely. "They're just trying to impress you."
"Anna, listen, this is just how it is. In the i-banking world, first-year analysts work their butts off, but yeah, the hard work we do is appreciated. That's where the free dinners at Nobu and parties at Bungalow come in. Also, we're working so hard that it's only at these events that we can just hang and get to know each other!"
I shook my head in disbelief. How naive could she be?
"Bridge, they're doing that stuff for you like a crack dealer gives out free shit to first-time clients! They want you to become addicted to this life so that they can use you. Once you taste how good a $400 meal at Nobu is, you'll be willing to put in whatever hours are necessary to be able to afford more dinners like that!"
It was all becoming so clear to me. I felt like I had been under a rock for twenty-two years. We were living in a society so blinded with fancy labels and exclusive restaurants that we were losing all sense of morality. What about happiness? Having time with your friends and family? Bridgette would be grinding away trying to raise millions for a company that might never know her name just so she could have a piece of ninety-dollar sushi and sashay her hips in a dark nightclub? Still, jobs like Bridgette's were rewarded with juicy salaries and addictive bonuses, whereas my role as teacher of America's youth would barely cover one month's rent.
We were replacing students with sushi.
"Okay, Anna, SERIOUSLY, you're taking this workers-of-the-world-unite thing too far. You want to teach. I get it. But are you coming with me or what? You'll love Bungalow." Bridgette gave me the same look I had seen on my mother's face: you're-going-through-a-phase-and-I'm-not-buying-into-it.
"No. You go." I pouted.
"Annie, at least teaching gives you the summer off. Come have fun with me ... it'll be like old times," Bridgette pressed, clearly unconvinced that I had abandoned the old me who would have been out the door five minutes ago. I glared back at her, not even bothering to hide my resentment.
Bridgette sighed and came over to the couch to sit beside me. I crossed my legs defensively and stared at her blank plasma screen. If she gave me a sympathetic hug I was certain I would explode.
"Just go! I don't want your pity!" I shouted, jumping and grabbing my duffel. I could take anything but the pity hug. "This was a mistake. I'll find somewhere else to live."
"ANNA!" Bridgette ran to her door and blocked the entrance. "Okay. I get it. You're going to teach ... I can't say that I don't respect someone who actually wants to go to work every morning."
Aha! The crack I had been waiting for!
"So you don't want to go to work every morning?" I challenged.
"I didn't say that."
"But you implied it."
"Bridgette! This is me," I pleaded. "Since when did you have to impress me? I don't even recognize you with all this ... this Jetsons furniture and analyst bullshit. Come down to earth, please?" Bridgette began twirling a piece of hair nervously, her eyes focused on a bizarre standing lamp that arched over her entire couch.
"The sound of my alarm clock every morning has already become ... a ... noose that seems to be tightening every day."
Her voice cracked when she said "noose," and there in front of me, finally, was a glimpse of my best friend from college. I almost wept with relief. After months of robotic "I love i-banking!" declarations, here was the lovable, lazy Bridgette I knew and adored. The girl who got herself through Lit Hum class at Columbia solely through SparkNotes and had her chicken cutlet sandwiches and Broadway milk shakes delivered from Tom's Diner even though our sorority house was around the corner.
"I can't go out because I'm flat-out broke," I admitted, but was starting to grin.
"The majority of my life is spent in a fucking cubicle," she shot back, grinning even wider.
Excerpted from SCHOOLED by ANISHA LAKHANI
Copyright © 2008 by Anisha Lakhani. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted February 1, 2011
Fun, entertaining, great read! Sex and the City meets Dead Poet's Society. LOVED it! I'm a teacher and I highly recommend it! Can't wait until Lakhani's next book!
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Posted May 14, 2010
I loved this book. It was clever and fun to read. And now I wonder if this kind of thing actually happens within the schools of the super rich. This is the perfect beach read. It's like cotton candy for your mind. Nothing too heavy - but a great, read. I have recommended this to a couple of my girlfriends.
I am sure there are people who are materialistic like the students and parents in this book. I understand the struggle of the main character - she wants to follow her dream of teaching but finds out that it is financially harder than she thought, especially once she gets sucked into the shallow environment of the "rich kids" school. She gets caught up in a whirlwind expensive "stuff." She needs it to fit in and impress her students.
I am glad the book ends the way it does -very good.
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Posted October 6, 2008
As a student of The Dalton School, the main thing she blatantly critizes, I ask everyone NOT to support this book. A lot of what she says is completely untrue. I have never had any friends who needed tutors and had to sink to the level of letting and or asking them to do their homework for them. What she speaks of is completely untrue. And how can she criticize and mock people who wear brand label clothing to school when she married a rich man and came to school everyday wearing the same type of clothing. She also preferred and favored all of the CLIQUEY girls yet she has the nerve to say bad things about them. And seriously she should have known Dalton was going to be different than the other schools she taught at. And if she really didn't want to be known as someone who taught there she shouldn't have accepted the job. Plus a lot of the teachers and main characters in the book are actual people teaching and currently attending the Dalton School. If she was going to be so onpoint with the descriptions of the characters 'and clearly give away who it was at the school' than she should have made it a memoir and not a fictional exposé when it clearly wasn't. DO NOT SUPPORT THIS BOOK BY BUYING IT.
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Posted April 21, 2014
Posted January 30, 2011
Posted February 21, 2010
A perfect reminder that homework is bull, that school has little to do with education; and that a lot of parents only care about college names for the public "Wow" factor.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 15, 2009
If you're looking for a deep and philosophical book this clearly isn't it but it was very fun to read. The designer labels were overkill after a while but honestly I think that was the point the author was trying to make. She wanted the reader to see just how ridiculous it all looked and sounded. The story was very easy to get into. It was also a quick read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 25, 2009
I enjoyed this book but got a little bogged down with the constant barrage of "designer labels". Ms. Lakhani could still have a great story without the over-usage of these. A good "light" read with a promising ending.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
This book was fascinating to me and i can definitley relate seeing as I am a school teacher by day and a tutor by night. It is quite sad the sense of entitlement students being tutored exhibit. They think it is out duty to re-teach to such an extreme that they may not even need be present for the lecture in their classes. I tutor college students as well and it is nothing about the age, it is that these kids know their parents will pay any sum of money to get their kids through school, and we tutors know that we are replaceable so we must be steadfast in helping them and promote progress for the student. This book accurately represents the inner struggle many of us have to ask ourselves daily whether or not this tutoring is worth it and if it negates all of our hard work in the classroom, well then why do we bother? You dont go into teaching for the money afterall.... Well it is a great book, however, a little romance would have brought it to life a bit more, I think the writer wanted to keep this on one basic topic and in that she succeeded.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 30, 2009
I Also Recommend:
Everyone who has ever had a bad job, been disillusioned in a new career, or gotten smacked in the face by life should read this book. This new teacher, working at an elite private school in New York City, quickly discovers that none of the other teachers want her to do more than go through the motions. The parents of the students also complain that she is taking up the students' time with projects, and the parents are horrified when she tries to give a test in class. The students themselves don't resspect her until she starts wearing the same designer labels that they do, which she can afford once she climbs aboard the tutoring treadmill, charging outrageous sums to basically do the homework of students in other private schools, just as she knows other tutors are doing her students' homework. It's a vapid existence in a world of vapid, rich New Yorkers who seem to have no concept of the damage they're doing to their children by actively preventing them from learning. Public school doesn't seem so bad after spending time with these sad rich families.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 4, 2009
I was engrossed in this book because of its depiction of a world and a lifestlye that is so removed from most of us. However, I'm smart enough to realize that not all private school kids are this spoiled, self-centered and just plain dumb. I'm sure that many students are smart and work hard. How far can you get in ivy-league schools if you've never written anything yourself? Believe me, I attended one myself. I am not a minority neither part of the elite and I refuse to believe that everyone with money is shallow and will only pay for things, not strive to get them on merit. All in all, take it for what it is: an exaggerated tale. Still interesting, though.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 6, 2008
I Also Recommend:
Throughout the book you're a cheerleader for Anna. She has the passion to be the best teacher she can be, and dedicated to her students..However, she finds what it's like to teach 12 year olds and their tutors...By the end of the book you are happy not to be one of those parents on the Upper East Side, you kind of pity them....A great read!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 20, 2008
Having just finished Anisha Lakhani's Schooled, I could not wait to share it with my teacher friends. Not only was this a book I could not put down, but it brought back memories of my earlier teacher days. Having been in the private sector for years, it allowed me to have many ah-ha moments mixed with the wit and humor of a fantastic writer. Anisha knows where she's going in her literary genre and I can not wait for her next book to be ready! I highly recommend this book and sing its praise to everyone!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 14, 2008
As a former Lakhani student, I feel that I have a right to feel betrayed in a sense. Personally, I thought she was a great teacher. Unfortunately, the book seemed to be a biased biography of Lakhani's life at Dalton. The book makes it sound as if almost everyone at Dalton (and other NYC private schools) has a personal tutor that does work for them, and even worse, students are allowed to cheat! That is absolutely not true. The picture of the school that she portrays in the book is almost exactly like Dalton, located in the same spot with the same security guard, same theater, and even the same lessons as taught by Lakhani when she was a teacher! The way she describes a teacher with who she supposedly feuded with at Dalton is just plain wicked.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 29, 2008
My Review of SCHOOLED by Anisha Lakhani Submitted by Karen Haney, July, 2008 For those of us who are teachers, we are too late! The ¿Nanny Diaries¿ of education we have always wanted to pen, has been written. Anisha Lakhani¿s Schooled is the story of Anna Taggert and her experiences with the world of education from the teacher¿s side of the desk¿. well, at least if the desk is in privileged Manhattan private schools. Anna, who comes from a grounded family of well educated parents who are pleased she is graduating from Columbia, are shocked when she tells them she is going to teach. She has the drive and heart of the young, dedicated, and clueless who go into education for all the right reasons and haven¿t as yet been jaded by the bureaucracy and red tape! She is prepared for the reality of lesson plans, inspiring students, and smaller paychecks, or thinks she is until she really gets into the job. Anna quickly notices that all the students, as well as an aloof teacher named ¿Randi¿ all dress better than she does. Their Channel book bags alone cost more than a month¿s salary. Her walkup apartment is far from the rewards her Ivy League friends are now living in with their high paying jobs. It doesn¿t take Anna too long to realize that not only do the students not want to do the work she enthusiastically tries to inspire them to do, but nor do the parents whose interests only lie in the ¿A¿ grade. Their child¿s admission to THE ¿right college¿ with these ¿A¿ grades, as well as time to socialize outside of school, attending every party, bar mitzvah, and opening available to them is these parents¿ and children¿s priority. Anna finds that the work her students turn in, impressive as it is, is not being done by them at all, but rather by high paid tutors¿VERY high paid tutors! Her idealism is short lived as she is lured into the life tutoring can afford her. When reprimanded by the headmaster for making students actually work in class, Anna finally relents. As she connects with Randi and the golden haired mothers outside school, Anna is enticed by the designer clothes and is soon strutting into school herself in Juicy jumpsuits, with a new designer bag by her side. She spends her days off literally spending at Barney¿s, being hosted at swanky restaurants for lunch and dinner, and residing at a new address on Madison Avenue. Anna goes overboard as the heady feeling of this lifestyle carries her away, but it doesn¿t take much for reality to quickly burst her bubble and finally pop her back into the real world. How Anna handles the precocious adolescents and parents and her whirlwind life in the fast lane of name-dropping fashion and places she is wined and dined, makes for a delightfully decadent romp in Manhattan¿s world of private education. Anisha Lakhani¿s personal connection with this real slice of the privileged life, adds a bit of authenticity to a story that most mortals, especially educators, might find hard to believe. The story entertains and is a fast, light read that keeps you going if for no other reason than to read more about a life one would like to temporarily imagine living in! Strongly recommended for an enjoyable education! Submitted by K. Haney, July, 2008Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 8, 2008
Schooled is the perfect primer for every middle-American family with a college-bound or currently enrolled college student. Anisha Lakhani wrote a novel but the real world is easily visible between the lines¿except to the students, parents, school administrators, and academic parasites she amusingly describes. She admirably explains just how little $500,000-plus per child buys in tuition, tutoring, and donations to exclusive, private New York City preparatory schools. Aberrant families that ¿fork it over¿ get, on average, a pseudo-¿A¿ student headed for an Ivy League university¿a hollow teenager for whom lying, cheating, and literally staying ¿in fashion¿ is the only way to live a virtually illiterate teenager whose parents successfully instilled in them that the end 'or admission to the ¿right¿ university' is justifiable by any means¿honesty, morals, and personal integrity be damned! Schooled¿s hero, Anna Taggart, gets her teaching ¿dream job¿ and then quickly learns that grades, not education, are the only things valued by moneyed-New York City families. And that grades are the product of a tutor¿s, not student¿s work. She awkwardly succumbs to the obvious conflict-of-interest first by becoming the enemy 'or tutor', and then by shirking more-and-more of her teaching responsibilities, all in the pursuit of more money. Between her shopping fixes and overt plagiarism, Anna gradually sees that tutoring has completely supplanted teaching: Everything she does is in the names of Prada, Klein, Gucci, Lauren, and other so-called arbiters of ¿I deserve it¿ merchandise. From newbie teacher to veteran prostitute before Thanksgiving break! That is the ¿filthy lucre¿ world into which Ms. Taggart fell, and eventually rose from after her own ¿Howard Beale moment¿ '¿I¿m made as hell and I¿m not going to take it any more,¿ from the movie, Network'. Schooled explains why honest, middle-American students are forced to study every spare minute to just barely maintain their academic success. Their academic servitude is mandatory because their intellectually honest, personally researched and written papers are graded in comparison to papers prepared by academic whores with bachelor, master, or doctoral qualifications after their names! Even more vulgar is the fact that instructors assign ¿A¿ grades without any remorse since it might affect their own outside tutoring income! After such a revealing story, only one question lingers: Did Harold Moscowitz have a ¿faux¿ mitzvah, too?Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 1, 2012
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Posted October 1, 2010
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Posted October 27, 2008
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