All Loves Excelling

All Loves Excelling Don T Let Us Down With These Words, Amanda S Mother Leaves Her Only Child At A Dauntingly Prestigious Boarding School At Her Mother S Insistence, Amanda Has Come Here Solely To Gain The Credentials She Needs To Get Into An Ivy League College And She Will Do It Or Die Trying

Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the All Loves Excelling book, this is one of the most wanted Josiah Bunting author readers around the world.

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  • Paperback
  • 320 pages
  • All Loves Excelling
  • Josiah Bunting
  • English
  • 05 September 2019
  • 9780425186121

10 thoughts on “All Loves Excelling

  1. says:

    Don t ask T.S Eliot why April is the cruelest month Ask the thousands of students checking their mail for admissions letters.Nowadays, even the most brilliant writer of the 20th century would be worried Imagine the notes on Eliot s application folder at Harvard or Yale Male WASP speaks some Chinese and Greek weak athlete published a few poems Recommendation Wait List Families determined to send a child to the Ivies can t start early enough The anecdotes of parental strategy arrive pre satirized A woman calls a prestigious kindergarten for advice on timing her pregnancy to coincide with the school s application deadline Parents hire a consultant to teach their 3 year old to make eye contact during admissions interviews College consultants begin coaching stressed out middle schoolers.Josiah Bunting has seen enough He was headmaster of the Lawrenceville School, an independent boarding school in New Jersey, from 1987 to 1995 He s now superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute This month, he published All Loves Excelling, a novel that does for prep schools what Uncle Tom s Cabin did for slavery.His morality tale tells the tortured story of Amanda Bahringer, a smart, athletic student who enters the fictional St Matthews boarding school for a post graduate year It s a place implacably hostile to leisure a place of furious energy and bustle This is her final attempt to shape an academic, athletic, and extracurricular resume that Dartmouth College will find irresistible.Any number of prestigious prep schools will recognize themselves in St Matthews The campus in upstate New York is vast and woody The ancient stone buildings inspire awe The culture sparks with idiosyncratic traditions The erudite faculty demand much of their brilliant students Early in the fall, when parents drop off their children and 26,000, the parking lot contains the pride of the automobile manufactory of three continents Amanda s mother, Tess, is Lady MacBeth costumed by Martha Stewart She s so determined to get her daughter into Dartmouth that she literally loves her to death And in St Matthews, she s found the perfect accomplice.Bunting delineates the schizophrenic prep school culture with brutal honesty The headmaster, old Dr Pass, is a rousing advocate for the noble pursuit of intellectual excellence and liberal virtue But how much does he really know or care to know about the machinery of his own school, about the way its noble values have been rendered quaint and irrelevant in the process of securing ever prestigious placement for their graduates While he preaches sweetly about the poetry of Gerard Manly Hopkins, the college placement officer brags about the school s clout with Ivy League admissions departments St Matthews knows how to market its students how to cram in the most AP courses, the most impressive volunteer work, the most desirable musical instruments It s what we re in business to do, he winks to the nervous parents.As the school year begins, the St Matthews s juggernaut rolled invincibly forward, its Victories and Achievements mounting daily, its endowment skyrocketing Amanda finds herself in an atmosphere of powerless compliance with unceasing expectation Her love of piano boils away under the pressure to master a piece that will impress Dartmouth Her fondness for poetry fades next to the need to memorize words for the SAT.She weighs herself compulsively on a scale calibrated to one hundredth of a pound Sleeping less and less, she remains convinced she can manage her anxiety with a dazzling array of medications that have turned many well heeled students into amateur pharmacists.Every time I wanted to toss this disturbing book aside, the ghost of some outrageous parent or desperate student at the prep school where I taught would rise up and remind me that it s impossible to exaggerate the corrupting influence of the college admission process.The nation s wealthiest families aren t, perhaps, the most sympathetic candidates for concern, but well meaning parents, faculty, and administrators involved in this maw of ceaseless assessment and pressure would do well to consider Bunting s warning At the other end of the scale, there s a different nation at risk.http www.csmonitor.com 2001 0417 p1

  2. says:

    Amanda Bahringer is taking a 5th year of high school at the prestigious St Matthew s Academy in order to bring up her grades, her SAT scores, and get into Dartmouth College the only suitable option in her mother s mind She s under tremendous pressure to perform both academically and physically she s a cross country runner Amanda works really hard to meet her goals, but it doesn t seem like it s going to be enough for Dartmouth or for her mother This is another one of those pressure cooked teen books, where the teen involved gets stuck in a cycle of academics and sports and self medication, and eating disorders and loses everything Nothing she does is good enough for herself or her exacting mother It s like there are no other options if Dartmouth isn t part of the equation It s frustrating enough watching a character with spunk self destruct, but Amanda is one of those quiet unassuming girls who isn t particularly interesting or quirky She doesn t even take the opportunity of being in boarding school to really develop into a strong person So this story of her self destruction isn t engaging It s sad, but it s hard to care about her plight.This reminds me strongly of Prep, which also had a rather flimsy protagonist with whom I found it difficult to connect I think it does matter to some extent when you encounter a book and what you ve read in the past If I d encountered it before I d already read so many similar types of books, maybe I d have been impressed Instead, I found it to be a rather colorless story that I d already heard many times before.The book ends with a possibly cruel twist Amanda takes her own life drowns herself in the river when it seems that Dartmouth has rejected her despite all of her efforts And after her funeral, her father checks the mail and there s an envelope from Dartmouth there Is it an acceptance letter Is it a rejection letter We won t ever know It s not Dartmouth s fault that Amanda is dead It s Amanda s fault for not being able to see beyond other people s expectations But you have to ask yourself, if Amanda had been accepted would she have eventually cracked under the pressure anyway And that s another story I ve heard all too many times.

  3. says:

    interesting book about what happens when parents put their expections for themselves on their children

  4. says:

    What an odd situation Amanda, having failed to get into any of the colleges she applied to, is sent by her parents to St Matthew s a prestigious prep school for a fifth year of high school Her task, whether or not she chooses to accept it, is to get accepted at Dartmouth While her father just wants to see her happy, for her mother nothing short of Dartmouth will do.St Matthews is one of those schools that takes itself very, very seriously it is an Old Boys type of school that prides itself on Ivy League acceptances and powerful alumnae It is the type of place where students are taught that they must be the best, the brightest, because they are there, never mind their parents inevitably deep pocketbooks It is also, for some reason, a school that kicks out several students a month do they not have any other methods of enforcing rules But for students like Amanda, it is also something else it is a particular kind of pressure cooker, because Amanda is not there because of any particular success, but because she has not yet succeeded in the ways her parents well, her mother want.Amanda s mother who is, I m sorry, a clich can t accept anything other than the best from her daughter Not enough for her daughter to be creative or love running she has to be lauded for her academic prowess, and her running must serve to get her to Dartmouth Andit s not that Amanda isn t trying She s an incredibly hard worker But she d probably do a lot better to set her sights elsewhere.I honestly don t understand the mix of colleges she selects Dartmouth, Colgate, Hamilton, and Trinity It s the same set that she was rejected from or wait listed at the previous year there s no indication that she has any interest in any of them other than the first The school doesn t help the adults keep referring to such schools as good little schools and the like even as they encourage her to look farther than Dartmouth Amanda isI don t know what she is She has no friends in a different setting, she and Toby might be friends ditto Daniella, although I think her purpose is to showcase who Amanda isn t She liked running, once She likes piano, maybe, or maybe she liked it once Her mother has pushed her to the point where she can no longer see either as anything but a means to an end By this point Amanda is almost devoid of either personality or personal ambition Dartmouth may have become her goal, but it seems only to satisfy her mother I don t really know who Amanda is by the end of the story, and I m not sure whether or not that s intentional.I won t spoil the ending instead I ll turn to the author blurb Bunting is described as a Vietnam vet Amanda s father , a former headmaster Amanda s headmaster , a pianist Amanda , and a long distance runner Amanda I suspect, though I have no basis for it, that he fancied himself something of a cross between the headmaster and the father of the story.

  5. says:

    After reading All Loves Excelling, I realized that my life can be related to the main character, Amanda s, life Having to be excel in everything that you do explains Amanda s situation Her mother put her into St Matthew s Boarding school to help her get her grades up and hopefully get her into Dartmouth college Along with dealing with all of her advanced classes and getting A s in all of them, she has track as her sport She ends up putting so much pressure onto herself that she becomes anorexic and takes large amounts of anti anxiety pills In the end, she gets rejected into Dartmouth, and it pushes herself over the edge She ends up weighing 88 pounds, and committing suicide by putting rocks into her jacket and drowning herself in a frozen lake When you finish reading this book, you definitely take everything that you read in It will make you think about everything for the next couple days.I have learned one thing from this book I guess it would be that you should excel in everything you do, but don t ever let anything fall from your hands because it will pull you down with it Overall, I think that this is the best book I have read, and I could not put it down It s a must read

  6. says:

    I read the back and this book sounded good Throughout I was a little confused at points, some of the plot seems pointless It is generally a criticism of the college application process However, I find it very hard to relate to the main character is from a family with no financial problems, and she attends a fifth year of high school, to boost her grades to the point where she can get into Dartmouth She has numerous perscription drugs that she uses to calm nerves, anxiety, and as sleep aids The book has very strong compliments printed on the back, but I do not see what the hype is about The circumstance is not one that is your average applying to college situation, and I was dissapointed by the dramatic, dark, unseemly ending.

  7. says:

    This book is about an overbearing mother who sends her only child to a boarding school so that her child can improve her grades and hopefully get into Dartmouth.The book was interesting in the fact that it showed the pressures young adults face from parents as well as those around them.

  8. says:

    I d like to think that the issues presented in this book were extreme, and perhaps a bit rarified, at least to an extent But, I might be wrong Heartbreaking The book was slow going at times, the writing occasionally cumbersome.

  9. says:

    The subject of this book is not always pleasant, because it is painful to see what 18 yr old Amanda is going through to please her parents But it is a good book and unfortunately rings true, as I am sure the author knew from his former job as headmaster at a private high school.

  10. says:

    I don t know why, but I randomly picked up this book one day at the library Five years down the road, the story and theme has stuck with me It has become one of my favorite books While I don t think there is anything exceptional about the story or the writing, something about it just struck me.

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