Lipka Potential

Ethan got his report card.  Even though he is reading at a 2nd-3rd grade level he only got the equivalent of a B in reading.  He wants to get better at Math.  I have been working with him on multiplication using pen and paper.  He seems to get the gist of it, but we shall see.  I really want him to get into Harvard or Stanford or Yale.

I had this conversation with Bill Mirbach about when he met Intuit founder Scott Cook.  He said, "Oh, I met him at Yale."  Another time, he also related how he was invited to a party to meet this guy who was a real party animal.  Son of a senator or something they said.  Turned out to be George W.  At the new gig I am starting next week, all three founders went to Stanford.  Bill really believes in me and I think he is someone who "knows" when they see it.  I want to realize that potential for myself.

You meet really interesting and powerful people at top notch schools and you meet no one at University at Buffalo.  I desperately want the boys to achieve in school and apply that famous Lipka potential.  I think about what I could have possibly achieved if I had focused on school rather than sleep and avoid work.  I want the world for my boys.

3 Replies to “Lipka Potential”

  1. Nononono honey. The report card numbers are not equivalent to letter grades. A 1 means – red flag, this student needs help on this subject. 2 means – grasps concepts mostly, needs some support. 3 means – consistently performing, in this subject, at appropriate level for this point in the year, or for the end of the year. 4 means – performing significantly above grade level. So he is performing where he should be, and as his teacher told us, he is a great learner. The repoort card is about getting everyone to the same No Child Left Behind level, not about identifying top learnining potential.

    Better start on daily tennis drills if you’re looking at ivy league. 😉

  2. actually, it was harvard business school, not yale. and i have a lot of respect for elite education. and at least equal respect for just plain talent. elite educational institutions are better at uncovering a certain, more conventional talent. not so good at pure creativity.

    if you really, really want your kids to succeed, the best thing you can do for them is rise to a high level yourself, then fail utterly. they’ll do anything/everything/ and perform amazing feats to recover the “family name”. shakespeare’s father was the town mayor, lost his property and pretty much everything else … they think because he remained a loyal catholic in a protestant country. shakespeare made it all back and a lot more.

    most creative people i’ve worked with weren’t hbs grads. they went to out of the way places. bill crystal (i’ve never done any projects with him) went to community college on long island.

  3. As a graduate of an average New York state school, to be followed later by a Masters Degree (an executive degree no less) in Public Management from Columbia University, I would have to say that I have little or no respect for the education that either institution provided (although I have heard good things about the Kennedy School at Harvard, I am still skeptical that there is any university in the county that provided people with the practical intelligence to succeed at the highest level. However, the idea that one might meet other people there that become powerful or rich is a real; however, one much look at why they might succeed. I believe the answer is that rich people get to send their kids to fancy prep schools, with very qualified teachers, and high expectations. Additionally, rich people can afford elite schools. Once these kids graduate they not only have a piece of paper that will get them interviews (regardless of talent), but their parents (and their parents’ friends and colleagues) also play an important role in getting jobs for these wealthy, ivy (or is it IV) league educated young adults. Additionally, people who are already rich have the opportunity to take more chances in their careers or even start their own businesses. I think there are some exceptions to these generalizations, one being collaborations that grow from technical schools, like MIT or Cal Tech. Students at these elite universities have actual skills that are rare and applicable to the real world. That’s why I hope my daughter goes to Copper Union (which would mean that she is talented enough to get it, can collaborate with other very smart people, and everyone gets a full ride). Of course, she’s only 18 months old, so I don’t want to put too much pressure on her until she is at least 2 or 3).

    Harvard can have all the George Bush’s out there, but I’d rather a school that graduated Thomas Edison, Elizabeth Diller, and Shigeru Ban. (Interesting note: the founder of Cooper Union, Peter Cooper, was an inventor and self-made millionaire; however, he actually had no formal education)

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