By Veronica

Autumn colours

Another grey day; Alaric has been wearing hat, scarf, and mask for three days now. I set out to look for a blip without much hope, but within 100 metres of our door found a sight to bring a smile to my face and my camera to my eye. So I'm saved from another emergency flower blip. The composition was forced on me because I'm still using only the 45mm prime lens and my back was jammed up against a wall, but I like it.

Didn't bother with the market, so lunch was a fridge-emptier: beef stroganoff made with the left-over roast beef and some mushrooms that needed using up.

What I'm reading: I subscribed to The Atlantic magazine a few months back: I used to read occasional articles anyway, but an attack on the magazine from Trump spurred me to pay them, so I can now download a whole monthly issue. This means I read an article that I would never have read otherwise, about niche sports (lacrosse, squash) as a way of getting into elite US colleges. The whole system is quite bizarre and the article, though very long, was absolutely fascinating: a glimpse into a world of privilege and ambition that ends up virtually as child abuse and sometimes backfires anyway. Quote:

One Greenwich parent told me she believes that, far from being a glide path to the Ivies, lacrosse had actually hurt her older son’s college prospects. As team captain and a straight‑A student with stellar test scores, he would have been a credible applicant to NYU or Columbia—but these schools lack varsity-lacrosse programs, and he’d fallen in love with his sport. “There were eight or 10 strong academic schools we couldn’t even look at, because they didn’t have varsity lacrosse,” she said.
Her kid just completed his freshman year at a not-so-fancy college in the South, and, according to his mom, he’s happy enough. But she feels bitter, and wonders if her younger boy should quit club lacrosse. “The guys who get recruited to the Ivies—it turns out these guys are beasts,” she said. “I saw them at showcases. They were like stallions.”

I don't know if it's behind a paywall, but if it isn't, I recommend it. And if it is, the subscription is worthwhile anyway if you are interested in US culture.

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