Posts Tagged ‘Why?’

An Open Question to Stanford Parents

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Hello, parents. I hope you have been enjoying your stay during Parent’s Weekend and all the wonderful programming that the university puts on to convince you that you’re not wasting your money. I’m excited. Since you’re (sort of) finally in one place, maybe I can get an answer to this question that’s been bothering me for at least a few months now:

Why would you buy your kid a Range Rover?

We goin' down down baby

My tenure at Stanford has provided an unexpected education in the habits and ethos of the upper-middle class, and in a weird way, it’s been humbling. I’ve learned that being from certain suburbs and going to certain prep schools doesn’t preclude a family from having financial difficulties (in fact, it’s usually the cost of housing and education that causes them) and that flaunting one’s wealth is a trait pretty exclusively reserved for people from the 1900’s and rap stars, especially out here on the West Coast. Despite all the horror stories I hear about rich people and their kids, and despite this being a campus where 35% of the freshman class didn’t even apply for financial aid, I have yet to see any Jaguars or Mercedeses in student parking spots and only a handful of Beamers in almost 4 years. I find this phenomenon inspiring because it reassures me that Stanford is in fact not filled with people who like to shove their privilege in everyone’s face. However, I have noticed on campus recently a strident counter-example located (and fittingly, some would argue) in an around the Bromuda Triangle: The Range Rover.