But I also, their child, was begging them. They all want to know if they’re in it. It makes me emotional to say that. It serves as a pipeline to some of the best colleges and universities - Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, to name a few. Sen. Cory Booker Opposes Filling Supreme Court Vacancy Before Election, 'Miami Herald' Investigating How Racist Insert Was Distributed In Paper For Months, Nation Relying On Military As Fire Rescue Resources Dwindle, Bishop Michael Curry Preaches The Power Of Love To Find 'Hope In Troubling Times', Tinder, Bumble...LinkedIn? By Andrea Bent. What’s going on now is that some of the schools are early action so they let you apply to other schools “early action” as well. The wealthier families and micromanaging parents really stick out in the book. I got more involved in their lives as the years went on. Shut up and write something.”. That’s kind of heartbreaking because if I were able to sit down with them for two hours I might be helpful, but that’s not my job anymore. And I was confident that that document and others would be included in the state's investigation into the school. Former private college counselor Lacy Crawford, author of ‘Early Decision,’ breaks down the craziness… The Daily Beast. And then you talk about how you finally reached this point of peace. I’m not grading you. I think some of them hired me quite simply so the mothers would have someone to call when they were freaking out after their glass of wine at dinner. If you’re a parent or a kid who has never done this before, it’s like figuring out in March that you have to learn how to file your taxes by April 15. I know some parents got their hands on early copies of the book. 11, 2017 8:44PM ET / Published Aug. 24, 2013 4:45AM ET And Lacy Crawford joins us now from her home in Southern California. Author Lacy Crawford Looks Back At Her Sexual Assault In New Memoir So yes, I was deeply involved. I'm sorry. I think this happens everywhere all the time. Cindy Crawford, her husband and their two children. I started when I was three. High school and college career. I'm going to make it public. There are plenty of people contacting me already, asking for advice about college. My work with students tapered off dramatically in 2010, after I had my first child. Is most of Early Decision based on your first few years working with these kids? Those students go on to become luminaries - judges, authors, even secretaries of state. I don’t do this for money anymore, but there are people who are important to me asking for help because they’re applying to law school or business school or Fulbright or Rhodes. A 14-year-old Lacy Crawford, just before beginning her time at St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire. And the anxiety these mothers face during this process—there are few people they can vent to. I just wanted to be an ordinary teenage girl. Have any former students or parents contacted you recently? You can figure out how to get into a school if you read this book, but I think you can also figure out how to get out of the whole craziness in the first place. Booklist. But nobody knew why or what had happened to me. One of them is the fact that you contracted an STD from the assault. “There’s something really wrong with my throat,” I said. CRAWFORD: Had they been aware of the things that I know now, I have no doubt they would've made different choices. That’s what Lacy Crawford ’96 does in her debut novel about college admissions. CRAWFORD: I'm actually keeping a list in a small notebook here that I began just to make sure I replied to the notes that were coming in and that I now have continued because it reads to me like a poem. So I panicked and called some schools and sent over applications. There were achievement tests, there were multiple essays. Not only did this intimate investigative memoir usher in a media storm of coverage, but it also prompted the elite St. Paul's School to issue a formal apology to the author, Lacy Crawford, for its handling of her report of sexual assault by two fellow students nearly thirty years ago. CRAWFORD: That, to me, is astonishing. I wanted to help shift the frame a little bit away from their parents and under them so they could take control of the process. Lacy Crawford, the author drew from her experience as a college admissions counselor to give us a view of the upper mclass and upper middle class vie for a place at an Ivy League college for their child. What changed about the admissions process over the 15 years that you did this? CRAWFORD: I would like to say, don't be afraid. (Reading) No one would want a teenager or any family to go through the experience that Lacy describes in her precise and powerful language. I'm going to share every detail, and I'm going to tell my story. That wasn’t happening when I first started out. To see as an adult the blueprint was infuriating but also so validating. And this probably is not uncommon for survivors. I want all of the girls and women who have ever been made to carry the blame for the aggression of men, the aggression of others - I wanted them to see that they were intended to carry that blame and that it was never theirs. People talked about their auditions! I certainly didn't know what the criminal justice terms would have been. I dove into the opportunity and ended up making the best friends I could ask for. So I started writing the book as a private investigation. There's been a profile in The New York Times. I am ashamed. St. Paul's School in Concord, N.H., is one of the top boarding schools in the nation. DETROW: You write so powerfully about how, years later, it would enter your life in these really jarring ways with stray comments that people would make to you. CRAWFORD: I know that when it happened to me, I did not have words for what was happening. The second part of this is the exposure, the shaming. I think it made writing less precious. I'm so sorry. Detectives happened across documents that were in my student file that really outlined how the school had planned to silence me. It serves as a pipeline to some of the best colleges and universities - Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, to name a few. What did you learn as a writer from your work with these kids? But it's also where author Lacy Crawford was sexually assaulted by two fellow students one night in October 1990. Here are the institutions that were lucky enough to have them: Spencer — Georgetown University. Lacy Crawford served for fifteen years as a highly discreet independent college admissions counselor to the children of powerful clients in cities such as New York, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and London. And in fact, they told the lacrosse team before they told you. Presley Gerber, 17, can add high school graduate to his growing list of accomplishments. We talk about the college application crisis. Everyone wants to stand out and everyone wants to have a yes in their pocket going into the regular season. Other places are covering this book. DETROW: Lacy Crawford is the author of "Notes On A Silencing.". But it's also where author Lacy Crawford was sexually assaulted … LACY CRAWFORD: Anne doesn’t encourage Hunter to write as though he’s sending an email to his girlfriend because she wants a flirtatious tone in his college essay. They silenced me once when I was 15, 16 years old, and they weren't going to get away with it again. Application rates have soared and admissions rates have plummeted. Those students go on to become luminaries - judges, authors, even secretaries of state. This is how it begins.” I’d been secretly judging these parents for ten years but there I was, ready to step on the same moving walkway, and I thought, “I know how this ends.” This ends with me hiring someone like me to get my kid into college. It serves as a pipeline to some of the best colleges and universities - Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, to name a few. He’s written a first draft that is boring and aimless, and it’s going to cost him in the admissions process. Cindy Crawford wants her son to go back to college. LACY CRAWFORD: Anne doesn’t encourage Hunter to write as though he’s sending an email to his girlfriend because she wants a flirtatious tone in his college essay. And the pain was so bad that you write it felt like you had swallowed a piece of glass, and it would not go down. We talked to Crawford about dealing with overbearing parents, how the admissions process has changed over the years—and how to get into the school of your choice without getting trampled in the college rat race. I didn’t have a degree in education or counseling or anything, but I had grown up an overachiever in a family and a community that put a lot of pressure on the same type of thing. DETROW: You know, at the beginning of the book, you wrestle with what words to use to describe what happened - sexual assault, aggravated assault, sexual misconduct, rape. It’s awful and terrifying. DETROW: As people continue to come forward with their stories of assault and violence, what would you say to someone who is trying to navigate this kind of violation and the systemic protections that seem to still snap into place when something like this happens? She’s trying to help him recognize the subjects that are truly interesting to him. NPR's Scott Detrow speaks with author Lacy Crawford about her new memoir, Notes on a Silencing, about her sexual assault at an elite boarding school in Concord, New Hampshire. It’s not terribly dissimilar to journalism. No one bothered to tell you. Those students go on to become luminaries - judges, authors, even secretaries of state. How did you finally settle on the language you wanted to use? And Lacy Crawford joins us now from her home in Southern California. Instead, she got a memorable life lesson in snap judgments. She documents that assault at the school and its long aftermath in her new memoir, "Notes On A Silencing." They’ve taken the expensive SAT prep courses, visited at least a dozen campuses, and spent weeks agonizing over their personal essays. When I first started doing this work I had 15 or 20 students a year, and I focused much more on helping them with the nuts and bolts, helping them to establish deadlines, that sort of thing. But the crisis has nothing to do with rich kids not getting in; it has everything to do with everyone else not even knowing where to begin. But it's also where author Lacy Crawford was sexually assaulted by two fellow students one night in October 1990. She documents that assault at the school and its long aftermath in her new memoir, "Notes On A Silencing." He’s written a first draft that is boring and aimless, and it’s going to cost him in the admissions process. This was from the rector, essentially the principal of the school. Some of that is just demographics and more kids applying to these schools. From the privileged daughter of a Duke University trustee to the inner-city kid who taught herself about immigration reform, their admissions journeys take them through endless rewrites of Common App essays, counseling sessions at their sprawling suburban homes, and after-hours phone conversations with sniveling mothers and passive aggressive fathers desperate to secure their children slots at Ivy League schools. But I think for a long time, we've tried to help survivors of violence of all kinds by asking them to change how they feel about themselves. I felt like I could relate to the experiences these kids were having. (SOUNDBITE OF THE CINEMATIC ORCHESTRA SONG, "TO BUILD A HOME") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR. ‘Early Decision’ author Lacy Crawford breaks down the college admissions craziness for Lizzie Crocker. But there were also plenty of normal parents whose kids were in public high schools and who felt overwhelmed because their college counselors had 100 kids and they had no idea where to begin. We are the better for those brave voices bringing their experiences forward, and we are committed to hearing and responding to their demand for recognition, accountability and change. Some of it is the common application—the fact that it’s easier to send an application to a school than it was when I was applying 20 years ago or more. Users Report Unwanted Advances On Networking Site, The Latest COVID-19 Shortage Is Canning Lids, Rabbi Shira Stutman Remembers Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. What I did instead was help him figure out what it was he loved to study and what he might wish to pursue. We admire her courage and respect her voice. At this point in the summer, most high school juniors are already acquainted with the horrible agony that is the college admissions process. The currency was talent, not academic achievement. I wonder, given what the school did to you, what your response is to a statement like that. It’s the same rate, just shifted two months earlier. Growing up in Seattle, Crawford played for Rainier Beach High, a school that has produced a number of other NBA and college players such as Doug Christie, Nate Robinson, Terrence Williams, Kevin Porter Jr., and Dejounte Murray.Jamal led the Vikings to capture the 1998 Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) State Championship. Click or call 800-RADIO-87 to donate. The book tells the story of Anne, a 27-year-old application guru who coaches five high school seniors through the harrowing application process. I have students who are applying to six or seven places early action. And what have they said? It’s a last hurrah for a parent—the last thing they feel they can mastermind before they lose their child to independence. State’s Return On $25 Million Venture Capital Investment Unclear, Audit Says, With COVID Vaccinations Underway, Some Frontline Workers Are Hesitant To Receive It, McConnell Relents On Senate Filibuster Stalemate. Lizzie Crocker Updated Jul. A quick heads-up - this next conversation has some content that some listeners will find difficult to hear. DETROW: Can we walk through some of the specifics and some of the things that were really made clear to you on paper decades later? I am hopeful that Kathy Giles, the current rector, will be able to, first, oversee the reckoning that has to happen. Fishpond Australia, Early Decision: Based on a True Frenzy by LacyCrawfordBuy . Also, moving around as much as I did when I was younger inspired me to create my own path and solid day-to-day life. I think they allowed me my agency in that, and I'm grateful to them for that. DETROW: It also seemed like your parents really struggled with their response. ‘Early Decision’ author Lacy Crawford breaks down the college admissions craziness for Lizzie Crocker. For 15 years, Lacy Crawford worked with high school students to hone these essays, a torturous but rewarding experience that she chronicles in her forthcoming book, Early Decision. So obviously, that was a very difficult decision, and it's not a decision that I ever would've come to had I not participated in the New Hampshire state investigation into St. Paul's School that began in 2017. And this is not unique to St. Paul's School. When supermodel and entrepreneur Cindy Crawford stepped foot into the first calculus class of her college career, she -- like her fellow students -- expected to learn about mathematical concepts. There were billionaires who flew me all over the place. Frankly, I got lucky. She’s trying to help him recognize the subjects that are truly interesting to him. Can you tell us a bit about that and how you work through the way that your family dealt with this, too? And that’s just the parents. What we've been missing - or at least I was missing - is to show them the forces that are arrayed against them and that are, in fact, asking them to carry that responsibility and carry that shame. She documents that assault at the school and its long aftermath in her new … And why did you think it was important to start off this book by saying, this is what I grappled with? I also had students that I took on pro bono from underserved schools who were the first in their family to go to college. College admissions is the culmination of every parent’s ambition and anxiety. It serves as a pipeline to some of the best colleges and universities - Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, to name a few. It's the sweetest time to give. These are the parents who have sought to enroll their child in the best preschool when they first find out that they are pregnant. But it's also where author Lacy Crawford was sexually assaulted by two fellow students one night in October 1990. We have a female rector for the first time in the school's more-than-160-year history. If you have to turn around a lot of pieces on a deadline, you do learn something of efficiency, how to just get over yourself and get it done. https://www.redbookmag.com/life/interviews/a15989/lacy-crawford-interview Thank you for telling your story. Lacy Crawford served for fifteen years as a highly discreet independent college admissions counselor to the children of powerful clients in cities such as New York, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and London. You were so entrenched in these kids’ lives—more life coach than college essay counselor. When did you decide to chronicle this part of your life? Why that decision to, after all of that - you know what, I'm going to talk about this? When did you begin to dance, and how soon did you know that you wanted to pursue dance professionally? That was eye-opening and foreign to me. November is a busy time for college applications, a mixture of excitement and dread, hope and fear, determination and insanity. And as you said, people now apply to 20 schools, if they don’t go the early decision route. I realized that going to Ethel Walker could do just that. Being able to write the book required coming to understand exactly which words at least captured the experience of it and then which words I could use that would help other people to understand what it was that had happened to me. But I have to say I’m getting many requests for help. CRAWFORD: Two pieces of this make me burn. I had to see a specialist. And I would like to say, don't be ashamed. The only way to speak to that kind of gossip was to tell what had happened to me, and I really didn't want to. So, where did they go to college? Books online: Early Decision: Based on a True Frenzy, 2013, Fishpond.com.au CRAWFORD: Right. I've always known. DETROW: There's been an excerpt in Vanity Fair. The gift that I could give to these students who had terrible writer’s block was telling them: “We need 11 essays and we’re going to do 10 drafts of each of them. Those students go on to become luminaries - judges, authors, even secretaries of state. And the school is under new leadership now. Those students go on to become luminaries - … And it’s gotten awfully complex. It became kind of clear to you after the fact when you were young and then more clear later on looking at these documents that doctors knew this. The students I’ve been in touch with are having a great time reading it, but there’s a bit of a selection bias involved. Indeed, the personal essay in particular causes students and parents to tear their hair out, knowing it could make or break their application. I wanted to go back to school and be a senior and apply to college and pretend none of this had ever happened. We're having this conversation now. When I was in school, that’s what everyone did, and I graduated from college in 2009. How Severe Is Your State's Coronavirus Outbreak? And when I found out it wasn't going to be, I truly didn't feel I had a choice any longer. Have you heard from any of your peers, your classmates? How did we go from regular old college admissions to seven ‘early action’ applications and 11 personal essays? DETROW: And how's a note like that make you feel? That may be a mark of how young and naïve I was when I started. By the time I finished doing this it had become a flat-out race. It serves as a pipeline to some of the best colleges and universities - Princeton, Harvard, Stanford, to name a few. The school knew this. That, to me, tells me that the conversations that I think institutions need to be having are actually possible because if a man in this instance is willing to write to me and claim his friends, I think the kind of evolution that I'm seeing in people's willingness to be thoughtful, to reach out is, to me, at least new. As I got older, and I did this more and more, I started to feel that if the student couldn’t work out the deadlines on his own, he didn’t deserve to go to that school and I wasn’t going to do the work for him. Drawing on her 15 years of experience counseling high school students with their college applications, she satirizes one six-month push for five high school seniors. It seems logistically challenging but not yet philosophically challenging. My fantasy is that it will be empowering—as much as I think “empower” is a terrible word. I’m not your English teacher. And then friends told me I was already too late to apply for preschool for my son and needed to hurry up and get on the list. The first is that, yes, I contracted herpes so deep in my throat that it couldn't be seen on ordinary exam. Suddenly there were all these standardized tests online. I'm sorry that that is the way it is. Although many of my peers did go to colleges, I can’t remember having one conversation about the SAT, or the college essay. I looked over and he was lying on the carpet on his back and I thought, “Oh my god, this is how it happens. They were my friends. The son of Cindy Crawford and husband Rande Gerber celebrated his high school graduation. I have heard from St. Paul's schoolmates who say, I know who did this to you. And I guarantee you it hasn't happened yet. DETROW: So St. Paul's School did provide us with a statement regarding your story, and I want to read a section here. CRAWFORD: I will be honest with you and say that represents progress. 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