I would venture to guess that the children of nearly every parent poster on CC could be considered "excessively coddled." Especially compared to most children in America, who have little chance to attend a CTCL or any other school. So I agree with you redpoint, 100%. By the way, in the early 70's, UC Santa Cruz was very much like you described New College of Florida, no grades, very individualized. In those days, it was much more selective than Berkeley or UCLA, I had friends who went to UCLA as their second choice! Times sure have changed.