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Sad....competition vs. friendship

mothekmothek Registered User Posts: 165 Junior Member
edited October 2011 in Parents Forum
My D, who's perfectly happy with her EC's (not many, but she's got some unique creative projects), wants to organize a voter registration drive at school because so many of the seniors will be 18 before the primary in our state. She suggested this to her friend because he's class pres, and she figured he would be able to help her get the idea in motion. He turned around and went to one of their teachers with "his" great idea to start a voter registration drive--"and I can put it on my college application!"

She feels betrayed because he is claiming the idea as his own. She's fine with making sure it happens--that's the whole point--but it's rather shocking to her to see how his focus on college apps comes before their friendship.
Post edited by mothek on

Replies to: Sad....competition vs. friendship

  • ShrinkrapShrinkrap Registered User Posts: 11,788 Senior Member
    The lesson (about joint efforts, not friendships) may be more valuable than the application mention...but I think she should mention it too...
  • OlymomOlymom Registered User Posts: 1,689 Senior Member
    I hope you'll encourage D to say to friend "Wow, I feel like the voter registration drive was my concept and I did want some help with it but now I am feeling that you are taking over. Do you feel you are treating me fairly here?"

    The reason that she needs to do this step is that some folks are truly gung-ho and do not take time to think about things like "credit due" or "Thanks" or "inspired by". The friend's response will be very insightful. He may be deeply embarrassed -- or totally snotty --- or any number of other things.

    Until your D firmly (but in a reasonable way) states her position, she won't know exactly what the Pres is thinking. It's important to be reasonable -- because it is possible that Pres wasn't thinking and wants to rectify the situation. Too much drama and screaming would make that impossible.

    High school makes us all a bit nuts. And D's timely, firm but reasonable stand may help the young man rethink his value set and come out the other end as a better human being. It is possible and she should see if she can make that unfold.
  • poetgrlpoetgrl Registered User Posts: 13,334 Senior Member
    She can still put it on her college application, as in, "jointly organized and originated voter registration drive with class president and advisor."
  • davidthefatdavidthefat Registered User Posts: 1,521 Senior Member
    I think this is rather silly... It's high school drama. It does not matter who takes credit for it, what matters is that it gets carried out.
  • siliconvalleymomsiliconvalleymom Registered User Posts: 4,461 Senior Member
    It's not going to make any difference in college admissions...a voter registration drive at one high school is only a few hours worth of work.
  • starbrightstarbright Registered User Posts: 4,660 Senior Member
    I think the others are right, it won't matter.

    But also to spare the friendship, maybe there was an misunderstanding of who said what. She should just talk to him about it, as Olymom said.
  • BogneyBogney Registered User Posts: 2,364 Senior Member
    This is appalling. Taking someone else's idea as your own is tantamount to plagiarism. He should take credit for organization and implementing if that is what he did, but not for the inspiration if he borrowed it from someone else. It is a common failing in several senses of the word, and I would hope that class prez would have more class, or grace, than to claim credit which he does not deserve. There is a certain ruthlessness to aggrandizing to oneself the spark offered by others without attribution that is a scary trait.

    Of course, if it just a "misunderstanding" that is easily rectified, then all is well, but if not, then villainy is afoot even if manifested on a minor high school project. Small gestures both positive and negative can be quite revealing of character.
  • mothekmothek Registered User Posts: 165 Junior Member
    As I said in the original post, she doesn't care at all about the "Extracurricular" aspect (her common app is complete). It's more about getting respect for having a good idea--and as bogney said, he took credit for her idea, even if only she, the pres, and the teacher are aware. Maybe it is, as david says, just high school drama. ESPECIALLY because it happened right before Rosh Hashanah, she doesn't want to make a big deal about it--but on the other hand, she doesn't trust him anymore. And that's a real shame.

    Just on CC I'll say that the kid must really be insecure if--even with being a class officer for 3 years; being all-state for track and cross country; and making Principal's List junior year--he still feels like he needs EC's. The teacher actually told him he can't put it on his EC list anyway, so basically, all that's happened thus far is that he's hurt D's feelings.

    She's a little too upset right now to confront him, as Olymom recommends--I'm sure when all the Common App smoke has risen for him, he'd be ready to hear that he burned a friend for the sake of one line on a long resume. I hope things will get patched up before that.

    Our primary is in the late Spring. In the end, I know that she will make sure the drive takes place, which was THE POINT IN THE FIRST PLACE....and yes, shrinkrap, maybe it's time that she learns to run with her ideas herself.
  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay Registered User Posts: 19,431 Senior Member
    Maybe the kid thought she was telling him so that HE would do it, being class prez and all. I wouldn't write the kid off/condemn him for what might be a simple misunderstanding.
  • Gwen FairfaxGwen Fairfax Registered User Posts: 2,435 Senior Member
    She should speak to him, for sure. It's uncomfortable, yes, but there is a lifetime ahead that will be filled with misunderstandings and this is a golden opportunity to learn to deal with them, to listen, and to stick up for yourself if necessary. It may be that through resolving this they become better friends-- and if he acts badly, at least she'll know she made the appropriate effort to learn from this.
  • stageforsurvivorstageforsurvivor Registered User Posts: 181 Junior Member
    Another life lesson, fortunately learned in HS. Throw anybody under the bus, if it advances numero uno.
  • fireandrainfireandrain Registered User Posts: 4,737 Senior Member
    You might want to watch last night's episode of "Community." It deals with this very topic. (Not that I'd recommend your daughter take the same approach as the characters on this irreverent TV show.)
  • BogneyBogney Registered User Posts: 2,364 Senior Member
    I agree that misunderstandings happen easily and innocent mistakes are easily misinterpreted. If this was merely a mistake, then it should be easily resolved. If it was a mistake, the class prez presumably would be mortified to learn that he has wounded a friend because he misunderstood what she told him. Language is a slippery thing especially among high school students who do not always speak or write with clarity and purpose, but text and talk quite informally.

    On the other hand, there are those who hear what they want to hear because it suits their purposes. Anyone have teenagers who don't quite manage to "hear" what you have clearly told them?

    I am taking the initial post at face value. If he knowingly, or even carelessly, took someone else's idea as his own to further build a college application, that is reptilian behavior.
  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP Registered User Posts: 16,184 Senior Member
    But it does not matter whose idea it was. If they both can work on this project, they both can report it.
    However, she should tell the teacher something like: " I am glad that to hear that you like my idea about....., I thought that I should share my idea with class president, I am very happy that I did! Looking forward to make it happen!!" This will sound very informative, positive, will show great intentions and should not create obstacles for the project itself.
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 31,327 Senior Member
    I see no reason why they can't work together and both put it on their college applications. Who has their Common App set in stone in September? I like MiamiDAP's idea if she's uncomfortable talking to her friend. But I think she should just talk to him in a non-confrontational way which makes it clear she is assuming it's a joint project. She may as well find out sooner rather than later whether he's a real friend.
This discussion has been closed.