For Girls, It's Be Yourself, and Be Perfect"

If you want an inside look at an American high school, with special emphasis on how girls are doing, then have a look at this article in today's New York Times.
It's rather long, but I think you'll find it worth reading. Here's how it begins:
NEWTON, Mass., March 31 — To anyone who knows 17-year-old Esther Mobley, one of the best students at one of the best public high schools in the country, it is absurd to think she doesn’t measure up. But Esther herself is quick to set the record straight.
“First of all, I’m a terrible athlete,” she said over lunch one day.
“I run, I do, but not very quickly, and always exhaustedly,” she continued. “This is one of the things I’m most insecure about. You meet someone, especially on a college tour, adults ask you what you do. They say, ‘What sports do you play?’ I don’t play any sports. It’s awkward.”

And - in case you haven't found out yet: the NYT offers a very valuable service for its readers who don't have a vocabulary like the O.E.D. ... Just double-click on any word, and you'll be offered a dictionary definition of what it means. Try it, it's very handy indeed.

There is something else I can recommend. If you scroll down this article just a little bit, there is a sidebar at the left where the topmost item reads "Multimedia: "Amazing Girls". If you go there, you're treated to a slideshow with more than ten minutes of spoken commentary - the girls mentioned in the article speak about their school life (and their life goals in general). After listening to the introduction, click on "Begin", and then you'll hear what five girls are saying about their experience.

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