I got several e-mails yesterday responding to my tepid defense of pathological ?berachiever Blair Hornstine. Suffice it to say the gal doesn't have many fans out there. I followed a few links forwarded to me, expecting to be finally convinced she was the supreme evil. In fact, the comments almost push me MORE in her direction, even as I like her less.
Joanne Jacobs particularly made me want to stand up for Blair. Why? She links to a page (and another) with some catty anonymous comments made by Blair's fellow students, who call her a spoiled brat and a cry baby and say she didn't deserve the grades she got from her home tutor, despite getting a 1570 on the SAT. They may be right?especially if it's true she got the highest grade in Latin but the lowest score on the standardized exam. But I'm certainly not going to count on Hornstine's fellow students to give me an accurate judge of her character or academic performance. Of COURSE they hate her. She's some kind of a social freak, staying home half day, and she's singlemindedly devoted to academic success. Of COURSE they're going to say her grades were unnaturally inflated?especially the other grade-grubbers who weren't clever or dastardly enough to work the system, but are equally competitive and sycophantic. Kids talk, they presume, they pass rumors, they assasinate character between third and fourth period. Ganging up on an easy target like Hornstine is a lot more fun than merely sticking to the books. (I do have to admire the petition to have Harvard withdraw admission on the grounds that Blair is a self-centered whiner. Heh.)
According to this link, Hornstine won: She's going to be the only valedictorian, oh lucky girl. But it doesn't say whether she got her ludicrous, gag-worthy $2.7 mil damages suit.
This link has some discussion about whether chronic fatigue syndrome, which Hornstein purportedly suffers from, should be taken seriously.
UPDATE: Actually, I think the comment made about Blair on Unlearned Hand bests sums up the situation for all involved: "Has everyone lost the ability to sustain a self-identity independent of relative terms? Can't she just be happy with her successes and opportunities irregardless of who does or does not share them?"