I Left My Homework in the Hamptons: What I Learned Teaching the Children of the One Percent
Detailing the compounding pressures of elite Manhattan private schools and the complex social mechanisms of 5th Avenue, Blythe Grossberg’s I Left My Homework in the Hamptons is a fascinating account of her time as a learning specialist and private tutor for New York’s 1%.
Grossman’s students face a multitude of hurdles in their race to the Ivy League: learning disabilities, frenzied overscheduling, parents who are either overbearing or negligent, to name just a few. She likens her students to Gatsby and Daisy, observing their triumphs and meltdowns within the walls of marbled apartments and private town cars.
What is most moving about Grossberg’s account is her empathy and understanding. It is all too easy to see her clients as caricatures, and in a sense, they do mirror the stereotypes, with squash practice and “summering” in the Hamptons. However, Grossberg delves into the critical issues that students face in any class and how they are mentally and emotionally affecting them. Noting the importance of relaxation and downtime, especially for developing brains, Grossman points out the irony of overscheduling kids’ days with tutoring and sports and music practice.
Written from the perspective of a concerned educator, psychologist, and mother, Grossberg’s memoir satisfies our fascination with the uberwealthy while appealing for a genuine, sympathetic discussion on the toxic conditions of education and the race for success.
|Hanover Square Press
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