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Footsteps in the Hall: The College Admission Process as Existential Crisis

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Lester's wife is a real estate agent who has to psych herself up to meet clients; the boy next door pretends to be "an upstanding young citizen with a respectable job" so he can carry on his profitable drug dealing; the boy's father disguises his attraction to men with a brute military bearing; and a high school cheerleader, who seems in touch with her sexual power, is actually disguising her insecurity. Becoming subject to the Gaze of the college admission process, adolescents create shells (becoming objects, rather than persons), transforming into applicants they think colleges will admit.2 Sartre illustrated this quandary in Being and Nothingness.3 He describes a man peering intently through a keyhole at some activity in the room beyond.

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