Quote of the day: "Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship." ~Ben Franklin

The Situation:

My school put an ad in the newspaper today because enrollment for next school year starts on January 11. Why is my school advertising itself? It's a private school, 7-12 grade, 90 students. Yeah, really small - the entire junior class has sixteen students (which is nothing compared to the eleven freshmen). Hence, we advertise.

I find the picture at the top of the advertisement so amusing. They herded up the most attractive boy in the school (he's in my class; he's one of those people who's good at everything, plus his girlfriend is possibly the most beautiful person under 20 I've ever met in my life), the most attractive girl in the school (another one who's good at everything), another really pretty girl, and our prettiest teacher, and staged them with the school laptops in our quad area pretending to be academic. The other picture is of our only fully-black student, who actually graduated two years ago, playing basketball.

Note that our neck of the country really just does not have a lot of black people. It's not that we're racist.

Oh, and there's a very insightful quote by the smartest senior of last year.

The Response:

Is this really what my school must resort to? Is our 100% college acceptance rate not good enough? Is our 8:1 student/teacher ratio not good enough? Is the fact that we somehow scraped together enough money to let every student lease an iPad next year not good enough? That we have to make our ad politically correct and attractive? Are we really that desperate?

It's probably a subconscious thing. But I'd like to think that people, especially the kind of people who are motivated enough to attend my school (yes, it's a really academically challenging school), would want to go to the open house on Sunday even if we put a picture of your run-of-the-mill student up at the top of the page, not Mr. Wonderful and his cronies (the guy I'm calling Mr. Wonderful is actually a genuinely nice, intelligent, well-balanced individual who I'm friends with).

The Question:

Do you think putting a nice mugshot of Mr. Wonderful at the top of the page is going to encourage more people to come to our open house on Sunday? Do attractive people really make that much of a difference?

A disclaimer: I joke around, but I really do love my school dearly and all the people at it even more dearly, and if you saw an ad similar to the one I described in your local newspaper, please consider attending the open house on Sunday!