Letter From the President
Mercer Education, formerly Ivy League English, Inc. has gone through different stages of development as our 2005 name change indicates. ME’s programs and services are now much-expanded beyond the initial focus on language arts and ESL to include math, science, history, all levels of test preparation, and college admissions counseling. As we have grown into our current professional school setting, we have looked for efficient ways to provide our educational programs without sacrificing the quality of our service. Over the course of the school’s history, since its inception in 1999, it has been and continues to be rewarding to see both parents and students happy with the comprehensive level of attention and intelligent instruction we provide.
We are especially proud to see many of our students who attended or are currently attending the SAT/College Prep classes admitted to prestigious universities, and some of our bright younger scholars admitted to exceptional secondary schools. There is no doubt that the collaboration between caring parents, motivated students, and devoted teachers continues to promise and produce great success.
All of us at Mercer Education will continue to work on improving the school and making it among the finest of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. Our goal has always been to offer a fresh, unique and truly effective enrichment education service that is free of the indifference of a corporate franchise. We aim to make learning at Mercer Education an exciting, enjoyable and empowering experience for each of you.
Eric B. Cohen
President and Founder
Latest College Application News
As students prepare to head back to school, we are proud that so many of our graduating
students are going off to the schools of their choice. Our congratulations to those
current and former students who have received admissions to acclaimed universities
and colleges for the fall of 2014. Your hard work has been well rewarded, and we
hope that your admissions to top-notch schools will open doors for productive,
successful futures. (2014 college application results will be posted shortly once
more students receive word from the schools to which they have applied.
Please refer to our "Testimonials" page for prior year acceptances.)
Student Work Showcase
Disillusionment About Diamonds
- a book report by Judy Y., high school sophomore, spring of 1999
The famous Jazz Age writer F. Scott Fitzgerald again
tackles the theme of disillusionment in his story "The Diamond
as Big as the Ritz." The back cover of Fitzgerald's collection
of short stories states, "[Fitzgerald's] portrayals of the
manners and morals behind the pursuit of material wealth depict
frenzied, intoxicating quests that inevitably result in a miasma
of disillusionment and cynicism." The disenchantment of the
three main characters in the story supports the interpretation.
The protagonist, John Unger, takes the lead in shattering
his own illusion. Visiting his friend Percy Washington's luxury
house in which the glitter of diamond sparkles from floor to ceiling,
John loses his perspective of reality. As a result, he fails to
recognize the danger that accompanies his knowledge of the Washington's
wealth when he sees the aviators imprisoned underground for discovering
the secret mountain of diamond. Instead of worrying about his safety,
he falls in love with Percy's sister, Kismine, and wraps himself
in a cozy illusion of security. He does not confront reality until
Kismine unwittingly reveals the Washington's dirty little secret
that her father Braddock has killed all past aviators before they
could leave the house. John's first reaction to this news is one
of outrage: "'And so,' cried John accusingly, 'and so you were
letting me make love to you and pretending to return it, and talking
about marriage, all the time knowing perfectly well that I'd never
get out of here alive -'". (24) After the initial shock, John
confronts reality and plans for an escape from the Washington's
seemingly safe territory, which accounts for yet more disillusionment.
Also deceived by the seeming security of his territory,
Braddock Washington resorts to an illusory option when the aero planes
unexpectedly attack his diamond mountain. He decides to offer a
bribe to God in exchange for the peace and welfare of his house.
"'Oh, you above there!' The voice was strong and confident.
There was no forlorn supplication. If anything, there was in it
a quality of monstrous condescension." (31) Ironically, he
faces the uttermost denial from a god in which he only believes
in times of trouble: "God had refused to accept the bribe."
(32) Thus rebuffed, Washington's final act is one of desperation:
"Clear against the sky a broken, white-haired man was slowly
descending the steep slope, followed by two gigantic and emotionless
Negroes, who carried a burden between them which still flashed and
glittered in the sun." (33) Unable to cope with the shock of
rejection and defeat, Braddock retreats to his last option, he simply
puts an end to everything, his life as well as those of the attackers
and, most of all, his beloved mountain of diamond.
While Braddock dies with his disillusionment, his
daughter Kismine escapes with her misconceptions of the world still
intact. Having fled the explosion with her sister Jasmine and John,
Kismine wakes up to a completely new existence when she realizes
she has brought rhinestones, not diamonds, to support them for the
rest of their lives. While Jasmine optimistically volunteers to
take in laundry as a washwoman to support the three, Kismine recognizes
the encroachment of a harsh new reality that signifies the end of
her childhood bathed in diamonds:
"What a dream it was," Kismine sighed,
gazing up at the stars. "How strange it seems to be here with
one dress and a penniless fiance! ...I never noticed the stars before.
I always thought of them as big diamonds that belonged to someone.
Now they frighten me. They make me feel that it was all a dream,
all my youth. (35)
The disenchantment of John T. Unger, Braddock Washington,
and Kismine about diamonds supports the back cover's interpretation
that "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz" portrays the intoxicating
quest of wealth that inevitably results in disillusionment.
There was an old man of Glue
- limerick by Kevin W., fourth grader, Fall of 2000
There was an old man of Glue
Whose favorite color was blue.
He asked a moose
"Which way is Toulouse?"
That old man of Glue
Something You Should Know About the "Tortoise
and the Hare" - a reworking of a classic by Jason U., sixth
grader, November 2000
Ever since we were little, Tortoise and I were enemies.
I hated him, and he hated me. That's all there is to it. I hated
him because he was a pest, and he hated me because I always beat
him in everything.
One day, I was jogging, as usual. Then he came.
That annoying shell-backed freak, I mean. "Hey, Hare!"
he called. I replied with a grunt. Then he did the weirdest thing.
He challenged me to a race! What kind of turtle asks a hare to race
him? I assumed that he was once again trying to humiliate me, which
he could never do, of course. Well, I run every chance I get, so
I accepted the challenge with a "sure, whatever." He had
it all planned out. It would be next Monday, the "big"
To prepare, I did nothing special. Hey, I was racing
a tortoise, how hard could it be? In fact, if I just sat around
eating junk food. I still would have beaten him. Every day I went
out for a light jog. What really made me curious was that I never
saw Tortoise working out. If I were the king of slowpokes, I would
most likely train before racing a hare!
At last the day of the race came. I could finally
get the thing over with. I set my water bottle beside a tree and
went to the restroom. After I came back, my bottle was about a foot
away from where I had placed it. When I picked it up, it looked
as though someone had hastily tried to screw the cap on after removing
it. Now, I tried not to be suspicious of Tortoise. One must never
think ill about another without proof, I reminded myself. Instead,
I assumed it was the wind or a bird of some sort that knocked into
it. I took a quick drink and headed for the starting line.
The race soon started. As soon as the gun sounded,
I was off like a bullet. I ran steadily until I could see the ribbon,
which marked the end of the race. All of a sudden, I started getting
dizzy. The next thing I remember was that I collapsed. Hours later,
I woke up from a long sleep. I opened my eyes and what did I see?
The turtle was already at the finish line! Shocked as could be,
I sprinted after tortoise. Too late!
After doing a considerable amount of moaning and
groaning, other animals of the town just rubbed it in by saying
things like, "That Hare thinks he can beat just about anybody.
Who does he think he is anyway? I hope he's humiliated forever!"
When I was walking home, I spotted Tortoise up ahead.
He was strutting, proudly wearing a blue ribbon. I went up to him
to congratulate him. I still hated his guts, but I thought being
a good sport would make me feel somewhat better. I was just about
to say, "Good job," when out fell a small bottle from
his shell. Tortoise quickly grabbed it and stuffed it back. I couldn't
clearly see it, but I could make out the words, "Sleeping Pills."
It was hard not to jump to conclusions. It had been him! The water
bottle and me collapsing during the race, it all made sense! I had
Forget the "good job," I had to let the
others know! For the rest of the day, I went around town telling
people my discovery, but absolutely no one believed me! "Sore
loser," they all called me. Unfortunately, all I could do was
slump back home. To this day, nobody believes me. Mothers tell their
children, "Don't be complacent like the Hare." Can you
believe that? It's not me you shouldn't be like. It is Tortoise.
Please, don't cheat!
There was an old man of Norway - limerick
by Michael H., fourth grader, July of 2000
There was an old man of Norway
Who hit a golf ball in the fairway.
He jumped up and down,
Very much like a clown,
That enchanting old man of Norway
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