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What is special about the college of agriculture and life sciences at Cornell? Almost every cornell wrestler is enrolled in that particular college. That seems odd.

 

One of the neat things about Cornell is it truly is a UNIVERSITY, and kids there, including wrestlers, study all sorts of wonderful things. Eddie Lu is a great example; Eddie wrestled at Cornell (in the 80's I think), went on to get a PhD at Stanford, became an astronaut for NASA, and is now is tracking asteroids that could potentially threaten the earth. Eddie Lu, saving the world! Great to see how people can apply thier education!

 

Here's a neat article about Ed:

http://www.stanforddaily.com/2013/03/08 ... asteroids/

 

Great story. Keep them coming!

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You're a professor and it's your world? I've hired more than 300 kids throughout my career. How many have you hired? You're dead wrong.

 

Getting the best possible degree you can get by using your wrestling is one of the few financial benefits in our sport, a sport that very rarely pays otherwise.

 

Yes, excellence counts. But getting into an elite school is excellence in and of itself. And that counts too.

 

If your basis of criteria for hiring is based largely on the name of the school from which the applicant has graduated then may I suggest that you aren't very good at your job.

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I agree about those small school wrestlers in tough majors. Very impressive. But it isn't just the small schools.

 

I know this situation exists at a LOT of schools. Just at Penn State we have multiple time academic all americans, like David Taylor, Nico Megaludis (Finance), and Matt Brown (Crime Law and Justice). Zain Retherford a a 4.0 kid in high school and is headed down this same road in a business major. Matt McCutcheon was a high school class president four years in a row. So these are not only big school wrestlers, but they are also the starters and soon to be starting wrestlers at Penn State.

 

I'd like to hear about the top kids who are also great students at other schools. Nice thread to focus on the positive.

 

Why didn't you list David Taylor's major? I am less impressed by Crime Justice and Law than I am by STEM majors, though Finance can be a difficult major.

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I would also like to mention in Division-II the Colorado School of Mines. Division-II sometimes gets a reputation as not having the academic quality of the other NCAA divisions but CSM is an exceptional school with quality graduates.

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You're a professor and it's your world? I've hired more than 300 kids throughout my career. How many have you hired? You're dead wrong.

 

Getting the best possible degree you can get by using your wrestling is one of the few financial benefits in our sport, a sport that very rarely pays otherwise.

 

Yes, excellence counts. But getting into an elite school is excellence in and of itself. And that counts too.

 

If your basis of criteria for hiring is based largely on the name of the school from which the applicant has graduated then may I suggest that you aren't very good at your job.

 

You must be living under a rock. Tell that to the top firms at Wall Street, the top consultancies, the top tech jobs that pay 6-figure salaries to 21 year-old engineers, etc. Many of them don't even interview you unless you went to an elite school. I'd say they're all doing a damn good job of hiring.

 

But that's not even my point. My point is simply that you don't have to excel at an elite school to land a good job, though excelling obviously helps. You make it seem like the Harvard or Columbia kids who don't graduate cum laude or better are destined to flip burgers, when the reality is that they are much, much more likely to land a good job than the average school version of themselves.

 

Elite degrees and connections open doors, period. And on average, elite wrestlers who can get into elite schools are doing themselves a huge favor by going to these elite schools, even if they may not excel academically on their way to graduation.

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wrestlingnerd and npope - i think you guys are talking past each other a bit. i think you both make good points and i agree with both of you. i think you disagree mostly on priorities, but there needn't be one.

 

best of both worlds is you use wrestling to help you get into a school that you otherwise would not have gotten into, then you take advantage of the facilities at the institution, then you apply the Knowledge, Skills and Abilities you picked up in the real world and become a valuable member of society. piece of cake, right! :)

 

OR - you chart a part that is best tailored to you as a person. and if you love wrestling, want to continue competing and can figure out a way to gain life skills and be sponsored on a team, all the better!

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I didn't list Taylor's major because I don't know what it is. It isn't in his bio on the Penn State website.

 

I recall them announcing his major as Recreation and Tourism when he was wrestling in the finals in St. Louis.

 

Looked up his Bio and it said he has a degree in Recreation, Park and Tourism Management and is pursuing a Masters in Education Administration. Looks like get graduated in four years--which is what I would like to see more redshirts doing.

 

I should note that I am not disparaging David Taylor's efforts; this course of study seems perfect for someone with aspirations of being a head coach at a university. Based on his programs of study, I have to figure that is his plan.

 

Side note: I like how Lehigh has all the majors listed on their roster; I wish more programs would do this.

http://www.lehighsports.com/roster.aspx?path=wrestling

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Pinnum, I did not see Taylor's major on the website, but had always heard how good a student he was. I do know he is working towards his master's degree at this time. he may even be on track to have that by the end of the 2014 school year (June).

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Pinnum, I did not see Taylor's major on the website, but had always heard how good a student he was. I do know he is working towards his master's degree at this time. he may even be on track to have that by the end of the 2014 school year (June).

 

No worries.

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"The elite academic schools are a lot harder to get into than they are to graduate from. Unless you're a perpetual truant or were stupid enough to sign up for a hard-core engineering or hard science major without the quantitative aptitude to pass classes (and at the elite schools, that means acing high school math and science with math SAT 700+ minimum... otherwise, consider sociology, philosophy, etc.), you are going to get a degree the vast majority of the time, i.e. 90%+ of the time."

Great observation! Without wrestling or some other talent besides grades getting into elite schools is next to impossible. You don't need 1600 or 2400 on your SATs to graduate from these schools. You need to get in and then work hard. A motto at West Point for students entering is "cooperate and graduate". These schools will not or should not admit you unless they think you can succeed. They cannot predict how much effort you are going to put out. Get into the best school you can for the future unless your future is to be an Olympic champion. Use wrestling as a means to an end and not an end.

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wrestlingnerd and npope - i think you guys are talking past each other a bit. i think you both make good points and i agree with both of you. i think you disagree mostly on priorities, but there needn't be one.

 

best of both worlds is you use wrestling to help you get into a school that you otherwise would not have gotten into, then you take advantage of the facilities at the institution, then you apply the Knowledge, Skills and Abilities you picked up in the real world and become a valuable member of society. piece of cake, right! :)

 

OR - you chart a part that is best tailored to you as a person. and if you love wrestling, want to continue competing and can figure out a way to gain life skills and be sponsored on a team, all the better!

 

I think Hasek's points are well-made. My point is that an elite pedigree may get you an interview, but a decision to hire is based on far more discernible attributes, e.g. communication abilities, evident work ethic, etc. I contend that one does not get hired based on academic pedigree - although one might get an interview because of it. I do think it is true that some firms do restrict their recruiting from (say for example) the Ivy League schools. But that does not mean that that pedigree alone will get a jock who floats along in the classroom for five years a job; every firm that hires wants quality people. And while some alums on occasion may do a "mercy hire" of a jock who hasn't demonstrated the ability to transfer the tenacity and commitment demonstrated on the mat to real life (or academic life), those are not the norm but rather the exception.

 

A kid can get a good education at any school - and similarly can manage to avoid much of any education at any school; the worst that an Ivy League has to offer is not generally perceived to be better (and thus more highly sought after by employers) than the best that Pudunk University can produce. That said, I understand that some firms demand an academic pedigree, but they are the outlier in terms of corporate America - not the norm. Nobody wants to hire a former jock who hasn't demonstrated the ability to transfer what he learned in athletics into success in other endeavors - such as the classroom. So I maintain, having a strategy of just getting into an elite institution and then floating along academically is not much of a strategy.

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You do understand how the public refers to an athlete that struggles to get into a major academic school, struggles to graduate from that school, continues to struggle in medical/dental school and finishes dead last in their class? The last time I noticed people called them a doctor. It's often called survive and advance.

 

Or possibly the garbage collector - a degree and a job are not one in the same. A lot of kids in college think that the race is done when they are handed their diploma when in point of fact, it is just the start of the race.

 

Nobody struggles to get through undergraduate school and gets into medical school. That is an MD program. They could get into a chiropractic school.

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OU has improved significantly in academics under President David Boren. Enrollment on main campus is essentially limited to 24,000, now takes a 24 ACT to get in except for the 1% rule that I'm sure is reserved for football and basketball players.

 

The petroleum engineering, geology, and land management programs are considered among the best in the world along with University of Texas and Texas A&M. The National Weather Service is located on the south campus, top meterology school in the US. I'm kind of peeved over than i was given 12 credit hours for meterology because of my military flight career, but it didn't count as my required science credit.

 

You can get a very good education that is tops in certain fields. If you get a petroleum engineering degree, you'll start at about 100k.

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You know there are actually some pretty darn smart kids that use wrestling to get some or a lot of school paid for. #1 concern, studying and getting good grades in a strong area. #2 concern being All American. I would like to see a list of National qualifiers this year with a science or math major. I bet there is more then you think, and they are probably putting studies first, but getting that paid for.

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side note, the wrestlers at the DIII schools like Hopkins or NYU getting degrees in tough majors are the nerds that really impress me.

 

Agree! There are a lot of very challenging wrestling programs like Chicago and Williams that have very good students and they aren't looking to look the other way at admissions to get a high caliber athlete.

 

In Division-I we have Franklin & Marshall and Davidson that both are as elite as any undergraduate schools. Wrestlers at these two programs really amaze me. They are in a very academically challenging school, a small staff, no scholarships, and they are asked to compete against the best in the country. These guys really impress me and I have all the confidence in the world they will do well after school.

 

Any engineering student impresses me too. And we have wrestlers in Engineering programs at some of the top schools in the country like Lehigh and Michigan.

 

There are a lot impressive people in wrestling, but often, I think, we do a disservice by only recognizing accomplishments on the mats. The only time many people care is years later when they are asking these successful individuals for donations.

 

Good point about Chicago -- Division III and therefore little discussed on these boards, but they don't admit kids who can't do the academic work. As a consequence the wrestlers are not the equal of who N'western recruits (see the recent dual result), but that Chicago degree is a nice reward.

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There is a thread about the advantages of going to an Ivy League or equivalent caliber school about once a year. One should be more specific in what the advantage is. It seems to boil down to the idea that there are a lot of networking opportunities at the elite schools that don’t exist at lower tier institutions. This may well be true. The question then becomes, who is most likely to benefit from these networking opportunities over the long haul? If I don’t make it into one of the top tier schools, what are some of the ways I can network with big shots?

 

If I was advising a kid going to college, this is what I would say about networking….

 

Whether you go to Harvard or a small DIII state school, you should network during your 4 years on campus. Or 6 years if you do the double redshirt. Or you fail classes. Or whatever. Lots of guys go to an Ivy League school and do zero networking. Networking doesn’t mean you have to act phony and work every room you walk into. Just take the opportunity to talk to people. To take full advantage of the opportunities, you should do the following once on campus:

 

1. Consider joining a fraternity. Maybe you hate frat guys. So what. If you don’t like it after your first year, you can always drop out. Pledging will not be fun as a sophomore. Networking is about meeting people. Joining a fraternity is easy and you meet lots of people. That bonehead doing bong hits every night in the frat house might be a big shot doctor or trader for Goldman in 10 years. I’ve seen it plenty of times. Some coaches don’t like frats, but it’s your life. Just choose your frat carefully.

 

2. Go to the social events that the wrestling team has. Meet the alumni. This might seem obvious, but lots of people don’t do it. If you’re a great wrestler, the alumni will want to meet you. If you’re not, you have to do the work yourself. Do it.

 

3. Learn to drink socially. While nobody will likely hire a hard core alcoholic, lots of people like to have a few beers and shoot the breeze. If you go into finance or do sales, not drinking at all makes networking a little tricky.

 

4. Form study groups. This is an ancient tactic to meet chicks, but you can network in these groups too. You don’t have to do this with every class. You probably won’t have time if you are in a frat and wrestling and trying to do school. But try it from time to time.

 

5. Some people insist that you should golf. I say do it if you enjoy it. I don’t like golf so I don’t do it. You can decide after graduation. Golfing in college is a total non-priority so don’t worry about it.

 

6. Make an effort to meet the people in your dorm. Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates didn’t join the wrestling team at Harvard. If you want to meet big shots, you have to cast a wider net sometimes.

 

I think the biggest factor one should consider in deciding whether an elite school might pay off is cost. Some of the best schools also have the best financial aid. If you happen to get a great financial aid package from an elite school, that’s hard to turn down.

 

What about if you get into Cornell but it costs $50,000 more over 4 years to go there over your local state school? In my experience, networking is only important for finance jobs on Wall Street or sales. (Medical schools generally don’t care if you know some alumni doctor. They look at your grades and your MCAT. That’s about it.) If you are creative, you can network after graduation for a lot less than $50,000. Of course the federal government might not loan you $50,000 at below market interest rates after you graduate to network, but you can’t have it all. You can rent a place in a great part of town and throw parties. You can join a country club. You can golf a lot. You can join a yacht club. You can work camps and network there. You can go the OTC over the summer. You can join a sport social league. You can join professional organizations. You can go to grad school at an elite school. Be creative. One of the things you learn about in Econ 101 is opportunity cost. What’s the best way to spend your money?

 

Also of interest:

 

http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/t ... nings-myth

 

From the link:

 

“Dale and Krueger concluded that students, who were accepted into elite schools, but went to less selective institutions, earned salaries just as high as Ivy League grads. For instance, if a teenager gained entry to Harvard, but ended up attending Penn State, his or her salary prospects would be the same.

In the pair's newest study, the findings are even more amazing. Applicants, who shared similar high SAT scores with Ivy League applicants could have been rejected from the elite schools that they applied to and yet they still enjoyed similar average salaries as the graduates from elite schools. In the study, the better predictor of earnings was the average SAT scores of the most selective school a teenager applied to and not the typical scores of the institution the student attended.”

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I agree about those small school wrestlers in tough majors. Very impressive. But it isn't just the small schools.

 

I know this situation exists at a LOT of schools. Just at Penn State we have multiple time academic all americans, like David Taylor, Nico Megaludis (Finance), and Matt Brown (Crime Law and Justice). Zain Retherford a a 4.0 kid in high school and is headed down this same road in a business major. Matt McCutcheon was a high school class president four years in a row. So these are not only big school wrestlers, but they are also the starters and soon to be starting wrestlers at Penn State.

 

I'd like to hear about the top kids who are also great students at other schools. Nice thread to focus on the positive.

 

Why didn't you list David Taylor's major? I am less impressed by Crime Justice and Law than I am by STEM majors, though Finance can be a difficult major.

 

Brown has a 3.97 GPA as an All-American wrestler while being in Army ROTC. He won the NCAA Elite 89 Award for having the highest GPA of all national qualifiers. He was a first-team Academic All-American for all sports, not just wrestling. And he met his wife at Penn State.

 

Safe to say he's maximizing his college experience.

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Johndoe,

 

I think you nailed it. I have observed everything you cited.

 

A few things I would add:

 

1.

I would advise, in undergrad, the best way to network is to pursue the things you enjoy and are passionate about and don't be afraid to reach out to anyone that may be able to teach you something. People want to be around people that share their interests.

 

Note, you should be interacting with people that are actually doing the things you want to be doing. Too many kids get involved with clubs because they think they are ‘building their resume’ when really they are just hanging out with other students who have little to offer them in the way of experience and thus can’t challenge them. In my experiences, the greatest education comes from actually getting out there and doing something so that you can observe all of the ancillary interactions taking place. Though formal education can help give you the tools (especially in STEM) needed to succeed.

 

 

2.

Higher education has increasingly been criticized for simply being a pass through. For instance the undergraduate schools that claim to produce the best graduates are also the schools that accept the best students. And the best MBA programs are the ones that will only accept those that already have business accomplishments.

 

Think about this in wrestling terms: should we be surprised when schools with top recruiting classes placing high at nationals? And just with student recruiting, athlete recruiting often misses the mark. Not everyone who is labeled a blue chipper will turn out to be. Again, in terms of college wrestling recruiting to producing NCAA All-Americans or even Olympians. Sure, a Harvard and Princeton will produce a lot of successful grads just as Penn State will produce a lot of All-American wrestlers. But just being recruited there doesn’t mean you will reach those levels. There will still be students, professionals, and wrestlers, at programs like Gardner Webb, Cal Poly, Davidson, Central Michigan, Wyoming, and Northern Iowa just as successful, if not more.

 

For this reason, I advise kids that aren’t blue chips academically to do the same thing I would advise a non-blue-chip wrestler to do. Find a program where you can join the program and be challenged but not be overwhelmed too early that has a reputation for producing results ranking much higher than expected based on the input. For instance, Edinboro, Bloomsburg, and Central Michigan have all been regularly credited getting kids to the next level and producing great results on the mat with limited blue chip athletes. Just as Stevens Institute, Embry-Riddle, and Bucknell are all schools that produces graduates that are much more successful than their freshmen admission data would make you expect.

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Well, the johndoe post is fine in terms of offering practical advice about networking. Almost every college student would benefit from reading it.

 

I do, differ, though, with the premise that the only or even primary reason to go to an Ivy is to network with people. Academics do matter. And at a more selective university a student is going to be in a classroom with students who, on average, are more talented/more ambitious than a less selective school. It is exactly analogous to the advice on this board about wrestlers who benefit from "being in that wrestling room every day, going against those guys". Steel sharpens steel mentally as well as physically.

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I didn't list Taylor's major because I don't know what it is. It isn't in his bio on the Penn State website.

 

I recall them announcing his major as Recreation and Tourism when he was wrestling in the finals in St. Louis.

 

Looked up his Bio and it said he has a degree in Recreation, Park and Tourism Management and is pursuing a Masters in Education Administration. Looks like get graduated in four years--which is what I would like to see more redshirts doing.

 

I should note that I am not disparaging David Taylor's efforts; this course of study seems perfect for someone with aspirations of being a head coach at a university. Based on his programs of study, I have to figure that is his plan.

 

Side note: I like how Lehigh has all the majors listed on their roster; I wish more programs would do this.

http://www.lehighsports.com/roster.aspx?path=wrestling

13 of 30 on the roster are engineering or physcial/bio science majors.

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"Too many kids get involved with clubs because they think they are ‘building their resume’ when really they are just hanging out with other students who have little to offer them in the way of experience and thus can’t challenge them. In my experiences, the greatest education comes from actually getting out there and doing something so that you can observe all of the ancillary interactions taking place."

 

I think this is an excellent point.

 

"I do, differ, though, with the premise that the only or even primary reason to go to an Ivy is to network with people. Academics do matter. And at a more selective university a student is going to be in a classroom with students who, on average, are more talented/more ambitious than a less selective school. It is exactly analogous to the advice on this board about wrestlers who benefit from "being in that wrestling room every day, going against those guys". Steel sharpens steel mentally as well as physically."

 

This is one of those things that sounds great in the marketing pamphlet of an elite institution, but I'm not sure I buy it. Sure, one of the great things about going to a top school is there are a lot of smart people there. In my experience, you can also find lots of very smart people at state schools. Harvard for example has about 6,700 undergraduate students. Almost all of these kids are quite smart. Ohio State has about 44,000 undergraduates. I'm sure several thousand of them are quite smart. And then there are 40,000 or more that aren't quite at the elite level. You can find very smart people at your typical state school, they are just "diluted" a bit with lots of other people. How much are you willing to pay to be around concentrated smart people is the question. $10,000? $50,000? That's for individuals to decide. Take hard classes at a state school and you find smart people. This shouldn't be surprising.

 

As for the analogy of tough classrooms being comparable to tough wrestling rooms, I don't think this stands up to scrutiny. There are plenty of examples of guys coming out of college wrestling programs and immediately making an international impact. John Smith, Stephen Neal, Cael Sanderson, Jordan Burroughs, etc. When was the last time some undergraduate wrestler made an international impact in an academic field right out of school? I can't think of any, but correct me if I'm wrong. The undergraduate classroom is in no way analogous to the top wrestling room. If you're studying for medical school, you can major in philosophy and cover all your prerequisite courses at a community college over the summer. Get good MCATs and you're good to go. If you're in finance, your school functions as a proxy for an IQ test. That provides interview access. That's about it. They aren't giving away million dollar secrets in Finance 206 at Wharton. I wish they did.

 

I don't think academics matter that much at the undergraduate level. Penn State probably uses a lot of the same textbooks to teach physics as Princeton. You are learning things people discovered 200 years ago in those classes for the most part. Newtonian physics - that's actually over 300 years ago. New funk technique from Ben Askren? That's hot off the press. I graduated from an Ivy and took classes at a state school. The tests were harder at the Ivy because they had to have a curve, but at the end of the day, the basic material is the same. My Ivy economics textbook was written by Ben Bernanke. How's everything working out with him holding the steering wheel?

 

There is great value in being around smart people that have it together. But there are lots of ways to surround yourself with those people. Going to a top university isn't the only way. And unless you get great financial aid, it almost certainly isn't the cheapest way...

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John Doe, let's not take things too far.

 

Are you really suggesting that the equivalents of Harvard students can be found by the thousands at Ohio State? No offense to Ohio State, a great program led by a great coach who cares as much about his kids as he does about winning, but that's just not true. Harvard probably rejects hundreds of HS valedictorians a year, probably multiples more than the number of salutatorians in the entire tOSU student body. Using wrestling analogies, Harvard is rejecting 3- and 4-time state champs for admission. The difference is night and day.

 

Then, there's the teachers. Without exaggerating too much, the teachers at the elite schools are not only writing the books that the teachers at other schools are teaching off of, they're also inventing new areas of study for those schools. The John Smiths, Cael Sandersons, and Brands twins of academia are "coaching" at these elite schools, and they are generally coaching state champs and multiple time state champs from around the entire world. The elite schools don't merely draw applicants from the US. The entire world wants to attend, Harvard in particular.

 

The idea that a smart kid can go to Ohio State and get a "diluted" Harvard education is pure insanity. Ain't happening!

 

Of course, I agree completely that there are cases, perhaps even a significant minority of cases, where smart kids who could get into elite schools choose the Ohio States of the world and get fine educations, and sometimes end up doing even better (a big fish in a little pond is sometimes better than a little fish in a big pond, yes). Logan Stieber was a 4.0 student in HS and given his wrestling skill, I have zero doubt that he would've gotten into Harvard. I know literally a dozen elite HS wrestlers who were "dumber" than Logan on paper who got in to wrestle at Harvard. But on average, the kids who go to the elite schools are getting better educations and better opportunities. What they make of those academic and career opportunities is up to them, which is a great point you make, but the point others like me are making is that they are getting those opportunities preferentially at the elite schools.

 

It's not about whether going to a top university is the only way, as you say, to be around smart people. It's about whether going to a top university is the better way to do that. The answer, on average, is yes. On a case by case basis, I'm sure there are dozens of legitimately great reasons to choose an average academic school over an elite school, but on average, the kids who choose the elite schools are setting themselves up to have more opportunities.

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