"Running is tight in the fast track, apparently."
True enough. I could write for hours on the subject. However, some people are driven. I brainwashed mine from an early age that education was an adventure, that it was worth achieving all on its own. Oldest had no expectation or desire to become a valedictorian . In fact, she was aware of the cheating that some of them did to achieve it and considered it beneath her, an unworthy accomplishment. Until, of course, she discovered that she made it. (She still thinks the cheaters' honors should be withheld, even if they did it only once. But she's very happy that she made it.)

I'ld like to make this more word related, but can't think of anything to say. Maybe we could do etymologies on brainwashing, integrity, honesty, and so forth.