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    Joined: Sep 2007
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    Val Offline
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    I started reading that article earlier today and will finish at lunchtime. This paragraph struck me:

    Quote
    No one but me knows he fakes being well-read by thumbing through the first and last chapters of any book he hears about and obsessively devouring reviews in lieu of the real thing. He does this not because he’s incurious, but because there’s a bigger social reward for being able to talk about books than for actually reading them.

    I was also saddened, but not surprised, by the industrial acronyms and metrics used by the admissions committee (e.g., you get points for having good PQs [personal qualities] or being a DevA [parents in the highest category of donors to the university]).

    I was also a bit surprised that being able to memorize 30 lines of Pope's poetry made students at a "top university" "thoroughbreds." Err. My 9th grade Honors English class had to memorize Marc Antony's speech in Julius Caesar. Children in France memorize a new poem every week, starting in first grade.

    Last edited by Val; 07/23/14 09:45 AM.
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    "You cannot cogitate your way to sympathy with people of different backgrounds, still less to knowledge of them. You need to interact with them directly, and it has to be on an equal footing: not in the context of “service,” and not in the spirit of “making an effort,” either—swooping down on a member of the college support staff and offering to “buy them a coffee,” as a former Yalie once suggested, in order to “ask them about themselves.”

    Instead of service, how about service work? That’ll really give you insight into other people. How about waiting tables so that you can see how hard it is, physically and mentally?"

    I did this.

    Based on my experience, service work doesn't really give you an insight into other people, at least when you do it at age 18 or 19.

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    Hmmm. The things I learned from waiting tables have stuck with me ever since. It was invaluable experience. Seriously.

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    So, what I read is elite colleges are elitist. They take DivAs and convert them into zombies thus preventing the transfer of usable skills to old money. Then they take old money and convert it into basic research. Insidious.

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    Originally Posted by momosam
    Hmmm. The things I learned from waiting tables have stuck with me ever since. It was invaluable experience. Seriously.

    Well, I reaffirmed what I already knew about myself, namely that any activities involving physical coordination and balance are not my strong suit.

    However, I already knew that from years of playing sports.

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    I found a Slate article that provides some entertaining commentary on this article:

    "None of this is to say that we shouldn’t attempt to bridge socioeconomic and racial divides, or that we shouldn’t give more money to our struggling public colleges. But it’s unclear why we should expect undergraduate education to produce seismic shifts in perspective that Deresiewicz claims life itself largely cannot. “College is not the only chance to learn to think, but it is the best,” he writes. “One thing is certain: If you haven’t started by the time you finish your B.A., there’s little likelihood you’ll do it later.”

    This is perhaps the most terrifying sentence about higher education ever committed to print, one that feeds into the anxious, competitive mindset that Deresiewicz decries. Every ambitious student who believes that college is their opportunity to shape themselves will do whatever it takes to get into the very best, most exclusive school they can. When their experiences underwhelm, as many necessarily will, they will indeed leave college “anxious, timid, and lost,” believing that they’ve missed out on a chance at intellectual development. Deresiewicz has simply traded careerism for another exalted goal, with similar results."

    http://www.slate.com/articles/life/..._misguided_belief_that_universities.html

    As I have said before, I wasn't sure what the point of college was or why I was there.

    However, I did learn a lot while I was there. Granted much of it related to mysticism, religious fundamentalism, general criminality (in conjunction with sociopathic behaviors), and severe mental illness.

    Had it not been for my college experience, I doubt that I would be to deal with the mentally ill on a day to day basis as I currently do.

    Last edited by JonLaw; 07/23/14 10:57 AM. Reason: Adding link to slate article
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    Originally Posted by JonLaw
    Originally Posted by momosam
    Hmmm. The things I learned from waiting tables have stuck with me ever since. It was invaluable experience. Seriously.

    Well, I reaffirmed what I already knew about myself, namely that any activities involving physical coordination and balance are not my strong suit.

    However, I already knew that from years of playing sports.

    Yes, I knew this as well, Jon. smirk

    Self-discovery is highly overrated, I must say, since mine seemed to come with ample amounts of self-loathing and humiliation.

    I will also say that working such jobs during my teens taught me that I never wanted to work at a job where my boss felt actively threatened by my educational attainment or intellect. NEVER.

    College, on the other hand, taught me that academia was a much friendlier environment in which to be very intellectually capable. So I spent the next fourteen years there. LOL!




    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    Originally Posted by article
    There are smart people who do not go to a prestigious college, or to any college—often precisely for reasons of class.

    Hi there. Have we met before?

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    Originally Posted by Article
    Is there anything that I can do, a lot of young people have written to ask me, to avoid becoming an out-of-touch, entitled little sh*t?

    Line of the article.


    What is to give light must endure burning.
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    {wince} That's pretty telling, isn't it?? I can't decide whether the correct response there is:

    a. Don't worry-- since you've asked, I predict that you're fully immune.

    b. Sure there is-- get over yourself. Early and often. You're welcome.

    c. No, not really. The real question is-- why would you WANT to? [/b]


    Last edited by Mark Dlugosz; 07/24/14 10:21 AM. Reason: tone

    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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