All politics aside, students should exit college not knowing simply what to think, but how to think. This is where. Murray and i agree. He hits the nail on the head when he describes the purpose of college, that college is created to train the elites to do their jobs. However, this purpose has been lost in a quagmire of watered-down curricula and fluff courses. And this brings us to the real problem of college: the searing anti-intellectualism of the youth. Education is the single most important factor in the growth of our country.
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In order to find the true crisis of sir college, we must first look at its true purpose. A few months ago, charles Murray wrote a controversial series of columns in the wall Street journal arguing, not words that college had been written out of the national debate, but that its role is too great. Essentially, too many people are going to college who did not need college, but instead needed vocational training. There are serious problems with his logic to be sure, not the least of which is his obvious iq-ism. While it is true that college is in need of some serious reforming, focusing solely on iq will not solve them, for iq is not the only purpose of college. For example, there are, what a professor of mine called, latent overtones. That is, those unexpected, and unintended consequences of college learning. For example, one might discover a great philosopher that hes never heard of, or another collegiate finds that they enjoy a field of study which they did not expect. But this is, of course, part of the intellectual journey of students. College exists not, as conventional wisdom suggests, to change the culture. It exists to create a new breed of intellectuals.
Conventional wisdom suggests that the problem lies simultaneously within the hands of the politicians and presentation the students. This narrative does not account for the history of college. Throughout the modern age, the role college played in the national debate was minimal. To this date, there has only been one president with. D., and both The new deal and Trumans fair deal did relatively little for college and education in general (with the exception of the. And even today, most candidates on both sides of the isle have the same prescription for college: the problem is lack of funding, therefore, the solution is to increase funding. It usually ends at that.
Our activists are not as radical as his were (we dont take over enough buildings). Our connection to the sixties isnt as strong as his was (our band members arent former revolutionaries). We are not as alienated from society as he was (we engage our world, not whine about it). Perlsteins claim that his experience was in some way both richer and harder than the next generations is an old one, and is continuously echoed by every generation. Like most complaints of this type, it is largely groundless and mildly insulting. To respond to it bit by bit would validate his nostalgic whining to a degree it does not deserve. Read more, for the past twenty to thirty years, we have seen the great degradation of post-secondary education.
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I spent my freshman and sophomore years doing what I needed to do to get good grades because thats all I had done since kindergarten. And even though I worked hard to earn.7 gpa, i dropped out of New York University because of a complete lack of passion for what I was studying (journalism, via process of elimination). Read more, travis weinger, 21, is a senior majoring in history, with a concentration in war, revolution and social change. His minor is political science. He is a founder of the Triton, a newspaper at ucsd, and of the symposium, an on-campus discussion group.
Rick perlsteins article, boiled down, is simply an extended version of the bitching that every generation hears from the one that preceded it: Back when I went optimization to school, we walked uphill in the snow both ways In sum, college mattered back when. Perlstein went to it because that was when he for went. Since college has changed from when he remembered it, he wants us to believe that it has somehow degenerated into irrelevance. The vast majority of Perlsteins complaints fit under the above rubric. Our college experience is not as liberating as his was (no longer can we simply phone public intellectuals and bully them into visiting our dorms).
It was a three-week summer program. Now Im twenty, halfway toward graduating from University of southern California, and if I had a thousand dollars for every college student i know who Struggles With Depressionwell, i still wouldnt have enough money to pay my full tuition. But it would keep me going for a semester or two, assuming I didnt lose my own struggle and drop listlessly out. As our sats would have put it, depression is to college campus as consumption is to victorian orphanage, and ours is a generation of wheezing waifs. Read more, max Lance, 23, is a freshman at uscs School of Cinematic Arts, majoring in writing for film and television. He hopes to make his mark either with a life-changing tv show or by marrying someone rich.
When I dropped out of college three years ago i would have completely agreed that college isnt the cultural experience that it was hyped up. As I return this September, ive realized that its a good thing it isnt. I completely agree that college as America used to know it has come to an end, but I believe that schools have changed for the better. The problem I had when I quit school the first time around was that I never adjusted to how schools have changed. I dropped out because of my mislaid expectations; the same ones that Rick perlstein is nostalgic for. Im going back to school because ive realized what the college experience is like today and Im now more than prepared to abuse. Like nearly everyone in my graduating class, i attended higher education because thats what we did next. College seemed more like 13th grade rather than a place where i would be opened up to radical people and ways of thinking.
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Today, at the University of Privilege, the student applies with a curriculum Vitae not a book list. Read more, frankie thomas, is a junior majoring in cinema-television critical studies, with a minor in gender studies. Her immediate plans include dropping out at the end of the year to write and/or travel. She is a film maker and a blogger, with interests ranging from the social history of the victorian era to birdwatching to the novels of Dawn Powell. I had the kind of college experience most people only summary dream about. Charged by the atmosphere of intellectual exploration, inspired by professors who pushed me farther than Id ever imagined I could go, i made fascinating new friends at skidmore; together we discovered Nabokov and Kafka, citizen Kane and. Strangelove, and our own literary voices.
Oh, the hand wringing. College as America used to understand it is coming to an end, bemoans Rick perlstein and his beatnik friend of fallen face. Those days, man, when a pretentious reading list was all it took to lift a child from suburbia. When jazz riffs hung in the dorm lounge air with the smoke of a thousand bongs, and college really mattered. Rick perlstein thinks. It mattered so much to him that plan he never got over his four years at the University of Privilege. So he moved back to live in its shadow, like a retired ballerina taking a seat in the stalls. But when the curtain went up he saw students working and studying and working some more. Adults before their time.
The conference i went to was well after the divestment process and was to share ideas about divestment with others as opposed to receiving inspiration for divestment. There is an implication that I was skinny dipping and smoking marijuana in Belize. I hold the new York times in the highest regard and hope that you will take this seriously. In the future, i hope you check the veracity of statements made before you publish them. Thank you, mervin Jebaraj, research Assistant, center for Business and Economic Research. Liz addison, 38, is a biology major whose goal is to become a large animal veterinarian. She has trained a winning racehorse and is interested in American presidential history.
The essay entitled fortunately, college has Changed " by matthew dates Bender from the University of Arkansas has several factual errors and insinuations. Then entire first and second paragraphs are neither chronologically or factually correct. How do i know that there are errors? Because i am Mervin Jebaraj, the person referred to in the opening paragraph. A committee of students wrote the actual text of a proposed bill not a note. The idea began in november of 2007 and not in the spring. There was no staying up all night, and there was no on campus bbq. The committee obtained a meeting with Sen. Madison after a lot of work and didnt just pass a note to her.
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Nicholas Handler, is a junior at Yale University majoring in history. Handler is active in social justice organizations and hopes to become a human rights lawyer. I never expected to gain any new insight into the nature of my generation, or the changing landscape of American colleges, in Lit Theory. Lit Theory is supposed to be the class where you sit at the back of the room with every other jaded sophomore wearing skinny jeans, thick-framed glasses, an ironic tee-shirt and over-sized retro headphones, just waiting for lecture to be over so you can light. Thats pretty much the way i spent the course, too: through structuralism, formalism, gender theory, and post-colonialism, i was far too busy shuffling through my ipod to see what the patriarchal world order of capitalist oppression had to do with Ethan Frome. But when we began to study postmodernism, something struck a chord with me and made me sit up and look anew at the seemingly blase college-aged essays literati of which I was so self-consciously one. Read more, this is in regard to your college essay contest that took place last year.