Perhaps Someday We Can Forgive Our Common Enemies

What would you tell your grandchildren?

by Brooke Allen (Q4Colleges)

 

Dear Grandchildren,

You and we have a common enemy: your parents.

This is just the natural order of things. Parents and children put each other through hell everywhere. Your dysfunctional family is no big deal.

Think about it. You imagine you are the center of the universe even though you can’t even wipe your own butt. Unless your parents sell you into slavery, you cost way more than you are worth. The reason babies are cute is because otherwise parents would kill them.

And your parents are the Devil incarnate. They are hell-bent on controlling you – telling you what to do, how to do it, and what to think. Even if by some miracle you feel your parents are not idiots it is only because they are good at manipulating you. If children were not dependent on their parents they would kill them. Continue reading “Perhaps Someday We Can Forgive Our Common Enemies”

Those Who Can’t: 27 Ways of Looking at a Classroom

What have you learned about teaching?

by David L. Kirp (Berkeley)

1. I was a second-year graduate student when I got hired – more years ago than I care to remember – for my first teaching job as an instructor of something called “expository writing.” Make up a course, I was told, there’s nothing to it. But even as I was ordering books and inventing paper topics for the unsuspecting freshmen, I just knew that everybody involved, especially the students, understood that the enterprise was farcical. What did I, barely lettered and entirely untrained, have to say to ferociously smart 18-year-olds? How long would it take before someone dropped the curtain to end the play?

As I approached the classroom that first day, I peered in at the 20 slouching bodies, then stared at Continue reading “Those Who Can’t: 27 Ways of Looking at a Classroom”

Are Elite Colleges Worth It?

Who gets to be on top?

By Pamela Haag

Kurt Vonnegut’s son, Mark, wrote in his memoir The Eden Express that the best thing about graduating from college is that you can say what a pile of crap college is and “no one can accuse you of sour grapes.”

Mark attended Swarthmore College. I did too, graduating in 1988. I got a Ph.D. from Yale seven years later. My education might brand me as an “elite” today—the word has become an insult. But since I didn’t come from privilege, money, power, or connections, my story is a variation of what we used to celebrate, not ridicule, as upward mobility.

In my high school, I was one of a few Continue reading “Are Elite Colleges Worth It?”