I dont think there ever was a golden age of intellectualism in the American university, but in the 19th century students might at least have had a chance to hear such questions raised in chapel or in the literary societies and debating clubs that flourished. But being an intellectual is not the same as being smart. Places like Yale are simply not set up to help students ask the big questions. And in between, they spend four years taking courses that train them to ask the little questionsspecialized courses, taught by specialized professors, aimed at specialized students. The second time, it was easier; I had started to learn that failure isnt the end of the world. For kids this age, TV actually might delay development since it fills time a child might have spent doing other activities, ones that actually help them learn. Even when I have to write a paper, I do it at a friends. Of course, for the system to work, those alumni need money. One naturally prizes what one most possesses and what most makes for ones advantages.
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I could david sedaris essays pdf carry on conversations with people from other countries, in other languages, but I couldnt talk to the man who was standing in my own house. I didnt understand this until I began comparing my experience, and even more, my students experience, with the experience of a friend of mine who went to Cleveland State. Elite schools nurture excellence, but they also nurture what a former Yale graduate student I know calls entitled mediocrity. Ivy retardation, a friend of mine calls this. You may not be all that good, but youre good enough.