An interesting article written by a student who underwent a Great Books degree. I've always been interested in the idea of Great Books degrees, but I find them often far too Western-centered.
What's of interest to me, however, was the attitude displayed by the author when he realized what it would actually take to benefit from a Great Books curriculum. Obviously, a Great Books curriculum is a about as far from an instrumentalist degree that can be possible. One doesn't learn a vocation, but, in my opinion they lean what many, many of my students haven't--he learned what it means to really learn.
I realized that true education involves surrendering. Instead of fighting the demands of my professors or the structure of the program, I needed to adopt an attitude of prudential humility in the face of the challenges and possibilities before me. Some of the philosophy and literature classes were outside of my comfort zone, but I soon came to appreciate, and ultimately relish the challenges. It was an educational leap of faith, and yet also an exercise that instills ethical and intellectual excellence.
An interesting article about the problematic relationship between cheap student loans and student performance...
One of the best speeches... ever
At my high school graduation, Nobel Laureate Thomas Cech was the commencement speaker. What he told us was similar--"You haven't done anything yet. You're simply at the start..." Of course, that made little sense to the hundreds of students who thought that going to parties, being popular, working a job, and having a car was "something." Dr. Cech's speech validated what my Asian-American upbringing had stressed--that it's ok to start at the bottom; it's ok to try harder; it's ok to assume you don't know everything..
Our Unprepared Graduates
Opinion piece by Kathleen Parker (Washington Post) on under-prepared undergraduates.
From time-to-time I find interesting articles about the state of universities, the field of history, etc. I'll post them here just in case anyone else is interested.