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« Leon Krier Redux | Main | Art and Religion »

August 16, 2002


Friedrich --

So true. My additional gripe about Ivy educations is that, these days at least, they seem to be anti-educations. The underlying assumption the elite educationists seem to share is that knowledge and skill somehow hold back the soul, or maybe even turn you into a racist/exploiter/etc. Thus, the goal of education is to free us from all that and lead us all into paradise.

The result here at work is that I'm surrounded by babbling, entitled young Ivy (or Ivy-ish) idiots who regard knowledge and skill not as prerequisites to saying or doing anything that might merit attention but as evils to be attacked with all the bullshit multiculti p.c. crapola they can summon. (Which, given that they're basically very bright, is considerable.)

What the kids coming from these schools seem to have is quickness and cleverness, and a kind of hyper-responsiveness that can be amazing -- ie., they're still basically kids. (Knowledge and skill being viewed apparently as adult evils.) They're cute, fast, and mischievous.

I'll be curious to see what happens to them as they move out of their 20s and start encountering some of life's trainwrecks -- disappointment, illness, death, failure. As tedious and stuffy as a traditional upbringing can be, it does develop in you a few resources, which you can draw on when necessary. I don't find that these new kids have any such resources. So: Will they crack up? Go into a fury of blaming others? (All that said, I do envy the kids their quickness and their easy access to great technology. And their youth, of course.)

But then, over and over I've been amazed by the baloney teachers lay on people. The arts, alas, seem especially susceptible to nonsense about "creativity," maybe because they're so damn soft. Over and over again I've taken arts classes, and have had the same set of reactions: show me the skills, steep me in the culture, and I'll make the decisions about what to do with it all, thank you very much.

Forgive me, I'm getting a little overexcited...

OK, I've calmed down. What arts teachers seem to want to do (not consciously, but in effect) is to brainwash you, take away your pride, and set you on a predetermined path: This is what art is, this is how it's studied, this is how it's made. It's like a cult, and the exact opposite of what I was hoping to propel myself into when I made the choice to lead an artsy life -- ie., a more free-thinking, more-open-minded, more-experimental way of life than the usual one.

And lord knows you're right, all most profs seem finally to know how to do is instruct you in how to become a prof. We pay them to do this? I'm a big school-vouchers fan as a consequence -- anything for a little choice and competition.

What's your take on vouchers?



posted by Michael at August 16, 2002


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