Interesting book. A Yale professor's rant against the current status quo in education and his thoughts about how it could be improved.
The counterpoinInteresting book. A Yale professor's rant against the current status quo in education and his thoughts about how it could be improved.
The counterpoint to Deresiewicz's thoughts on an individual basis are:
suppose you’re sitting on a Harvard undergrad admission. You’re sitting on gold. You can use the spare time afforded by the luxury of only aiming for the B+ average to shop all the English seminars, philosophy classes etc. you ever hoped to attend. And they will be taught by the same Helen Vendlers the author adulates. If you are the type who can ace the MCAT cold you probably aced the SAT too, you might be sitting on a Harvard admission and if you’re considering grad school you’ve got to tick that “I accept” box, beg borrow or steal the tuition and go to Harvard. Case closed. Four years of liberal arts await you, if that is your wish.
Meanwhile, I think Deresiewicz's systemic concern is best summed up in his quote from a former community college student and marine combat veteran, later a student at Stanford:
"It's useful to think of Stanford students and their peers around the country and the world as flowers in a garden. Many tend them: parents, counselors, test prep specialists, teachers, professors, friends; and they generally bloom in response to such careful cultivation. These flowers, while beautiful are young and fragile and thus must be protected from the elements. Thank goodness for the constant gardening.
I am a weed in their garden, masquerading as a flower. I can't be told stories about the world outside the garden by the gardeners because I've been further and seen more than any of them. I am calloused and don’t respond to the regiment of organic diet, self congratulatory volunteer work and politically correct pillow talk that grows so many other young leaders of the free world.
I grew my roots slowly, painfully, in the dry rocky soil of the real world. I don't mean to romanticize such a life, only say that the heartier plants grow to be much stronger than is possible in the garden. But why the vibrant colors, constant distractions and beautiful garden for a morally ambiguous, even dangerous, outside world.
Here the patterns of life are essentially known to you. You do A, you get B. But what if the world didn't help ensure that B followed from A? What would our poor flower do then?"
But what if the world didn't help ensure that B followed from A? What would our poor flower do then?
There are also some interesting references to the idea of the Iraq War as a "stress test" on the US political, military, financial system - one that we have failed quite miserably. This is an interesting analysis of the status quo. I can't remember which page the reference was on, but there is a whole other book focused on this partiular in more detail.
Steven Pinker wrote an interesting rebuttal to Deresiewicz's book (or the article that preceeded the book).
Ultimately this is an interesting issue, one that gives you a bit more perspective. Highly recommend reading this book....more
not a bad book. interesting story about an interesting man. not sure how many lessons we can learn from this, I personally didn't write down many bignot a bad book. interesting story about an interesting man. not sure how many lessons we can learn from this, I personally didn't write down many big takeaways and the author digs into the gossip side of things far too much for my taste.
if you were a fan of Evel or are interested in one of the forefathers of extreme sports, you may enjoy this. I remember seeing him jump at one event when I was kid, in the last few years of his career. not quite interested enough to sit through this.
it's interesting the way Evel played to the media at the time. today, in a time when TV is no longer dominant with young kids, I doubt he would have been commercially successful - the barriers to content distribution were a huge benefit to Evel. it's also very interesting that he was always so positive, reads almost like Steve Job's renowned "reality distortion field". many times it seems that being positive and attractive is more useful than being correct... in hindsight, that is a powerful lessons indeed!...more
fun, quick and easy read. not as good as Foundation and a bit rough around the edges compared to Asimov's other works, but it's a fun adventure in a Scfun, quick and easy read. not as good as Foundation and a bit rough around the edges compared to Asimov's other works, but it's a fun adventure in a SciFi plausible distant future......more