Friday, November 07, 2003"I'm impressed you got this many people to come out on a Friday. I'm not sure we would do as well at Harvard, in fact I'm sure we wouldn't."
Said Harvard Professor Liz Cohen at her modestly-attended lecture today in Angell Hall Auditorium A for the Colloquium on Race and Twentieth-Century American Political Development. I'll speculate her comments are influenced by the fact Michigan has many more students than Harvard, and the recent hand-wringing in the Ivy League over what they term "anti-intellectualism." Yes, this is the shocking discovery that people who score well on standardized tests and come from backgrounds of wealth and priviledge might not actually be interested in learning:
"The hardest thing for students at Duke - and at most elite institutions - is getting in," he wrote. "Once admitted, a smart student can coast, drink far too much beer, and still maintain a B+ average."
At Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., the undergraduate curriculum is undergoing a top-to-bottom review.
The rich mix of lectures outside of class do seem well attended, but the hectic pace can sometimes work against deeper learning, says Sujean Lee, president of Harvard's undergraduate council.
"There is no reflection time whatsoever," says the senior biology major. "I don't even account for reflection in my schedule. The fact that I don't even think there needs to be reflection time is telling what values are at Harvard. I have a journal I rarely write in."
> From the CS Monitor: "Deep thinkers missing in action"
To be certain I'm sure there's a healthy amount of anti-intellectualism going on at Michigan, but it's less visible due to the size and balkanization of campus.
Posted by Rob at 1:55 PM