From the books section of today's Times, regarding "My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student," by Rebekah Nathan and "Binge: What Your College Student Won't Tell You," by Barrett Seaman:
At any point in America's long collegiate history, it seems safe to say, only a tiny percentage of students have been serious scholars, many of them in the hard sciences, which both Ms. Small and Mr. Seaman tend to neglect.
Ouch. Actually, double ouch. I know I'm in a seriously self-selected group since the vast majority of my friends chose to pursue advance degrees, thus, presumably, placing them in the 'tiny percentage' of 'serious scholars,' but to so casually brush aside the humanities as being particularly bereft of serious scholars without even breaking stride? And how many people read over that sentence this morning without choking on their coffee? Perhaps I'm naive, but I really did feel like I had found 'my people' at Case, meaning people who were genuinely intellectually curious, about everything from engineering to art (and, despite uttering the phrase, you are
a graduate student, right? more times than I'd like this semester, I feel pretty similarly about Emory). Sure, there are ways to avoid learning no matter where you go to school, but I find it hard to believe that scholars are really so much in the minority.