I just read this fantastic blog post — no, I’ll go ahead an call it what it is: an essay — from “Siobhan Curious” at Classroom as Microcosm. Titled “Why Do I Have to Learn This?,” it is an excellent response to a recent New Yorker piece by Louis Menand (whose New Yorker pieces I often admire). Between Menand and Siobhan Curious’s reading of Menand, we get a beautifully articulated account of the fundamental errors in — and fundamental beauties of — our ideas about higher education.
In fact, this post is so excellent, both as a commentary in its own right and as an example of response writing, that I’m going to require my students to read it and respond on our online discussion forums. But I hope like hell that they respond at the Classroom as Microcosm site, too, because I’m teaching community college students, many of whom are headed to colleges or universities in a year or two but many of whom have different aspirations, and since this conversation of the importance of college is mostly about the four-year institution, I’m really curious what my students might want to add to this discussion.
If they let me, I’ll report a bit about what they had to say in a future post. But in the meantime, go read this thing now, because it’s awesome.