06 August 2009

Call me Nathan Detroit!

In today's Inside Higher Ed, Dean Dad writes about the recent grad of Monroe College who's suing her alma mater because she can't find a job.

To help curb just this sort of "I'm here to get a job" mentality, I always present to the parents of incoming students, during my summer registration talk, a 1914 quotation by Oxford don John Alexander Smith that I had to translate into Latin for the final exam in Fr. Felton's Latin Prose Composition class during my sophomore year at Xavier University. I don't remember how I translated it (although I'm sure it wasn't very good, much less Ciceronian, Latin), but it has stuck with me all these years:

… you are now about to embark on a course of studies which will … form a noble adventure. But I would like to remind you of an important point. Nothing that you will learn in the course of your studies will be of the slightest possible use to you in after life, save only this, that if you work hard and intelligently you should be able to detect when a man is talking rot, and that, in my view, is the main, if not the sole, purpose of education.

So, sue me!

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