Sunday, November 30, 2003

The eternal student. "Differences were leveled; courses were regarded with a cynical, practical eye; students of both sexes had the wary disillusionment and aimlessness of battle-hardened marines... To teachers with some experience of the ordinary class-bound private college student, of the quiet lecture-hall and the fair duteous heads bent over the notebooks, Jocelyn's hard-eyed watchers signified the real." -- Mary McCarthy, The Groves of Academe.
"I'm reminded of [the failings of American higher education] the first day of each new academic year when students take turns trying to stare me down after class, while threateningly telling me 'I really need an A in this course, man'." -- Chris Semansky, Illustrated London News relaunch issue, Dec 2003.
I can't help feeling this is the same stare. The students in The Groves of Academe don't seem to get automatic A's, though.
[The Groves of Academe, by Mary McCarthy, Heinemann, 1953. For a book (a) by Mary McCarthy and (b) about academic politics, rather restrained in its bitchiness.]

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