Quomodo sedet sola alma mater?

Jeremiah, as is his wont, laments

My olde skoole on ye choppinge blocke

Correspondence with a fellow alum:

Shows what a weak reed the credentialling sector ultimately is. New College was founded at the heart of the postwar Golden Age, when elite consensus was what we would now call “liberal”. Well, it’s not any more, so all State institutions are going to bend the knee. Amazing in a way that NC lasted as long as it did. The possible upside: it will give the youngs something more consequential to fight for than gender categories and pronouns. If they take it. I wonder whether they will. On my reunion visits I found them likable but utterly shipwrecked intellectually by wokeness.

The New Left in our day had an iron backbone of red-diaper babies — sons and daughters of old Commies from the 1930s. They were having an Oedipal drama with the ‘rents on the Old Left — which had, admittedly, pretty much collapsed and sold out to the Democratic Party — but they inherited some of its materialist clarity of thinking and historical awareness. But now the New Left has been replaced by the No Left, which has no conception of class at all, as far as I can tell, and reduces politics to an extensive list of bad attitudes — racism and misogyny of course in a very expansive sense, and then the zoo of Xphobias (replace X with trans-, homo-, etc.).

It will be interesting to see how the crackdown unfolds. A new president, presumably, in fairly short order. Who will then issue directives to do, or not do… what? And it will be interesting to see whether there’s any real resistance. Pessimistically, perhaps, I doubt it. Profs are not usually made of very stern stuff.

3 thoughts on “Quomodo sedet sola alma mater?

  1. russophobia is making a big comeback. remember to mourn the passing of pope rottweiler but to celebrate the deaths of 90 RAF infantrymen. We can see where education is headed by how laudatory the NYT is about innovative and creative the average Ukrainian is becoming with everyday tasks like making better grenades.
    i’m sure hurlix and such can help teach grandma to make freedom cocktails.

  2. traditional protestants and the orthodox know that Rome is the whore, no matter who is pimp of the saeculum.

    anyway, “Who Gets in and Why: A Year Inside College Admissions” by Jeffrey Selingo (Scribner, 2020) is a book I grabbed at the local pub lib, curious what an expert says about getting into college during corona (did they go to University of Bologne during the plague? i don’t think so.)

    “Ch 1: Selling a College: the Endless Pursuit of Students” presumes to give a short history of current school admissions practice, in which nothing makes sense except through the author’s reification of market forces. There is no other history outside the somewhat misguided but unalloyed desire of schools to use the market to fulfill their educational mandate by bringing in more students. Free schools (or tuition), as in CA, were simply unsustainable. There was no uproar, no tumult, no rebellion, no historical forces at work in developing the student debt regime et al other than the wholesome concern of teachers and educators who unfortunately butt heads with economic reality. Education helps the students understand this, grasp how the Nixons and Reagans and Clintons and Trumps are not running their education as a business whose goal, beside profit, is to create little hurix cogs or cannon fodder or patients in need of behavioral and medical care.

    btw, I recently read a student’s admission essay to Boston U. 16 years old and the overachiever already knows that covid is so yesterday. “When I cough or feel a tinge in my stomach, I start researching…” cancer, etc. In an essay where he used Didion’s “The Year of Magical Thinking” in his answer. This person is surrounded by educators, and I was not the first or only person to read this essay.

    Kids today!

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