The End of Old School: What’s Changed About College Life, and What That Means for All of Us
An Evening with William Deresiewicz
A student’s life is not what it once was. Our generation is at the center of major shifts, both in the texture of our social world and the contents of our education. Facebook and Twitter et al. have changed our standards for both intimacy and privacy. What was the core of Western higher education as recently as the mid-20th Century – the humanities – has been replaced by increasingly narrow, pragmatic curricula. Certainly, these changes have benefits: Social networks allow faster, broader communication; we can keep track of more people, see more pictures, remember more birthdays more easily. Pragmatic education allows us to be better prepared for careers on graduation day; we have largely moved what was once considered vocational training into the college classroom. But these changes also mean that we have deserted some important notions about education, leadership, communication, and friendship. Almost everything in our social and intellectual landscape has changed and keeps changing, and while it’s easy to see some advantages that shifts in technology and education have brought us, it’s harder to see what we may have lost.
Joining us to discuss these changing trends is William Deresiewicz. A former professor at Yale University – now an essayist and reviewer for The Nation, The American Scholar, and The Chronicle for Higher Education Review, as well as other publications – Mr. Deresiewicz is one of the most thoughtful and original cultural commentators working today. His essays are variously brilliant, wise looks at the modern American landscape as a whole, with a focus on education and technology in particular. They include “The End of Solitude” (http://chronicle.com/article/The-End-of-Solitude/3708), “The Disadvantages of an Elite Education” (http://www.theamericanscholar.org/the-disadvantages-of-an-elite-education/), and “Solitude and Leadership” (http://www.theamericanscholar.org/solitude-and-leadership/). We hope you’ll join us for an original and enlightening event about college, technology, and the modern student’s way of life. Mr. Deresiewicz will give a talk and then hold an open discussion. Assumptions Challenged or Your Money Back.
Free (of course). Rose Hills Theatre at 7 PM on September 15, 2010.