Rhetoric & Composition I: Autumn Quarter 2013 Rotating Header Image

Context for “College’s Identity Crisis”

Three essays by David Brooks:
“One senior told me she had subscribed to The New York Times once, but the papers had just piled up unread in her dorm room. ‘It’s a basic question of hours in the day,’ a student journalist told me. ‘People are too busy to get involved in larger issues. When I think of all that I have to keep up with, I’m relieved there are no bigger compelling causes.’” 

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“In what I think is an especially trenchant observation, Buhler suggests that these disillusioning events have led to a different epistemological framework. ‘We are deeply resistant to idealism. Rather, the Cynic Kids have embraced the policy revolution; they require hypothesis to be tested, substantiated, and then results replicated before they commit to any course of action.’”
“Started at the Bottom” (May 2013) Brooks mentions a DePaul student in this one:
“Most of the students had some trouble gelling with the whiter, richer student body in college and hung out mostly with fellow Hispanics. ‘We love our culture,’ said Reuben. ‘That’s what makes our group stronger and bonds us together.’ Now they seem to flow fluidly across cultural lines.”
“They seemed both hardy and a bit naïve, made more resilient by reality but not jaded by it. Their conversational styles were enthusiastic, grateful, direct and earnest. They seemed to us unself-conscious about how they present themselves — unironic, matter of fact, sincere and un-meta — not tripping in loops of self-awareness. They also have a less methodical sense of the exact steps you have to take to make it in the world.” 


And for those of you writing on “What is the Purpose of College?”
— Brooks again: “The Practical University”
— Tugend: “Vocation or Exploration? Pondering the Purpose of College”