Monday, March 26, 2012

It's everywhere …

… Age of Ignorance by Charles Simic | NYRblog | The New York Review of Books.

It took years of indifference and stupidity to make us as ignorant as we are today. Anyone who has taught college over the last forty years, as I have, can tell you how much less students coming out of high school know every year. At first it was shocking, but it no longer surprises any college instructor that the nice and eager young people enrolled in your classes have no ability to grasp most of the material being taught. Teaching American literature, as I have been doing, has become harder and harder in recent years, since the students read little literature before coming to college and often lack the most basic historical information about the period in which the novel or the poem was written, including what important ideas and issues occupied thinking people at the time.

1 comment:

  1. Do I detect a certain anxiety about November?

    For the symptoms manifested by the writer, I usually recommend a long walk to settle the nerves, and a bit of reading for perspective. Pictures from an Institution gives an interesting picture of a college of 60 years ago. And perhaps a review of the back numbers of the NYRB to remind the author how scientific Freudianism once was.