The Postgraduate Way of Life
When I was a junior in high school, I visited Harvard for the first time. Like all bright-eyed potential applicants, I shuffled around campus, following the lead of a student tour guide whose feigned enthusiasm about Harry Elkins Widener’s famous book collection now seems comical.
Recent years have seen an undeniable decline in relative enrollment in humanities majors in colleges around the country. The causes of this trend are multiple, but a tempting explanation is students’ increasing desire for a practical, pre-professional education that prepares for the world beyond.
When I was a kid, I would go to a theme park in Colombia called Divercity that simulated adult life for children. I would work different jobs, like putting out fires or driving a taxi. I’d then get paid fake money, which I could then use at a variety of stores and restaurants within the park.
Two weeks ago, I wandered into the Center for Government and International Studies’ Knafel building to sit in on “Capitalism and its Critics,” a new graduate Government seminar offered by Professor Katrina Forrester. Drawn in by both the topic and the professor, I ignored the fact that I had done two of the assigned readings for that week — which totaled some 200 pages — and instead relied on the little Marx and Foucault I remembered from Social Studies 10 to follow along with the conversation.