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    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Default Becoming A Real Person

    Elizabeth Wagele makes an interesting comment in this short post. When do you think the process of building character starts? Do you agree with any of Brooks comments about college?

    In his column of September 8, David Brooks discussed an essay by William Deresiewicz, who argues the process of making meaning of experience and building a unique self often starts in college. That idea doesn’t ring true for me—I believe building and refining character starts years before that age and continues throughout life.

    According to Brooks, “Deresiewicz argues that most students do not get to experience this in elite colleges today. Universities, he says, have been absorbed into the commercial ethos. Instead of being intervals of freedom, they are breeding grounds for advancement. Students are too busy jumping through the next hurdle in the résumé race to figure out what they really want. They are too frantic tasting everything on the smorgasbord to have life-altering encounters… They have been inculcated with a lust for prestige and a fear of doing things that may put their status at risk.” What a shame.


    Elizabeth Wagele Post

    David Brooks Article

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    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    In his column of September 8, David Brooks discussed an essay by William Deresiewicz, who argues the process of making meaning of experience and building a unique self often starts in college. That idea doesn’t ring true for me—I believe building and refining character starts years before that age and continues throughout life.

    According to Brooks, “Deresiewicz argues that most students do not get to experience this in elite colleges today. Universities, he says, have been absorbed into the commercial ethos. Instead of being intervals of freedom, they are breeding grounds for advancement. Students are too busy jumping through the next hurdle in the résumé race to figure out what they really want. They are too frantic tasting everything on the smorgasbord to have life-altering encounters… They have been inculcated with a lust for prestige and a fear of doing things that may put their status at risk.” What a shame.
    I agree with the highlighted in that universities (at least in the U.S.) focus far too much on job training at the expense of their true and original calling of scholarship. I agree with you as well that character formation starts much younger. People have can formative experiences while still in their single digit years. College can serve as a sort of crucible, bringing together all those experiences, buring off what is to be discarded and annealing what will be kept, but the raw materials at least are there already. Perhaps it is this experience that is slighted by an excessive focus on limited and superficial goals in the quest for a job and a paycheck.
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