[log in to unmask] wrote:
> As a thought experiment, I wonder how Eliot would view the curriculum
> today at his beloved Harvard. When Eliot went there, a Harvard education
> meant a firm grounding in the Classics, a study of authors in their original
> language (including ancient Greek), etc. Today, as my son looks through the
> Harvard course offerings to get a flavor of it (he's a high school senior),
> he sees courses on Multiculturalism, women's studies, and many topics that
> were not offered in 1914. At the same time, Harvard allows its undergraduates
> to essentially choose their own curriculum, so it's possible to graduate with
> a Harvard undergraduate literature degree without taking, for example, a
> Shakespeare course.
Or, perhaps he might remember that in December of his freshman year "he is put on
probation for poor grades and 'for working at a lower rate than most Freshmen',
although he has 'an excellent record of attendance' ... [the following February]
TSE is relieved from probation. (He told his second wife that he 'loafed' for
the first two years.)"* and feel some compassion for others trying to make their
way in world in which they find themselves. Surely, with all his study, he would
know that the world has always been better in the old days, especially those of
one's youth. Look at Milton's curriculum for students, for example.
(Wouldn't the attendance commendation just be humiliating?)
* _Letters_, xix.