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mercredi, août 30, 2006

The Ivy Schmucks

There's something about Canada that makes sense. Take Lakehead University in northern Ontario. Their latest recruitment campaign is based around this picture. They set up a site called YaleShmale.com . The posters show a picture of Yale Graduate George W. Bush (1968 must have been an annus horribilis for the Ivy Leagye uni) and the caption says:

Graduating from an Ivy League University doesn't necessarily mean you are smart.


Pity the boys in blue and red back home cannot really replicate such a campaign. They all came out of the same oven.... and are all busy getting us into the same mess.

More about this on the BBC website.

9 commentaires:

the jacobin a dit…

Maybe it's me, but I'm not getting your point. Yes, yes, George Bush may not be the brightest bulb in the basket - but to move from that point of view to the idea that somehow, the Ivys aren't all that they are cracked up to be (which seems to be what you are implying) - how'd you accomplish that?

(asked in a non-confrontational manner, and to avoid any confusion, I'm Canadian

Jacques René Zammit a dit…

It's you.

The post is reporting the ad campaign by a Canadian University. That is the main point. It then goes on to a light comment that plays on the fact that such a campaign would not be useful in one-university malta.

At no point does the post judge the Ivy League (unless you read the title only). The invitation to judge comes from the Uni Ad Campaign and everyone is free to agree or disagree.

God Bless Canaduh!

the jacobin a dit…

Let me see if I'm getting this straight: you entitle two consecutive posts 'The Ivy Shmucks' and 'Yale Graduates Rock - not' and then profess to be shocked, shocked, when it is assumed that you are making a substantive comment about the quality of an Ivy League education? If you were trying to replicate a 'just the facts, Ma'am' approach, I think you would have tried a different tack.

Then again, maybe I am imaginging a slight where none exists. After all, how foolish would you have to be to attempt to denigrate (on academic grounds) one of the best universities in the United States, when in almost every measurable factor it is light years ahead of practically every other educational establishment in the rest of the world?

Jacques René Zammit a dit…

"light year's ahead"

Apologist. Moi?

Glad you've picked up the argument about the impeccable Ivy League. I was not intending to enter the merits but now that you mention it...

How's your Italian? You might love a vist to this site: http://www.corriere.it/Primo_Piano/Cronache/2006/08_Agosto/30/farkas.shtml

It's entitled "Donkeys at Harvard" (and was printed today) and it's all about the way Ivy League clientelism and corruption that allows Daddy's Boys to enter the system.

Incidentally, if you really want my opion I believe that it is not the University but the person that makes the quality. You could Hail from Yale, or simply read at Tal-Qroqq. What really counts is how the post-college individual applies himself and his time. Miracles can happen anywhere... there might be more tools and money in Yale, Harvard etc but that will never mean that it is a guaranteed road to success.

Too many people are exiting universities or studying third degrees and believing that the simple addition of letters behind their name entitles them to feel wankellectually authoritarian and paternalising. The impact with the real world will set them straight.

Others on the other hand get a few pushes from a rich daddy, a governor brother, a faulty electoral system and a generally dumb electorate and find themselves with the power to invade Iraq, Afghanistan and to elect advisors with funky names like Condolcezza.

Light years indeed.

the jacobin a dit…

My Italian is fine, the article instructive. And to be honest, I can't disagree with one word of what you wrote about the importance of a holistic education - holistic in the sense that intellectual enrichment shouldn't stop once one has exited the hallowed gates of the university concerned. My point was - and yes, perhaps 'light years' was a tad excessive - that the best Universities in the U.S (and in many other developed countries, but I'm thinking of the Ivies) are worthy of praise on educational grounds - whether we're talking about the quality of and availability of faculty, well-stocked libraries, cosmopolitan student body, class sizes, and yes, a wide array of scholarships to assist less well-off students. I don't see how any of that good is necessarily mitigated by the fact that the admissions system is hardly perfect (the evil of so-called 'legacy' admissions is prevalent in European universities too) or the reality that some of the graduates of these institutions then go on to (in the case of George W. Bush, perhaps)less than distinguished lives of public service.

Fausto Majistral a dit…

Pity the boys in blue and red back home cannot really replicate such a campaign. They all came out of the same oven.... and are all busy getting us into the same mess.

Hmm, you must be "going native" in Lux. You forgot the one who studied in Harvird.

Fausto Majistral a dit…

... not to mention the boys in green.

Kenneth a dit…

The way you write about it, Jacques, it's as if this kind of thing never takes place in Malta.

Ethel a dit…

The picture of George Dubya Bush is gone now.
Probably received some backlash; Canadians, for all their sense of humour, they are a bit spineless.
It was a decent marketing initiative to attract students and their sensibilities to a better than average uni in the sticks. I wonder if enrollment is up.