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Is college Education for everyone - Essay Example

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This critical review assists to enrich the literature on the subject of style and at the same time, provide some incisive commentary on the all-important substance of the article which is the relevance of college education…
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Is college Education for everyone
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Is college Education for everyone

Download file to see previous pages... This research aims to evaluate and present “In the Basement of the Ivory Tower” as a lamentation discourse of a college professor about students enrolled in the university but who are not academically prepared to take on such intellectual work. His sadness stems from his observation that most of these students who are enrolled in night school are in school not for the main purpose of achieving true academic excellence but merely to pass the course as a requirement for promotion, for salary upgrade or position reclassification. Early in the article, the reader is treated to a picturesque description of the typical university campuses, where presumably the author teaches, as a way of introducing the subject matter of his discourse. It would not be too long for the reader to know that he is talking about working students in evening school. It would initially seem to this reader that all is well in the campus setting until he gets a subtle warning that “beneath the surface” is a problem that is causing “frustrations and bad feelings” about students “who are in over their heads.” At this point, the reader would seem to be cued back to the article’s title “In the Basement of the Ivory Tower” and would develop a feeling that something is wrong in the “basement.” It is of course known that the term “Ivory Tower” figuratively refers to a sheltered institution such as a university of higher education. This reader thinks that such a development in the content is brilliant as it cultivates and sustains reader interest. The author proceeds to describe what the problem is all about by using his course subjects English 101 and English 102 as anchor and the imperative need for students to pass these subject as a prerequisite for course completion. It is apparent that the requirement to successfully hurdle these two subjects is the seed of the author’s lamentations, after discovering that these students enrolled in night school are not academically prepared to pass the subjects. To prove his point, the author narrates incidents to justify his slapping of grades F (for Fail) to majority of his students. The author makes a beautiful exchange of his conversations with a specific student, Ms L, who would get an F and how and why she got it. Of course, the author is very persuasive, as he provides proof for his giving out a failing grade. At the same time, he attempts to involve his readers in his own dilemma, or even guilt, arising from his decision to fail his students who come to school in the evening because they are working during the day and are therefore physically spent and run down to do extended mental work. He then shares his ambivalent feelings of whether to be compassionate and give them all a passing mark or to keep his school’s standard of academic excellence. As if to provide a parallel ending to his opening, the author ends his discourse in the same lamenting posture, leaving the reader in an emotional suspension without seeing a resolution to the problem he has presented. As a critical commentary, this reader believes that perhaps the author should have proposed a few recommendations on what to do, given the problem he presented. Or would that have been his real intention, to put the reader in a state of search for the solution or solutions? This reader would have wanted some relief coming from the author. For example, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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