New York Times, Get out of My School
February 16, 2024 12:00 PM   Subscribe

Politics this, plagiarism that. Harvard is in the limelight, which means that the student journalists of the Harvard Crimson have picked up some competition.
posted by Artw (23 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
From the article:
One popular hypothesis: The reporters flock to Harvard to work through their personal struggles with generational overachievement. There’s no “crisis in higher education”; there’s just a crisis of New York Times writers with daddy issues and anxiety over what the end of legacy admissions could mean for their children’s college prospects.
I mean, it doesn't purport to be journalism, but some of those kids still have a sick burn or two in 'em.
posted by The Bellman at 12:15 PM on February 16 [22 favorites]


I do like how "Harvard" in the Zeitgeist has shifted from "school for really smart kids" to "school for really privileged kids." The latter has always been true, but it sure is nice to see how it's percolated.
posted by leotrotsky at 12:18 PM on February 16 [16 favorites]


some of those kids still have a sick burn or two in 'em.

That last paragraph, too. If you read it as sarcasm, that is. With Harvard, you never know.
posted by martin q blank at 12:26 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Jesus, that's pretty acid. And it feels like it splashes back on Harvard, too.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:34 PM on February 16


"the constant coverage has its benefits: One Mathematics concentrator, Abe Lowell ’24, learned about his upcoming midterm from a New York Post article."
posted by doctornemo at 12:45 PM on February 16 [8 favorites]


Listen kids, the entire rest of the world would also like to not have to hear about your campus controversies, not to mention your theater club, glee club, and whatever undergraduate fancy-pants dining societies you have there, because these are freaking school activities that, by rights, shouldn't matter to anyone who's not actually enrolled at your college. Unfortunately, your college is one of the most corrupt and corrupting influences, not just on American politics, but on global politics and the body of academia writ large, and so until we break that influence (if you've got ideas for how to destroy the master's tools we're all ears!) we are all stuck reading this tempest-in-a-very-expensive-teapot nonsense and being left to wonder why, if at all, anyone else should care.
posted by 1adam12 at 1:21 PM on February 16 [15 favorites]


I do like how "Harvard" in the Zeitgeist has shifted from "school for really smart kids" to "school for really privileged kids."

I am far from an uncritical booster of my employer, but my experience of Harvard students has uniformly been that they are really smart. (By coincidence, I worked on a project last semester with this particular student, and she was really smart.)
posted by Horace Rumpole at 1:30 PM on February 16 [14 favorites]


Wait, Harvard is real? I thought they just made it up for Legally Blonde.
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 1:31 PM on February 16 [16 favorites]


I think we know who didn't get into Harvard.
posted by kjs3 at 1:39 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


1adam12: Unfortunately, your college is one of the most corrupt and corrupting influences, not just on American politics, but on global politics and the body of academia writ large...

Oh god, please don't encourage them.

Horace Rumpole: I am far from an uncritical booster of my employer, but my experience of Harvard students has uniformly been that they are really smart

I've said this before, but my experience is that they are hyperambitious workaholics who have received so much institutional validation throughout their lives that they believe they can do absolutely anything.

They're not all privileged in the traditional demographic sense, but they are in the sense that they have all been accelerated to their current velocities by systems of which they are largely ignorant.

Which is fine! They're kids! But going to an institution as burdened with cultural cachet and attention like HARVARD for undergrad is not altogether good for a young person, in my opinion.
posted by xthlc at 1:41 PM on February 16 [10 favorites]


Unfortunately, your college is one of the most corrupt and corrupting influences, not just on American politics, but on global politics and the body of academia writ large, and so until we break that influence (if you've got ideas for how to destroy the master's tools we're all ears!) we are all stuck reading this tempest-in-a-very-expensive-teapot nonsense

This might have more force if the coverage was about these corrupting and corrupting influences, instead of about bullshit.

my experience of Harvard students has uniformly been that they are really smart

I'd like to qualify that down to "mostly" and "prepared under their current circumstances to engage at a high level in academic tasks," but, yeah. There are plenty of schools to major in being a dumb rich kid at; despite the Kushners, Harvard doesn't rank in the top ten.
posted by praemunire at 1:42 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]


But going to an institution as burdened with cultural cachet and attention like HARVARD for undergrad is not altogether good for a young person, in my opinion.

I don't think Harvard is really the problem here, but rather the systems you mention. By the time you get to Harvard College, the damage has already been done.
posted by praemunire at 1:45 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


One of those things you only know if you are familiar with Harvard presidents: every student name in here is a play on a Harvard president. Largely the most recent ones, except for the play on Abbott Lawrence Lowell, not sure how he got in there instead of Drew Gilpin Faust (maybe Les McGill is a play on that?), Derek Bok or Neil Rudenstine.
posted by rednikki at 2:55 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


I am far from an uncritical booster of my employer, but my experience of Harvard students has uniformly been that they are really smart. (By coincidence, I worked on a project last semester with this particular student, and she was really smart.)

They are very smart. I mean, not any smarter than the top students at many other, less prestigious universities, but there certainly will be a minimum bar. Someone I know who has taught at both elite and non-elite universities had told me that the top students were all the same, but the elite universities just didn't have the students who struggled. But an A student at Harvard is not any better than an A student at most medium-tier universities.

I've said this before, but my experience is that they are hyperambitious workaholics who have received so much institutional validation throughout their lives that they believe they can do absolutely anything.

This is a more important observation. I would add to it that many of the professors at elite institutions are also "hyperambitious workaholics who have received so much institutional validation throughout their lives that they believe they can do absolutely anything." Not all - I met many who were well-adjusted; they were usually the ones who worked at different institutions and had only come to the elite one later in their career. But some of faculty really do believe they are infallible - and can be profoundly ignorant outside of their immediate area of expertise.
posted by jb at 3:00 PM on February 16 [9 favorites]


Listen kids, the entire rest of the world would also like to not have to hear about your campus controversies, etc, etc.

This is pretty similar to how most of us feel about New York stories.
posted by biffa at 3:42 PM on February 16 [14 favorites]


I feel that many commenters here may have not read the “this is satire” sentence at the top. Perhaps that was not in the original edition? But just in case.
posted by Hypatia at 4:00 PM on February 16 [6 favorites]


I went to Harvard.

I made a wrong turn, but a nice kid told me how to get to the bookstore I was actually looking for.
posted by mephron at 6:28 PM on February 16 [4 favorites]


In fairness to the Crimson, they actually do some solid reporting, but yeah, the Boston area does have some other fine institutions of higher learning that just don't get the same level of scrutiny, not even that other school for which Cambridge is noted (I admit on my own little Boston-area blog, I will link to Crimson articles, even if it's just so I can run yet another headline playing off the old joke: "You can always tell a Harvard man, you just can't tell him much").
posted by adamg at 7:39 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


“This is pretty similar to how most of us feel about New York stories.”
You’re comparing your frustration about a diverse city of 20 million (about half the population of Canada) getting that attention vs. a college of 22,000 filled almost entirely with privileged kids, so I feel like this misses the mark.
posted by vim876 at 6:34 AM on February 18


Harvard people bore on about Harvard. New Yorkers bore on about New York. The effect is the same.
posted by biffa at 10:35 AM on February 18 [1 favorite]


. a college of 22,000 filled almost entirely with privileged kids,

Harvard College only has about 6500 students so it's even worse.
posted by vacapinta at 2:08 PM on February 18 [1 favorite]


You’re comparing your frustration about a diverse city of 20 million (about half the population of Canada) getting that attention vs. a college of 22,000 filled almost entirely with privileged kids, so I feel like this misses the mark.

in my experience of New York stories they're all about the same six people who all know each other and three of them used to date so now it's awkward and they're all obsessed with this one sandwich you can't get outside New York, well it's not really a sandwich and if you know you know but it's a sandwich when you're talking to flyover state people like your readers, & it's really a Brooklyn thing and you should get it from a deli in Brooklyn, well not a deli exactly, IYKYK, but it's hard to leave the Lower East Side sometimes and this 12,000-word piece is gonna be about the very relatable shame that literally anyone would experience at the moment their ex clocks them eating one of these things out of a light blue wrapper instead of a green wrapper, causing them to hide in the bathroom for the rest of the night pounding gin cocktails and drugs from the dark web, also the author recently found out about tampons?? do people still use these things or
posted by taquito sunrise at 3:31 PM on February 18 [4 favorites]


You’re comparing your frustration about a diverse city of 20 million (about half the population of Canada) getting that attention
New York has half the population of Canada and about half the media coverage of North America.
posted by zymil at 7:46 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]


« Older The Lost Story of New York’s Most Powerful Black...   |   Random Ex-President Hit With $364 million dollar... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments