I THOUGHT ABOUT discussing whether this was a reflection on Harvard entrance standards or whether education actually teaches you anything. Then I remembered this nifty little saying: In academia you end up knowing more and more about less and less.
I remember being 12 years old. I used to impress my parents with my ability to answer grown-up Jeopardy questions quite easily. I had a basic grasp of a number of subjects. Fourteen years and a university degree later, I have to wait for topics that I’m well-versed in. Sometimes I even have a hard time with kids’ Jeopardy. As I haven’t kept up with some of the things I studied in school like math and chemistry, and I’m not interested in them as it pertains to my everyday life, the subjects have all just become a blur.
Is that a failing of the education system? I took six subjects in my final year of high school, but they pointed in one general direction. In the UK, most students going to university will only take two to three subjects and are expected to have chosen their degree subject. In France, students choose what they will specialize in after their first year of secondary school and it’s hard to change careers in their system because every job has a very specific path. Does this sort of education result in less well-rounded adults?
With that said, I’ll give the Crimsons the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe these students are physics majors and haven’t looked at a map since ninth grade.
And for future reference, it’s Ottawa, people. OTTAWA.