Friday, August 22, 2014

On zip

The zip-line has become a fairly routine element in first-week-of-school activities on American college campuses. At least one school has assured students that though its zip-line line may not be spectacular, it serves the institution’s purpose.

That purpose would appear to be Fun. And I have nothing against Fun. There shall be Fun. But the purpose of a college or university, as I understand it, is another matter.

If anyone had told me that my first week of college would include a ride on a zip-line, I would have thought they were on something. You know, the way people used to say it — on something.

comments: 2

JuliaR said...

It's interesting how university life has changed. I am seeing it from the perspective of someone who is in my fourth go-round as a student, where my first time at university was in 1975. The 'welcome letter' I got in 1975 from upper class students, before I even saw the campus, opened with "Welcome to the monkey house." Later, I learned they were quoting Vonnegut, but even then, and I was only 17, I felt that they weren't taking the idea of 'higher learning' seriously. I guess I was a little pompous. :)

I'll be back on campus in two weeks, watching the parade of first year students and wondering how they feel. I can appreciate how much more support they have nowadays! But even so, university can be overwhelming until you find your niche. Not everybody loves it, and even though I love it (have always loved it), it wasn't until the last few years that I finally grasped how to succeed, academically. Very interesting.

Michael Leddy said...

I’m kinda impressed that the students were 1. quoting and 2. trusting that their reader would know the reference. It does though sound very guy-like to me.

The one thing I can remember from my freshman orientation: an old Jesuit who said “You are not here to learn how to make a living. You are here to learn how to make a life.” And he meant it! As did the institution. That’s the kind of thing I’d like an incoming student to hear.