Monday, September 23, 2013

Ted Cruz
The elite academic circles that [Ted] Cruz was now traveling in began to rub off. As a law student at Harvard, he refused to study with anyone who hadn’t been an undergrad at Harvard, Princeton, or Yale. Says Damon Watson, one of Cruz’s law-school roommates: “He said he didn’t want anybody from ‘minor Ivies’ like Penn or Brown.”
Douthat 2001
Coming to Harvard, I now have a new sense of the power and success that is at our fingertips - I know I will be one of the 25 richest writers of the future.
And again
Now I know that there was a lot of outrage about these comments on various House and organization e-mail lists, and a few of us “lazy” Harvard types even took a break from polishing the family silver to fire off letters to the Daily and Dean Inouye. This is well and good. But if we can set aside our justifiable pique for a moment, we might realize that we’re doing people like Inouye, Amira, and my ever-so-well-educated Legal Seafood waiter a grave disservice. They’re not the real enemy here, my Harvard brethren—and the sooner we recognize it, the better.

No, the real enemy is silent and deadly, a mental disorder so pervasive and persistent that it defies any quick-fix cure. Call it, if you will, the Harvard Syndrome.

This disorder’s symptoms vary widely, needless to say, based on individual constitutions—but fortunately, the symptoms are easily recognizable to the trained (i.e., Harvard-educated) eye. For one thing, the Harvard Syndrome causes otherwise sincere people to lie, with almost pathological zeal, about their motives for not attending Harvard. The lies can range from the banal (“lousy undergrad education,” as my Legal Seafood chum insisted) to the breathtaking and patently unbelievable (“I really liked Yale better”). But however involved and intricate—or charmingly clumsy—the lie may be, the truth is always the same. The Harvard Syndrome sufferer was denied admission to Harvard.
In 2005
The Truth About Harvard
It may be hard to get into Harvard, but it's easy to get out without learning much of enduring value at all. A recent graduate's report.

Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class
Ross Gregory Douthat arrived at Harvard University in the fall of 1998 carrying an idealized vision of Ivy League life. But the Harvard of his dreams, an institution fueled by intellectual curiosity and entrusted with the keys to liberal education, never materialized. Instead, he found himself in a school rife with elitism and moneyed excess, an incubator for the grasping and ambitious, a college seduced by the religion of success.

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