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View Diary: How did Jason Richwine Get a PhD from Harvard? (332 comments)

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  •  Harvard's beginning to (15+ / 0-)

    expose itself as the joke it is. It's like fall/winter/spring camp for rich kids. A years long cotillion of craptastic gladhanding and forging "networks". Education and ethics are gone.

    •  Betwen this and the Reinhart-Rogoff fiasco (15+ / 0-)

      I'd say you're right.  But I was always suspect of Hahvud ever since I worked in the NYC investment banks.  The kids they brought in there just weren't that bright.

      "And once again, the forces of niceness and goodness have triumphed over the forces of evil and rottenness." --Maxwell Smart

      by emobile on Wed May 08, 2013 at 03:17:12 PM PDT

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    •  It's been a joke for years. (14+ / 0-)

      When I was doing my Ph.D, another student in my field was at Harvard, and I decided to go visit her. She told me that her thesis supervisor had fifty-three other grad students, and no one on her committee ever seemed to read anything she wrote. They just said, "Fine, fine, when's the next chapter coming?" I looked through one of her drafts and remarked that it had a lot of notes on it, to which she replied, "Those.Are.All.MY.Notes."

      Still, it wasn't quite as bad as another American university, which shall remain nameless, where a dissertation was passed that had the phrase "the shift from Classical Confucianism" four times on a single page, the last three times missing the "f" in "shift."

      Oh, the Harvard lady got a job easily. That's why you go to Harvard.

      "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

      by sagesource on Wed May 08, 2013 at 04:36:27 PM PDT

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    •  I think you're totally wrong (6+ / 0-)

      I would assert that Harvard is probably less a school of rich kids in 2013 than it has ever been in the past, for a number of factors.

      One is need-blind admissions: Harvard is one of only a few schools with the resources to accept students who cannot pay for their education.  Very few schools do NOT consider a family's ability to pay in admissions decisions.  Harvard is one, and it's also the most common first choice of the best high school students.

      Another is coeducation, which (duh) doubles the number of qualified applicants.

      A third is an admissions process that affirmatively seeks to build a diverse student body.  Schools like Harvard could accept only students with near-perfect SAT scores if they wanted, but they instead look for well-rounded students.

      Contrast the Harvard of today with its version in the 1950's, when like all of the Ivies it limited the number of Jewish students it admitted.  It's a terrible history, and not one unique to Harvard.  The Ivies used to argue, basically, that the well-rounded gentleman scholar was an upper middle-class Protestant, and that "your typical New York Jew" was an unseemly, striving upstart.  The admission of students like George W. Bush into Harvard (or Yale) was justified thusly: Someone has to be in the bottom quartile of our graduating class.  Why not have it be students from the bottom quartile of prep schools like Phillips Exeter?  They're already used to poor grades and will take them in stride, whereas the valedictorian of a weak public school would be psychologically devastated to find himself in the bottom of his college class.

      There's a great story about Teddy Roosevelt writing home to his mother and bragging about his grades as a Harvard undergraduate.  He wrote, "I am third in my class.  There are two gentlemen above me, and two others."

      A 47% return on investment--that's pretty doggoned good!

      by deminva on Wed May 08, 2013 at 08:15:54 PM PDT

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