05 Dec 2012

Embarrassed at Being at Harvard

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It is a common form of modesty on the part of students and alumni of certain Ivy League universities, to intentionally try to avoid the inevitable reaction to dropping a big name in response to the question, “Where did (do) you go to school?” and to reply, slightly evasively, New Haven (or Boston). Sophisticated interlocutors recognize the response at once, and everybody else is really better off not knowing.

But the burden of grandeur apparently weighs heavily on the narrow shoulders of some attendees of a certain school in Cambridge.

Harvard is consequently offering today counseling on how to cope with being so special.

Home from Harvard for the Holidays: Revisiting Relationships with Family and Friends

Wednesday, December 5, 1:00-2:30pm
5 Linden Street
How do I talk about Harvard at home? Will my friends and family think I’ve changed? Will I still fit in? This workshop provides an opportunity to describe and explore your experiences and questions as you anticipate going home. To register, email slshin@bsc.harvard.edu or cshindler@bsc.harvard.edu.


Acculturated found the therapeutic approach to the Harvard identity pretty funny.

Is Harvard acknowledging that its students, upon being admitted into the hallowed crimson kingdom, become so socially inept that they require workshop assistance to socialize with their non-Harvard friends and family? Or is this event a tacit endorsement of the assumption, which embarrasses Harvard students and alumni so, that they really are better than and different from the rest of us? Either way, the elitism that underlies this event is just hilarious, given its stilted effort to be empathic to what the University probably considers the unanointed hoi polloi.

One Feedback on "Embarrassed at Being at Harvard"

Robert L. Oprisko

This is stupendous timing! I just published an article that examines the prestige that one gains by being affiliated with a prestigious alma mater: http://gppreview.com/2012/12/03/superpowers-the-american-academic-elite/


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