Understanding and the Other

BY AARON BARLOW

One Flew East

There are over a quarter of a million students at the City University of New York. That’s twice as many as there are in the entire Ivy League. And they come from almost every country in the world and speak uncountable languages. They can’t be easily categorized except as students.

Keep that in mind.

The other day, in our local dog park, I met someone who told me, right off the bat, that he held a PhD and had taught briefly as an Assistant Professor. He told me (I never did get a chance to tell him what I do) that American universities are hotbeds of indoctrination and coddling, what with trigger warnings and safe spaces. Before I could really respond, he was off and running on another topic, conflating “freedom” as Adam Smith used it with the “selfishness” of Ayn Rand. I never did get to tell him that…

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