Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Don't discount the young perspective 

In his Viewpoints article for the Daily Gamecock, "Fogies forget college part of real world", Aaron Brazier says well what I have often said myself: college students are not by definition out of touch with the rest of the world. If anything, their learning experience makes them more aware of what's going on in the world, both past and present. College students are in a unique milleu that can spark the creation of a million interesting new ideas.

This subject is of particular interest to me because of something that happened shortly after I graduated from Sewanee. My roommate and my friends at that time - mostly fellow alumni - were a few years older than me. One good friend confided to me that another friend was starting a sort of salon for the discussion and the exchange of ideas. However, one requirement of membership was that you had to have been out of college for at least a year (maybe it was two, I can't recall exactly now). Of our group of friends, that excluded only me, so the guy starting the group had told my roommate and others not to tell me about the salon. I was angry when I found out, and thanked my friend for telling me anyway.

The rationale behind this requirement was that the founder only wanted people with a certain level of maturity in his group. I think the idea that a twenty-three-year-old is magically more mature than a twenty-one-year-old is just wrong. I was definitely more mature in my thoughts and actions at the time I graduated from college than I was two years later when I was living it up in the city, partying and going to movies and just generally looking for a good time while letting my brain atrophy.

As far as I know, this salon never really got off the ground. I felt somewhat justified by that. If the founder was going to exclude people with different perspectives, people whose minds had been freshly filled with knowledge, it couldn't have been much of a discussion group anyway.


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