Friday, May 27, 2005

Bamber U

I wondered what Amber Taylor has against Harvard undergrads, and she has answered. Looking at her gripes, it's clear that she'd have in many ways preferred the University of Chicago. In fact, her complaints read almost as a checklist for things Chicago has over other schools, at least from the perspective of someone like Amber:

Ways in which they [Harvard undergrads] get on my nerves:

Their frolicking in the Yard. There is a group of guys that aims a giant speaker out the window and plays poker at a card table in the Yard, every week, rain or snow. Are they incredibly affected? Just attention whores? A public nuisance, due to the loud music? I pick all of the above.

We have no Yard, and we certainly don't frolic.

The self-important college paper, headlines from which (no matter how banal) tend to percolate into real media because, well, it's Harvard. Dirty snow sculptures are news!

Having worked at Chicago's college paper for nearly four years now, I can assure you that consumers of "real media" are safe from hearing whatever it is Chicago Maroon writers and editors have on our minds.

The never-ending parade of famous but probably dumb celebrity undergrads (although I've heard Ms. Portman was well-read).

Our dumb undergrads are rarely if ever movie stars.

The kids who constantly badger me with flyers and protests outside the Science Center. Shut up, shut up, shut up. Your cardboard costume and rows of deeply symbolic American flags just make me want to smack you.

Our most visible protester is an old man trying to get the University Hospitals to stop performing circumcisions.

Undergrads get decent housing and we get the Grope.

Undergrads and grads live in the same dumpy apartments that get broken into all the time.

The overpriced "edgy" stores that cater to them push out places with things I can actually afford.

Can you afford to spend $1.99 on a t-shirt from Walgreens? Then you can shop in Hyde Park. See here.

Their rampant grade inflation, which may be part of the reason there are so many double Harvards at the law school. Save some room for the rest of us!

I'll take three orders of "rampant grade inflation," please.

Their rabbity little faces with their multiple nose jobs.

If the entire Chicago campus contains multiple nose jobs I'd be surprised.

They pee on a statue of John Harvard even though they know tourists touch it.

We don't have a statue of John Harvard or tourists, but if we had either, we'd probably pee on both.

They apparently steal books, since every undergrad library searches your bag before you leave. The law library, by contrast, does not. Lawyers are more honest than college kids.

We recall books all the time, but steal them? Augie March stole and sold books at the U of C, but he wasn't an enrolled student or even a real person, so he doesn't count.


Anonymous said...

Haven't you ever walked by a group of tourists taking pictures of the Rockefeller Chapel?

Anonymous said...

Augie Marsh? Gimme a break; over-ambitious, read Podhoretz's critique.

Anonymous said...

Our dumb undergrads are rarely if ever movie stars.

If there are genuinely dumb undergrads at all at Chicago I've yet to meet them, whereas I've known some real thick-as-bricks at Harvard. Not entirely unrelated to the fact that Chicago doesn't have athletic recruitment admissions.

Phoebe Maltz Bovy said...

Yeah, there are tourists here from time to time, but they're usually here because a) they want to see the Museum of Science and Industry and read that the U of C is nearby, or b) they're considering attending or working at the school, and took their family along as part of a trip to Chicago. I'm always shocked when I see someone on campus with a guide book.

Podhoretz's critique? Of what? Where?

If athletic recruitment meant Michael Phelps, I might be in favor.