04-15-2012 10:41 AM - edited 04-15-2012 11:11 AM
The cap and gown have their roots in medieval education. "Medieval times" were times when church, military and school were not separate- great research projects here for anyone caring to undertake them.....
PS- They're also combined in various ways in the U.S. (i.e. I have military schools and religious schools, but no military, religious, schools- I think military academies remain non-denominational but they all have chapels, for example)
04-30-2012 08:16 AM
Sorry, I haven't been here- I've been busy with other things- my novel for one, which I will serialize for pubit, and then into a publisher....
We did have to talk more about education though...
I think I mentioned that we sometimes define the "middle class" as those with college degrees, which you may or may not agree with, but it is probably safe to say that social class lines are drawn in education. And I'm thinking the lines are drawn not only between public and private schools, but also between grades in the grading system. So you could envision an "A" student commanding more money than a "B" student, and a "B" student commanding more money than a "C" student, and so on.....and I think this really happens- A straight "A" will go to Harvard and an "F" student will not, and oh, what a nutty society it does make.... Seriously, maybe more studies on salaries vs, grades vs. where the student went to school, etc. should be done- there might be a few sociological studies out there I might want to read.....
Anyway, Fitzgerald...always an interesting man....
PS- There are also a few standardized tests out there too.
05-01-2012 08:58 AM - edited 05-01-2012 09:01 AM
I think the fraternity system is a reaction to the grading system in part, and quite often you'll see a seperation of fraternities according to "class"- At Princeton, there were class lines drawn by "eating clubs", not fratenities. Maybe some frats and eating clubs wealthier than others.
Moreover, the grading system can create "mediocrity." Students have to be concerned about grade point "averages", making it difficult for the student to excel in any one particular area. Amory gets booted from the prestigious school journal for not pulling a grade in another academic area while at Princeton for example...
Also note some of the people that Amory runs at into at Princeton, who might be exceptionally brilliant (maybe not well understood?)and who drop out or leave for whatever reason....
So, the issues in education have always been there. The question is how serious are they? Does education lead to larger societal problems, or even war? Did we hit a saturation point with mandatory education in the 50's and 60's?- remember mandatory education began at the turn of the century. Do we now have to go to college? Can we reform education if we want to reform it? Education certainly seems to have a force all of its own.....but its good to take a look at education's positive and negative aspects....
05-21-2012 03:47 PM
05-21-2012 04:15 PM
05-22-2012 10:27 AM
All schools whether they be, high school or grammar, private or public, military or parochial, have aspects in common, and some, like the cap and gown, may have been ariund since the age of kings. The grading system is one example of an educational tool which most schools have in common- and there are different versions of grading systems, or maybe your school may have come up with a different grading system while you were in school. You also might see your school incorporate more "cooperative" educational methods into the competitive environment that a grading system sometimes creates, among other things....
So, edcuation is always at the heart of the world's struggle with cooperation (i.e. international bodies like the U.N.) and competition (i.e. a "free" economy or a "free" world market). Is the world too competitive? Does the world need more cooperation? In my opinion, it's a question of how to characterize Nature- is it cooperative or competitive? We see both compeition and cooperation in Nature...what exactly is the right balance? Well, whatever the case may be, this massive force of education has certainly impacted humanity...
06-01-2012 10:37 AM - edited 06-01-2012 10:52 AM
"He who is not with us, is against us" is the classic controversial line from the bible which Matthew attributes to Jesus -(misquoted by an editor of a controversial Princetonian journal, making Burne Holiday run to the editorial office to correct him. lol) I think Fitzgerald quotes Matthew to demonstrate that religion often is a line, although it does not intend on being "a line" or something that draws "sides."
But, a lot of interesting things with this character of Burne Holiday, here are just a couple:
Are the unlawful always insane?
How much can the world rely on economics, given the different "economic" philosophies of the east and west for example? Or in other words: can't I always fudge my economic data the way I feel like?
06-01-2012 03:40 PM - edited 06-01-2012 03:41 PM
06-02-2012 02:42 PM
06-10-2012 04:07 PM
06-18-2012 03:24 PM
06-21-2012 10:31 AM
Women comprised the "official" religion in Rome: that is, worship of Vesta, "goddess of the hearth." And you can see still modern examples or remnants of the Vestal Virgins. For example, our own Statue of Liberty resembles a vestal virgin, and ancestors of the Vestal Virgins still light the olympic torch. Perhaps humanity still feels the impact of the vestal virgins and their religion in other ways.... lol.
06-22-2012 10:35 AM
I actually went to the "Dead Poet's"school- if anyone had seen the movie. The movie is about conformity/non-conformity, among other things. But there's always a question whether school is about conformity, or education, or maybe a little of both? And it's questionable because education was mandated around the turn of the century- when the U.S. had to achieve a more unity, in light of the new immigration and the aftermath of the civil war. (In general, I think education is tolerated only so well by Americans because of its history- the settlers had to learn much from the Natives, so the story goes. What could I possibly learn from a book?)
So, the education has always been suspect, to say the least. The Dead Poet's School, interestingly, was founded in 1929- so the time was about when you would, given the history.
06-23-2012 10:14 AM
And interestingly, Fitzgerald was not on the list at the school. So it was great to devote some more time to Fitzgerald after I had read "The Great Gatsby." "Catcher in the Rye" was on the reading list, however.
The popularity of these English boarding schools never ceases to amaze me, and the dead poet's school was modeled after an "English" boarding school.
Fitzgerald obviously capitalized on the elitism, as well as Rowlings in her "Harry Potter" series. Well, as I mentioned, there still are public and private schools, ivy league and non-ivy league schools, and all the drama that unfolds becuase they exist....
06-26-2012 11:34 PM
You could say that Roman women comprised a "middle class" in Rome. Roman women could be educated, but could not vote, and comprised most of the official religion. And the "side" of ourselves that we sometimes miss (i.e western civilization misses), I think, would be the early Roman kings. The history is a little hazy here. I just googled a search- it looks like a lot of legend, including the story of Romulus and Remus- the founders of Rome.
06-30-2012 08:46 AM - edited 06-30-2012 08:57 AM
Just to expand on Romen women: our current socioeconomic lines, are the lines (either natural or manmade) that were drawn between men and women. Did the middle class develop from basic differences between men and women? And where does that leave society now? Men and women now find themselves trying to relate to each other within the line(s) which once separated them (i.e. history reports a "rising" middle class). I think I mentioned that old-fashioned romantic notions were disappearing at the time Fitzgerald wrote the novel, but the entire novel seems more romantic than some of the more modern novels that you read today-or, at least, Fitzgerald seems to capture some of the dying romance of that era.
So, is modern society better or worse? Simply more confusing? Or simply mentally ill?- lol What did you think? Same-Sex Marraige is still a hot topic....I have a topic listed on the current events board if interested.
07-01-2012 09:56 AM
"You know you're perfectly effulgent." He asked her the one thing that he knew might embarrass her. It was the remark that the first bore made to Adam.
"Tell me about yourself." And she gave the answer that Adam must have given.
"There's nothing to tell."
But eventually Adam probably told the bore all the things he thought about at night when the locusts sang in the sandy grass, and he must have remarked patronizingly how different he was from Eve, forgetting how different she was from him ... at any rate, Clara told Amory much about herself that evening." From Chp 4.
There are obvious physical differences between men and women.... and I think the debate has always been whether there are differences betweeen their minds. But if there are, are the differences now simply the lines of civilization? That is, did humanity rely on the differences between the minds of men and women to build civilization(s)?
PS- And interestingly, nations are feminine? Rather than, for example, saying, "The U.S.'s interests", we might say "her interests." Possibly the lines of civilization now relying more on the capacities of the feminine mind? Uh oh......lol. And also interestingly, languages like Latin have "masculine" and "feminine" classes of nouns.
08-08-2012 11:09 AM
I'm sorry I've abandoned my lit tour, but will resume it shortly with the planned books, "The Deerslayer", and "The Aeneid", and maybe "Romeo and Juliet." I've been busy readying my new serial for the pubit platform- I even had to design my own cover(s)- so I had to learn a few graphic design programs. I thought, in many ways, the etrade was better than traditional publishing.
So, briefly again, (and maybe a few more comments on Fitzgerald's "This Side' before we leave.) the lines that nature made, that is, the line between the sexes (i.e. "the difference" between men and women) is an obvious one. But maybe not so obvious, is how the line, the division between men and women, gradually translated to lines between "classes", or lines betweeen "civilizations." So, the "revolutionary" thinking here would be thinking about our "middle class" as that original line between men and women. So now, modern man and woman are literally engulfed by the line between them, by their own differences. And in truth, the conflict that occurs within this class is often a battle of the sexes.
I would have liked to have read some humanitarian research regarding this thought- but not too much exists- maybe not possible? Anyway, we're looking at anthropology and/or archaeology again.
But best to you, and keep reading!
08-24-2012 08:56 AM - edited 08-24-2012 09:17 AM
Monsignor to Amory:
"That's a good line what do you mean?" "A personality is what you thought you were, what this Kerry and Sloane you tell me of evidently are. Personality is a physical matter almost entirely; it lowers the people it acts on. I've seen it vanish in a long sickness. But while a personality is active, it overrides 'the next thing.' Now a personage, on the other hand, gathers. He is never thought of apart from what he's done. He's a bar on which a thousand things have been hung glittering things sometimes, as ours are; but he uses those things with a cold mentality back of them." Chp. 3
It's kind of related to "addiction"- the above passage encapsulates "the problem" in education- our ability, or perhaps our inability to distinguish between "personality" and "personage." So, the "glittery" things are our achievements (grades, letters, etc.) in school which are hung on the student's "personage."- not necessarily are our achievements "who we are", but it's what we usually believe. But if we do not develop a "cold" personage, then sometimes academic and athletic competition can become a sort of addiction, where we're looking for the next glittery achievement to hang on our personages, until someone outperfoms us. This personage/personality distinction has both important academic and cultural effects, that is it fuels the education and system and molds the culture, I think.
Sorry, not good news, I guess- I hate Monsignor! But school sometimes is fun for this reason.
PS- Medals in the military would be another example and might become an addiction for men and women.
PS PS- Schools, I believe, espouse "that people can be anything they want to be" by allowing students to choose a major, go out for teams etc. and then the student is thrown into a competition in whatever area they decide upon. So, education can become more of an addiction (because I can be anything I want to be), rather than just an education- it sends conflicting messages sometimes I think, anyway.