Lost in the Meritocracy

Flexibility, irony, class consciousness, contrarianism. I’d gone to Princeton, and soon I’d go to Oxford, and these, I was about to tell Karl, are the ways one gets ahead now—not by memorizing old Ralph Waldo. I’d learned a lot since I’d aced the SATs, about the system, about myself, and about the new class the system had created, which I was now part of, for better or for worse. The class that runs things. The class that makes the headlines—that writes the headlines, and the stories under them.

But I kept all this to myself; I didn’t tell Karl. He was a reader, a Buddhist, and an old friend, and there were some things he might not want to know. I wasn’t so sure I wanted to know them either.

A really excellent essay on modern higher education.