That’s what Thomas de Zengotita refers to the ever growing set of “options” to which Americans are addicted. Doug Groothuis points us to a piece in The Chronicles of Higher Education that makes a similar point. Mark Edmundson surveys the college landscape featuring the turbo-charged student. Today’s college students have had access to the web since they were eight years old. It presents them with a bewildering variety of “options.” They want to cash in as many “options” as possible.
All this seems very familiar. A couple of years ago I began a new monologue in my classes that says something to the effect, “I know that you live in a world of endless options where you get to determine what is significant and what you should learn and what you can ignore. In this class I determine what it is you need to know and what you must learn.” It is a real shock for some to learn that they are not the arbiters of what is important. They are stunned when I tell them to wait and see if I answer the most important question any student has ever asked in the history of education.
Finitum non capax infiniti.