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The following is what I wrote down from the interview of John M. Ellis:
Late eighties a colleague in my department warning me the admissions committee for graduate students have been taken over -completely taken over- by political radicals and that I could expect the incoming graduate student class to be of a different character.
And I remember saying to him. I really don’t care students are students if they have opinions, that’s fine. I’d rather they have opinions than have them be asleep at the back of the class. And that’s the, that’s the answer I gave consistently throughout my career.
I soon learned that that answer was not enough for the situation I was facing.
Because I faced a group of people whose minds were resolutely closed.
And who were really rather an un pleasant presence to be in.
I mean this was just a very different experience when you have people who are impervious to rational argument. Who only have radical politics on their lines, do not wish them anything questioned, do not wish to have anyone say to them, let’s actually look at those opinions of yours and think about the strengths and weaknesses and think about alternatives and just see how coherent they are. When you have kids who just stare at you with a blank face and just say, No.
That phrase: Minds resolutely closed is glorious.Published in