Text version below transcribed directly from audio. We observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom -- symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning -- signifying renewal, as well as change.
On the uses of a liberal education: At times it appears that the purpose of his education is just to entertain him. Today is evaluation day in my Freud class, and everything has changed.
The class meets twice a week, late in the afternoon, and the clientele, about fifty undergraduates, tends to drag in and slump, looking disconsolate and a little lost, waiting for a jump start.
To get the discussion moving, they usually require a joke, an anecdote, an off-the-wall question -- When you were a kid, were your Halloween getups ego costumes, id costumes, or superego costumes?
That sort of thing.
But today, as soon as I flourish the forms, a buzz rises in the room. Today they write their assessments of the course, their assessments of me, and they are without a doubt wide-awake. But why am I so distressed, bolting like a refugee out of my own classroom, where I usually hold easy sway?
Overall, I get off pretty well. Yet I have to admit that I do not much like the image of myself that emerges from these forms, the image of knowledgeable, humorous detachment and bland tolerance. I do not like the forms themselves, with their number ratings, reminiscent of the sheets circulated after the TV pilot has just played to its sample audience in Burbank.
Most of all I dislike the attitude of calm consumer expertise that pervades the responses. Observes one respondent, not at all unrepresentative: When someone says she "enjoyed" the course -- and that word crops up again and again in my evaluations -- somewhere at the edge of my immediate complacency I feel encroaching self-dislike.
That is not at all what I had in mind.
The off-the-wall questions and the sidebar jokes are meant as lead-ins to stronger stuff -- in the case of the Freud course, to a complexly tragic view of life.
But the affability and the one-liners often seem to be all that land with the students; their journals and evaluations leave me little doubt.
What book did you most dislike in the course?
What intellectual or characterological flaws in you does that dislike point to? The hand that framed that question was surely heavy. But at least it compels one to see intellectual work as a confrontation between two people, student and author, where the stakes matter.
Why are my students describing the Oedipus complex and the death drive as being interesting and enjoyable to contemplate? And why am I coming across as an urbane, mildly ironic, endlessly affable guide to this intellectual territory, operating without intensity, generous, funny, and loose?
On evaluation day, I reap the rewards of my partial compliance with the culture of my students and, too, with the culture of the university as it now operates.
Current critics tend to think that liberal-arts education is in crisis because universities have been invaded by professors with peculiar ideas: They believe that genius and tradition are out and that P. But mulling over my evaluations and then trying to take a hard, extended look at campus life both here at the University of Virginia and around the country eventually led me to some different conclusions.
To me, liberal-arts education is as ineffective as it is now not chiefly because there are a lot of strange theories in the air.
Used well, those theories can be illuminating. For someone growing up in America now, there are few available alternatives to the cool consumer worldview.
If we want to understand current universities, with their multiple woes, we might try leaving the realms of expert debate and fine ideas and turning to the classrooms and campuses, where a new kind of weather is gathering.
A trite, cultural-studies bonbon? He said striking things about conceptions of race in America and about how they shape our ideas of beauty. When I talk with one of his other teachers, we run on about the general splendors of his work and presence.
But what inevitably follows a JL fest is a mournful reprise about the divide that separates him and a few other remarkable students from their contemporaries. On good days they display a light, appealing glow; on bad days, shuffling disgruntlement.
This point came home to me a few weeks ago when I was wandering across the university grounds. There, beneath a classically cast portico, were two students, male and female, having a rip-roaring argument.Speech synthesis is the artificial production of human speech.A computer system used for this purpose is called a speech computer or speech synthesizer, and can be implemented in software or hardware products.
A text-to-speech (TTS) system converts normal language text into speech; other systems render symbolic linguistic representations like phonetic transcriptions into speech. Politics and the English Language, the essay of George Orwell.
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