Sanah Ladhani delivers keynote speech at Vanderbilt University banquet

Sanah Ladhani delivers keynote speech at Vanderbilt University banquetSanah Ladhani – Class of 2012 photo: Anne Rayner; VU

Today, I want to read to you an excerpt we read in my first few weeks as an Ingram Scholar. In a speech addressed to a chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society, William Deresiewicz speaks about the disadvantages of an “elite” education. He recalls a moment when he is at the age of 35 in his own home trying to speak to the plumber. He says, “Fourteen years of higher education and a handful of Ivy League degrees, and there I was, stiff…struck dumb by my own dumbness… I could carry on conversations with people from other countries, in other languages, but I couldn’t talk to the man who was standing in my own house.” William explains that, while an elite education can allow one to cultivate academically and socially, it leaves its students in the paradoxical position of wanting to advocate on behalf of the working class while being unable to hold a simple conversation with anyone in it. He calls it, “Ivy retardation.”

via 2012 Be Our Guest Banquet – Sanah Ladhani (’12) speech.

http://www.vanderbilt.edu/ingram/people/view/22

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