Against Acadmeic Prestige

Kevin Walzer penned an impassioned complaint on academic prestige, The Poison of Prestige, in response to some comments by Invisible Adjunct about the dilemmas of writing recommendations for students to attend graduate school.

I know I fell into the appeal of prestige when I decided to attend Yale in 1990. My ten year class reunion is coming up next year and I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about the whole experience. On the face of it I loved the academic end of my undergraduate education and I still enjoy an intellectual challenge. At the same time there were occasions when the prestige was more a burden than a benefit.

The hardest part is balancing my past equivocal experiences with my current desires to continue my education. Reading the postings of most graduate students and a number of professors raise more doubts than assurances.