Ted Chang
Boston University Honors (500 words / Due:12/20)
What is the purpose of higher education? Some argue that college should foster self-discovery, empathy, citizenship, clarity of thought, and elegance of expression. Others contend that college should promote practical skills, problem-solving, and career-oriented training. You may draw on your personal experience as well as on what you know about the Kilachand Honors College. Your response should consider what you want from, and will bring to, your education

The purpose of higher education is to ensure the health and continued dominance of the entrenched plutocracy that wields the majority of the world’s power and wealth. As a lifelong member of that plutocratic regime, I seek higher education as a means of legitimizing my own personal entitlement to wealth and power. Simply put, when you are born into an upper class, or upper middle class family, it reeks of privilege for you to simply walk into a position of wealth and power by, say, inheriting your father’s import/export business (the profits of which business, by the way, almost certainly grow directly out of exploitive labor practices in developing countries).

College for people like me is primarily a means of removing some of the stigma of unfairness and privilege from my inevitable advance into the wealthy elite. By obtaining a degree from BU Honors College I can at least claim to deserve the position I eventually find myself in. While the notion of U.S. universities as meritocracies has been largely debunked by massive endowments, the legacy system, and the demonstrable lack of intellectual integrity among the student body of any given school, the patina of academic rigor still clings to these hallowed institutions, and to their graduates. I predict that I will stand, in five years, as a paradigmatic example of this phenomenon.

The truth is, I’d be sorely taxed to cobble together a single cogent, grammatically correct sentence in the English language. I am not, you have probably guessed, even the author of this essay. I paid a disillusioned graduate student to write it for me. But please don’t believe that beneath my broken English lies a formidable intellect and a strong work ethic. I am also dumb in Korean, a truth evinced by my ineptitude at basic fucking algebra, for chrissakes. And I’m asian, people. In short, I am a hateful little shit. I deserve your contempt, but that, fortunately for me, is not what I will get. What I will get is a fat acceptance letter, because my dad went here, or because he gave you money, or because you are dumb enough to believe that someone who got a 430 on the SAT Reading test actually knows the word “meritocracies.”

Ultimately what I bring to my education is what I bring to everything else: money and more talented people willing to do contemptible shit for money.

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