How I Got Into College

Or, Gongs, Tamburas and Gambas I Have Known

by Geoffrey Clarfield (June 2012)

Let there be no noise made, my gentle friends,
Unless some dull and favorable hand
Will whisper music to my weary spirit

music from Mozart to Varese).

Some things in life actually turn out better than you imagine.

my education, I ended up with a minor in anthropology, fascinated by Margaret Mead and even more so the meticulous ethnographies of the British social anthropologists, men like Arthur Edward Evans Pritchard who were trying to make sense of traditional African culture and society.

York is not the University it once was. The social sciences are awash with various forms of dogmatic ideologies oddly mixed in with a rebellious cultural relativism that permeates the non-science departments of that once dynamic place. I left before the Marxist and Post Modern darkness began to descend on the social sciences there.

But my heart goes out the young student who has to read this piece of post modern anthropology which I imagine supplanted the old American and British classic ethnographies that I once studied with such care and which provided me with a deep understanding of the Middle East and Africa when I finally got there as a young adult.

The above was written by an anthropologist after I graduated and ever since then, his colleagues have taken him very, very seriously.

I am now a parent and I shudder to think of hard working people spending thousands of dollars a year to send their children to York to study such madness. There are better ways to spend your hard earned money.

Geoffrey Clarfield is an anthropologist at large.

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