Our Honor

March 6th, 2012

In the late fall of 2010 as the economy was beginning to recover from a crisis that destroyed so much of the wealth of the middle class, a number of documentaries and docudramas appeared that asked probing questions about the causes of this catastrophe. One such film was Inside Job, about the culpability of the nation’s elites—not just on Wall Street and Capitol Hill but at research universities, in faculty offices of “thought leaders” who influence policy. In this film professors appeared as technocrats, publishing papers whose economic analysis benefited the corporations where they served as consultants. Read the rest of this entry »

Living on the Lawn

November 26th, 2009

Last month my family moved into Pavilion II, the house that abuts the Rotunda on the east side (the right as you face the Rotunda). This elegant and unassuming house is a gateway that connects two very different worlds, in the most beguiling ways. From the Lawn, perhaps America’s most perfect physical expression of the universe of learning, one enters a house that is elegantly elongated, both vertically and horizontally, with light flooding in from its triple-hung windows. Walking past the living room that our movers began calling “the ballroom” as they reassembled an old Schimmel piano there, and the dining room that leads to the back door, one arrives at a breathtaking vista that reveals what John Donne might have called “a little world cunningly made”: sloping layers of garden that offer quiet refuge and solace from the hustle and bustle of academic life.

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