Cheeky, Self-Aware Honors College Puts “A Community of Scholars” In Quotes
(Originally posted on January 25, 2015.)
Eugene, Ore. — Already stressed out from midterms and term papers despite their supposed above-average academic proficiency, many Honors College (HC) students have reported that the Clark Honors College’s decision to put the phrase “A Community of Scholars” on the back of HC apparel was starting to make sense when interpreted with a cheeky, sarcastic tone.
“I was thinking I was really screwed for this history exam, and I was pretty sure that everyone else was screwed with me — like, one big historic orgy,” HC sophomore Garcia Lay said. “Then I saw one of my buddies with an Honors College shirt that had the slogan ‘A Community of Scholars’ on the back, and I laughed, because I was, like, ‘Yeah, right.’ And then I was, like, ‘Holy fuck — I get it now!’”
Other students prodigiously reached this sophisticated understanding as early as week two of the term, when they were tuning out “essential material for the term paper” in place of indignantly sticking with misinterpretations of the text they didn’t read.
“I knew sticking with my bullshit rather than the professor’s bullshit clearly made me a smarter person,” HC freshman Dylan Killinit said. “But then I started to contemplate whether it actually made me a scholar. I told my professor about this daydream after class, and she told me to buy a shirt. It took me awhile to connect the dots. …I LOLed.”
Several students report that the Honors College’s good humor was not only a good de-stressor that would allow them to actually retain the essential material that may or may not have been discussed in class, but also a helpful reminder that pithy, insightful writing is the most effective method for conveying meaningful perspectives.
“I’m going with this kind of writing style in my essays now,” junior Emma Arkinson said. “I don’t think I’ve understood a single one of the 90-word sentences from my 10-page research papers, but I understood the meaning of the shirt slogan right away.”
Upon receiving the occasional email from a student or parent who took offense, HC professors replied with assurance that the program was not mocking the students or even professors in any way.
“It’s not a diss against the Honors College as much as it’s a diss against undergraduates actually being considered ‘scholars,’” HC Evolution professor Sam Hopps said. “It’s an oxymoron. I mean, what’s next — are we going to start calling college students ‘adults’ or something?”
HC Literature professor Zee Buch went further in support of the jest, elaborating, “This is University of Oregon, not Oxford; do you really think there are scholars here?”
Despite differences in interpretation from the HC faculty, the consensus concluded that the HC drop-out rate should drastically decrease now that students know the HC is taking itself with the seriousness it deserves.