Strategies Of Success From Stanford

608 Words3 Pages
Everything that has ever ‘come about’ in the world, started in the beginning as an idea. In order for anything to be invented, the inventor had a dream, an idea to make something that would help them and the people around them. Schools today, teach students to change the world- to take charge and stand up for things you believe in. The former president of Stanford University, Clark Kerr, once said, “The university is not engaged in making ideas safe for students. It is engaged in making students safe for ideas.” This statement can be taken two ways, both positive and negative.
We’ll save the best for last and, for now, start with the negative. This whole statement can be taken as a pessimistic view of the future. It seems to say that we, the young men and women of the next generation, are unable to continue doing things the way they were done in the past. It seems to say that we need to be taught how to think, and be told that what we want to gain isn’t the right thing. It’s like telling a little child that there is no Santa Claus- everything we believe in is completely changed. “…Making students safe for ideas.” Reading this alone makes it seem as if
Julian, Erika the students are not smart enough to decide on his or her own which ideas to take advantage of. As if, the ideas are the ultimate prize and we, the students, are the contestants in a game show, competing to the death to have the best idea of all. It seems to say that we need to be conditioned and shown just what an ‘idea’ is and what to do with one. If you compare it to a gun, for example, you need to be taught how to take proper care of a gun, what to do with one and what not to do with one. The same idea can be put as a meaning for this quote.
If you look at it through my eyes, the positive side of the quote has a much bigger impact on me than the negative side does. The optimism seems to jump out at me, blazing like a beachside sunset. This entire quote seems to say, in it’s own way, that schools are here to show the students that their imagination is completely limitless.
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