Daily Archives: August 13, 2009

Painting schmainting. Give ’em a book.

I don’t have anything against Thomas Eakins. He was a great artist. He graduated from the same high school I attended. His paintings are awesome. Especially The Gross Clinic. When I used to candystripe at Thomas Jefferson Hospital, I would often visit the painting during lunchtime.

But seriously, what’s going on here?

Incoming freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania are already hard at work researching their “freshmen project,” but the 19-year tradition has changed a bit this year.

Instead of having to read a book, students this year are required to study and be prepared to discuss the famed 1875 painting “The Gross Clinic”, by Thomas Eakins.

Oh, come on. Give ’em some real work. Make ’em sweat. I guess the reward for acing your SATs and getting good grades is having a lazy summer. Back when I was a kid in high school, we had to read multiple books that we were tested on once the school year began. Lucky college kids. They get to contemplate a painting.

Incoming freshman Ali Derassouyan prefers this project to reading a book and writing a paper about it…

When I was 18, I’d prefer it as well.

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