“NOW WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN TO US WITHOUT THE BARBARIANS?
THOSE PEOPLE WERE A KIND F SOLTION.”
From time to time on the campus of the small college where she teaches, my friend tells me, she bumps into the president. Invariably he asks her why the college should still be teaching Greek. There are hundreds of students in Introduction to Economics, and only four in upper level Greek.
What should she say, she wonders.
I wonder what is going on in the man’s head? Is he just another barbarian, who once besieged the gates, gave us something to resist, but is now inside, in command, looking like one of us? Or does he have some vestigial sense that it is his job to answer that question, not least for students who can’t see beyond careerism. How could they? Has anyone high up the ladder ever said to them, Look there’s more to it than that?
Is the poor man asking for help? He clearly needs it.