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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

    Gerontocracy runs rampant at Carleton College

    If you are a student at Carleton, you will likely have noticed what many other students have also realized: your professors are older than you. This is a widespread problem that creates a sense of paternalism, belittles students and borders on downright gerontocracy.


    Many professors may be on a first-name basis with us, but that doesn’t hide the age and skill gaps. The teacher’s familiarity with the material overshadows the student’s complete ineptitude, which eliminates any sense of equality in our studies.


    Some may argue that “experience” is necessary for these teaching positions. In rebuttal, we point out that many students find that they have to teach themselves all the subject material anyway. Aren’t you tired of the blatant ageism present in our classrooms? We need professors our age or lower.


    Many parents boast of the powerful life teachings they’ve gained through their children’s youthful influence, such as increased kindness and a clearer sense of purpose. Why don’t we seek out these profound learning opportunities for Carleton students by hiring children to serve as professors? The benefits will drastically outweigh any downsides of child labor claims, or of the unfamiliarity a ten-year-old prof may have with the material. Additionally, the 35% of students who already know more about the subject than the child would gain a great sense of self-esteem.


    When interviewing a few of our current older professors, after the usual pleasantries (“Sorry, office hours are on Wednesday;” “Wait, how did you get in here? The door was locked;” “What’s that lead pipe-shaped thing in your coat pocket?”), the power of reason forced them to admit that younger professors were essential for our college. 


    Unfortunately, due to the normalcy of our academic gerontocracy, the aforementioned professors will likely be pressured to hide the truth of their beliefs. They may state publicly that I had “physically threatened” them to agree with me and that they were “under extreme duress” at the time. Their reluctance to come clean in this toxic environment is understandable, and further proves our need for a younger faculty.

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