The Read from This Side of Suite 711 (9)


“Prose can be long and beautiful, but arguments rarely are either.”

Be it put forward by three or two – or the multitudes of one –who gather in the name of anonymity, a ludicrous statemement that strikes at the heart of these things called universities and colleges simply must be addressed. Malice is malice: there is no witticism to be found in a comment that undermines the professoriate, let alone reasonable discourse or the very source and store of a culture.

“When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life. . . .”

Word Count: 100
An additional 1,220 words can be found at

This is no attempt to wave the flag but to make a simple point. Since the document quoted above marked a departure from the idea of rule by the divinely appointed, this interlude’s title begins with the definite article “The” and not “an.” This document’s particular argument is currently being lived. One could argue that some of the best arguments are those that are lived out and acted upon, which is one way that they become long and beautiful. The alternative is. . . how many words of what? How credible or clever is the professor who would even make a statement like and then not put her or his name to it?

As a bonus, here’s an excerpt from “What Is A University?” by John Henry Cardinal Newman

And such, for the third or fourth time, is a University; I hope I do not
weary out the reader by repeating it. It is the
place to which a thousand schools make
contributions; in which the intellect may safely
range and speculate, sure to find its equal in
some antagonist activity, and its judge in the
tribunal of truth. It is a place where inquiry
is pushed forward, and discoveries verified and
perfected, and rashness rendered innocuous, and
error exposed, by the collision of mind with mind,
and knowledge with knowledge. It is the place
where the professor becomes eloquent, and is a
missionary and a preacher, displaying his science
in its most complete and most winning form,
pouring it forth with the zeal of enthusiasm, and
lighting up his own love of it in the breasts of
his hearers. It is the place where the catechist
makes good his ground as he goes, treading in the
truth day by day into the ready memory, and
wedging and tightening it into the expanding
reason. It is a place which wins the admiration
of the young by its celebrity, kindles the
affections of the middle-aged by its beauty, and rivets
the fidelity of the old by its associations. It is a
seat of wisdom, a light of the world, a minister of
the faith, an Alma Mater of the rising generation.
It is this and a great deal more, and demands a
somewhat better head and hand than mine to
describe it well.

One thought on “The Read from This Side of Suite 711 (9)

  1. Perhaps I shouldn’t have led with commentary about your word count. My question is still the same, what is your point? Is a thesis possible? A summary perhaps? My intent is not to flame, I’m merely pointing out that whatever point you are intending is unclear. Meander along if you will though. As Dave suggested, I can just stop reading it.

    Who said I was a professor?

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