Friday, December 30, 2005

Whoa and memories

I missed this. I was persuing urbanite Joe Frank's blog and found this gem about SLU.

According to the Saint Louis University School of Medicine Student Handbook:

First this just strange statement:
"Within the past twenty years there has been renewed interest in the city and the downtown area is generally considered one of the most impressive of the Midwest. Laclede's Landing is now a fashionable social spot."

And just more strange statements:
"St. Louis has bus service, but it would be difficult to depend on it to get to class."

And this one encouraging to keep our divisions alive:
"In the city, you should live south of Delmar. In the county, live south of Page."

And this word of advice:
"The major advantage of living in the county is the comfort of getting away from the medical school and downtown St. Louis at the end of the day."

This is not news to me at all. I went to SLU. This is the way it was and still is. This is the way they wanted us to live, they taught us to be this way. It is not just SLU, but peers, authority figures and the social structure. Granted, I didn't really abide by the University policies on all sorts of things. I was lucky I had great parents who wanted me to be exposed to more.

You know, I wonder if Loyola in New Orleans had the same type of thing in their policies and handbook. I guess they can change it now considering they are probably going tear down the Lower 9th Ward and put in some expensive homes, student housing and housing for artists. That will get rid of all the problems. The substandard housing. The poor people. The crime. I feel like this is deja vu. A repeated mistake.

****************************

A few years ago I went back to SLU to visit with one of the administrators who I used to work with. Phil Lyons. He is still there. A sharp guy that Phil.

I remember Phil brought some fried chicken to some students in the lounge. He went to a chicken joint just around the corner from SLU. A kid asked Phil where he got it.

He explained to them where the chicken joint was. It was just north of Powell Hall. Just a few blocks from SLU.

Then the kids started talking. This one kid, a young nerdy suburban black kid was shocked. He said something like "I would never go to north Saint Louis and I am black." He was very serious, yet smiling in as a matter of fact manner. The other kids within earshot, all white, were smiling and nodding their heads.

I started laughing. I couldn't help myself. I was sitting off to the side eating some of the ultra smooth fake potatoes I love so much. I nearly dropped the potatoes. Phil was rolling his eyes. I don't think the kids even understood why I was laughing.

Those kids are, uh, so sweet and innocent. These kids are so young and have so much to learn. Some may never learn. It is sad to see powers at SLU that don't want to teach the lessons and just insulate in the fortress SLU. I guess they fear that street smarts don't take to all kids. SLU could certainly stand to have the kids a bit sharper upon graduation.

I remember taking my seminar class for my History major. My teacher was pretty funny. Critchlow. The class was on the 20s US. We had some pretty dim bulbs in the class. These were kids that were majors in History in their fourth year and Critchlow was clearly flustered by the students. We were several weeks into the class and he finally asked a few students in particular "Can you name a President from the 1920s?" That was pretty sad. We found out just how stupid some of the students were in their own area of study. Neither of them got it right. And each gave three answers. Ouch. I felt for Critchlow. He was one of the only teachers to ever bounce me out of class. At least it was not for something as dumb as not knowing the basics.

7 Comments:

Anonymous tony said...

Damn. I live just north of Page in the county. I better get to moving.

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why were you bounced out of class?

5:59 PM  
Blogger Steven Fitzpatrick Smith said...

There was some confusion about what exactly was assigned. I got bounced out with about four or five people which was about half the class. At least I was in good company. Critchlow was having a bad day, and in turn I got the day off. Yay for me.

6:40 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Hey Steve,

Surprised you just found that post from November '05.

Apparently Channel 5 picked up the story a couple days later. Soon after, SLU amended the web site to remove the most offensive statements.

(sigh)

By the way, was that London and Sons at Grand and Page? Never been up there, but maybe I should try it sometime - you're making me hungry!

;-)

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just across the street from SLU, on the Woolworth's building:

http://flickr.com/photos/gocarrt/sets/1722041/

Sounds like there is still a lot of hurt in the area...

6:15 PM  
Blogger ZombieKiller said...

Yay SLU!

Once in a Poli Sci class at SLU, I mentioned that I rode the Bi-State to class everyday. You'd have thought that I told my classmates I transported toxic waste for a living by the looks of amazement on their faces. One girl even said that there was no way her parents would "allow" her to do something that dangerous.

6:37 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

If it was London and Sons, I've been told that they've gotten kind of salty/overcooked in recent years, but this is only hearsay, here.

7:36 PM  

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