But there’s one question that we should all put down immediately, and rage against with the last shreds of our academic
freedom: the old refrain, "When am I going to use this?"
This question, I think, manages to embody the worst of our cultural situation. It is a complaint, a subterfuge, an insult, a lazy way out. And before you think I am simply railing against the generational deficiencies in our current crop of students, I’m not. I’ve heard versions of the theme from parents, administrators, politicians, and even, I am chagrined to add, esteemed colleagues. We must put an end to it all.