In Response to: Effortlessly Perfect?

Unfortunately, the “effortless perfection” project is not intended as a joke, as might first appear. The aim “to normalize feelings of failure and struggle among students” — and the cloying seriousness with which it is presented — will strike most alumni as ludicrous and unintelligible. Advising students that comparison to recipients of awards “is really dangerous,” with a view toward making “a more ‘failure-friendly’ campus,” betrays serious intellectual confusion. It is a recipe for resentment, alienation, and self-pity. The notion of “effortless perfection” is yet another spurious conceit cultivated by postmodern professors who have too much time on their hands and no serious scholarly work to pursue.

Herman Belz ’59