This semester, a stunningly high GPA in the Civ program has been achieved by freshmen, leaving professors feeling chuffed. Some classes have even surpassed their Honors counterparts.
For weeks, the academic excellence was attributed to the Class of 2026. A previous article in The Cowl discussed the administration’s excitement for the arrival of a class that had achieved remarkable high school GPAs. However, the exponential rise in grades and engagement in Civ lectures and seminars cannot be attributed to their high school academic prowess.
It has been discovered by The Scowl investigators, following copious interviews with Freshman Wednesday attendees, that the Class of 2026 in fact spends more hours getting ready for parties than reading any Civ material. “I don’t think I’ve ever cracked open a book,” said one boy, Chad McMimic, donning a backwards hat.
“This semester I wanted to start strong, so I tried to read Beowulf… that was the wrong f-ing one to start with!” his friend exclaimed.
Even Fennell residents have noticed how hard these kids party. “I just plan to stay up on Wednesdays at this point,” sighed Claud Studious ’24.
So how can their good grades be reconciled with their commitment to going out in the middle of the week? We need to look no further than the Dominican Cemetery near Raymond Dining Hall.
The story begins when McVinney girls, walking back to their dorms one Friday night, expressed to each other how overwhelmed they were with their Civ work. “I’m a bio major,” one girl said. “I can’t read 160 pages a week written by some old guys.”
“I didn’t even know what Civ was,” Deirdre Distracted added. “They said ‘Development of Western Civilization’ on my tour…I thought the program was still in development.”
These young girls clearly did not have the most impeccable listening skills. But the Friars, laid to rest in the Dominican Cemetery, certainly did. Hearing how these girls were struggling, and motivated by compassion and empathy, their spirits rose. That next week, students found themselves effortlessly guided out of bed to their 8:30 a.m. seminars, raising their hands and delivering correct and insightful answers to their professors. They found reading responses already written on their laptops and their books marked up with the most important quotations highlighted. The ghosts of the Dominican Friars were working hard to get the work done, while boys and girls continued to party, watch basketball games in lectures, and shop online.
This article is in no way condemning drunken social events, as some of the greatest figures taught in Civ—Socrates, Dante, and Ben Franklin—were heavy drinkers themselves. Some of the greatest knowledge to be gained about the human condition is found in drunken discourse.
For years, students walking around campus at night have felt creeped out about passing rows of graves. We now know that the men buried there are only looking out for the students. Perhaps, kids will walk by the cemetery with more appreciation for the knowledge of history, literature, and theology held by these great friars of PC.