Laura Wittren’s article titled, “How to sound smarter than you actually are,” was not only in poor taste, but also incredibly offensive to Drake students. To start off this train wreck, Wittren writes, “We’re not all geniuses. If we were, we’d all be at Ivy League schools like Harvard and Yale.” To undermine the quality of the school you attend is crazy! We all know Drake is an accredited university, but clearly we’re not very smart or else we’d go somewhere better.
Later in the article she talks about how we shouldn’t be wasting our time reading the dictionary and learning new words when we could just use words no one has heard of to sound smart. As a future English teacher, for Wittren to write, “Do your friends read books and try to talk about them with you? How annoying! Do they expect you to actually read? Well, thank goodness for Wikipedia and SparkNotes!” is perhaps one of the most offensive things anyone has said to me.
She then lists the books “Catcher in the Rye,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Harry Potter,” and “Twilight.” The first two books were required reading in high school, and you’d be hard pressed to find someone who has not read them. To think that Wittren’s feeble summaries of these books prepares you for a conversation about literature is ridiculous.
If the article was intended as sarcasm, it’s still not very good. If it wasn’t intended to be taken seriously, the only other way I could interpret it is as a satire mocking the low intelligence of Drake students, which is equally insulting. Drake students are smarter than just knowing the names of politicians and two-sentence summaries of popular literature. The overall tone of the article toward Drake is absolutely inappropriate for the university’s official newspaper.
Allison Millea and Brian Benish