The Harvard Experience, Part II. Paul starts off by sharing the difficulties he experienced entering such a privileged environment. He remembers how many of the posh set had fancy tuxedos and $500 cap-toe shoes for the occasional black-tie soiree, while he had to scrounge for a rental. Dinners out, club dues, fancy holidaying – all hard to manage on financial aid and a job at the library. Inequality: one of the darkest themes at this esteemed university. Out of the classroom there were many ways in which Harvard students displayed status, with a membership in a Final Club perhaps the most visible. The A.D., the Fox, the Fly, the Porcellian, the Phoenix and the Spee – these were the clubs a lot of guys wanted to find themselves at on a Saturday night, surrounded by the school’s PYT’s (pretty young things). Paul discusses the almost mythical promise the Porc (as the Porcellian is known) holds out to members: $1,000,000 in cash if they haven’t “made it” by 35 years of age. Next, Paul touches on a little-discussed aspect of a Harvard education: the cover-up. Paul reveals how many guys he knew stumbled through school but eventually graduated, with the Harvard seal of approval. The stories he could tell – but won’t – about guys who occupy positions of authority at hospitals, investment banks, and law firms! Circling back to The Social Network, the guys discuss Harvard’s near-paranoid protection of its “visual brand.” No filming on campus and no cooperation with Hollywood – at the most iconic university in the country. Amazing! After touching on another dark chapter in the university’s history – the Jewish quota, introduced by President Lowell – the guys move on to the legacy of a Harvard education: expectations. Paul admits that he often lives in the shadow of his Harvard days, measuring his progress against other graduates and the stratospheric expectations others have of Harvard.
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