Harvard - There is no place like it. | Summary and Q&A

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February 19, 2010
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Harvard University
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Harvard - There is no place like it.

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Summary

In this video, individuals from various backgrounds and experiences share their thoughts and experiences about Harvard University. They discuss the challenges they faced, the impact of their teachers, the diversity and passion of the student body, and the opportunities for personal growth and learning at Harvard.

Questions & Answers

Q: How did one student find Harvard initially?

The student mentioned that when he first arrived at Harvard, he felt lost and asked a newspaper vendor for directions. The vendor pointed him towards a gate, indicating that he was at Harvard.

Q: Who was the most influential teacher mentioned?

The students mentioned several teachers, but one that stood out was William Alford, who had a significant impact on their lives. One student had the opportunity to go to Alford's house three times a week for two years in a row, describing him as a "miraculous teacher."

Q: Is Harvard only for wealthy and famous individuals?

No, it is a common misconception that only wealthy, famous, or academically superior individuals can attend Harvard. In reality, Harvard offers financial aid and scholarships to students who may not have enough money to afford tuition.

Q: What is the history of Harvard as an institution?

Harvard started as a Divinity School and still retains aspects of its humanistic roots. It is a place that values tradition, including a long-standing tradition of athletic excellence, with intercollegiate sports, particularly rowing, being one of the first sports introduced at Harvard.

Q: How did one student's perspective change after attending Harvard?

One student admitted to feeling inadequate upon arriving at Harvard, comparing themselves to other students who seemed smarter. However, they eventually realized that everyone at Harvard is intelligent, which they found to be a wonderful thing to accept. Teachers also played a significant role in helping this student develop their skills and confidence.

Q: What tools did Harvard provide for dealing with life?

The four years spent at Harvard provided valuable tools for dealing with life in any form. These tools include critical thinking skills, the ability to adapt to different situations, and a strong foundation necessary to navigate life's challenges.

Q: Did everyone have a supportive family when attending Harvard?

No, not everyone had family support when attending Harvard. One student mentioned that their father didn't fully understand what Harvard was, but he was proud of their achievement. Another student had to convince their family about the merits of attending Harvard, explaining that it was a great opportunity for personal growth and education.

Q: How did one student bridge the gap between their cultural heritage and Harvard?

One student found a connection between their cultural heritage and Harvard through joining the Mariachi band and participating in performances that made their family proud. They expressed gratitude for being able to learn about their culture and make friends through this experience.

Q: What similarities did one individual find between being an Army officer and a professor at Harvard?

One individual mentioned that being an Army officer and a professor at Harvard had more similarities than one would think. Both roles require working with high achievers and pushing boundaries to achieve great things. Teams and research groups in both contexts require cohesion, mission capabilities, and mutual support.

Q: How did one professor foster a sense of unity and camaraderie within their research group?

One professor emphasized the importance of building cohesion and mission capabilities within their research group, similar to how it is done in the military. They would meet their team members at a coffee shop rather than their office, building a relaxed and personable atmosphere. This approach led to a strong bond among the team members, resulting in successful collaboration.

Q: What are some of the diverse activities and groups at Harvard?

Harvard offers a wide range of extracurricular activities and groups that cater to various interests and passions of its students. These include the glee club, clogging music, opera, acapella groups, dance teams, and theatrical productions. Students can find their niche and explore their talents and passions in these groups.

Takeaways

The video highlights the diversity and inclusivity of Harvard University, with students from all over the world coming together to learn and grow. While the initial impression of Harvard may be intimidating, the supportive community, passionate teachers, and ample opportunities for personal growth make it a transformative experience. Harvard fosters traditions, athletic excellence, and a strong foundation for success in all areas of life. It is a place where students can celebrate their individuality while contributing to a larger collective of knowledge and understanding.

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