Tony the Mechanic
Tony the Mechanic is a character that I really loved on Seinfeld. Tony believes that Jerry’s Real Problem is how he takes care of his car. This of course puts Tony in a position of power:
Public institutions act a lot like Tony: “Come here and you will get what you need.” I see universities especially telling people “as long as you come here, pay your money and give it a real effort, you will be okay.” Unfortunately universities go quite a bit further than that: even as young as Kindergarten, children are being told that to be “good” they have to go to college and try to get into medical school. Only then will they be able to get all the things they really need in life, like a house, three cars and a big huge TV with an Xbox attached. And when people tell their friends and relatives they want to do things differently they get “I don’t understand you.”
I’ve written a bit more about Tony in my teaching philosophy.