In the Basement of the Ivory Tower: The Truth About College

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Penguin, Mar 31, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 288 pages
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A caustic expose of the deeply state of our colleges-America's most expensive Ponzi scheme.

What drives a former English major with a creative writing degree, several unpublished novels, three kids, and a straining marriage to take a job as a night teacher at a second-rate college? An unaffordable mortgage.

As his house starts falling apart in every imaginable way, Professor X grabs first one, then two jobs teaching English 101 and 102-composition and literature-at a small private college and a local community college. He finds himself on the front lines of America's academic crisis. It's quite an education.

This is the story of what he learns about his struggling pupils, about the college system-a business more bent on its own financial targets than the wellbeing of its students-about the classics he rediscovers, and about himself. Funny, wry, self-deprecating, and a provocative indictment of our failing schools, In the Basement of the Ivory Tower is both a brilliant academic satire and a poignant account of one teacher's seismic frustration-and unlikely salvation-as his real estate woes catapult him into a subprime crisis of an altogether more human nature.

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IN THE BASEMENT OF THE IVORY TOWER: Confessions of an Accidental Academic

User Review  - Kirkus

Expanding on his controversial Atlantic Monthly essay, "Professor X" assails the ill-considered optimism that encourages unprepared students to assume crippling debt to get college degrees they don't ... Read full review


Title Page Copyright Page Dedication Preface
The Adjunct
Writing Hell
Compare and Contrast
The Four Stages of a Plot
Community College
The Textbooks
An Introduction to the Research Paper
Life Editing
Chapter 15 Resonance
The Writing Workshop
Do YourJob Professor
Grading the Teacher
On Borrowing Liberally from Other Peoples Work

The Good Stuff
The Pain
College as Eden
Grade Inflation Temptation
The College Bubble
Nobody Move

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About the author (2011)

Professor X has been teaching English composition and literature for ten years at two small colleges somewhere in America.

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