The author, smiling winningly Scott Raymond home

Assignment

04 Apr 2001

I’m taking TH&F380, American Pop Culture of the 1950s. The professor, the inimitable Chuck Berg, has a way of making routine paper assignments into inspiring challenges. His latest:


Consider the possibility. You?ve arrived home in May, at the end of the semester, fresh from your voyages through the turbulent waters of 1950s? American Popular Culture. After dinner, family and friends flock to your side to ask about the class, to find out from you the inside stories about Communists in Hollywood, Brando and the Method, Elvis and the Rise of Rock ?n? Roll, Ozzie and Harriet, Why Jazz Went to College, the Impact of TV on Movies, and How Cinerama Actually Worked. You pause for a sip of coffee, and then proceed to launch into one of the decade?s ?big stories.? As a result of having been cloistered in the hallowed halls of academe, you now speak in a thoughtful and, indeed, authoritative manner. You are now an educated person. You are consequently ready to share the fruits of your meticulous researches and deep cerebrations with passion, precision and panache.


While satisfying a course requirement imposed by the curmudgeonly Prof. Berg, the Research Project should be an excellent preparation for the learned disquisitions with which you?ll regale the folks back home. To help focus your thinking — thereby insuring that you?ll make a favorable impression, especially on your parents and those who have had a direct financial stake in your intellectual evolution — read the following ?Guidelines? with care. After all, you want to do well. Also, I want you to do well. And, of course, so does your family — and, indeed, society!


P.S. Do not use plastic or any other kind of covers; they represent a shameful waste of dwindling natural resources and at best constitute a patently transparent attempt to puff up content with
superficial packaging.