Clark: No, no, no, no! There's no problem here. I was just hoping you might give me some insight into the evolution of the market economy in the southern colonies. My contention is that prior to the Revolutionary War, the economic modalities, especially in the southern colonies, could be most aptly described as agrarian pre-capitalist.
Will: Of course that's your contention. You're a first-year grad student; you just got finished reading some Marxian historian, Pete Garrison probably. You're gonna be convinced of that 'till next month when you get to James Lemon. Then you're going to be talking about how the economies of Virginia and Pennsylvania were entrepreneurial and capitalist way back in 1740. That's gonna last until next year; you're gonna be in here regurgitating Gordon Wood, talkin' about, you know, the pre-revolutionary utopia and the capital-forming effects of military mobilization.
Clark: Well, as a matter of fact, I won't, because Wood drastically underestimates the impact of social...
Will: "Wood drastically underestimates the impact of social distinctions predicated upon wealth, especially inherited wealth"? You got that from Vickers' Work in Essex County, page 98, right? Yeah, I read that too. Were you gonna plagiarize the whole thing for us? Do you have any thoughts of your own on this matter? Or do you, is that your thing, you come into a bar, read some obscure passage and then pretend - you pawn it off as your own, as your own idea just to impress some girls, embarrass my friend?
Will: See, the sad thing about a guy like you is, in 50 years you're gonna start doin' some thinkin' on your own and you're going to come up with the fact that there are two certainties in life: one, don't do that, and two, you dropped 150 grand on a fuckin' education you could have got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library!
Clark: Yeah, but I will have a degree. And you'll be servin' my kids fries at a drive-thru on our way to a skiing trip.
Will: That may be, but at least I won't be unoriginal. But I mean, if you have a problem with that, I mean, we could just step outside - we could figure it out.
Clark: No, man, there's no problem. It's cool.
UPDATE, 10-23-11: If you are just visiting my blog for the first time and this post has brought you here, please check out my follow-up post that deals with the topic of unschooling in an in-depth and very personal manner. I urge you to read the comments there as well, as the post has sparked a terrific conversation about education. Of course, feel free to join in! I would love to hear your opinion :)