When the historian Jacques Barzun turned 100 in 2007, the New Yorker published a long piece by Arthur Krystal on the occasion of his birthday. It included a description of the Columbia University undergraduate colloquium taught jointly by Barzun and English professor Lionel Trilling from 1934 to 1975. To quote from the article:
“It was awe-inspiring,” the historian Fritz Stern, a 1946 alumnus of the Colloquium, recalled recently. “There I was, listening to two men very different, yet brilliantly attuned to each other, spinning and refining their thoughts in front of us. And when they spoke about Wordsworth, or Balzac, or Burke, it was as if they’d known him. I couldn’t imagine a better way to read the great masterpieces of modern European thought.”You may be under the impression that you will experience something like this in graduate school. Unfortunately, you almost certainly won't.