2. Will Hunting's Attitudes towards Education and Career

2.1.: 1st Episode: At  a Harvard Bar

 

The first episode is set at a bar in Cambridge, a district of Boston, Massachusetts on the campus of Harvard University, one of the most prestigious Ivy League Universities in the US. Students must pay about 35,000 Dollars per year for tuition, accommodation, and books. (Look up http://www.harvard.edu/ )

At the Harvard bar Boston Southies (boys from a working-class housing district where mainly descendants of Irish immigrants live) Will, Chuckie and Morgan meet Harvard students Skylar, Lydia and Clark, a first-year graduate student.

 

2.1.1. Predict what might happen at the bar when working-class youth meet upper- class students. Make up a dialogue between one of the working-class characters and a Harvard student.

 

2.1.2. First match the words and phrases listed below and make up meaningful sentences about education. Afterwards search for information about Pete Garrison, James Lemon, Gordon Wood, Virginia and Pennsylvania using encyclopedias, CD-ROMs, the Internet, etc.

 

pal

repeat sth heard or read in one’s own work, without thought or change

never cease to amaze sb

differences in society

seize the opportunity

point-of-view

recess

very clever

contention

friend

apt

make use of a chance

regurgitate

possess a business spirit or instinct, take

risks

social distinctions

pause for rest during a working period esp. for school children

plagiarize

make use of one's chance

at the expense of

copy sth without permission

grand

one thousand

be wicked smart

to have a negative effect on someone else’s labor or misfortune

be entrepreneurial

likely, exactly suitable

 

2.1.3. Watch the episode taken from the film at a Harvard bar and focus on the following assignments:

 

-         Describe the sequence of actions in the clip.

 

-         Characterize Skylar’s, Clark’s and Will’s attitudes towards education. Give reasons.

 

2.1.4. Share your findings with your neighbor and fill in the worksheet together. Afterwards present the results to the group and comment on them.

 

Optional:

 

2.1.5. Read the extract from the screenplay in roles.

 

Good Will Hunting – A Screenplay; Matt Damon & Ben Affleck, with an introduction by Gus Van Sant. Miramax Books, Hyperion, New York 1997, pp. 23 – 27.

 

Chuckie

Hey, how’s it goin’?

Lydia

Fine.

Skylar

Okay.

Chuckie

So, you ladies, ah, go to school here?

Lydia

Yes.

Chuckie

Yeah, ‘caus I think I had a class with you.

Skylar

What class?

Chuckie

Ah, history I think.

Skylar

Oh …

Chuckie

Yah, it’s not a bad school …

Clark

What class did you say that was?

Chuckie

History.

Clark

How’d you like that course?

Chuckie

Good, it was alright.

Clark

History? Just “History”? It must have been a survey course, then.

Pretty broad. History of the world?

Chuckie

Hey, come on pal, we’re in classes all day. That’s one thing about Harvard never ceases to amaze me, everybody’s talkin’ about school all the time.

Clark

Hey, I’m the last guy to want to talk about school at the bar. But as long as you’re here I want to “seize” the opportunity to ask you a question.

Morgan

Not again …

Clark

Oh, I’m sure you covered it in your history class.

Chuckie

To tell you the truth, I wasn’t there much. The class was rather elementary.

Clark

Elementary? Oh, I don’t doubt that it was. I remember the class – it was just between recess and lunch.

Chuckie

All right, are we gonna have a problem?

Clark

There’s no problem. I was just hoping you could give me some insight into the evolution of the market economy in the early colonies. My contention is that prior to the Revolutionary War, the economic modalities, especially of the southern colonies, could most aptly be characterized as agrarian precapitalist and …

Will

Of course that’s your contention. You’re a first-year grad student. You just finished reading some Marxian historian, Pete Garrison prob’ly, and so naturally that’s what you believe until next month when you get to James Lemon and get convinced that Virginia and Pennsylvania were strongly entrepreneurial and capitalist back in seventeen forty. That’ll last until sometime in your second year, then you’ll be in here regurgitating Gordon Wood about 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 

Will

Wood drastically underestimates the impact of social distinction predicated upon wealth, especially inherited wealth … . You got that from Vicker’s Work in Essex County , was it pages ninety-eight to one-oh-two, what? Do you have any thoughts of your own on the subject or were you just gonna plagiarize the whole book for me?

Look, don’t try to pass yourself off as some kind of an intellect at the expense of my friend just to impress these girls.

The sad thing is, in about fifty years you might start doin’ some thinkin’ on your own and by then you’ll realize there are only two certainties in life.

Clark

Yeah? What’re those?

Will

One, don’t do that. Two, you dropped a hundred and fifty grand on an education you coulda picked up for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library.

Clark

But I will have a degree, and you’ll be serving my kids fries at a drive-through on our way to a skiing trip.

Will

Maybe. But at least I won’t be unoriginal. And if you got a problem with that, I guess we can step outside and deal with it that way. If you change your mind, I’ll be over by the bar.

Morgan

My boy’s wicked smart.

 

 

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