The college admissions fraud scandal exposes parents desperate to get their kids into elite universities because they think the status and connections will lead to an adulthood of more status and more money. It does work that way for lots of people but it’s the antithesis of what drove the classmates in UNDERGROUND 68.
Learning for its own sake. Elevating the spirit. Critical thinking. The delicious pain of creation. Holding your own in a community of scholars. Fun on the highest level. Figuring things out. Freedom to be different. Irreverence. Openness. Focus. Scholarship as a path to enlightenment. An aversion to bullshit in all its infinite manifestations. A great university is a place with resources to nourish those inclinations in young people on the cusp of discovering themselves. The underlying idea is that if you’re an educated person you’ll be fine no matter where the path of life takes you. You don’t need status and you don’t need money to live a beautiful life. You don’t even need an elite university. It’s all right there in front of you. The classmates in UNDERGROUND 68 are avatars, in the Hindu sense, of that way of life.