Thursday, May 10, 2012

'Thrown-Away' General Picked Up by Yale

Stanley A. McChrystal
Photo by Andrew Sullivan
The New York Times

I was wondering what had become of General McChrystal after his resignation due to repercussions from his interview with Rolling Stone while directing the counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan. Now, thanks to Elisabeth Bumiller's article of May 6, 2012 for the New York Times, "After War Room, Heading Ivy League Classroom," I know what has become of him: He's teaching a course at Yale! Talk about going out with style.

During his wartime duties in Afghanistan, McChrystal was known for his advocacy of forging relationships to fight insurgencies, so he teaches a course in leadership that helps students investigate this theme:
The theme in his case studies in leadership is that personal relationships matter . . .

He also seeks to establish good relations with his students:
His teaching style is loose: he wears khakis and open-necked shirts, insists that the students call him Stan, prods quiet students into talking and invites them all for runs with him and on overnight field trips to Gettysburg.

He's also known for "heading out to a New Haven bar for beers with his students," so I suppose he's preparing for the day he has to assign grades. With the good relations he's established, he can hope to preclude any potential student insurgency in his classroom due to any low marks he may have to assign.

He's also managed to avoid any general student insurgency at Yale, though this seems more to do with the fact that students differ these days from the countercultural students of my undergraduate years . . .

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