Monday, July 26, 2004

Learning in College

Is it too much to ask that college students sit in class, read their textbooks, and write papers? It seems like every protester out there is a radical Commie (not your garden-variety Commie) undergrad. Within the past year, the local paper had an editorial saying that college students today don't demonstrate enough, and that they should emulate the activism of students in the 1960's. I disrespectfully and not-so-humbly dissent. How about college students make learning their occupation during college? Let's look at the benefits:

-their parents would actually get what they pay for, instead of shelling out big bucks for their kids to get drunk and score with some some neohippie chicks.

-students have demonstrated that they aren't learning, so why encourage them to keep distracting themselves with useless political activism? Since a bachelor's became the new high school diploma, and everyone gets one, undergraduate education has been dumbed-down to such a point that it's virtually useless. It has several disadvantages compared to high school, where many students continue to defy the odds and learn: 1. You attend seven hour of classes a day in high school, 180 days a year, instead of a few hours a day for a couple of months, with large breaks between semesters - much, much less time spent in class, and much less chance of learning something; 2. High school is designed to get you to learn basic information, whereas many college courses are designed to get you to "think differently," meaning to evaluate economics by means of critical race theory, or deconstruct Western philosophy from a feminist perspective, or find the neocolonial biases in the calculus. 3. High school students are still under their parents' direct supervision, so they have a chance of actually getting something productive done, whereas college students view the entire experience as a time to prove their immaturity, get drunk, acquire herpes, and talk loudly about how cool it is to drink Miller Lite until you vomit and bang the skanky cheerleaders.

-whenever I see a college student making some devilishly complex connection among Al-Qaeda, Halliburton, and the administration, I'm reminded that these students could probably spend their time better in Medieval Philosophy, where they might just spend a few weeks with a certain William of Ockham and learn just how incredibly foolish they sound. Similarly, logic courses might show them proper reasoning, like how "No Blood for Oil!" really means "What's 'petitio principii?' Who cares, I'd ignorant and hate Bush!" History would give them the perspective to avoid glib comparisons between Bush and Hitler.

College really is a fraud, though, a method for achieving the various goals of making the college rich, stroking professors' egos, and providing sex-crazed youths with a parent-funded dating service. If you thought college was for learning, I won't embarrass you by asking you your age; suffice it to say, you don't pay full price at Denny's, old man.



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