My undergraduate college experience was atypical, at least compared with college these days. But then again, I was atypical. Early 30s, an experienced police officer, but above all, I was highly motivated, if for no reason other than I was paying the bills, and I didn’t have much money and even less time. So I took every summer and extra course I could, including substantial overloads every semester–22 hours, and finished in 2.5 years.
There were, of course, some silly feminist professors about, and most of the professoriate were progressives of one stripe or another, but I was there to learn and achieve, to earn the credentials necessary for a specific career, not to argue politics or take any kind of “studies” courses, and most were willing to accept me on that basis, so I breezed through without succumbing to any sort of indoctrination, though I was, due to age and experience, pretty much immune to that sort of thing.
In dealing with Progressives, it’s often difficult to discuss anything rationally. Their default response is commonly anger, accusations, and refusal to listen, along with a heavy dose of “shut up,” but I still, calmly and rationally, try when possible. But, according to Vice.com, at least one young lady was able to come to the side of reason and common sense. It’s good to see it’s still possible:
Like everyone who cons themselves into attending a liberal arts college, I was captivated by the idea of changing the world by immersing myself in a diverse pool of academic thought, theory, and action. Boy, was I wrong! After my four-year stint at university, I was transformed from a plucky, young, free-thinking free spirit into a cranky, old, get-off-my-lawn conservative.
It all started with a quiet disdain for political correctness, a seed that grew—through the miracle of college—into a giant beanstalk. I quickly learned that, at liberal arts school, the general aim of each class was to identify something problematic, discuss it, and then refuse to do anything about it. We were expected to offer solutions, of course, but the only acceptable answers were noncommittal and intersectional. Any attempt to get to the actual root of a problem was generally seen as problematic too, and a politically correct policing was instituted to hinder any real solutions of important issues. Most group discussions devolved into us asking one another how to ask questions about something problematic without being problematic.
After a childhood and adolescence of being the only black kid in class, I never would have considered myself an enemy of political correctness. I was rather indignant about exposing cultural insensitivities until I was inundated with college classes that seemed dedicated to manifesting real and imagined enemies from every available shadow. So I began to check out and (much to my surprise) quietly echo the conservative sentiments against oversensitivity that I had once dismissed as bigotry.
What the author, Jay Stephens, is referring to is Deconstruction, the academic practice that requires unceasing criticism of any topic or individual. With this goes the unquestioned demonization of the person, their ideas, their accomplishments, and their times. This is much of what passes for curriculum in colleges today.
After I became annoyed with political correctness, I started seeing it everywhere and gradually became convinced there was a conspiracy going on to brainwash me and my peers. Most of the guest speakers at my liberal arts school were leftist journalists, leftist activists, or leftist professors from other leftist schools. In my experience, the other slots were reserved for different types of sex workers: I attended a film lecture given by a very skilled paraplegic porn star who showed us some of her work and an art performance given by a woman who masturbated behind a curtain.
Hmm. I’ve always considered porn as an on-the-job training, hands-on sort of career. I’m not sure what it has to do with an undergraduate degree. I don’t discount the probability of conspiracies of this type, but much of it can be explained by nothing more than that professors are in an echo chamber, hearing no contrary thoughts. Surrounded by like thinkers, there is no need for discussion, for reflection. After awhile, they become incapable of processing anything in opposition to their beliefs, which take on the fervor of a religion.
Once the initial thrill from exposure wore off, the lack of intellectual diversity was suffocating. I traveled further down a path of disillusionment and began to sympathize with those crazy conservatives who were always complaining about liberal media bias on FOX.
I needed some way to cope with all this. So I chose weed. I was typically high before, during, and after all of my classes. My best friend was the campus dealer, so I spent countless nights smoking spliffs on his dorm room floor and watching his clients stumble in and out.
Most of these clients are now working in New York finance or DC politics, which is what made me realize I’m a fan of limited government. The stupidest stoners I know are all on a fast track to becoming the future diplomats of the world, and I do not trust these goofs to make important decisions on our behalf. Their power must be constrained.
Anyone surprised by this, by the assertion that a great many dopers and idiots are going to be in positions of power? What’s that? Oh that’s right. Our President is one of those dopers, isn’t he?
I took on lots of debt attending college, but I never learned anything about how to manage it. I didn’t learn about taxes either, but I was lucky enough to get a job right before my student loan payments kicked into gear. I accepted a corporate gig with a salary that felt exorbitant and immediately began plotting when I could move out of my parent’s house. But everything changed when I got my first paycheck, and to my admittedly ignorant shock, I realized a helluva lot more money was missing than I anticipated.
“Income tax” seems like an abstract alien concept when you’re not making any money, but it becomes much more real when cash has magically disappeared from your paycheck. I couldn’t believe my peers and I had spent so much time shaming conservatives for wanting lower taxes. After making an income, the tax I paid on it was suddenly all I cared about. And stopping government waste seems way more important to me now than funding government programs.
Interesting how discovering the realities of taxes, hard work, and planning for a future independent of government can have a sobering effect, isn’t it Gentle Readers?
The battle for rationality in education, and for the preservation of a rule of law America is never-ending, but Jay Stephens is now with us, and her conversion–there are many, many like her–just might mean all is not yet lost. By all means, take the link and read the rest of her article.