Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Man, Our Universities are Screwed Up!

One thing that I loved about growing up in Louisiana is how it was still so backwards in good ways.

For example, the local grade school's teachers were mostly the same women that you'd see on Sunday teaching Sunday School classes. You felt good about who was teaching your kids.

In 1992 I transferred to Louisiana Tech to work on my engineering degree.

A year or so later, knee deep in calculus, chemistry, physics, etc., I had to take a class called Dynamics.

Dynamics was basically an entire text book and class that was nothing but applied physics word problems. Dynamics was, hands-down, THE most difficult class I took in earning a degree in electrical engineering. It was nothing short of brutal, and I LIKE WORD PROBLEMS!

No matter, that was a monster of a class to get through.

But what I'm trying to get to has nothing to do with dynamics other than this, we often had to wait outside the classroom for the previous class (a biology class) to be released and clear out before we could enter and take our seats.

One day as I made my way back to my seat in the classroom, I looked at the stacks of books on the desks of several students who were in the previous biology class and noticed that they all had a book called Evolution and the Myth of Creationism.

This freaked me out to say the least.

So after that day's punishing Dynamics lecture, I headed for the LaTech book store.

I wandered around, and sure enough, for that particular biology class, the REQUIRED TEXT BOOK was Evolution and the Myth of Creationism.

I picked on up and stood there reading for a while.

The entire text was in this format, it would put forth a statement that a Christian might say in defense of their beliefs and then follow that with a whole chapter on how to attempt to refute what the Christian statement was.

Then, another general statement that a Christian might say to one who believes in evolution, and then another section of points to memorize in how to come back at what the Christian said to them.

Now I'm not going to sit here and try to convince anyone that God created the universe, the earth and life here, because we're all grown up and make our own decisions.

I have no problem with someone who thinks that evolution is the way life on earth "happened", though I choose to disagree.

But I was kind of appalled that this book was the required text for a university biology class, especially in backwater Louisiana.

I was reminded of this episode in my experience when I found out two things today while cruising the news sources online.

A class at the University of Michigan on "How to be Gay"
ENGLISH 317. Literature and Culture.

Section 002 — How to be Gay: Male Homosexuality and Initiation.

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Instructor(s): David M Halperin (halperin@umich.edu)

Course Description:

Just because you happen to be a gay man doesn't mean that you don't have to learn how to become one. Gay men do some of that learning on their own, but often we learn how to be gay from others, either because we look to them for instruction or because they simply tell us what they think we need to know, whether we ask for their advice or not.

This course will examine the general topic of the role that initiation plays in the formation of gay male identity. We will approach it from three angles: (1) as a sub-cultural practice — subtle, complex, and difficult to theorize — which a small but significant body of work in queer studies has begun to explore; (2) as a theme in gay male writing; and (3) as a class project, since the course itself will constitute an experiment in the very process of initiation that it hopes to understand.

In particular, we will examine a number of cultural artifacts and activities that seem to play a prominent role in learning how to be gay: Hollywood movies, grand opera, Broadway musicals, and other works of classical and popular music, as well as camp, diva-worship, drag, muscle culture, taste, style, and political activism...


A group of Columbia University professors are going to Iran to apologize to Iran's President Iminajihad.
NEW YORK (MNA) – An academic delegation of Columbia University professors and deans of faculties plans to visit Tehran to officially apologize to Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

The delegation plans to express regret for the insulting remarks Columbia University President Lee Bollinger directed at Ahmadinejad on September 24 in his introductory speech, the Mehr News Agency correspondent in New York reported...

A for-credit course at a university like Michigan on How to be Gay?

Although the Columbia professors going to Iran to apologize to Iminajihad, doesn't surprise me one little bit.

People still pay top dollar and think they have something special when they get a degree from a place like Columbia University, but they don't, because they're being indoctrinated/educated by morons that would do such a thing as this.

Those big-name, east coast universities sure don't have the impressive "weight" they once had.


Babystepper said...

This gives me flash-backs to my own not to far distant university days. I hated how much they openly attacked everything that I am and stand for. It still leaves a bad taste in my mouth, just thinking about it.

Beverly said...

That course doesn't surprise me at all...and Columbia, well...

Norma said...

Our tax dollars at work. I remember about 10 years ago at Ohio State a wonderful ROTC student worked for me and he was afraid to use the word "human" or "history" in a literature paper because they contained "man" and "his" and the instructor was a feminist.