Monday, February 22, 2016

Why Are College Kids So Broke and Yet So Stupid? Asked--and Answered

Victor Davis Hanson wants to know "how and why America’s youth have borrowed a collective $1 trillion for college tuition, and yet received so little education and skills in the bargain."

What are odds? Immediately before reading that I read this, wherein all is revealed:
As for exploring every subject susceptible of contemplation, did [Thomas] Jefferson have in mind such courses in English literature listed in, for instance, the Haverford College course catalog (where I find no course in Shakespeare or Chaucer) as “Cruising Home: Queer Kinship in Theory and Practice,” “Literature, Popular Culture, and the American Left,” and “Advanced Topics in Peace, Justice and Human Rights”? In history, a Haverford student can study “Insanity” or “Political Technologies of Race and the Body”; but this year, he won’t be offered “Sport and Society” or “The Early Republic,” which I devoutly hope (but do not feel certain) will cover the American Founding when the college offers it again. As for what college students know of every subject susceptible of contemplation, a hilarious film, Politically Challenged, that Texas Tech students produced does not reassure. To the question of “Who won the Civil War?” 11 students had no idea, though two thought it might have been the South, one suggested “America,” two didn’t know who fought it, and one wondered if the questioner meant the one that occurred in 1967. Only one answered, “The North; the Union.” Only one of nine students could name the current U.S. vice president. None of five students knew from whom America gained its independence, though one thought it might have happened in the 1970s—or else the 1670s. But all of them knew the names of actor Brad Pitt’s current and former wives and that “Snooki” was a character on the TV show Jersey Shore
I'd go one step further and bet that, even as we speak, someone at some august institution who may or may not know anything about the Civil War is doing a Ph.d thesis on "Political Technologies of Ethnicity, Gender Roles and White Privilege and the Effect of Street Vomiting on a Sustainable Eco-System as Exemplified By Jersey Shore."

Or something along those lines.

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