Skip to comments.What Students DON'T Learn at Bowdoin College
Posted on 04/09/2013 9:04:10 AM PDT by servo1969
RUSH: From the Wall Street Journal last Friday, April 5th. I missed it Friday. I was informed about this on Saturday afternoon. It's a piece by David Feith. David Feith is assistant editorial features editor at the Wall Street Journal. "It sounds like the setup for a bad joke: What did the Wall Street type say to the college president on the golf course? Well, we don't know exactly -- but it has launched a saga with weighty implications for American intellectual and civic life. Here's what we do know:
"One day in the summer of 2010, Barry Mills, the president of Bowdoin College, a respected liberal-arts school in Brunswick, Maine, met investor and philanthropist Thomas Klingenstein for a round of golf about an hour north of campus. College presidents spend many of their waking hours talking to potential donors. In this case, the two men spoke about college life -- especially 'diversity' -- and the conversation made such an impression on President Mills that he cited it weeks later in his convocation address to Bowdoin's freshman class.
"That's where the dispute begins. In his address, President Mills described the golf outing and said he had been interrupted in the middle of a swing by a fellow golfer's announcement: 'I would never support Bowdoin -- you are a ridiculous liberal school that brings all the wrong students to campus for all the wrong reasons,' said the other golfer, in Mr. Mills's telling. During Mr. Mills's next swing, he recalled, the man blasted Bowdoin's 'misplaced and misguided diversity efforts.'
"At the end of the round, the college president told the students, 'I walked off the course in despair.'" So the college president tells the guy this. He's out playing golf and in the middle of his backswing -- which is the biggest no-no in golf, is to chat during somebody's swing. In the middle of the backswing, he says something, and this guy's college was insulted twice by this Klingenstein guy, who was the potential donor. "Word of the speech," this interpretation, "soon got back to Mr. Klingenstein.
"Even though he hadn't been named in the Mills account, Mr. Klingenstein took to the pages of the Claremont Review of Books to call it nonsense: '[The president of this college] didn't like my views, so he turned me into a backswing interrupting, Bowdoin-hating boor who wants to return to the segregated days of Jim Crow.' The real story, wrote Mr. Klingenstein, was that 'I explained my disapproval of 'diversity' as it generally has been implemented on college campuses: too much celebration of racial and ethnic difference,' coupled with 'not enough celebration of our common American identity.'"
You guys are destroying the country. We all have a "common American identity" and you're focusing on our differences and then demanding all this "diversity" be tolerated, accepted, and treated the same. Well, after Klingenstein's "essay appeared, President Mills stood by his version of events. A few months later, Mr. Klingenstein decided to do something surprising: He commissioned researchers to examine Bowdoin's commitment to intellectual diversity, rigorous academics and civic identity."
So he paid for researchers for the National Association of Scholars to study this university and its curriculum and what's been going on there, and the upshot of it is: Bowdoin College "has 'no curricular requirements that center on the American founding or the history of the nation.' Even history majors aren't required to take a single course in American history. In the History Department, no course is devoted to American political, military, diplomatic or intellectual history -- the only ones available are organized around some aspect of race, class, gender or sexuality."
So a history major at Bowdoin College is taught about the intrinsic discrimination against blacks, women, gays, lesbians, transgender, bisexuals. That's all they are taught. A history major coming out of Bowdoin College is not taught for one minute about the American founding. There is not one moment of traditional American history taught, and this is just the history department. What's taught is how immoral and unjust America has been since its founding and how its founding featured institutional racism, segregation, sexism, homophobia, and all that.
Klingenstein found this kind of thing in pretty much all the other departments he looked at, and he studied it for years and years and years.
Quite naturally, he decided not to donate to the school.
RUSH: Now, the students at Bowdoin College are required to take a year-long seminar as freshmen. They get to choose from 37 different offerings, such as "Affirmative Action in US Society," or "the Fictions of Freedom," or "Racism," or "Queer Gardens," or "the Sexual Life of Colonialism," or "the Modern Western Prostitutes." They have to take one of those courses, as a seminar, but they're not taught anything about the American founding other than it was racist and immoral.
GREAT WORK - EXPOSE THESE ‘Rats TO THE LIGHT!!!
I’m becoming more and more convinced that my kids are not going to college.
Just keep them out of any major which has "Arts" or "Studies" in the title. There will always be lots of need out there for nurses, accountants, engineers, architects, etc etc etc.
"Transgender Women's Community Justice Studies"? Not so much. ;-)
Great piece. Read it last weekend. Perfect!!!
Well, let’s see... Franklin Pierce, Thomas Reed, Longfellow and Hawthorn, George Mitchell, Bill Cohen, and Robert Peary are, to name a few, alums. You would be hard pressed to find another school of this size that has produced whose graduates are so well known. As far as I know, Rush flunked out of Southeast Missouri State in less than a year - maybe he’s not the right guy to be talking about formal education.
By the time they get to college age, it’ll either all be available online, or there will be no society to support a college system.
“...Just keep them out of any major which has “Arts” or “Studies” in the title. ...”
Anyone possessing a “degree” with this stuff on it is not to be considered educated in any way, shape, or form.
They have not ever seen anything academically demanding, and are to be considered as stupid, vapid, and without morals as our president.
They probably do.
This is now.
Institutions change. From 1820, they change a lot. It's pretty clear that none of those gentlemen (except possibly Cohen and maybe Mitchell) would even recognize the place as it stands.
My own alma mater is unrecognizable, and not for the better.
And I'm not sure that attacking the messenger's lack of a formal degree is a rational response. I've two degrees - one from an Ivy - and I'm seeing the same thing here.
My wife’s a Bowdoin Polar Bear and a conservative Republican. Can’t wait to show her.
As far as I know, Rush flunked out of Southeast Missouri State in less than a year - maybe hes not the right guy to be talking about formal education.
And I bet Rush knows a whole hell of a lot more American History than any Bowdoin graduate.
He should have just called it Bowdown College.
They'll do just fine.
They don't have a clue - or a care.
I know a woman whose father was a prof there. He's marxist through and through. So is she.
Such a shame. I can remember Bowdoin was a powerhouse on the old College Bowl tv show. They punched way above their weight. Now they're all the kinds of students Obama would love - "The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists."
When I'd see him, the one thing that absolutely set him off was the quality of the students being sent to the school. On average the so-called “best” students had to do a semester to one and a half semesters of remedial work in their areas of study to be ready for the level of education they were doing. He swore on a stack of Bibles that each year's group of incoming students was actually dumber than the previous group.
The skills, abilities, and education level needed was not there among incoming students; instead they'd been indoctrinated to think they were the best of the best. They could not think and could not do the work expected of them. He said they were “affirmative action” students, in the sense they were accepted because of the money they paid the school, and not on ability.
He told me the graduates only worth their degrees came from these hard sciences, medicine, engineering, IT, and math because they actually knew something and could apply that knowledge. The liberal arts people didn't know squat and their degrees were useless.
That was 15 years ago. He went on to get his double PhD in both physics and chemistry. The quality of the students in colleges and universities has continued to decline since he graduated. Now, 85% of these newly minted grads cannot find jobs, have huge loans incurred for worthless degrees, and they are living in their parent's basement.
Granted, because of my field the students I encounter are science types to begin with, so my experience is limited in that regard - but I know some pretty sharp young people and I'm comfortable thinking that someday they'll be in leadership and decision-making positions.
I will grant you that kids are smarter because of the Internet, but researching skills don’t translate into mechanical skills. Example: Measuring the torque applied to an object.
The three students in the lab were setting up this experiment. They read the directions, set up every thing according to directions, but they could not get a reading of the torque. They called over my TA instructor friend. He took one look and asked them where the cord used in the setup was? Puzzled looks. The TA had to explain the experiment was to measure torque on an item and the cord was necessary to connect the measuring equipment. Stunned looks.
Moral: All read the instructions and followed the setup, except they left out the most critical item to complete the experiment. The problem is not so much brilliance, but lack of attention to detail and mechanical ability.
Yeah it was a decent school in the 1800's, but became a preppy boys' diploma mill in the 1900's, and is an academic outhouse now. My daughter graduated from Hillsdale College and received twice the education available at dear old Bowdoin.
Hate to see it happen to a good school though. As far as I'm concerned, when my school hired Peter Singer that was the end of my association with them.