Alpine Summit

Friday, December 16, 2005

The Latest on the Roomate Saga

My roomate and I can get into some pretty heated discussions sometimes, and other times we just snipe at each other's politics/perspectives as if either of us knew what the heck we were talking about. I find it's an enjoyable arrangement except for the times when I'm just not up for arguing, then it's just a matter of placating him.

So the latest tidbit of this ongoing dialogue comes from the "Die, Hippie, Die" episode of "South Park." They describe the types of hippies and mention the pseudo-intellectual "college hippie" then cut to a scene where these hippies get out of a car with a CU Boulder sticker on it (Ward Churchill's college in case you forgot) and they run into Kenny, Stan, and Kyle, where one of the male hippies introduces himself as having just finished his first semester of college where the professor "really opened" their eyes (.wav file here).

I made the off-hand comment: "it's so true." To which my roomate (who found the entire episode unfunny--I suspect he fancies himself a hippie) replied: "and what professors have YOU had that have forced their politics on you?!" I found it a little off-putting, and it was 1:15 in the morning at the time. I wasn't really up for the argument, so I just said something to the effect of "oh, I was just being ironic." After thinking about it though, I realize that my school is actually the exception to the rule for the most part.

First off, I recall a political science professor I had one semester who tried to convince us that politics is dependent on income (i.e. the rich and powerful are conservatives--*ahem* like Ted Kennedy, and the poor and disenfranchised are liberals-- *ahem* like me). I argued the point in class, but it was blatant indoctrination of students in his own classroom. Other than that instance, and a couple of other instances I won't go into, my experience has been quite a balanced one. I've found that many of the liberal professors I have met let their views be known, but usually disclaim them as their views.

One of my friends is an education major and told me about a time where his teacher said she believed students should be allowed to grade themselves--and touted this as a legitimate education doctrine. Of course, then he asked if that meant he could grade himself in her class, to which she replied "no."

Another example is my friend who went to school in the east where the administration demanded they take down the American flag posted in the bus after 9/11 because it "might offend the foreign students." The english and political science professors (he was an IR major) were also openly hostile to anything conservative, and I would frequently hear stories about their latest attempts to use their captive audience to push their own political views.

Those are just a few of the cases off the top of my head. I'm sure if I actually researched it a bit, I could write a book about all the instances of left-wing indoctrination my friends have experienced.