The Big University – The New York Times

“Many universities founded as religious institutions have needlessly dropped a key original goal: educating students’ emotional, spiritual and moral sides.”

I am not usually a fan of David Brooks, but this opinion piece has some good things to say about college and university life, i.e.,

Third, investigate current loves and teach new things to love. On her great blog, Brain Pickings, Maria Popova quotes a passage from Nietzsche on how to find your identity: “Let the young soul survey its own life with a view of the following question: ‘What have you truly loved thus far? What has ever uplifted your soul, what has dominated and delighted it at the same time?’ ” Line up these revered objects in a row, Nietzsche says, and they will reveal your fundamental self.

Source: The Big University – The New York Times

A Snapshot of Students Lost: Young and Old, but All Striving – The New York Times

As I read the biographical sketches of the men and women killed at the Oregon community college, I thought of my students through my career that were similar in aspirations and striving.  The adjunct instructor, also killed, reminded me of those men and women who teach the subjects they revere to those that strive.  Not all students make it, but the mere fact of enrolling in a class signifies a start, a possible change to make a person and the world better through knowledge and skill acquisition.

Read the article from the The New York Times linked below.

“An instructor and eight students from various walks of life and ages were remembered as an Oregon community tried to come to grips with a mass shooting.”

Source: A Snapshot of Students Lost: Young and Old, but All Striving – The New York Times

How Trigger Warnings Are Hurting Mental Health on Campus – The Atlantic

Oh, for goodness sake!  Trigger warnings, microaggressions….etc.  Dwelling on that stuff stifles growth.

I adhere to the dictum, “There is no education without tears.”  –Ralph Waldo Emerson

In some ways, it’s comedy.  Students egging a professor’s door protesting microaggressive speech.  Egging?  Protesting speech of a professor by hurling an egg?  Who is being trespassed upon here?  The prof or student?  What’s going on here?  Students get their feelers hurt everyday in class.  Professors correct, critique, urge, and teach critical thinking.  There’s going to be hurt feelings when you correct.  But, does the student want to grow up, be literate, and not be taken advantage of?  You give students what they need, not what they want.

I wanted my students to know facts and be able to detect falsity and rise above the mystification of swamis, religionists, and charlatans on the street and the media.  You must go deep and dirty to find, or not find as the case might be, truth.

Read this article from The Atlantic, and attend.

College students are increasingly demanding protection from words and ideas they don’t like. Here’s why that’s disastrous for education.

Source: How Trigger Warnings Are Hurting Mental Health on Campus – The Atlantic

Poor Students Struggle as Class Plays a Greater Role in Success –

Poor Students Struggle as Class Plays a Greater Role in Success –

I’m an instructor at one of these colleges. We just ended a semester and issued the grades. Guess who gets the “F’s” ? It’s not for lack of intelligence. It’s lack of transportation, lack of babysitting, lack of a stable home environment to do homework, lack of family support, lack of any tradition of “succeeding” in the family, and employers who won’t work with these kids to schedule them so they get to class. Low attendance is the #1 cause for failure, lack of homework is right up there too. If you’re behind the 8-ball, it’s so much harder to ever get ahead. But we instructors can’t lower the bar, either. We have to hold every student up to the same criteria. I don’t know what the solution is. And whatever the solution is, there’s no money to pay for it anyway. All the money flows to the Cayman Islands these days.