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College not always a place for free-thinkers
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Let us continue from last week with the simple point, that the more I spent on education, the worse it became. True, there were some genuinely valuable college classes, and then there were the genuinely interesting subjects, like Marine Ecology, Geology, and Astronomy. However, each of these classes was an elective, which means that not every college student has to take it.

Shockingly, even the entry-level "Personal Financial Planning" was a business-major elective. This class taught the student how to set up personal family budgets, quickly pay off high-interest debts, prepare for large purchases (like a house or car), and create a valuable retirement portfolio. Why shouldn't every American be required to learn this (particularly elected officials, but that's a whole different can of worms)?

Rather, the first two years of any college student's life is spent on mandatory General Education Credits - everyone is required to take these, regardless of major. Now, for the first time in my life, I was paying (a lot) for my education. I should have been able to expect the lessons to be applicable, interesting, and well-rounded. After all, the purpose of a university is to promote polygonal thinking, right? The truth is that these required classes felt more like indoctrination. Let me explain.

Every college student is required to take Economics. Let me use this opportunity to point out, that only economists and weather forecasters are allowed to be wrong 100 percent of the time, and still maintain credibility. This particular UW Economics professor was no exception. Unlike the truly inspirational figures at MHS, or Monroe's Blackhawk Tech, this UW professor, and others, made no effort to apply their theories to real life. Simply, reality, and truth, ended at the classroom door.

On a daily basis, this professor would release an onslaught against American Capitalism, calling it greedy and violent. He made ridiculous ascertains, like we needed to take yachts away from the wealthy to build more libraries. One day, as was typical, he even said, "At least under Chairman Mao, there wasn't such a discrepancy of wealth."

This man is dangerous, in his ignorance. There was not a discrepancy of wealth under Mao Tse-tung, because no one had anything; millions of people starved to death. And, under the Cultural Revolution, intellectuals (like this professor) were beaten to a bloody pulp by their own students. Wow - what a great movement to emulate.

Now, I am totally open to opposing viewpoints. Likewise, I believe others should be too. So, I gave this professor a challenge:

I am a dairy farmer, the stereotypical lowest rung of any social ladder. As an American Dairy Farmer, by my own means, I have traveled, lived, worked, and studied overseas. I have my pilot's license, and am scuba-certified. I am attending, and paying for, my own higher education. Since you are so proud of your theories, please point to me a Socialist, Communist, Marxist or Maoist society that has provided half the opportunities to its lowest members as American Capitalism has to hers. I am still awaiting an answer, and by the way - I failed the course.

This one-sided rewrite of history seemed to transcend all General Education Classes. I took a course on American literature, where we actually discussed whether Mark Twain was purposefully, or accidentally, a racist.

Likewise, I enrolled in a college-level history course. Three hundred years of American history, and our semester project was to read the autobiography of Malcolm X, and then write a paper that answered the question, "How is Malcolm X a typical American?" What an interesting choice, to pick Malcolm X as a "typical" American. Those of you who have read the book know, that it doesn't teach you to hate only white people - it teaches you to hate everyone.

The focus of this college-level history course was, specifically, the role and influence of Africans throughout American society. Never mentioned, (let me repeat, never mentioned), were the Tuskegee Airmen, York of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, George Washington's close comrade and friend William Lee, or the fact that African-Americans from New England fought alongside southern white plantation owners during the American Revolution. All of this, and more, I would learn only after leaving college.

I also learned that it is impossible to flunk out of a modern-day American university. In order to gain extra credit, I actually Google-searched a topic for one of my classes, copy-and-pasted the contents of the search into a Word document, and handed it in without references. I was admitted to the Collegiate National Honor Society. Did I also mention that I failed Economics?

In conclusion, I would like to leave you with a little thought. Given what we have discussed about the bias, propagandized nature of the American University, keep in mind that I am not the only voice of opposition. In my (required) Freshman English class, we actually discussed (among other things) the cruel, inhumane, and illegal internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Aghast, I actually stood up, and accused the professor of using their podium as a means to spout their own personal, political agenda.

The very next class period, the rest of the students gave me a thank-you card, complete with signatures. I still have it. I'll never forget what Jerome said: "We were all thinking it; you just had the guts to say it."

- Dan Wegmueller of Monroe writes a weekly column for the Times. He can be reached at