Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Study of Beer: Maybe One Reason College Students Don't Learn Much

by: Matthew Denhart

I began this morning like I have every morning so far this year, tearing away a page to reveal the current date on the 2011 "page a day" calendar of the Stupidest Things Ever Said that I received for Christmas. I was surprised to see that today's entry focuses on higher education. Specifically, the entry features actual college course names/descriptions at three well-known American universities. Here they are:

From Indiana University:
"Art & Science of Beer: We will explore the place of beer in ancient as well as modern life, and the role beer has played in important achievements in microbiology, biotechnology, and physics."
From Duke University:
"Campus Culture and Drinking: The cultural understandings that motivate and shape undergraduate drinking.
From Oklahoma State University:
"International Beverage Education: The history of beverages such as wine, distilled spirits, and beers. Prerequisite: Must be 21 years of age."
Coincidentally, a new book by Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa, Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, was just released by the University of Chicago Press. In it, Arum and Roksa provide strong evidence that little learning actually occurs on college campuses. One wonders why this might be the case.

1 comment:

RWW said...

"Oh the humanity". What is happening in this country for God's sake? I have stopped watching the news, I'm sick to death of politics and the division.

I bought a new TV this past Christmas. It connects to the internet via ethernet hard wire or wirelessly. When I have time to watch TV now, I watch movies and other programming. When I switch to satellite, I watch sports and SPEED TV and some documentary channels like Dicovery and History.

My Grandfather's generation fought WWII - 6 of his 9 brothers and his brother-in-law. I would bet 80% of people under the age of 35 don't know sh_t about WWII and how gd revolting, repugnant, and hellish the Nazi's were. Yet the Hitler and Nazi label gets tossed around without so much as knowing how despicable using these words are.

There are so many young adults that did not live through the cold war and realize that fingers were on the "Launch" button and ready to be pushed for a nuclear holocaust. Remember all the signs on brick buildings that said or symbolized that seemingly every brick building in sight was a "nuclear bomb shelters". You don't see those signs anymore. Yet young adults study Marx, tote around bags with Che Guevara's picture on them. One can buy all types of Che merchandise on the internet. But how many of them know anything about Fulgencio Batista? Was he a dictator? Was he pro-American or anti-American?

My father's generation fought the Korean war and put 12 men on the moon - 240,000 miles from the earth. The worth of NASA today is arguable because they stopped innovating and stepped back from huge potential.

The first of the baby boomers fought the Vietnam war for an ungrateful nation. But maybe we shouldn't have been there in the first place. Maybe we didn't learn from the French. Hmmm... I wonder what the French have to do with Vietnam??

Today we have become great by inventing iPods and iPads - BFD... And the market moves when Steve Jobs (who apparently never changes his clothes) takes a medical leave.

We pidgeon-hole people and divide America by ethnic or cultural differences which is in and of itself divisive. And Higher Ed takes it further. What ever happened to "E Pluribus Unum"? It describes an action: Many uniting into one. An accurate translation of the motto is "Out of many, one"

Higher Ed has become an expensive "whorehouse" where you pay to have your brain scrambled and sucked out of your skull.

If I am able to speak to my children before I draw my last breathe, I'll apologize for my generation's part in making America mediocre.

Thus ends my rant.