Medical Tuesday Blog

Education Myths: Why Is “Logan” Depressed?

May 22

Written by: Del Meyer
05/22/2017 3:48 AM 

Logan graduated from “Bowdoin College” convinced that he is a “citizen of the world.” He convinced his alma mater to divest from carbon-based energy stocks. He can speak fluently about “the common good.” Although he is a “citizen of the world” in his mind, he was never required to learn a foreign language. He considers himself an expert on carbon-based energy, but his education has never touched on chemistry or thermodynamics. Logan has achieved a high level of confidence in his abilities and is pretty smart as measured by IQ tests, but he knows far less than he thinks he does.

He has scant knowledge of America’s past, our economic and political systems, and our common bonds as a nation. Peter Wood, President, NAS, hopes that this new Graduate will wake up one of these days, realized that he has been cheated out of a real education. To repair the damage, Logan will need to jettison most of the ideological baggage his college gave him, restart educating himself with strenuous reading, and find the humility to start at the bottom.

Peter Wood thinks he may choose one of several options. He may imagine himself stuck where he is because the “Koch brothers” put him there, and the banks have exploited him, and global capitalism is oppressing everyone. Occupy Wall Street is in his soul. The “People’s Climate March” is treading round and round in his mind.

Or, bored with the whole thing, he has settled into apathy. He has no good way out of his parents’ basement because his education from kindergarten through college has taught him dependency, resentment, and self-indulgence.

College essentials were long thought to be that it teaches the pursuit of truth, promotes active citizenship, and fosters a love for best of our civilization. But it has degenerated into scare words in our contemporary university. Whose truth? Citizen of what? Which civilization?

The National Assn of Scholars, which is open to all citizens, recognizes that colleges and universities exist in our society by virtue of the hard-one political and intellectual freedoms bequeathed to us by earlier generations and that we all bear a responsibility—call it citizenship—to carry those freedoms forward for generations to come. The high achievements in science, art, law, medicine, and many other fields are rooted in Western civilization.

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