Sunday, January 06, 2008

Y'a know what....

General note -- Overall, I'm politically liberal. If it is possible to average out my views on social and fiscal issues, I'd be a centrist-Democrat. I'm also a good feminist -- unlike many people who claim to be feminists, I've read a shit-ton of feminist philosophical literature. In fact one year ago, if you care to dig back into my archives, which I don't care to do, you'll see that I spent two weeks reading feminist stuff in the Sandra Day O'Connor school of law, law library... so, don't call me a sexist because I don't love Hillary... live with the fact that feminism is about individual choice and giving women the freedom to be construction workers, strippers or stay at home mothers... or, all three (in a lifetime, although the first two could work well together).

I also know many, many, many people who have gone to small Bible colleges and/or big Bible Universities. I've seen them come out just fine as adults who know what is going on in the world. I've also seen them do well in graduate studies or in their chosen careers.

In talking to them about their schools, they express the idea that they like the atmosphere on campus, they like the supportive environment and they like the fact that there ARE restrictions on behavior on campus. As such, the campus is sober and dry....and thus is a good environment for learning.

What bugs me is when people who don't know people from Bible colleges or universities make blanket decisions about them. They mean well, but their narrow-minded liberalism and feminism makes them blind to what may be the best choice for any given STUDENT. This isn't about where the person giving advise wants to go, it is about what would be a good place for the student to achieve their goals...

The real problem with taking such an adamant stand on where a student ought to go is that, if the student decides to go against the "advise", they risk losing the support of someone upon whom they should be able to rely...

So, be a liberal and be a feminist -- but, realize that there are reasonable people out there who may make considered decisions to reject at least the liberal part -- (sorry, I can't say there are reasonable people who aren't feminists... I just can't make myself type that sentence).


Bardiac said...

I agree, though I'm pretty uncomfortable about religiously affiliated colleges (after teaching at one).

Students choose to go to different schools for different reasons, and we should not only respect that, but be glad students have different choices out there. Seriously, the choice someone makes at 17 about what college seems best for them shouldn't be held against them. The things I didn't know at 17 when I chose my school (a public R1, though I had NO clue what that was).

I'm guessing a lot of students who choose small schools of all sorts choose for complex reasons. Where I taught, a lot of the students just couldn't imagine going to a larger school. Certainly, even the best of them couldn't have imagined going to a school far away (with the exception of a few international students). They just didn't have the life experiences.

And yet, while I really hate the academic elitism shown in some graduate admissions, I wonder how one really tells. And I have to say, I don't think taking a class here and there with famous professor X is a good way to tell. Nor is the opportunity some schools have for X or Y that other schools just don't have.

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

I do see your point about graduate school elitism... and perhaps the means of separating the qualified students from the unqualified is to rely more on the student's writing sample and less on their intellectual pedigree?

I suppose situations I'm thinking of are ones in which there are two excellent alternatives, one that is clearly liberal in tone and another that is clearly more conservative. Depending on the department, either could be a good choice and has had excellent grad-school placements in the past.