Sunday, May 16, 2010

The main problem with teenagers is that they're just like their parents were at their age”

That’s so true in my case. Take choosing a college for example:

In 1954 I chose one that took only 2 weeks for me to realize wasn’t for me, so I transferred after the first semester. Two of my children did exactly the same thing.  All three of us chose a small school because…………well, because....

None of us has any idea. But 17 and 18 year olds are famous for thinking more with their emotions than their brains. Whatever it was, we all singled out a small, fairly obscure college to begin that phase of our lives. I picked Furman University in Greenville, SC. My oldest son picked a small school in Virginia that you never heard of. My daughter chose a small college in Murphreesboro, NC called Chowan.

None of us stayed at those schools more than one semester. I consider that the real beginning of our education.

Not that it affected our decisions, but the one thing that seemed to be a common denominator among all of those schools was their emphasis on how many foreign students they had. I’m convinced they still believe that gives them prestige and credibility.

Personally,rubbing shoulders with some of these darlings of the educators didn’t do much for me; although I must admit that it WAS a learning experience;

From the Swedish boy down the hall in my Furman dorm, I learned that not everyone in Sweden takes baths regularly. He NEVER did.

There was the middle eastern boy who spent more time putting on his turban than he did attending class.

Then, there was the French kid who bragged that his favorite hobby was….fighting.
(Actually we didn’t learn anything from him, but one of those South Carolina farm boys convinced him that he should consider some other hobby.)

Sometimes I think that in my next life, I’ll become an educator….and start my own college. I’ll call it DIVERSITY UNIVERSITY. It’ll be for kids who are not ashamed to go to school with fellow Americans.

 We’ll recruit all kinds of Americans, fat ones, skinny ones, tall ones and short ones. The girls, mostly southern, will all be beautiful and to emphasize our devotion to diversity, there will be a handful from New Jersey…so the boys will know what their children will sound like if they marry one of them.

Meanwhile, in Murphreesboro, that day I took my teenage daughter to begin her college career, we met one of the deans who showed us around the campus. I bit my tongue as he bragged about the number of foreign students CHOWAN had……as if I would be impressed.

But a few years later, I was impressed …….when the Associated Press told me the name of one of his students:

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks.

According to AP,  "In 1983, Mohammed began attending Chowan College, a small Baptist school in Murfreesboro, North Carolina."