To encourage everyone to keep their minds open this quarter and get the most out of your thousands of dollars, I offer a quote from Melissa P. Upton, M.D. She wrote this email to a professor here at UW regarding a website that allows students to anonymously criticize their professors' attempts to get the students to read diverse texts and expose them to unpopular or downright offensive viewpoints. Her response, which I admit is scathing, is quite forceful and well-worth considering as we all progress in our college experience. It's also incredibly well-put.
Perhaps I misunderstood the purpose of education. I thought education was intended to lead us out of our old ways of thinking, and that the very essence of education was to challenge any and all of our basic assumptions. Perhaps we should write a statement of informed consent to be signed by all entering students, in which they agree to consider perspectives from all points of view as the very process integral to learning. We should promise them the experience of feeling acute discomfort and intense psychological distress at periodic challenges to the belief systems with which they entered the University, as well as promising the opportunity to develop a stronger intellectual immune system through the acquisition and application of rigorous analytical tools, available if they engage in intellectual inquiry, study, and dialogue.I would submit, too, that Dr. Upton is obviously familiar with the Latin root of "education" which is the verb "educo": to lead out, draw up, bring up, or rear. So if you don't care for her definition of education, well, that's where it comes from. You can't really argue with that. :-)