What’s happening in our colleges?

Have you guys read some of the stories about college students who can’t handle… well, anything? If you haven’t, allow me to list a few.

It’s ridiculous. College is supposed to be a place where you can stretch your mind and find out about new ways of thinking. It’s not supposed to be a safe space. There should never be anything safe (intellectually speaking) about college. As far as I’m concerned, if you make it through your entire collegiate career without once hearing an opinion you don’t agree with, then it was all a waste.

Not only are today’s college SJWs wussies that can’t handle chalk writings that will wash away when it rains, but they are also just plain obnoxious. I recently watched this video (and a few others like it) and was appalled.

Just watch (language warning).

These people can’t handle hearing opinions they disagree with, and they don’t even have the decency to walk away. They have to shout and complain and disrupt the entire event just to be contrarian.

And you know what the kicker is? This entire show was called “The Triggering” and was supposed to be a discussion about free speech and political correctness gone too far. Obviously the people in the audience didn’t realize that they were proving the speaker’s point by acting like idiots the whole time.

The only ones these protesters (or loud, whiny morons if you prefer) are hurting are themselves. They are depriving themselves the experience of hearing another’s point of view. I know from experience that the only way to counter an argument you disagree with is to have better arguments, which requires knowing what the original argument was in the first place.

I can’t tell you how happy I am to go to a school where people can handle opinions they don’t agree with. We’ve had speakers come to convocation that most of us don’t like. Most students at Liberty dislike Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Yet, all 10,000 of us sat quietly and listened politely.

It was probably good for us. In the case of Bernie, I’m willing to bet that there were a few students who’d never seen was socialism looked like. For Trump it was good to see the obvious attempt at pandering. You learn things when you take the time to just listen.

You don’t have to like it. But you don’t have to act like a jerk. Liberty students give me hope that maybe my generation isn’t doomed to destroy themselves looking for “safe spaces.”

Grades vs. Education

I’m quitting a class that I think I would really like and one that I would probably learn a lot in. I’m not doing it because I don’t like the professor. I’m not doing it because I want an easier course. I am quitting this class because I worry about my grade.

You see, I’m here at Liberty on an academic scholarship, full-tuition actually. To continue to receive the financial aid that I need (because Lord knows I couldn’t even begin to afford this school otherwise), I have to stay in the honors program. To stay in the honors program, I have to keep up a GPA of 3.5. Which is fine. I don’t normally mind having to keep my grades up. I’m kind of a perfectionist anyway. The issue is that I am beginning to feel like I am actually sacrificing my education for sake of my grade point average.

I started out this semester in Theology 201 Honors. I like the professor, and I think the discussion-based aspect of the class would make it instructive and fun. But unfortunately, the professor has a liking for pop quizzes of the essay variety (why I hate essay exams and quizzes is a whole other post). If you’ve ever had to do something like this, then you’ll understand that it’s really hard. When the reading is 40+ pages, it’s even harder.

I realized after taking the first quiz that I probably won’t get an A in the class. Now I could keep going and accept whatever grade I get, but I feel it isn’t worth the risk to my GPA. I want an education. I want to learn, but to keep attending Liberty, I need to keep up my scores. There are certain things that I can’t take the risk on if I want to keep going, including overly-difficult honors courses.

But at the same time, I probably won’t learn as much in a normal theology class as I would in my honors one. So I wonder if it is worth it to me in the long run. I wonder if I’m handicapping myself later by choosing to be more careful now.

I’ve long said that if I was rich I wouldn’t go to school full-time. I would take one or two classes a semester just for the sake of learning, and spend the rest of my time applying my knowledge. I want to learn but when it comes to grades, well, I would really rather not care.

If I wasn’t being graded, I could delve more deeply into subjects that interested me, that really allowed me to grow. It’s one of the things that I loved about homeschooling, that amazing freedom to do as I liked. But as things stand now, I am so focused on grades that I wonder if I am really learning or if I am instead just performing.

My education is more than just my grades.

It’s a nasty dichotomy. I must get good grades to keep up my educations, but my education feels shallower because I must focus too heavily on my grades.

I also wonder if this feeling of wariness will continue with me when I leave school. Will I be trained to avoid risks that might further my career or personal development? Will I become so careful that I do not progress, that I become stagnant?

I don’t know the answers to these questions, and I don’t know if I ever will. In the meantime, I’m left wondering and frustrated, praying that I will learn enough in the honors class, PSYCH 101, to make up for what I will miss in the theology class.

P.S. On an unrelated note, you should check out one of my other blogs on Medium. I had to make this one for a Journalism class. My handle is @RatherBeWriting, and I recently wrote a post about what makes good writing that is worth a look.

Of Hannity and Hecklers

I like to think that my university is pretty awesome. In fact, I like to think that Liberty is better than most colleges. But on Wednesday of this past week, I went through a whole range of emotions about my school, from disappointment to anger to surprised pride.

You see, this WSean Hannityednesday, we had Sean Hannity visit Liberty for Convocation. That in and of itself is no different from normal. We have all types of people come for Convo. We’ve had pastors, evangelists, celebrities, politicians, etc. come to talk to us. Some are better than others, and I don’t always (or often) agree with everything they talk about. But anyway, back to Sean Hannity. If you don’t know who Sean Hannity is, you’ve probably been living under a rock and/or you don’t own a television, a computer, or a radio. But, just in case you fit that description (and are somehow reading this post), Hannity is a conservative radio and television host who has a very successful show on Fox News. He’s come to Liberty before and someone thought it would be a good idea to bring him back.

The Convo started normally. Stand up. Music. Sit down. Prayer. Stand up. Music. Sit down. Speaker. It took me, and presumably most of the university, a while to be interested in what Hannity was saying, partly because we’d just had John Luke Robertson (of Duck Dynasty fame) share the funny story about the building he got for free and partly because Hannity was just doing the usual politician spiel about how the other side stinks, or whatever. Not that I disagree with him, but if I wanted to hear that, I would have listened to his show. He did give John Luke 50 grand as a surprise gift to help him with his project to end sex trafficking in Louisiana, which was pretty cool.

The interesting part about this Convo happened at nearly the end. Hannity was finishing up his talk. He talked a bit about how the President refused to acknowledge that we are in a war against Muslim terrorism (which is a big problem, y’all). Suddenly, some girl in the back piped up yelling about Chapel Hill. If you don’t know about Chapel Hill, a quick overview is that a man murdered three Muslim students over a parking spot. It’s deplorable, of course, but it wasn’t terrorism, and that’s basically what Hannity said. Anyway, he kept going and then he mentioned 9/11. And that’s when another person decided to start shouting. He shouted, very loudly, “9/11 was an inside job.”

*Sigh* Seriously, of all the things he could have shouted about…

I believe that there is a time and a place to publicly disagree with someone. However, shouting from the back of a ginormous room filled with 10,000+ people is not the place or time to do it. That’s pretty much what the whole school thought too. Hannity, who is rather used to being heckled at colleges, just looked at the guy and said, “Okay, Michael Moore,” which made us all laugh.

But at the same time, I was mortified for my college. “We’re better than this,” I thought. And, usually, we are. I don’t remember a time since I’ve been here when someone had the nerve to heckle one of our speakers in the middle of Convocation. I couldn’t believe how rude those two people were being. But again, I thought it was over.

Yeah… no.

Hannity started talking again, and less than a minute later, the 9/11 truther guy started shouting again. This is where the surprised pride I was talking about earlier comes in. I have no idea what he said, because the moment he started shouting, I kid you not, the entire student body shouted back “Shut up!” It was seriously the best thing ever. The Convo ended without incident after that.

As embarrassing it was to have people heckling our speaker, it was great to see all of us standing up against the one guy who didn’t want to show respect. I hope Sean Hannity realizes that we aren’t normally like this. We are usually much better about showing respect to the speakers that come to talk to us. Above all, I hope we learned something from this experience. If nothing else, I hope the collective “Shut up” will discourage any future hecklers for a couple of years.

P.S. By the way, if you’re interested in John Luke Robertson’s project to end human trafficking in Louisiana, you can click here to donate. I know the site looks a little sketchy, but it is legit. I would love to help out myself, but right now, I am the epitome of a broke college student.