Once again, students and faculty take to the streets to demand more, more, and yet more of our hard earned money. Demonstrations took place on various college campuses around the country last week to protest the cutbacks in state budgets that are effecting tuition costs and services at state supported colleges and universities.
Heading the play bill for this academic fun fair was the University of California campuses, where students and their older but hardly wiser faculty friends staged sit-ins, crashed classes, set-off fire alarms, blocked traffic, ran riot, and then boarded buses for a stand-off at the state capitol. I have to wonder, did these little darlings receive college credits for their very busy day of demonstrations? Or did their faculty de-mentors delight in granting gratuitous grade inflation for their philanthropic frolics?
This altruistic day of academic activism was succinctly summarized in the UC Berkeley News where an overview of all the arduous antics of the Show Me The Money mob were highlighted. From the police standoff at UC Davis to the slobbering self-satisfied rhetoric of well-off radicals at UC Berkeley, the kiddie commando tactics of furious foot stomping and frenzied face frothing were all nicely featured. But if you scroll down through the toddler tantrums and their silly syllogisms, you’ll find a few refreshing glimpses of hard working students and dedicated faculty.
Hats off to physics professor Richard Muller and his students who withstood the narcissistic invasion of the Give Me Gang and refused to join the Berkeley Bullies’ Spoiled Brat Brigade. Perhaps they felt their time more productively spent engaging in the advantageous pursuit of teaching and learning paid for compliments of the California citizen.
Like so many Americans, I gained a college degree the hard way: I struggled for it. From full-time college student and part-time job holder to full-time job holder and part-time college student, I spent years and years of my life working toward that bloody Bachelor’s degree. I know the true value of my education. I lived it.
So when I see the mostly white middle-class faces of 18 and 20 somethings clamoring for more and more from their impoverished parental governmental system, I’m not exactly awash in oozing empathy. Demanding that strapped taxpayers subsidize their surreal school soiree when many Californians can’t even afford to put their kids through the local community college, well, isn’t that just a wee bit elitist of the Berkeley bourgeoisie?
But are we really surprised by all these not so scholarly shenanigans? Isn’t this the oh so typical college calendar year? A demonstration here, a riot there, saving the poor one day, sucking them dry the next. A Berkeley student’s life is all go, go, go. And through the hustle and bustle of the hackneyed halls of academe, is it any wonder that education too often gets lost in the socialist shuffle.