Bio vs. P.E.


Bow High School in Bow, New Hampshire, won't let Isabel Gottlieb graduate because she is missing a P.E. credit. It bears no significance that Gottlieb plays three varsity sports and gets more physical activity than even that pesky P.E. class provides. If it were up to them she would drop AP biology to make room for physical education.

At least someone in the education biz has their head on straight. Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, has accepted Isabel without the P.E. credit (and without the diploma) provided she gets her GED.

NEXT: It's Baaaaaack

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  1. Remember, kiddies: what matters is not the quality of the education you receive, what matters is that you follow The Rules.

  2. Halfway through my senior year in high school my guidance counselor let me know that I wouldn’t be able to graduate because I was missing an elective humanities credit. I had a tip-top GPA and was taking both Spanish and French, which are both considered humanities courses. But since I was required to take one language, the fact that I elected to take a second didn’t count as an “elective”. Of course, the school was well aware of this before I even began my senior year but failed to inform me. If they had waited another week, I would not have been able to graduate.

  3. Since a lot of schools have dropped dodge ball, I don’t think there’s much to recommend P.E. anymore.

    What essential skills are they building?

  4. Happy Jack-
    The essential skill of obeying Authority, regardless of how asinine Authority is being. ‘Cause I’m sure you’ve read about all those companies, looking to hire to new employees and complaining “Our new hires have kick-ass reading, math and science skills, but they SUCK at P.E.! Our educational system is failing them!”

  5. I think Isabel shouldn’t bow down to Bow.

  6. So much for NH being a free state 😉

  7. Jennifer- how silly of me.

    Of course, the only thing she’ll learn in biology is evolution.

    Better that she build strong bones. They’ll come in handy when she’s groveling.

  8. My P.E. class taught me how to duck out the back of the building to smoke. A skill that I have used more times in my adult life than just about anything else I learned in high school.

  9. if a student can get out of the PE requirement by competing in a sport, what will all the kinesiology majors teach?


  10. Wait a minute. Who is “Ben Falk” and when did he get to start posting here?!

  11. Actually, I got into university quite easily without a Phys. Ed. credit, and therefore, without a high-school diploma. I’m not entirely sure what the issue is here.

    Skewing the income distribution of high-school dropouts rightwards for eight years now…

  12. Who is “Ben Falk” and when did he get to start posting here?!

    Ben is our D.C.-based summer intern. (We’ll soon have an intern in our Los Angeles office as well.) This is his first post, so your eagle eye hasn’t failed you.

  13. Ahhh, I see. Welcome, Ben!

  14. Schools can certainly be assinine about their requirements. My parents moved me to a new school very late in my senior year. Of course before moving we checked with the new school to make sure I’d be able to graduate on time. The said “yes” which quickly turned to “no” once we actually moved.

    Luckilly, as in the abovementioned case, my college of choice wasn’t so dogmatic. They were willing to admit me (which full-ride intact) provided I got my GED. My father talked me out of this and talked me into enrolling in the local alternative school, which I did. Strangely, it was one of the best educational experiences I had. I attended school 4 hours a day and the courses were entirely self-paced. I went through a year of history and a semester of economics in about two and a half weeks.

  15. I bet the terrorists have no problems taking PE.

    We’ll see how important AP Biology is when you’re chasing down a terrorist but he escapes you by climbing a rope. Could use some of those rope climbing skills now, eh?

  16. After graduating from a two-year college, I transferred into a four-year school. Even though I had nearly twice the liberal arts credits needed to graduate, I was still required to take more because they didn’t constitute a ‘concentration’.

    Fucking Liberal Arts. I don’t dispute that I benefited from a more ’rounded’ education. However, I am absolutely convinced that far more benefit would be derived if EVERY four-year degree program required one semester of Calculus and calc based Physics.

  17. I don’t know about the rest of the country, but in Ohio if you get a GED you’re guaranteed admission to any Ohio state college. In other words, instead of wasting your time in high school you can drop out at 16, take the pathetic GED exam, and then move right on to OSU. This is a great way to avoid high school gym classes.

  18. The best part of my senior year was the two periods of PE I got to cut every day.

  19. Illinois requires FOUR YEARS of P.E. in high school. One of the worst parts of this is it’s given a letter grade like everything else, not pass/fail… so not nailing fifteen of twenty free throws, running a mile under 6:30, etc., stands to possibly ruin your grade point average. Fortunately, juniors and seniors can dodge the P.E. requirement by participating in a sport during the current semester… so if you’re in cross-country in the fall, and baseball in the spring, you needn’t take P.E. at all.

    I got out of it on track & field, myself. It’s the perfect sport for someone who was all athleticism and no coordination. 🙂

  20. As anyone short, not thin and not athletic knows (not that I would:))the whole purpose of P.E. is to build character by teaching you to endure humiliation. Whether it’s being picked last for teams, not being able to hit that stupid, stupid little ball, having all your classmates witness just how clumsy you can be if you try, forgetting rules for sports you would never even watch voluntarily, and having the athletic kids get pissed off because you missed the ball AGAIN, nothing can quite match P.E. for instillling a hatred of organized sports that takes years to get rid of. Why should a smart, motivated kid like this be allowed to graduate without learning the character-building humiliation lessons of P.E.? It’s good for her!

  21. I wouldn’t have expected this to be a big deal.

    My admission to college made it clear that as long as I continued my previously demonstrated academic performance, they didn’t give a hoot if I received a diploma.

    Why bother making this girl get a GED?

  22. I’m always amazed that so many good students are snatched up in zero tolerance and absolutist nightmares such as this.

    I understand rules and whatnot…but I don’t understand school boards’ over-arching willingness to fall back on them as an excuse despite all rationality and common sense.

  23. The real purpose of modern schools is to condition children to become good worker bees and spread propaganda. Every school and government has learned the lessons of Pavlov. Give a read to John Taylor Gatto’s Dumbing us Down then ask for whom the bell tolls.

  24. My Texas high school required three semesters of PE and one of health. I played a sport one year, got the health class out of the way over the summer, and then faced the dilemna having to drop theater, journalism, or a foreign language to take an entire semester of sitting on bleachers. I got out of it by taking a phys ed course by correspondence. Sweet!

  25. I brought home two of the trophies on display at my high school. OK, they were for debate team, but still.

    I don’t dispute that I benefited from a more ’rounded’ education. However, I am absolutely convinced that far more benefit would be derived if EVERY four-year degree program required one semester of Calculus and calc based Physics.

    Cash-strapped physics departments looking for money for TA positions would no doubt welcome that idea.

    I agree that a well-rounded college experience is a good thing, but I think it’s best to give undergrads maximum leeway with their general education. I benefited more from doing an economics minor than I did from my other liberal arts classes. It was a chance to really focus and develop my understanding of a field outside my major. If they had given me just a tiny bit more flexibility I could have taken enough econ classes to get a double major. But instead I had to take other classes.

  26. The missing credit wasn’t caught by the school last spring when Gottlieb’s schedule was set.

    At my H.S., our guidance counselor/nun wouldn’t have approved a kid’s schedule if it was lacking the courses needed to fulfill the school’s (or the state’s) graduation requirements. Of course, since we were a Catholic school, our PhysEd program was minimal. We had only had “gym” a coupla-three times a week in H.S., with the other days taken up with religious instruction. On the plus side, if you showed up, dressed, and made a game try at whatever hoops Coach put you through, you would pass, and a bad P.E. score couldn’t kill your GPA, which didn’t give a part-time course like that full weight. No skipping your shower, either.

    I was astonished when my Dad, who was an A.D., Coach and P.E. instructor at a local gubmint school district, once showed me his syllabus for one of his classes. His charges had to take pen-and-paper tests on rules and techniques of the various sports they were exposed to in his classes. That floored me! Now, while I didn’t inherit the athletic genes from my Dad, but the “likes to play but gets cut” genes from my Mom, seeing some of the jocks get a poor gym grade due to inability to explain the infield fly rule on a test might have struck my schadenfreude-bone just right. Still, the dominant pedagogical tool in our Coach’s bag was “throw a ball or balls out on the court or field and let the kids play.” A kid who didn’t dress for gym would be let slide, if he ran to the 7-11 for Coach’s coffee, cigs and pastry. Things were different 30 years ago. 🙂

    What our school didn’t have was waivers for the jocks. “Student-athletes” had to take gym like anybody else, and they suited up and played unless they were nursing injuries. I never heard of anybody on a team complaining about P.E. class, either, except on the rare occasion that we had to run a timed mile, or took the Presidential Fitness Test. But we non-jocks hated that stuff worse.


  27. In my view the great majority of one-off ‘broadening’ courses in University are a pathetic waste for the serious academic student. S/he would be much better off focusing on areas of interest rather than doing these courses for which s/he has no aptitude or motivation.

    In *college* I was required to take several P.E. courses! (Doing Engl/History.) I transferred schools and graduated from another, more prestigious, institution, with a much more focused set of courses.

    I don’t think that one Badminton course (oyvey) even was granted transfer credit.

  28. Not everybody who did sports in high school was a ‘jock’. Well, okay, maybe that only applies to us strange, squirrelly distance runners, but I wasn’t allowed to skip out on PE either. Which is lame, because when I’m going to spend two to three hours after school running and lifting weights, the last thing I want to do is spend an hour during school running and lifting weights.

  29. The problem is that The Rules, which are supposed to be a means to an end, have become an end within themselves.

    When I taught Honors English 11 (my two-year anniversary of leaving teaching is coming up), I had this one student who was an absolute genius. I’m serious–he was so brilliant it was spooky. That kid–I’ll call him Brad– had no business being in the eleventh grade; at minimum he should have been a college junior. There was very little I could teach him, outside of a couple of minor writing tricks and the occasional historical fact.

    Anyway, the curriculum demanded that I make the students write a five-paragraph essay about a particular story, using a standard format and featuring one quotation from the text. This IS a fairly useful format with students who are just learning how to write, and need structure to follow, though Brad was far beyond that level.

    So Brad turns in his essay, and the quote he chose was a brief bit of dialogue. In writing dialogue, of course, you start a new paragraph every time a new person speaks, even if that results in paragraphs of only one word.

    If you counted those few words of dialogue as one quote and one paragraph, then Brad did indeed write a five-paragraph essay. But if you counted each line of dialogue as a separate paragraph, it was more like eight or nine.

    Brilliant essay, as usual for him, so I made a couple of extremely minor suggestions, my usual margin notes, corrected two typos, gave him his usual “A,” and then after he saw the essay I stored it in his “Writing Folder,” as I was required to do for all 98 of my students.

    Couple of months later an administrator goes looking through the folders, as they are wont to do, and notices that I allowed a student to write eight or nine paragraphs for a five-paragraph essay. I explained why I’d counted it as five, but it didn’t matter; I got chewed out for not following The Rules. I swear, if these schools got Stephen Hawking as a student, they’d STILL make him take Freshman Math and Introduction to Physics before they’d let him graduate.

  30. By the way, when I said “there was little I could teach him” I meant in regards to the standard curriculum I was to follow. I did, however, introduce him to a lot of authors and topics he wasn’t previously aware of, and help him refine and improve his writing somewhat, so he definitely benefited from having me as a teacher, but only because I went outside the curriculum in his case.

  31. Jennifer, I had a professor like you in college. According to The Rules, everyone had to take “Freshman Composition” no matter what their reading/writing skills were. Our first assignment was a “compare and contrast” essay, and we were given a list of “suggested” topics. They were all boring, so I wrote a paper comparing dogs and cats and explained that cats are part a society whose secret agenda is to kill us all. (Hey, it could happen!) The prof asked me to see him after class and I thought I was going to get an earful. Instead, quite to my surprise, he told me he had very little to teach me in his class. I spent the semester perfecting a grant proposal (I’d never written one before) for the geology department with his help. He gave me an A in the class, and I also won the grant later that year. Good teachers really do make a difference when they have some leeway to do so.

  32. Sorry, but I can’t muster up too much sympathy here. All quotes below are from the article:

    “The class in question is called BEST, or Building Essential Skills for Tomorrow, and is required for all Bow students to graduate.”

    Sounds more like some health or life skillz class than regular gym…which may explain why the school won’t count varsity sports as equivalent.

    “At the Seattle high school Gottlieb attended before moving to Bow before her junior year, gym requirements often were waived for students in varsity sports. But those waivers aren’t something Bow High School is willing to accept.” (emphasis added)

    Sounds to me like she’s been at this school two years. I can’t believe this requirement is coming as a surprise. And again, it’s not clear that the class in question is actually a gym class. Looking back over the article, the only person I see calling it a PE class is the student.

    “Gottlieb added the class last year after the school told her she had to take it, but then dropped it when she found out it was too much on top of classes she was already taking, including two Advanced Placement classes and calculus.”

    So she dropped a PE class because it was too much work? Doesn’t sound like any PE class I’ve ever taken. More evidence that perhaps this isn’t just a regular activity class.

    “Both Gottlieb and her mother said the school suggested dropping either band, chorus, AP biology or calculus. But she and her mother decided sacrificing any of those would have diminished the quality of Gottlieb’s education.”

    Sounds to me like it wasn’t quite the either-or choice it’s being made out to be. Sounds like there were some other options available. Whether taking PE (or whatever this class is) instead of chorus diminishes the quality of one’s education is open to debate.

    I think that this girl and/or her parents just refused to believe that the school would REALLY enforce its graduation requirements. This teenager, like most teenagers, has chosen to make this an overt power struggle rather than suffer the humiliation of admitting that she *could* have done some things differently, and trying to work out a solution. This is not a good way to get what you want from bureaucracies.

    Just to be clear: as far as I’m concerned, if the college will admit her with a GED, then by all means go ahead (just keep your fingers crossed that you don’t have to transfer someday). But I don’t think this girl is a victim of anything here.

  33. Good points, Chuck… She’s not a victim, but more of a whiner perhaps?

    To your statement “Whether taking PE (or whatever this class is) instead of chorus diminishes the quality of one’s education is open to debate.” I’d add that more likely the intent of the girl (and her mother presumably) in choosing Chorus et al over P.E. is that any of these–Chorus included–look better on the transcript to the college admissions reps. If they were thinking of P.E. as “optional” or “arguable”, then it becomes an easy omission…

    To the high school over-achievers and their pushy parents, today’s game of college admissions give-and-take is a crazier than “Chutes n’ Ladders”.

  34. As a private school kid, it strikes me as odd that Band and Chorus were credit-bearing courses. We had one required Music class, but Band and Chorus were extra-curricula activities. That said, I rather liked the set-up some cousins of mine had at their school elsewhere in our state. Every student was required to participate in one club or activity, and one period each day was set aside for that. I think they had a slightly longer school-day than we did. Sports practices didn’t conflict with that extra period, so Debate or Chess Club could attact more of the athletes than they otherwise would.

    Tim, Track was well-known for being the least “jocky” of the sports.


  35. It’s true that you need to pass P.E. to get credit, but for college, it usually doesn’t matter if you get a D or a C. Most colleges look at your “academic GPA” which excludes stuff like P.E. and gives extra weight to AP classes.

  36. You’re probably right, ewall. After all, whining pays off. From the Trinity College admissions page:
    “Trinity requires a diploma from and certification by an accredited secondary school. The academic program should consist of at least sixteen academic units, typically including the following minimum number of courses: English (4 years), foreign language (3 years), laboratory science (2 years), algebra (2 years), geometry (1 year), history (2 years).”

    I guess if you whine enough, colleges will bend the rules for you. Why not the high school?

  37. Maybe this girl should have known better. It’s hard to work up too much sympathy for people who know what the hoops were, decide to ignore them until the clock runs out, and then demand the same treatment as people who jumped through the hoops. I’m not a fan of The Rules for their own sake, but I’m also not sympathetic to people who know exactly what they’re doing and then complain about the inevitable consequences of their choices.

    Then again, I wonder if a guidance counselor perhaps told her, off the record, that she’s be able to get a waiver. If she acted in good faith, then I start to have a little more sympathy.

    Finally, as to Jennifer’s story about the kid and the 5 paragraph essay: Wow. I mean, I knew it was bad, but I didn’t realize just how bad.

  38. Moreover, the school contends, her participation in sports such as lacrosse and alpine skiing also don’t replace the BEST class that they say teaches students larger issues of “personal wellness.”

    “Personal wellness”? Sounds like a pile of b.s. or at least standard pedagogical doublespeak. My skool called this Health Education, but then they weren’t able to come up with a name to fit a snappy acronym, and it was all the typical don’t do this, stay away from that crap. Drugs are bad but some are fine when you are old enough. Sex is bad unless you are married, but use a slicker if you do choose to play in the rain. This course isn’t about personal wellness it’s propaganda against the assumed social ills of mankind. Somehow I think her mother, a doctor at Concord Hospital, can cover that bit.

    The class is not offered in the summer
    This course must have the “BEST” instructors on the planet as it seems no one ever fails it or has to make it up over the summer. I wonder if any other required courses are offered during the summer.

    Given the obvious simplicity of this course one would think you could test out, but no that isn’t the case. I have no doubt the reason is because it would be very easy to test out and just about everyone would. We all know that too many students testing out would show the course to be superflous and that would result in a budget cut, which is very bad for the school commie…er committee.

  39. While I agree that she isn’t a victim, let’s not forget that the lack of competence of the guidance counselor also forced this girl to take world history twice, because they couldn’t believe she took it in 9th grade. Obviously she didn’t whine enough then so she is doing it now and if that causes them a little embarrassment then I say it’s deserved.

    I can almost relate, when I went from a private school to a public one in my junior year, I was a year ahead of their english schedule. Rather than let me take the standard or ap senior course I got stuck with the choice of retake the same course as the previous year or take the “alternate” senior english course and then either way I would take the normal senior course or the ap course in my senior year. The motto: we have a schedule and you may not advance ahead of it.

  40. My high-school girlfriend tried to graduate early. She spent all summer, and afterschool during the year, taking extra classes at the local community college. (Whether this is still true or not, I don’t know, but at the time, Pasadena City College course credits were accepted by Pasadena High School.)

    They tried to block her graduation because she’d never taken … American Lit? I think that’s what it was. So she had the credits, in the correct fields, but the curriculum specified ‘Junior Year English Must Be American Literature’.

    She blew off graduation and went to Scripps College anyway, and got a GED eventually.

    It’s nice when colleges are aware of the rampant idiocy at most high schools.

    Which is not to say colleges can’t have similar idiocy. At Pomona, I was required to take a certain number of ‘science’ credits. I took first semester freshman physics, because I liked physics. That was fine. I decided, however, that I didn’t really have a lot of interest in second semester physics.

    At the Claremont Colleges, the five schools have tied their class schedules together so that you can take a class at any of the colleges for credit. So I could take philosophy classes from the crypto-Objectivist professor at Harvey Mudd.

    So I asked my advisor if, instead of physics, it would be okay if I took freshman Bio at HMC. The professor was widely considered one of the best at the school, and the class was considered to be a great class, so why not? My advisor agreed to this plan.

    What he didn’t tell me until the semester was over and we were planning the next semester’s schedule: Classes at other schools counted for *credit* at Pomona, but didn’t count for *curriculum requirements*. Pomona’s administration was certain that we’d all run off to take easy classes at other schools, just to get the core requirements out of the way.

    So my science class, taken at the science/engineering school, didn’t count for my Pomona science requirement. Even better, my advisor *knew* this and didn’t tell me in advance.

    So the next semester, I slept through all of Freshman Psych at Pomona, got an A with zero effort, and got that pesky science requirement handled.

  41. Passing a writing test was a requirement to graduate from my public high school. I failed it the first time and only learned the reason for my failure the next year when my english teacher let us in on the ever so secret “Rules” that were required to pass the test.

    pparently, in order to pass the test you had to write in the format of “a 5 paragraph essay” although I seriously doubt this was explicitly stated anywhere.

    So following “The Rules”, I passed the test on my second go at it. Now, I was in AP English and scored well on the verbal portion of the SAT but if I had not been so fortunate as to have a teacher spell out “The Rules” I may never have graduated high school.

  42. nothing can quite match P.E. for instillling a hatred of organized sports that takes years to get rid of.

    Yeah, it took me several years and the Cubs almost making it into the World Series for me to remember that aorganized sports were not, in fact, a sinister plot. Of course, gym class was only a small part of my problem; interscholastic sports (which my school was obsessed with) were a bigger problem.

  43. By the way, this is one of the reasons why I have NO sympathy for schools who complain about how overcrowded they are; the overcrowding is their own fault, thanks in part to this asinine idea that the best way to educate large numbers of kids is through age-segregation, and the corollary idea that all kids of the same age have the exact same gaps in their knowledge and must take the same courses to fill the gaps. My old student Brad could have entered college at the age of thirteen or fourteen; sounds like Isabel Gottlieb could have entered college a lot earlier, too. For that matter, I’m still ticked off about my own elementary-school ‘reading’ classes, when I was forced to put down the copy of Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos” or Dickens’ “Christmas Carol” that I was reading for my own pleasure, to read some asinine two-page story like “Cathy the Kittycat Learns the True Meaning of Christmas.” (This was in the Seventies; I’m sure now the schools have upgraded themselves, so that Cathy the Kittycat now learns the true meaning of Kwanzaa instead.) In second grade I was tested and found to read at an eighth-grade level, yet I was still required to waste six years taking reading classes at grade levels two through seven. Waste of time for me, waste of time and money for the school, and probably not much fun for the teachers, who didn’t like having some smart-ass seven-year-old pointing out that they’d misspelled “Hanukkah” on the Holiday Bulletin Board (two “n”s and one “k”).

    By the way, I did a Google search on the curriculum of the BEST class. It is indeed a bullshit course, complete with abstinence-based sex ed. I have the link at the bottom if you want to check it out for yourself, but in the meanwhile I’ve cut and pasted a few of my favorite excerpts:

    B.E.S.T., an acronym for “Building Essential Skills for Tomorrow” was created by Bow High School with the idea of expanding an integrated health and physical education curriculum with supplementary skills that students may need as they enter the next stage of their lives. The result is a 3 year mandatory experience with an option for a fourth year. . .

    Throughout the second year of the BEST program sophomore students will be exposed to the realities of drug and alcohol education and human sexuality. BEST 10 is an abstinence based program with the emphasis on the results of drug and alcohol abuse as well as Sexually Transmitted Diseases and pregnancy. . .

    BEST 11 students begin a personal fitness program designed to educate them in the areas of fitness goal setting, strength training, cardiovascular exercise and nutrition. As the year progresses, the students will look at the prevention of disease and the care of injury and illness.

  44. Though the curriculum states that students will “be exposed to the realities of drug and alcohol education” I somehow doubt that means the teacher will tell the kids “Your DARE officers lied when they said one hit off of a joint will make you an addict.”

  45. OK, I surrender. A lot of schools have a required health class, but three years of this junk? Holy Huxley, Batman! Sounds like either a full-employment program for some favored group, or a major source of federal grant money. Probably both.

    Regarding the 5 paragraph essay: the FCAT here in Florida requires this structure, so it is hammered into all skool students here. The freshman composition instructors at my university spend most of their time trying to get students out of this rut.

    Summer course offerings are almost always dependent on budgets. Most districts don’t *really* budget for summer classes (there is a line item in the budget request, but it will be the first to go if they run short somewhere else or are not fully funded, which is almost always the case), they just look at the budget situation midyear and then decide what sort of summer schedule they can afford to run. Two or three years ago, my county here in Florida had NO summer classes. It has been several years since they offered anything in the summer that was not required for graduation.

  46. The school, of course, knows best what students need as preparation for life.

    In 1960 I moved from California to Texas at the beginning of the eighth grade. The only way to make a schedule was for me to take “Junior Business Training.” One semester of the JBT class was typing. Since I was obviously a college-bound male who would always work in a job with a secretary to type my correspondence the counselor apologized profusely for putting me in a class teaching a skill I would never need.

    OTOH, given the gender makeup of JBT I learned a lot more useful biology there than I did in biology, PE, and health class combined.

  47. Isildur–you went to Pomona? Who’s the crypto-Objectivist professor, is he still here, and was he any good?

    Oh, and if you haven’t heard already, you’ll be pleased to know that we just really pared down the curriculum requirements…much simpler now than even last year.

  48. All California State Universities have a new requirement to graduate called upper divivision general education. For each category of classes (social science, science, humanities) we had to take a “systhesis” class which is suppose to tie the ideas we learned in all our undergraduate classes together into more of a “big picture”. Pretty much the classes tended to be progressive (Gender, Race, Sexual identity) and nobody really wanted to take them.

    The school, possibly sensing this, started to make these ridiculously large sections of certain online classes that would fulfil the sythesis requirements. So now the school can graduate kids a lot easier rather than the kids having them tied up in their system taking up space.

    Other schools have similar classes. San Diego State I believe has some kind of online jazz appreciation class.

    By the way my degree was in Management and Human Resources but my synthesis classes were: Geography of California, Visions of Science and Technology, and Insects.

    Imagine if there weren’t silly rules I would never of had to take Insects and Civilization and the world would have possibly come to an end

  49. Jadagul,

    The professor is Darryl Wright at HMC.

    He was *excellent*. Best philosophy course I took (and I took a lot of them).

    I don’t keep up with, well, anything happening at Pomona, honestly. My degree is the least valuable thing I got out of my four years in Claremont.

  50. Also, on the topic of Pomona professors (since hey, why not? I’ve already highjacked the thread):

    I recommend Professor Cluett and Professor Hurley (Classics and Philosophy, respectively). They were the interesting and competent professors amidst a sea of idiots and shrieking leftists. Hurley’s a Kantian, but damned smart and engaging. If Pomona had more professors like him in the Philosophy department, or fewer professers like Dr. Cluett in the History department, I might have switched majors.

  51. Then she is an idiot. I played varsity basketball in high school and managed to take my 2 years of P.E. and get the necessary credits to graduate. Granted, I had to leave my chemistry class early to go to basketball practice, but I guess they did’t expect athletes to take 6 classes…

    Public school isn’t about the education you get from the books, it’s about learning how to game the system. granted, this isn’t the primary purpose, but since it fails miserably at that, at least there is some small gain achieved.

  52. Homeschool, homeschool, homeschool. . .

    This kid would have been in college a year or two ago, with a better education.

    Some of the US educational system still educates, but even two decades ago, the stuff I “learned” in the 6th grade (in a foreign country), I ended up having to relearn in my sophomore year (US college). The course was 90% the same, took the same amount of time, but hey it did have different book the second time around, that had much glossier pictures . . .

    Sorta pissy though that Hew Hampshire is doing this. I was hoping the Free State Project was positively affecting the state.

    M.J. Taylor
    from Reason to Freedom

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