Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Maturity Deficit on Americas College Campuses

According to The Washington Post, “several students in Silliman said they cannot bear to live in the college anymore.” These are young people who live in safe, heated buildings with two Steinway grand pianos, an indoor basketball court, a courtyard with hammocks and picnic tables, a computer lab, a dance studio, a gym, a movie theater, a film-editing lab, billiard tables, an art gallery, and four music practice rooms. But they can’t bear this setting that millions of people would risk their lives to inhabit because one woman wrote an email that hurt their feelings? (Conor Friedersdorf)
This is what happens when conservatives cede ground to even the most well-meaning liberals. Liberal adults (and I do mean that charitably, in its most genuine meaning) on college campuses all over America are now under assault from leftwing progressive adolescents. The inmates are taking over the asylum.

We are literally at the point where students can scream vulgarities into the faces of faculty members and not only get by with it, but bask in plaudits for their stream of sewage.
"Another Silliman resident declared in a campus publication, “I have had to watch my friends defend their right to this institution. This email and the subsequent reaction to it have interrupted their lives. I have friends who are not going to class, who are not doing their homework, who are losing sleep, who are skipping meals, and who are having breakdowns.”
One feels for these students. But if an email about Halloween costumes has them skipping class and suffering breakdowns, either they need help from mental-health professionals or they’ve been grievously ill-served by debilitating ideological notions they’ve acquired about what ought to cause them pain." (Conor Friedersdorf)
Friedersdorf illuminates a critical point lost in all the noise:
In “The Coddling of the American Mind,” Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt argued that too many college students engage in “catastrophizing,” which is to say, turning common events into nightmarish trials or claiming that easily bearable events are too awful to bear. After citing examples, they concluded, “smart people do, in fact, overreact to innocuous speech, make mountains out of molehills, and seek punishment for anyone whose words make anyone else feel uncomfortable.”  (Conor Friedersdorf)
Yes. Adolescents and young adults are drama queens. Their frontal lobes are not completely developed, and even highly-intelligent people in their early 20's can display poor risk-reward calculations, hyper-emotionalism and impulsive behavior.

Adults in positions of authority in places like college campuses used to have stuffy rules in place that took this into account and they attempted to sluice ebullient adolescent behavior into positive and productive activities. Now... not so much...

So, where does it get us to coddle these youngsters and enable their immature world view and narcissistic self-righteousness?

Read this fluffy duck e-mail from a Yale guidance counselor. Note the apologetic tone and the tiptoeing through modern-day tulips of triggerwarnings, microaggrestions, feelings-validation and cultural sensitivity.

The response?  Inflamed students are screaming for the sensitive, liberal, female writer of that e-mail to be fired from Yale along with her husband.

That's where coddling youngsters and pandering to their bathos gets us...

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