Even a Caveman Can Get a Degree

Hey Ma, Look... No Math!

As you may have heard, Wayne State University announced that it will be eliminating mathematics as a graduation requirement. When I first read this, I couldn’t believe it. In what can be argued as a dumbing down of curriculum, the three R’s are now not needed to earn a post-secondary education… at least not at Wayne State.

At the risk of sounding elitist, a degree from a college that doesn’t require math will not hold the same esteem as other post-secondary institutions. In the future, when I hear of a person with a Wayne State degree, I will now be wondering whether they chose the path more traveled to avoid “tough” challenges. I say “tough” with air-quotes, because how freaking “tough” is college algebra? Sure, it’s requires a student to break a mental sweat, but no place worth going is easy to get to. I suppose it may depend on the student’s area of expertise in the workplace, but that’s probably aggrandizement.

I also suppose it’s worth noting that Wayne State provost, Monica Brockmeyer, did say they will still offer mathematics; they just won’t require it to graduate. She says that students will still be encouraged to take math courses. Seriously? Are they being encouraged to eat their veggies and get to bed at a decent hour, too? Not many kids will make that choice. On the contrary, students will be applying, because they can now earn a degree without taking math courses.

The good news (tongue-in-cheek) is that Wayne State is considering an “intense” diversity training requirement. I guess they feel main stream media inculcation is not sufficient. Have employment screening tools changed, or is this something new? I have always taught students that the best way to ensure success in adult life is with a rigorous schooling in mathematics. (Read Conrad Hilton’s Be Our Guest)

In any event, I think eliminating challenging courses greatly reduces the rigor in education, and may likely reduce the career options of those students who choose to participate. And while some programs will still require mathematics, eliminating math altogether is a mistake.

What do you think? Are the 2 R’s and D good enough these days? Or is this just clapping for crap?

Ready to subscribe?

My Apologies

You may have noticed that I am back to using my original GetNoticed! Theme. The reason is that when I switched themes I did not validate the email sign-up forms. And they were not double opt-in forms. As a result, about 500 email sign-ups were entered. Thanks to MailChimp for the alert on a recently high unsubscription rate for my current campaign. Since I knew this theme’s plug-in worked, I am back.

I apologize to anyone who had to unsubscribe due to what they perceived as spam caused by my not validating the email sign up form on my other theme. They are validated, as I am back to using my original theme.

Again, my apologies to those affected by my oversight.

Peace Be With You, And You, And You…

and other stuff Lutherans like

My children represent the fifth U.S. generation that have been members of a the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA). Over the years of being a practicing Christian, I have made some humorous observations that — if you’re a Lutheran — you’ll understand.

Color-coordinating clothes with the season

We’ll start with appropriate attire. If your church wardrobe includes white for Christmas, green for Epiphany, purple for lent, red for Pentecost Sunday, or blue during advent, you might be a Lutheran. I think it would be cool if the younger generation colored their hair accordingly. I’m bald, so I just have to stick with the properly colored shirt and tie.

Being prompt

If you have never been to a worship service that starts on time, you might be a Lutheran. We wait for the regulars until it’s obvious they aren’t able to make it. This also applies to council meetings, caroling to the shut-ins, weddings, and  funerals.

Peace Be With You

If you spend more time passing the peace than you spend in fellowship after the service, you might be a Lutheran. Over the years, exchanging the peace has evolved from a 5- to 10-second pair of handshakes with your pew neighbors into a 5- to 10-minute “working of the nave” that involves shaking every person’s hand and kissing a few babies. I always thought that’s why we had coffee and donut fellowship after the worship service.

Then after shaking dozens of hands that have been coughed and sneezed into all morning, we get a piece of bread placed in our now germ-laden hand during the meal. I say a little prayer that what doesn’t infect me will make me stronger.

Singing (lip syncing)

If you sing more liturgy than you speak, you might be a Lutheran. Why chant or speak anything when it can be drawn it out in a mournful-sounding hymn? And hymn has six verses, you sing every single stanza. And at least one of the three hymns is one that you have never heard. This is when I do my Milli Vanilli impression.

Liturgy (green versus cranberry)

If you still confess to being “in bondage to sin” and believe that Christ “descended into Hell,” you might be a green hymnal throw-back. In the more enlightened cranberry hymnal, you’re just “captive to sin.” I think there should be green hymnal throw-back… kinda like when NFL teams wear their throw-back uniforms.

The Sacraments

If you have taken communion in more than a dozen different formats, you might be a Lutheran. Sometimes, we kneel and each table is blessed. Sometimes we have the “assembly line” with a bulk blessing at the conclusion. Eliminating a hymn or two (or at least reducing the number of verses) would be a good idea when the C and E’s are in attendance. The most unique part of a Lutheran service may be that we still drink actual wine with the meal.

If your baptisms are done at the end of the service, especially adult baptisms, you might be a Lutheran. I suppose this is less embarrassing for people who do not like being on display. Plus, parishioners can sneak out early for coffee and snacks.

Fellowship and Coffee

If your worship service culminates with a fellowship where you drink enough coffee to float a battleship, you might be a Lutheran. Lutherans love bad coffee made in ginormous percolators. Oh, and the sugary snacks. They are lovely, aren’t they. And have you noticed the cliques that form during fellowships. There’s a table of older gentlemen, and a separate table for their wives. Those of us less than 50 sort of wander around bumping into each other.

Good bye for now friends. Sin boldly, but not too boldly. Be proud, but not too proud.