Posts Tagged ‘hippies’

Riot Update: How Hippie Life Immitates Art

March 7, 2008

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 If you’ve ever seen the movie “Accepted” it’s the story of a bunch of kids who get rejected by every reputable college in the country.  So, they decide to start a school of their own.

The movie stars Justin Long (the # 2 “Hi-I’m-A-Mac” guy from the Apple Computer commercials) and the legendary Lewis Black. It’s actually a reasonably-decent flick.

Yesterday on The Blog we ran a picture of the Valentine’s Day riot at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wa.

Today’s Seattle Times updated the story with a profile on the school and it’s a strange case of Hippie Washington life immitating art.

In the movie, “Accepted” the students decide to come up with a “new way” of learning. There won’t be any grades. In fact the school doesn’t even have majors. Instead, the students are allowed to create their own classes in an atmosphere designed to promote academic freedom and creative individual thought.

Sounds pretty cool, but completely unrealistic right?

Except, check out Evergreen State College’s description of the school in their own university catalog:

 About: The Evergreen State College is a small, state-funded liberal arts college.  It’s unusual in that there are no departments or majors, and students don’t get letter grades. Rather, students…design their own curricula.”

Whoa Dude!! They, like, totally made a real-life college based on a Justin Long movie! That’s so righteous!

But, left to study anything they want exactly what would kids learn?

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Uh, ok. But after paying four years of tuition exactly what type of job does this qualify my child for?

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And the type of faculty you would attract in such an environment wouldn’t be your typical Ivy Leaguers.

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Thumbing through this year’s schedule, though, it sure SEEMS like a real school.  Sure, anytime you have students picking their own curricula you’re bound to have some dopey classes.  For instance, Evergreen State College offers a class that studies Myspace. But, on the whole, most of the stuff is pretty standard college fare.

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Particularly for a school whose official mascot is a geoduc:

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(a geoduc is a giant edible clam that can live over 100 years AS IF you didn’t know)

Still, if I keep flipping through this year’s class schedule for good ole’ EGSC I bet I can find a really good class. And, hey, here we are!  It’s a class that, in retrospect, probably could have benefitted a lot of students. It’s called “The Art of Non-Violent Political Action.” Some of those techniques might have come in handy since Evergreen State College just had the largest school riot in the history of the state. A violent political action in which their students caused hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages, had five of its students arrested on felony charges and according to the school president damaged the institution’s reputation as a “bastian of non violence.”

 Now, I know what you’re thinking. Exactly what kind of an idiot teaches “The Art of Non-Violent Political Action” at a school which is now KNOWN FOR violent political action?

Meet Professor Ariel Goldberger:

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Now, I’m not going to cast aspersions on the fine faculty of The Evergreen State College but you have to ask yourself exactly what are this bozo’s academic qualifications. Just who in the hell is responsible for teaching non-violence to the nation’s most violent students?

I’m oh so glad you asked! In the school’s catalog Goldberger is listed as a professor of “experimental performance and puppet theater.”

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Oops sorry! Not THAT kind of puppet theater.

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THAT kind of puppet theater.

Now, since not one single goddamn person on the face of the earth who reads this post is going to believe me, I’ve linked to the school’s catalog as well as Goldberger’s university provided bio.

 And, unfortunately, Professor Hand Puppet isn’t even the professor that’s the school’s biggest embarrassment. That honor falls to Pete Bohmer.

In today’s Times article, Bohmer urges students not to cooperate with police or university officials in their investigation of the riot because (says Bohmer) we are living in a “police state.”

Finally, police have come up with a reason for last month’s violent student riot. The melee started when police were called to arrest a man who was “smoking weed and groping women.”

Man, that’s how everything in college starts.

(By the way, “smoking weed and groping women” is officially worth three credits at Evergreen State.)

Anyway, one sole female officer was sent in response to the complaint. She was soon overwhelmed by the crowd at a student concert when members of the band egged on the students by chanting, “Fuck the Cops! Fuck the Cops.”

(That’s now worth 12 credits at Evergreen State.)