Monthly Archives: July 2005

>OUTRAGE: Parents too involved with kids going to college.

>According a Wall Street Journal article published in the Chicago Sun-Times, college administrators are concerned that parents are too involved with the incoming freshman class. They are called “helicopter parents” for “hovering over” the registration process. Contrary to conventional wisdom, your institutions of higher learning want nothing to do with parent involvement. I know this from my own case.

I attended an introductory session for a son entering college. The guy at the podium told the students that they (students) were there to shed their parents values and prejudices, and to take up the values of the greater society. During the year, I made an inquiry regarding my teenage son, and I was told that school officials would not talk to parents regarding their children. All issues were between my son and the school. I reminded them that I was the “paying customer,” but to no avail.

In the news article, school officials speak condescendingly of parent involvment. Now remember, we are talking about 16, 17, and 18 year old kids leaving home for the first time. We are talking about kids who want parent involvement. Here is some direct quotes from the Sun-Times article.

“Schools are assigning full-time staffers or forming new departments to field parents’ calls and e-mails. Others hold separate orientations for parents, partly to keep them occupied and away form the student sessions.”

“The University of Vermont employs “parent bouncers,” students trained to divert moms and dads who try to attend registration and explain diplomatically that they’re not invited.”

“At the Universtiy of George, students who get frustrated or confused during registration have been known to … whip out a cell phone, speed dial their parents and hand the phone to the adviser, saying ‘Here, talk to mom’.”

Is this a bit outrageous? From bottom to top, the educaton industry does everything possible to make sure the “state” has more to do with the education of our children than the parents. As parents, your values are meaningless to the those who harbor an Orwellian noblise oblige to create “politically correct” drones.

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>REACT – Chicago to get Tower of Babel?

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If developers get their way, Chicago will acquire the tallest building in the world — a screw-ish tower rising 115 stories. Given Chicago’s reputation for political double-speak, it seems appropriate to erect a modern day Tower of Babel. Just as the bibilical Babel led to destruction and confusion, the proposed Chicago ediface will do the same. Developers, and a few politicians, say that the presence of the world’s tallest building will not invite terrorism — although that concern caused Donald Trump to reduce his new building in Chicago to less than record breaking heights. One has to wonder what logic the proponents employ. I guess if we parse their language, it would not be “a” terrorist target, because it would be “THE” terrorist target. Do we need to remind them that the Sears Tower was on the target list, but spared for lack of nutty extremists to highjack plans. Attractive as the design by Santiago Calatrava may be — and it is stunningly beautiful a building — half the size would be a nice addition to the impressive skyline, and draw attention away from the dull, repititious and irrelevant Meis garbage — and the even worse Meis imitators. In defense of the world record option, they point out that new consturction will prevent sturctural failure and collapse. Hey! But what about the people killed if a plane slams into the thing.

FOOTNOTE: I know that my dump on Ludwig Mies van der Rohe will upset more than a few architecture elitists, but I am sorry. Mies work is a blight on the skyline. Its only value in the school of architecture is to serve as a bad example.