Back to the ’60s

Lehigh students taking Movements and Legacies of the 1960s decided to show what they’d learned by protesting the midterm, reports the student paper, The Brown and White.

What were they protesting? What have you got? They didn’t have a problem with the class or the test, said a student named Clare Burchi. “It was more protesting the whole idea of exams and writing down all that we had learned into a little blue book.”

Hold out for a little red book!

Instead of taking the exam, the students organized a war protest march and teach-in, which took place yesterday. Protestors named themselves “The New Resistance,” and their goal is to make students aware that they are in charge of their education. The students of the New Resistance feel that the education system puts too much emphasis on grades and getting an education in order to get a high-paying job rather than for the purpose of learning.

Actually, it’s the students who are rushing into business and econ majors while watching “The Apprentice” on TV. Nobody’s stopping them from majoring in classics or philosophy.

Students learn that the “hidden curriculum” trains students “to be machines to work for the major corporations as well as capitalism,” Burchi said.

Wouldn’t it be more efficient just to replace the drones with real machines?

The New Resistance students feel that education as a whole does not allow students to see the connection between themselves and what is going in the world today.

“Students don’t see that their getting through business school and working for a corporation is a direct connection to the war in Iraq,” (student Terry) Hall said.

Oh, that is so 1971.

Yesterday’s protest focused mainly on the parallels that can be drawn between the war in Iraq and the Vietnam War. Hall said propaganda was used in the Vietnam War to push the idea that communism would take over the world if the America did not join the war effort. Hall said the same propaganda is being used again to portray Saddam Hussein as evil.

Actually, the question in the Vietnam War — the domino theory — was whether communism would take over Southeast Asia. Cambodia and Laos, for example. And Saddam really is evil. Honest.

The professor said they’d get a zero if they didn’t take the exam. But then he gave them an alternative assignment.

Students can write individual assessments of why they protested in light of what they learned about the 1960s movements. The students are also asked to give a full report of the actions they took to put what they learned into action.

Nobody will have to sacrifice an A for protesting against grades. They can be rebels without a cost — and with the added thrill of looking down from the moral heights on the foolish sheep being led unsuspecting to high-paying corporate jobs.

About Joanne


  1. “Oh, that is so 1971.”

    I was born in 1971. No wonder I can see right through the neocon conspiracy, man.

    At least the professor didn’t order the students to protest in lieu of an exam. “You’re heard about the 60s. But do you really understand what they meant? Show me! Show the world that the spirit of peace, love, and understanding lives on!”

    Joanne, did you coin “rebels without a cost”? It’s lovely. Though in the end there is a cost. These fools are cheating themselves out of an education by paying for fluff courses like this one:

    “Morgan also taught about what he calls the oppression of students. He described the average student as a person who is so caught up with grades that he or she does not focus on the true nature of education, which is learning.”

    But his students aren’t “average.” They’re the New Resistance! Give ’em an A for creative name coining!

  2. PJ/Maryland says:

    I’m guessing they went with “New Resistance” because “La Resistance” was already taken by the South Park gang.

  3. Re “rebels without a cost.” I didn’t knowingly steal it. But I’d be surprised if someone hasn’t thought of it already. OK, I just googled it and got a couple of hits.

  4. I think that “rebels without a clue” fits for these yahoos too.

  5. JimInNOVA says:

    What was the title of that Weird Al song again? Young, Dumb, and Ugly?

  6. John from OK says:

    “Hold out for a little red book!” – LMAO!

    “… make students aware that they are in charge of their education.”

    Students ultimately ARE in charge of their education. These students were not drafted (1971!) into college, they PAID big bucks for a series of services that would educate them. So if they want to throw away what they bought, “Do your own thing!” But it’s not the Bush War Machine ™ that forces them to take exams. It’s the OTHER STUDENTS who want their diplomas to signify something.

    Off topic, did anybody watch the NBA post-game show on TNT last night? Kenny Smith had to explain to Charles Barkley the difference between “your” and “you’re”. Barkley was the one who declared “I am not a role model” ten years ago, for which we should all be grateful.

  7. Cousin Dave says:

    Time for an educational MOAB… flunk ’em all!

  8. Caffeinated Curmudgeon says:

    Amritas wrote:

    >I was born in 1971. No wonder I can see right through the neocon conspiracy, man.
    >At least the professor didn’t order the students to protest in lieu of an exam.

    Just for perspective, at least a decade before Amritas’ nativity, and even longer before the term “neocon” was coined, students at my alma mater organized annual “tuition riots” just before spring semester finals. The annual event was a great way to blow off some steam and waste an evening of the already woefully short (two whole days) pre-exam reading period.

  9. Harvey says:

    Guess Who attended Lehigh University 9/64 => 6/68 exiting with a BSEE?

    I recall the campus as being relatively (critical modifier) passive regarding the war. The undergraduate class was fairly small (1500?) and the school at the time known as “an Engineering School”. Business, and Arts curriculum degrees were also available, but I recall fully half of every freshman class enrolled in one engineering discipline or another. I also remember that the University Academic Average was a 2.2 on a 4.0 scale.

    With the equivalent of a 5 year engineering program jammed into 4 years (heavy course loads and classes Sat 08:00 to 12:00) the engineering students didn’t have time to join protests because the course load, lab work and home work loads ate up all your time. Our calculators were “look up and interpolate” log tables and slide rules — our other technology, the manual typewriter. NO person raised with today’s word processor, personal computer, spread sheets, and internet access can even begin to appreciate the time savings and power of what we take today for granted compared to the “tools” available at that time.

    Somehow I am not surprised about the referenced Poly Sci class – I remember that there always was what seemed as a “disconnect” of many of the philosophy, arts, and business students with regard to reality. For example, I remember a liberal arts senior taking issue with the draft and the war who defended his position by stating “The day the first enemy soldier lands on our soil I will be there to enlist!” Apparently he had no concept that if/when things got that bad, it was probably too late and all he likely would contribute would be to become a casualty.

    Sooner or later, each of us will or has discovere(d ) that no one is responsible for our individual education than ourselves. When they do, these students will by pass the previously described “fluff” courses and take courses that will help them learn skills and knowledge necessary to pursue what they want to get from life and contribute to society – in whatever endeavor or profession that may be – but that running around as described in article Joanne posted and “throwing raw eggs to try and knock over the Great Wall of China” only wastes eggs.

  10. Bill Leonard says:

    So these immature, arrogant and fundamentally ignorant snots are protesting, apparently to the great glee of the jerk who teaches the class. “Oppression of students,” my ass. This sounds like a fool who has passed directly from undergrad to graduate student to tenured professor without ever having held a real job anywhere or having done much of anything but blown smoke up his own, his chums’, and his students’ posteriors in endless BS sessions.

    I attended a state college from ’61 to ’65. It was not particularly radical, certainly not compared to Berkeley, but then it was and is a school full of blue-collar kids who want and actually are grateful for the chance for an education at comparatively affordable tuition. Then and now, working-class kids like yours truly could and can manage while working their way through. Apparently it is different at Lehigh.

    Stuff like this still makes me see red. The prof encouraging these horse apples should get what his opinions deserve. A steel-toed boot to the soft tissues is about right to start.

    Rant mode off for now…

  11. Richard Heddleson says:

    I can’t decide which is funnier, hold out for the little red bok or rebel without a cost. Must be my age.

  12. !Aye carumba!
    I’m pretty darn liberal.. and this story makes me gag.

  13. “Actually, the question in the Vietnam War — the domino theory — was whether communism would take over Southeast Asia. Cambodia and Laos, for example.”

    “For example” means there’s more. Like Thailand, that was a big one. If we didn’t stop the Communists from taking over Vietnam, they’d take over Thailand. The Philippines, that was going to be next after that. And don’t forget Taiwan.

    In fact, the usual propaganda blurb of the time was that if we didn’t stop them in Vietnam, they’d be knocking at the gates of San Francisco.

    Laos and Cambodia were already deeply unstable and Communist-ridden at the time. (Where do you think the Ho Chi Minh Trail went?)

    It’s no confirmation of the domino theory that Laos and Cambodia came under Communist domination. Rather, the theory predicted that Thailand and the Philippines would be next, and the great red tide would wash all the way to the shores of the U.S.

  14. It’s very cute. But, really, it’s terribly agist of us to notice.

    (And, seriously, a little righteous rebellion at that age is a healthy thing. Dumb, but healthy. I was that dumb, once. We grow out of it. Whoops, sorry, agist again.)

  15. Peter S. in Illinois says:

    The thing that really caught my attention about this whole thing was the reference to the “hidden curriculum.” This is a very useful little phrase that enables one to proclaim the “true” meaning of a classroom experience. Beware when you see this phrase. It may be useful at times, but I have seen it being abused repeatedly by my art education professors as they advance their ideological agenda. I graduate with my Master’s degree tomorrow, so I hope it’s a long time before I have to deal with such nonsense.

    … Who am I kidding? I plan on teaching at a public school.

  16. Roger Sweeny says:

    Simon is absolutely right that only 3 dominoes fell, thus falsifying the stronger versions of the “domino theory.”

    Of course, one can argue that a major reason Thailand and the Phillipines didn’t fall was that all the bleeding in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia gave them time to deal with some of their problems.

    (Though no doubt the large number of refugees from a united Vietnam and the astounding “auto-genocide” in Cambodia also made communism significantly less attractive.)

  17. Percy Dovetonsils says:

    I didn’t know that being a corporate “machine” gives me a “direct connection” to the (presumably immoral) “war in Iraq.”

    I feel so deliciously evil. All I need is an underground lair and a silver jumpsuit.

    And all these lil’ dumplin’s need is a solid kick in the rear. Which the real world will be delighted to give them, with great vigor.

  18. During spring 1970 when the protests were going on right after kent State the School of Engineering at City College of New York had finals scheduled and said anyone who did not take the final would get a zero. If you want to protest be ready to pay the price. It is the only way that you know if you have the conviction of your values otherwise your just playing.