A Barnard girl backed her brother’s decision to choose the U.S. Naval Academy over Berkeley till she discovered “the truth” about “military academies. They train students to serve in the military! Which involves weapons! And being willing to put your life on the line. Writing in the Columbia Spectator, Idris Leppla recounts her inability to get her brother out of his commitment — perhaps hampered by the fact that he didn’t want to get out.
. . . after my mom dropped him off at Annapolis, she came home with an acute sense of grief. The only thing she could talk about was how to get him out. In addition to missing his presence at home, she was scared by the extent to which her son had suddenly become the property of the U.S. Navy.â€¨
She begged me to call a naval lieutenant Monday morning to start the out-processing forms for my brother. After leaving countless messages for the lieutenant, he finally called me back, at which point he informed me that my brother would have to go through 13 exit-interviews to be dismissed, including an interview with the head of the Navy. When I asked him whether this might intimidate him out of leaving, the lieutenant reminded me that my brother had signed an oath legally binding him to the Navy. When I reminded the lieutenant that he had signed that oath after he had been yelled at all day and that his hair had just been shaven off during his first day there, he comforted me that John was not at all forced to sign the oath.
In fact, John “admitted” to his sister that he “feels called” to attend Annapolis. (A little googling reveals he has the same name as a Navy pilot who was a hero of the Battle of the Coral Sea.)
What’s interesting to me is this girl’s belief that a college’s worth is determined by the number of people who say “you must be so smart” once you get in. That’s how she was fooled by Navy: People said her brother must be smart to get in, so Idris didn’t realize it was more than an elite college. After this article, advertised as the first of four parts, readers are telling her she isn’t smart; several add she only got into Barnard College, not Columbia University. Right Wing Prof has never met a student so “stoopid.” This must be painful for Idris, who is a senior majoring in political science. Perhaps she didn’t realize that a student newspaper is a public forum.