In this month’s letter from Amherst, we get to learn that:
(1) Required summer reading is Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature and Climate Change. I am sure the discussions around that book cover all the bases, and even question the premise of the book. Ironically, Amherst prides itself as having an “Open Curriculum.”
(2) They are considering changing the name. We are of course named after Lord Jeffrey Amherst, who famously did nothing to the Frenchmen and the Indians (or so our fight song told us). I wonder what’s next after that? Giving back our library books to Williams? Here is the first discussion. Note the depth and clarity of the discussion above the comments section (tongue in cheek). And note how these sorts of movements get started, just like we see for various “E”nvironmental movements on campus – it just takes a few kids who want something, and the fate and funds of thousands of people are altered, sometimes dramatically. Strangely perhaps I don’t see any such movements from other groups of students with different ideas. For example, where are the ______ (insert your preferred idea here). That’s one reason I’m shutting it down.
We now live in a world where it is both impossible NOT to offend anyone and where a right not to be offended has been institutionalized. Meanwhile, our students have perfect SAT scores and can’t write or do math worth &^%%#*&.