Every year since 1998, Beloit College has released its annual Mind-Set List, “a look at the cultural touchstones that shape students’ lives,” according to the school’s website.
This year, Inside Higher Education noted that the list had a new reader – someone by the name of “Mr. F. Castro, of Havana, Cuba, who – along with your grandmother and National Public Radio – was shocked to learn that American college freshmen think that Beethoven is a dog. A dog!
“Mr. Castro writes in his blog (please raise your hand if you knew that Fidel Castro had a blog) about ‘a study published by Beloit College’ that reveals the intellectual bankruptcy of the U.S. education system: ‘I was stunned to realize to what extent education could be distorted and prostituted in a country with more than 8,000 nuclear weapons and the most powerful means of war in the whole world.’
“Beloit reports that it learned of the Castro essay ‘from a friend of the college in Havana,’ which set us to wondering about a couple of things:
“1. Does Beloit have connections to the communists, the Central Intelligence Agency, or both?
“2. Why did it take so long for Mr. Castro to learn of Beloit’s list? He actually appeared six years ago on the one for the Class of 2008: ’47. Castro has always been an aging politician in a suit.’
“But we probably shouldn’t be surprised about the lag: In his latest blog entry, Mr. Castro admits that he just heard about nuclear winter, a term coined in the early 1980s.”
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Deborah Lambert writes the Squeaky Chalk column for Accuracy in Academia .
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