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A Libertarian Goes to College: The First Week Back (A Lesson in the Professors Deep Dependence Desire)

Ah yes, the glory days of school have begun again. I always love to return to school after the winter break. The crisp chill in the air fits with new smell of text books always gets me excited to learn again.

However, this bliss fades as soon as I encounter that which really irks me: the whining and moaning of the first week back. “I can’t find my class room”, “I didn’t want to buy my text books, they’re too expensive”, “I don’t want to do this”, “I don’t want this homework”, “I don’t know the answer to that question”. How nice: people trying to find other people to take care of their problems. If others fail to take care of their problems, they let you know that too. What this comes down to is an inability to handle their own affairs, or in other words a level of dependency that grows worse daily.

Now I sympathize with them, because finding the classroom can be hard, after all you may have to look at one of the 50 maps located in the classroom building. Throwing over $500 for textbooks is not easy, but you obviously want to go to school, so you do it. Students need to learn that level of biting the bullet and not sharing their problems. In other words, reach a level of independency; take care of your own problems. College is a darn good time to start that.

But most students fail to learn that lesson, instead they continue to want more dependency, more help, and in short, they cry “I want my Mommy”. So each time I return to school I am tortured by the same question: Why are they so dependent?

After two years of college, I think I figured it out: the professors want it this way. Not just the college professors but also the high school teachers. In high school, I was yelled at for being too judgmental; they wanted people to consider all options and not to make any decisions or conclusions. There is no right and wrong – people who think so (like T. Jefferson?) are full of bunk. They encouraged mental dependence: encourage explaining other people’s thoughts, but do not dare to express your thoughts. Mental independence, don’t dare – how nice.

Getting so used to this in high school, it followed most students to college. When asked a question, most students answer it with “well these people say x and these people say y”. If the professor even dares to ask “Which one do you agree with?” the student is left floundering and sputters out “well x is good for a, b, c and y is good for d, e, f.” Because of this lack of requirement for judgmental thoughts, students are unable to think independently. They cannot even tell you what they think because they get trapped in telling you what others think. This lack of mental independence has spread like a cancer to all of their other activities, including finding class rooms and purchasing textbooks. Why does it stay this way? It is in the teacher’s best interest to keep their student’s mind dependent, that way they seem really smart. However this only leads to ruin and distress in the futures of those students. Boy I love returning to school…

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