Monday, September 17, 2007

Kollege makes you...

...really intellijunt brite smart.

Consider the case of one Idris Lepple, a Barnard College senior majoring in political science. She wrote an opinion piece for the Columbia College newspaper moaning about her brother's decision to attend the U.S. Naval Academy without somehow figuring out that his free education would require him to actually serve in the Navy! The message didn't get through to his family either, including the "really smart" Ms Lepple.

But let's let her tell the story, with a little editorial help from me:

I know why I chose Columbia:...I could look at a stranger, tell him or her that I went to Columbia, and hear the predictable, “Wow, you must be smart.”

When my brother was getting ready to go to the Naval Academy, everyone ooohed and awed* about how brave he was. Aunts and uncles would say, “John, you must be one of thousands of kids who wanted to go—you must be so smart!”

Before he left, my family had countless talks about what it might mean to be at an academy. While we knew that someday he would be required to serve, we also were drawn to the top-tier education he was promised to receive....

We were told that [at the] Naval Academy...He would be able to learn history, economics, political science, and even engineering. He would play lacrosse on a nationally ranked team and play the bugle in the marching band. He would have seminars about leadership and selflessness. He would even go to school for free...

Soon that pride turned to anger and fear: 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...she was scared by the extent to which her son had suddenly become the property of the U.S. Navy.

She begged me to call a naval lieutenant...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.

When I looked at the course catalogue, which boasted seminars about leadership and selflessness, they were in fact seminars about weaponry and leading troops into combat. The reality of sending my brother to the Naval Academy began to set in: this was not a school; this was the military. While they boast a first class education, the main goal of this institution was to get my brother “combat ready.” During the first two “induction days,” the head of the Navy openly admitted that their goal was to transform these boys into men who would willingly die defending our country***...When they talked of courage and bravery, they showed a video of a Navy marine**** rounding off an unlimited supply of ammunition. During my brother’s plebe summer (his first summer), he could not talk to us for more than a few minutes once a week for fear that we might unduly influence him.

My brother ended up liking Annapolis and he has decided to stay. While it has been difficult for me to accept that I have a brother in the military*****, I must allow him to pursue whatever path he is drawn toward, and he has admitted to me that he feels called to being there. However, for anyone else out there considering a career in the academy, let it be known: the U.S. Naval Academy is not an elite college; it is first and foremost a branch of the U.S. military and the prestige comes at a big price—it taxes parents, siblings, and participants if they do not understand what they were signing up for******.


Frankly, both Idris and her mother sound like prize idiots. One can only hope the Naval Academy can turn the son/brother into a man. In fact, I'm guessing Ms Lepple could use a good healthy dose of Boot Camp, too.

This kind of politically correct crap burns me up.

* Either Idris or her editors were sloppy here....

** The "Head of the Navy," eh? Are we talking Secretary of Defense here or the Chief of Naval Operations, currently Admiral Mullin?

*** Oooh, how dare they train volunteers to defend their nation?

**** Not "marines," ma'm. Capital-M Marines!

***** "Code Pink" in training, Ms Lepple? How loathsome to have a brother serving his country....

****** A "smart boy" of college age who can't tell the difference between joining the Navy and joining the military? Sheesh....

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't even know what to say here. I am not a supporter of some of the tactics used by the military recruiters, but to not understand this situation is a bit lame! Scary.

thelioness said...

I didn't mean to be anonymous in that last comment, but I seem to have misunderstood the process here! thelioness

MrScribbler said...

Lioness -- I suppose some recruiters for the services may not be the most forthcoming, but I do think the service academies are a bit more selective. As in a lot more so.

Kelly said...

Wow. I really want to kick Idris' ass as well as her entire family for being complete and utter communist idiots. I have a better idea - let's send them to China or North Korea - let them feel the difference between freedom and tyranny - after I kick their ass of course.

lowandslow said...

The United States Naval Academy is indeed ELITE. I wish I had been smart enough to get an appointment. Obviously her brother got way more than his fair share of the brains in that family!

MrScribbler said...

Kelly -- maybe you should run a Boot Camp for nitwit college kids!

I wonder how long Idris's family has been in the USA....not long enough to learn what it's all about, I fear.

betty said...

Mother and daughter sound like, well, idiots. It sounds like the young man might be lucky to be where he is.

MrScribbler said...

Betty -- From what ol' Idris wrote, he knows he's fortunate enough to be part of a proud tradition.

I can only think he was adopted, and isn't really related to mom & daughter.

Birdie said...

I think he's attending to escape from THEM! good for him! my dad once taught at Annnapolis, I was born there! my older brother was Navy, my younger brother was army. All three survived it and became better people from it!
my opinion....

sugarcane said...

I've had this argument with others and my response is always... "they don't send them to boot camp to teach them to study."

Freakin' idiots.

John said...

She thinks someone is going to say, "oh, you must be smart" to her because she got into Columbia? Within the first ten seconds of a conversation with this nitwit people would be saying, "oh, Columbia has a program for 'special' students I see. That must be new". How dare a military academy affiliate itself with military pursuits. It's an outrage!