College Bleg, Wesleyan (CT) Edition

My son is being recruited, at a minimum, at Bowdoin, Vassar, Wesleyan, Haverford, Kenyon and possibly Amherst and Pomona to play baseball.  We have a pretty good handle on all these schools except Wesleyan in Connecticut, which we have visited but we are having a hard time getting a read on.

In the 2011 Insider's Guide to the Colleges, Wesleyan is described as an extreme example of a college dedicated to politically correct intolerance.  The book says that the classes tend to be mainly focused on teaching kids to be radical activists rather than any traditional subject matter.  Social life is portrayed as revolving around marijuana and hallucinogens.   It is by far the most negative review we have read (well, I suppose this would not be negative to some).

We are trying to get a read on the accuracy of this.    Any of you know this school or attend it?   Is there truth to this, or does the writer have an ax to grind?   He is not naive to what he will find politically at New England liberal arts colleges. The question is not whether there is a lot of leftish political correctness - that is a baseline in all such schools.  The question is whether this school is unusually extreme.  The book makes it sound like it is Kos Kidz Academy.    Comment or send me an email.

Update:  Hmm, based on the comments, I explained myself poorly.  Nic will likely never play pro ball.  If that were his goal, we would definitely be looking to ASU or Texas.  He has decided he wants to go to a small liberal arts college.  Baseball has two synergies - one, he would like to play in college.  Two, being recruited for sports helps in the admissions process at selective schools.

There is money set aside to pay for college, from a source such that it needs to be used for college, so arguments about price-value issues with college are not immediately relevant.

  • http://bluntobject.wordpress.com/ bluntobject

    Congratulations to your son!

    I have no first-hand experience with Wesleyan one way or the other, but it's been written up on the Volokh Conspiracy:

    Wesleyan University banning students from "participating in social activities" off-campus on "property operated by private societies that are not recognized by the university".

  • Smock Puppet, Shadenfreude Expert To The Stars

    I can't speak for the school, but, uhhh, if he's not planning on a career in baseball (and I'm going to presume that if he was good enough for that he'd be going to a major sports school instead of one of the NE colleges named), then why would you even consider anyplace that's more focused on turning out good libtards than someone with a legitimate degree?

    I assume he's limited by the schools interested in having him, but, surely he can do better than one of the libtard generators listed?

    US$.02 < --- Mine, and worth every penny.

  • Linus Huber

    SCARE 20.12.2012

    (Stop Corruption And Repression Effective 20.12.2012)

    Banks were given a very important privilege to create money in the form of extending credit. This function requires diligence and careful consideration in regard to individual credit risks as well as to overall credit levels in the system. The financial crisis revealed that the banks were operating at too high a leverage and with too much risk. They were used to be saved by the Central Banks and certain that in times of difficulties the Central Banks were there to save them. They were like trained dogs and their master Greenspan or Bernanke would always be there to rescue them when unforeseen difficulties arose.

    That may be true but that does not absolve them from their obligation to monitor overall debt levels in the system as well as being diligent in evaluating the debtors ability to not only service a debt but to be able to repay it over time. The banks clearly failed in this function that is the core function of banking but focused mainly on their compensation packages. The way these bankers enriched themselves in the process of driving the financial system into a wall was appalling and the average income earner was never able to comprehend their schemes but preferred to simply ignore them. Of course, the bankers explained their outrages income levels with free market principles of supply and demand, where the best simply could be hired with those kinds of benefits only. In hindsight those superior managers seem to have missed their mark considerably. The most interesting aspect of all of this is the fact that, after we have been more than 3 years in this financial crisis, the bankers continue to loot the system as if nothing ever happened.

    True to form the Central Banks “saved” the financial system by saving those great financial institutions without whom the system would have collapsed, as was argued. Hardly were we out of the danger of collapse, the banks immediately went back to their old ways and were certain that this was a problem that would occur just once in a lifetime and now all was clear again. The real problem, however, had not been addressed but had simply been muddied.

    In actuality, the losses produced of extending unsustainable levels of credit by the banks have been transferred to the public. Different ways were chosen to achieve this task in the form of free money for the banks, injection of government funds into some institutions, increase of basic money supply and so on.

    The threat of system collapse would have been labelled blackmail if it would have occurred in another setting. However the bankers were able to influence the media, the legislators and regulators in their favour with all the financial resources available to them. Nobody was made to take any responsibility and no one was taken to account.

    This represents a serious violation of the spirit of the Rule of Law that is the basis of western society. It seems that now the new rule is Might is Right. This changes many parameters in the compass of the social system within the western world. No one can be sure on what level and when one will be subjected to the financial abuse of those elites. Presently, the people in charge are trying to enhance financial repression of which one form is to keep interest rates below the level of inflation which affects mainly those that lived within their means over the past many years; another clear violation of the spirit of the Rule of Law as it transfers losses from bad investments to the innocent and decent part of the population. In addition, the increased level of government debt puts in doubt all those benefits promised by governments the world over.

    It is interesting how the banks were able to confuse the public who was/is unable to grasp the actual situation. But considering the banker’s great financial resources, it seems not that much of a miracle to influence the media and the legislator and having politicians do their bidding. The question is what the heck can WE, THE PEOPLE do about it.

    Usually, we could address such things on a political level as we are a democracy, right? But it seems that the system has been corrupted by all the money sloshing around and it is extremely difficult to find any electable person that will act against those powerful interests. In addition, it will take many years until sufficient numbers of persons with the new thinking and with integrity not to be corrupted by those lobbying efforts will be elected to office that will implement the changes needed. So, what should we do? Start a revolution?

    Well, the blackmail used by the banks may be the only way to address the injustices that have occurred over the past few years. They showed us how to leverage one’s limited resources to achieve one’s goal. Therefore the following proposal to start the movement “SCARE 20.12.2012” should be seen in this context. The idea is that if by that time (20.12.2012) some serious injustices have not been removed from the system, people will start to withdraw their money from all financial institutions driving them into default. And it might work, because those who hesitate to support this threat may be left with no money as the banks will have to close down before all has been paid out.

    Now, what demands are made if that scenario is to be avoided.

    1. Bankers and past Bankers (all those working in the financial industry that earned in excess of $500k plus annually for more than 2 years during the past 15 years and this without any downside risk i.e. risk of financial losses, except the possibility of losing their job) have to be made personally accountable for their past activities and be removed from any such position that might directly or indirectly have influence on the money creation and lending aspects of the economy (this includes regulating agencies and politics) before 20.12.2012.

    2. Present and past regulators have to be made personally accountable for their past activities and be removed from any such position that might directly or indirectly have influence on the money creation and lending aspects of the economy (this includes financial institutions and politics) before 20.12.2012.

    3. Politicians that accept any financial support from institutions that are involved in the money creation and lending aspects of the economy will have to face a jail term of no less than 2 years without the possibility of parole.

    When these 3 points are implemented before 20.12.2012, we the public will not destroy the financial system but support the way to find back to the RULE OF LAW and away from the idea of MIGHT IS RIGHT.

  • http://www.grouchyconservativepundits.com Mike C.

    Never met a petroleum engineer (today's highest paid, right out of college degree) who graduated from there.

    I'm with "Smock Puppet" on this one. Aside from going to school to go to school, and maybe do it for a big discount because he plays with a ball, is there any serious objective in mind?

  • bob sykes

    Smock Puppet is right. If he wants to play major league baseball, he has to go to a big-time baseball school. Most of these are in the South or Southwest.

    I live a few miles from Kenyon. It is a very good school in a beautiful setting. It is not an extreme PC institution. However, other than swimming (where it excels and has done so for decades) it is not a sports school.

    What it does sell, as do the others you mentioned, is networking to the next ruling class. If your son wants a high-visibility political career or a career in big-time law or finance, any of the schools you list is a good choice. But, he is better off doing lacrosse. Baseball doesn't cut it with the ruling class.

  • http://Samablog.robsama.com Rob Sama

    I'm from Boston and Wesleyan is known for being something of a liberal loonie bin. I would think that any spawn of Coyote would feel very out of place there.

  • DMac

    I have had two friends send daughters there. Parents were middle-of-the-roadish Democrats, from NYC and Philly. The kids turned out OK, but have a definite leftist bent to them. Still on the family dole two years out, in grad school. The school environment enhanced what was already there politically, and is cutting-edge PC. One review I read commented on the diversity of the school... it's diverse - every zip code on the Upper West Side is represented. Don't know about the athletics, and if/how well they are supported by the student body, if having fan support is a factor for your son.

  • Sol

    Don't know anything about it personally, but http://thefire.org/spotlight/schools/wesleyan-university.html

  • Old Soldier

    I'm from Mass., I'll second Rob - Wesleyan is up there with Smith and Hampshire as a leftist loony bin. I'm surprised they have men's sports teams.

    I went to Bates and had lots of friends at Bowdoin - good place if he can handle the harsh climate. They phased out their frats which were fun but never a big deal on that campus. Hopefully they haven't replaced them with a bunch of PC nannies.

  • morganovich

    i grew up in essex, 20 minutes from middletown, then went to brown, another PC haven.

    even we laughed at wesleyan as being lunatic fringe PC.

    also, middletown is a crummy little town.

    i'd recommend he look elsewhere.

    i have a great deal of respect for williams as a strong, small school with small class sizes and high levels of student/teacher interaction.

  • http://aguanomics.com David Zetland

    This is a weird thread. It seems that your son will get a free ride to a good school (education, not baseball) and that's a plus. Now you worry about the intellectual environment. I went to UCLA and have taught at UCDavis/Berkely. Those places are FANTASTIC for ANY curious student since they are big enough, and have enough intellectual depth, to challenge anyone (blow your mind is the phrase).

    It's more difficult @ small libarts echo chamber schools (or BYU or Oral Roberts) b/c people just want to hear that they are right. That means that classroom POVs go outside, into social life -- and it's no fun being shunned...

    That said, I suggest that your son "haze" the professors -- have him email/call two profs in the same department in each school (if he has an idea of his major) and ask them a few open-ended questions on some controversial POV (e.g., "Who was the greatest writer in the English language?" If the answer does not include enough dead white males, then you've identified a possible bias that puts PC ahead of scholarship)

    If all else fails, send him to one of the top State schools (U Austin, UCB, etc.) -- they have no boundaries...

  • caseyboy

    I agree with Smock Puppet as well. If there is a desire to pursue a professional baseball career you don't want a NE school. Great educational institutions, but sports, not so much.

    If your son knows what he wants to pursue as a career, pick the school that bests supports that career and meets your financial criteria. If college is intended to help sort that out, pick a good and relatively large liberal arts school. Bowdoin, although on the smallish side may be a good fit.

    If you want a more conservative campus in NE try Stonehill College in Easton, MA. A Catholic liberal arts school. Good sports program and relatively broad curriculum. Don't worry, they don't have to go to Mass every morning or say the Rosary before class. But the Catholic influence seems to have a moderating affect on the students. Plenty of parties and some mischief I'm sure, but overall a safe environment for someone so far away from home. My daughter went there and grew from the experience.

    Your son would have to very well grounded to attend Wesleyan and come out unscathed.

  • Ron Medley

    There some odd things about this post (and, I don't mean the blogger's "spawn" wants to play DIII baseball.) First of all, the publication you read -- unless, you're reading an awful lot into "The Insider's Guide" -- was overwehlmingly positive about Wesleyan; no surprise given that it's published by reporters for the Yale Daily News, a school down the road. I think you're confusing it with "Choosing the Right College" which is published by a much more conservative outfit. But, like I said, we could be interpreting the same book different ways.

    My main question is why you would be second-guessing you're own first impressions based on an actual visit? If you can't "get a read on something" after seeing it with your own eyes, might it not be because it's just a little more complex? Complexity is not necessarily a bad thing.

    FWIW, the General Manager of the San Diego Padres graduated from Wesleyan. Bill Bellichick, of the football Patriots, graduated from Wesleyan, as well. Neither of them have ever complained about being politically indoctrinated while there.

  • Loweeel

    My brother (mid-'00s) and my dad (early-mid '70s) both went there, I went to Williams (which is much better in every possible way).

    It's definitely common at Wesleyan, but depends on major/program. CSS is a bastion of relative sanity and academic rigor; the sciences also don't really get political. Econ is hit-or-miss, but the campus itself, with the possible exception of Conn College, is definitely the "burnout" member of the NESCAC family.

  • morganovich

    ron-

    the guys you describe as having graduated from weslyan did so 30 years ago.

    a great deal has changed since then.

    my father went to brown, and it was nothing like the PC absurdity it was when i was there.

    can you get a good education anyway, sure, but would i have been happier at a less radicalized school? absolutely.

    PC is functionally the flip side of going to oral roberts university. it's just tyranny of the other side and just as suppressive of contrary viewpoints. (and believe me, they are just as dogmatic and intolerant on both sides)

    to my mind, the purpose of an intellectual education is free discussion of ideas. it doesn't matter which side tries to stifle such open discourse. it's the fact that discourse is stifled that's the problem.

    that's not the way to educate or further intellectual growth.

  • http://www.blog.horton-brasses.com Orion

    I live two towns away from Wesleyan. My shop is one town over. I am pretty familiar with it. Remember the movie PCU? Based upon, and shot at, Wesleyan. There is a high portion of libtardedness on campus without a doubt. But based on what I can tell that is the same at any private school. My sister went to Emerson and it was the same (of course-she liked that). Amherst will give you full on crazy intolerance-but worse as the entire 5 college area is off the hook.

    You can certainly get a first class education at Wes. For a specialized degree in a non artistic field I suspect there might be better places.

    Contrary to above-Middletown is a very nice small city with a pretty good nightlife and arts scene. There was a time when it was really down, but it has really revitalized in the last 10-15 years. It's not NYC, but it is a nice place to hang out.

    They do have an excellent baseball team from what I understand. Their sports teams seem somewhat insulated from the PC craziness.

    As for social life revolving around pot and LSD? Yeah, sure but no more than any other place. Feel free to e-mail with specific questions. Having a hard time summing it up.

  • tomw

    http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2010/09/wsj-college-rankings.html

    Maybe bang-for-buck should be considered along with besbol....

    I have thought since high school that the Ivies and their kissing cousin 'small private liberal arts colleges' in New England[including Mid-Atlantic states] were all 'nose in the air, we are better than the rest of you proles', and have not changed that attitude one whit in 45 years. e.g. John F {do you know WHO I AM?} Kerry.

    tomw
    Purdue '70

  • jeffmeh

    I tried sending you an email regarding Wesleyan, but it bounced. I pasted it into a Facebook message.

  • Dan

    My wife went to Wesleyan and definitely found it a very liberal place (this was back in the 80s). But I know some of her friends from there who are more middle of the road in their politics, and they seemed to get a good education and enjoy the experience. While there are a lot of NYC and Boston people, you do have a good mix of people from other parts of the country, including rural New England, which is far more conservative than the big cities of the Northeast.

    I'm against the PC stuff being foisted on students from professors on either side of the spectrum. I'd be wary of sending my kids to a school known for being too liberal or too conservative. Education, as someone said above, should be about the free exchange of ideas, not a chance for liberal or conservative professors to "convert" the students to their ideologies.

    That said, it might be useful for your son to go to a place like Wesleyan, assuming he has an open mind, because he might hear interesting ideas from people (including professors) that he might never have encountered had he stayed in the South or the Southwest.

    While obviously you don't want him to be "converted" to some far-left ideology (unlikely to happen since most peoples' mindsets are pretty well established by age 18), it wouldn't be a bad thing for him to get out from under your own political persuasions a bit, which no doubt he's absorbed growing up in your house. This isn't meant as a criticism - I have kids and I know they've absorbed my politics and have started to reflect it. It wouldn't be bad for my kids to get away from the North Shore of Chicago when they go to college, so they can be exposed to different types of people and ideas. That's what growing up and going to college is all about.

  • DirtyJobsGuy

    I second all of the commenters who asked/recommended your son pick a major to start with at least. I live in CT and yep Wesleyan is a very liberal school with all the PC that entails. That said there are good departments. I would highly recommend you get interviews/visits with department staff in any of your visits. It is always best to start off in a program even if your choice changes later. It is the very best way to get the most of college instruction.

  • Noah

    Have you pulled up the schedules and seen how many games these schools actually play? Having lived in that neck of the woods, the spring weather can be unforgiving. Our town had an artificial turf football field that was busy all day every day in the spring with lacrosse and soccer games with teams from all over the northeast.

    One fallout from the Metrodome roof collapse in Minneapolis was canceling hundreds of high school and college baseball games played there during February and March before the Twinkies season started.

  • Chris

    Any sense for the major(s) your son is looking at?

    If it is politics or another softer field like diplomacy or fine arts, then the PC-ness of the school could be a really important factor. If it leans more to the side of science, economics or math, the liberal bent is not that big of a deal. In some ways, it would be good to challenge the beliefs of you and your son. There is nothing like an echo chamber to reaffirm your own beliefs (see most of the comments so far).

    Taking economics, there are of course some schools who have very different philosophies (e.g., Chicago versus Amherst), but at top tier liberal arts schools, PC-ness will not have a big impact on the education received. And I would reiterate the fact that there is a ton of value to be gained by arguing with people who do not share your same values.

  • Orphan

    Can't speak for the college, but the city is terrible in just about every way it is possible for a city to be terrible. (Aetna's old multi-million dollar office building is being torn down because it's cheaper to rip it down than to pay the property taxes on it, it takes more than two years for something as simple as a Walgreen's to get permits and get constructed, the taxes are absurd, the cost of living is absurd, and unless he likes farmer's markets, drinking, or boating, there's not a whole hell of a lot to do.)

    Also, they all dress like it's the eighties there, but that's Connecticut as a whole. Weirdest thing.

    Although if he does opt to go there, Stew Leonard's has an excellent Four Berry pie.

  • Ron Medley

    @morganovich: I have to disagree with you about Jed Hoyer and Bellichick. First of all, Hoyer graduated in 1996, relatively recently for a General Manager in MLB. And, Bellichick graduated in 1977. If you think Wesleyan was less radical in the seventies than it is now, you obviously never heard of the Vietnam War.

  • Old Soldier

    I don't think your son being "converted" into a libtard is a risk anywhere. At Bates, we just rolled our eyes and laughed at our PC Profs. My father described the same stuff at Yale in the 60's. Hard to take a guy so isolated from the real world seriously.

    Being stranded on a PC campus can be unpleasant, however. You are unable to freely express yourself. You class participation and writings become regurgitation of liberal nonsense instead of your own ideas. Listening to their preachy crap cuts into actual learning and makes college unpleasant instead of fun.

  • Jersey Jim

    Having gone to Middlebury in the 80's, and having travelled to many NESCAC colleges as a sports broadcaster, I can assure you that most of these schools and their faculties are not just liberal, but very intolerant of anyone less liberal they.

    Judging by what I read in my alumni magazines, this situation certainly has not improved in the ensuing thirty years.

  • Dan Smith

    My sister graduated from Wesleyan in the 70s and a good friend of mine graduated in the 60s. My sister is pretty far left, my friend a conservative like me. I doubt Wesleyan is more extreme in its politics than most other liberal arts colleges. Carleton and Macalester in my area come to mind. I attended Carleton in the 60s, didn't graduate but got a real flavor for the place in the three years I was there. If your son is confident in his ability to make up his own mind on political and social issues there is a lot to be gained by attending a smaller liberal arts institution. Yes, the authoritarian side of "progressivism" is alive and well in such places. If he is perceived as a jock he may well be given a pass for having reactionary views. As far as substance abuse: it's rampant everywhere and involves both legal and illegal drugs. Unless he goes to school at a super conservative southern school like Oral Roberts, he'll be around a sea of drugs. A sad commnetary on education, but true.

  • happyjuggler0

    I have no insight into the school.

    However I would like to point out that most colleges have a plethora of clubs devoted to an alphabet of different viewpoints and activities. I suggest trying to contact some of these clubs from each school (same clubs more or less, different schools) and ask them their opinion about their own respective school.

    You might consider something like that regarding actual baseball team members at each school too; just don't give them a clue what viewpoint you hold....

  • MikeinAppalachia

    Not going to go in to all of the various aspects of the schools you mentioned, but if it were my son, I would pick Kenyon. As someone above mentioned, the campus and the surrounding area is almost out of a hollywood version of "small, academicly elite college". While definitely "liberal", it is not overtly so. Highly ranked student body qualifications and a nice mix of "upstate NY, New England, and upper midwest roots.
    The baseball schedule is pretty competitive for its size.

  • mjude

    May I recommend the University of Virginia - Wise? Small, liberal arts, won't break you in fees, excellent professors, part of the University of Virginia, beautiful setting in the mountains, and yes, a baseball team. I am sure they could use all the good players they could get.

    Can't help you with Wesleyan - I tend to shy away from those New England schools (snooty, expensive, and, as far as baseball is concerned, too much bad weather).

  • Goldie

    I graduated Wesleyan in the mid-1970s. To begin with, they had just dispensed with anything resembling a core curriculum, which meant you could graduate with a pretty imbalanced transcript consisting of fluff like American Indian Vocal Music and The Films of Joan Crawford--not an impressive basis for a well-founded education.

    As dated as my impressions are, I would say that like most small liberal arts colleges, Wesleyan is unquestionably left-leaning — but to its credit, also like most small liberal arts colleges, there are serious scholars there and you can get a great education if you seek it out.

    One interesting read about Wesleyan is a gripping one called “The Gatekeepers.” It’s primarily about their admissions process, but it gives a feel for the environment on campus, as well. One memorable line from the book is a quote from an admissions officer who, acknowledging that the serious imbalance in the worldviews of the students, said something like, “We’d love to get a pro-life student.” Hats off to the guy for seeking to balance out the campus — but probably worth proceeding with caution if he didn’t think they had a single pro-life student to begin with.

    For the record, our family went through a similar weeding process in trying to find colleges for our kids where there would at least be a shot at a healthy, respectful dialog taking place among students. I expect you can find pockets of that at Wesleyan, but whether or not it offers the best of those environments from among the schools mentioned in the email is doubtful. And to be very frank, we didn't consider letting our kids apply to Wesleyan. Of the schools you listed, our impression as of 5 or 6 years ago is that Kenyon or Amherst would be better bets.

    The good news, of course, is, what a great selection of schools to choose from ingeneral! Hope this helps, and best of luck.

  • Lawrence

    Screw these NE liberal arts, loonie tunes schools. Go to a SEC school like my school, Auburn University, and have a hell of good time. Football team is great - won the NC. Baseball facility is better than most minor league parks. Walk on for the baseball team and see if you can make team. Some walk-ons do.

    Have a great and enjoyable undergrad experience. There's always grad school and quite frankly grad school is where you'll need to go these days to get a leg up on all the other BA's being turned out by the bizillion.

  • Smock Puppet, Shadenfreude Expert To The Stars

    re: Update...
    >>> I would think that any spawn of Coyote would feel very out of place there.

    Sorry, Warren, I thought my point was clear. The above comment is pretty much in line with my reasoning.

    Granted, the son is not the father, but WtF does your kid want to go to a leftist hellhole for, anyway? Is he just stretching to get away from his father, at this age (not unheard of)?

    >>> a small liberal arts college

    Surely one can find one with more emphasis on the "arts" and less on the "liberal" ??
    :^D

  • Smock Puppet, Shadenfreude Expert To The Stars

    >>> “We’d love to get a pro-life student.” Hats off to the guy for seeking to balance out the campus — but probably worth proceeding with caution if he didn’t think they had a single pro-life student to begin with

    LOL, Goldie: I believe you misread the sub-context.

    "We'd love to get ahold of a pro-life student" is probably a lot more accurate interpretation of the intent. That way, they can do their cultural trepanning and turn him/her into a good and proper libtard.

  • Smock Puppet, Shadenfreude Expert To The Stars

    SEC, first rate. Not Awwwburn. Florida, though, sure.
    *<8^D

  • Ron Medley

    @Goldie >>> a pretty imbalanced transcript consisting of fluff like American Indian Vocal Music and The Films of Joan Crawford<<<

    Hey, it might surprise you to learn (or, maybe not since you're an alum) that the course you described thirty years ago has developed into one of the best departments of its kind in the country. This summer alone witnessed at least two successful commercial hits directed by Wesleyan alum: "Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon" and "Thirty Minutes or Less". A full list of films made for the general public (not merely art-house flicks or agitprop -- although, there's that too) over the past thirty years -- and, that you've probably heard of -- would be too numerous to list here.

    As for Dougie Mitchell's Americcan Indian Vocal Music -- that was one of the best classes I've ever taken -- anywhere -- bar none. Dr. Mitchell was a full-blooded Navajo and we met once a week in a bar located on the edge of campus where Wesleyan receded and the town began to take over -- the site of the old Goodyear Tire Plant.

    As patrons, mostly men in their sixties, began to wander in during Happy Hour (although, I don't think we called it that, back then) they were greeted by about eight or nine of us sitting in a circle at the far end of the bar, singing traditional Navajo songs at the top of our lungs while Dr. Mitchell kept beat on a drum. And, since drinking was permitted at eighteen, more than a few of us ordered beers (including, Dr. Mitchell). It was a win/win for the bar and a win/win for us. And, IIRC, more tha a few of my fellow classmates were athletes.

    This brings us to one of the principal advantages of going to Wesleyan as opposed to going to an Amherst or Williams: you are not sheltered from real people. Middletown is a real municipality -- not New York City -- but, not an offshoot of the college, either. It would be there whether or not Wesleyan ever existed. In thirty years, I don't think I've come across a single antiques dealer or golf pro shop on Main Street. Instead, there are public schools, senior citizens homes, churches and at least one synagogue, all located within walking distance of campus. There are numerous sandwich, pizza, and ethnic restaurants. And, of course, there's O'Rourke's, a top-rated railroad dining-car-style restaurant that's been in the old North End since the nineteen forties.

    Whatever their viewpoints, students get exposed to a different politics, a different set of priorities, every time they step out their door. It is no picnic being cited for littering on a public sidewalk or being taken to a Middletown police station for underage drinking (or, worse.) Wesleyan students are not coddled by the surrounding community. Far from it. But, they do sometimes develop a healthy respect for each other.

  • Lawrence

    I see that Smock Puppet is some kind of Gator Groupie.

    Well, we'll settle up on 15 Oct on THE PLAINS where War Eagle will fly pre-game and the Auburn Tigers will feast on Gator steaks.

    Shadenfreude indeed!

    WDE

  • dr kill

    Dude, he needs to attend a big state school as an undergrad. Have a time, as they say. He can play intramural sports. Grad school in the big city after he turns 21. Seriously, what's wrong with ASU or UA?

  • dr kill

    Does he have something against the best looking co-eds on the planet? Is he into hairy-legged dirty bra Birkenstockers?

  • Ralph Lockwood

    Without too much needless commentary, Wesleyan is a LIBERAL, liberal arts college. Very socialist in it's viewpoint on a widespread scale. Their orientation is very Trotsky-esque. The campus is nice, but the town of Middletown leaves a little to be desired.

  • http://www.ephblog.com Eph

    Any reason that Williams is not in the mix?