As 2012 ended, students nationwide were increasingly asking that politics be kept out of the classroom.
A Ohio State University German teacher apparently didn’t get the message, as student Patrick Seaworth notes in a recent piece in The College Fix.
When I enrolled in German II at Ohio State University in the fall, I expected to learn the intermediate measures of the German language. As it turns out, that was hoping for too much.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. The class delved into instruction now and again, but it quickly became apparent I was the lone conservative in a classroom in which learning German took a backseat to discussions on the prowess of Barack Obama, American narcissism, the virtues of socialism, the sad plight of Chicago’s teachers, and why the U.S. military is the reason the American education system is broken, just to name a few tangents I endured over the fall semester.
Seaworth reviewed a few of the course topics:
For a bit of extra fun, we were asked to compare the intelligence of George W. Bush with Angela Merkel’s. To our professor’s credit, we were asked to do so in German.
Tax rates were another hot topic of discussion. Not so much that the German citizen faces incredibly high tax rates, but rather that Germany’s high tax rate allows for an orderly state, the kind of order that places young children into differing schools based on perceived capability. Taxation that gives free healthcare, welcomed by a collective refrain along the lines of: “If only we had a freer President to give us free healthcare.” Germany, a country that “actually does something with their tax dollars” in the words of one classmate.
Obama’s sound bite during the third presidential debate about horses and bayonets allowed for yet more American criticism in German II. The German state, that peaceful nation, was applauded for being a country in which the flying of its national flag is still taboo. Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden’s laughing fits during his debate made him my professor’s new favorite politician, as she informed us the next day.
The instructor also managed to touch on German culture and history:
As such, Germans were praised not just for their high taxes, their highly structured state, and their oh-so-rich history (Nazism was largely avoided), but also for their advanced civil culture, which includes a hatred of what we in America would refer to as patriotism, which they see as simple-minded jingoism….
Now whether or not the average German hates the values of the American Right is something that would be difficult for me to ascertain, as asking that question would require the use of the entire semester on a topic the course was intended to cover, rather than the “Dinner for Schmucks” I attended four times per week.
How My German II Class Devolved Into ‘Dinner For Schmucks’ (The College Fix)