More campus follies…er., folly.

I have been very critical of so-called “higher education.” Kurt Schlicter, writing for Townhall.com, is even more critical: “It’s apparent that the current collegiate system serves several functions, all of them a symptom of a deeper problem with our society. We have seen how admission to one of the elite schools is a de facto degree, which in turn is a de facto ticket into the ruling class. Any actual education is purely coincidental. It is also clear that attendance at non-elite schools is today merely a signal to employers that the person might possesses the basic readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmatic skills we used to expect from a high school graduate.” Actually Kurt, we once expected far more than that from a high school graduate who expected to get into any college. Back in 2000, I joined the board of a Classical and Christian K-12 school. New board members were exposed to the educational standards that were normal… in 1906! I have an M.S. and B.A. from undergrad and grad school, and scored in the 98th percentile of my group in the verbal portion of the graduate record exam (GRE, the post grad equivalent of the SAT) in 1972. When I joined the board, they asked me to take a sample college entrance exam from Pennsylvania State college circa 1906. This exam covered a stupefying breadth of subjects, and I could not answer a single question, even though the questions were what a 1906 high school senior was expected to know.

Kurt continues,”we need a cultural rethink of the concept of college itself. A four-year degree – as opposed to a four-year party – is not for everyone. It’s not even for most people. You know who do well today, who aren’t MFA grads yet making our coffee for us? People with skills. Plumbers. Electricians. Welders. Trades are the future. Third, we need to realize that our elite schools are not elite. Their status comes not from the quality of their education but the selectivity (at least, the selectivity they claim to the public) of their admissions. Guess what the median grade at Harvard is. Go on, guess. Our most rigorous school, right? It should be really hard, right? Lots of “C” and “B” grades because of said rigor, right? It’s an “A-.” The median grade at Harvard is an “A-,” which is supposed to be “outstanding.” But a Harvard A- is not “outstanding.” It is the default. Think about it. Half the grades at Harvard are “A-” or above. Would you give our ruling class an “A-”?”

My point is, we cannot even conceive of how far educational quality has eroded in the last 100 years, but if the trend keeps up, we won’t have to worry about flooding from climate change destroying life as we know it in 12 years. Since this kind of trend accelerates exponentially—the stupider we get the faster even more extremely stupid ideas proliferate—in 12 years our society will be too stupid to remember what we were worried about 12 years ago.

Charles Spurgeon meditations.

“On him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.”Luke 23:26

We see in Simon’s carrying the cross a picture of the work of the Church throughout all generations; she is the cross-bearer after Jesus. Mark then, Christian, Jesus does not suffer so as to exclude your suffering. He bears a cross, not that you may escape it, but that you may endure it. Christ exempts you from sin, but not from sorrow. Remember that, and expect to suffer.

But let us comfort ourselves with this thought, that in our case, as in Simon’s, it is not our cross, but Christ’s cross which we carry. When you are molested for your piety; when your religion brings the trial of cruel mockings upon you, then remember it is not your cross, it is Christ’s cross; and how delightful is it to carry the cross of our Lord Jesus!

You carry the cross after him. You have blessed company; your path is marked with the footprints of your Lord. The mark of his blood-red shoulder is upon that heavy burden. ‘Tis his cross, and he goes before you as a shepherd goes before his sheep. Take up your cross daily, and follow him.

Do not forget, also, that you bear this cross in partnership. It is the opinion of some that Simon only carried one end of the cross, and not the whole of it. That is very possible; Christ may have carried the heavier part, against the transverse beam, and Simon may have borne the lighter end. Certainly it is so with you; you do but carry the light end of the cross, Christ bore the heavier end.

And remember, though Simon had to bear the cross for a very little while, it gave him lasting honour. Even so the cross we carry is only for a little while at most, and then we shall receive the crown, the glory. Surely we should love the cross, and, instead of shrinking from it, count it very dear, when it works out for us “a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.”

“Before honor is humility.”Proverbs 15:33

Humiliation of soul always brings a positive blessing with it. If we empty our hearts of self, God will fill them with his love. He who desires close communion with Christ should remember the word of the Lord, “To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” Stoop if you would climb to heaven. Do we not say of Jesus, “He descended that he might ascend?” So must you. You must grow downwards, that you may grow upwards; for the sweetest fellowship with heaven is to be had by humble souls, and by them alone. God will deny no blessing to a thoroughly humbled spirit. “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven,” with all its riches and treasures. The whole exchequer of God shall be made over by deed of gift to the soul which is humble enough to be able to receive it without growing proud because of it. God blesses us all up to the full measure and extremity of what it is safe for him to do. If you do not get a blessing, it is because it is not safe for you to have one. If our heavenly Father were to let your unhumbled spirit win a victory in his holy war, you would pilfer the crown for yourself, and meeting with a fresh enemy you would fall a victim; so that you are kept low for your own safety. When a man is sincerely humble, and never ventures to touch so much as a grain of the praise, there is scarcely any limit to what God will do for him. Humility makes us ready to be blessed by the God of all grace, and fits us to deal efficiently with our fellow men. True humility is a flower which will adorn any garden. This is a sauce with which you may season every dish of life, and you will find an improvement in every case. Whether it be prayer or praise, whether it be work or suffering, the genuine salt of humility cannot be used in excess.