Several days ago I watched a TV news segment featuring college professors at Lawrence University in Appleton, WI, talking about a class they devised called “Doing Nothing.” As the name suggests, students participate in sessions centered around low-energy pursuits like meditation, sleep hygiene, mind-body awareness (?) and “just walking around.” Students don’t have to write papers or take exams. The only requirement for a passing grade and a bit of credit towards a degree is “show up for class, participate to the best of their ability, and put their phones away.”
No, I am not making this up. The rationale for this example of what passes for higher education these days is to help students “combat stress in the face of mental health challenges and a growing pressure to be productive.” How stressful it must be for those delicate snowflakes to avoid meltdown by producing passing grades to justify the average 65k a year it costs for them to attend Lawrence U.
Not surprisingly, “Doing Nothing” is the most popular class on campus. No doubt it will remain so until some enterprising professor figures out how to get someone to pay students to attend his or her lectures.
Unfortunately, our universities are spewing out Snowflakes in a blizzard upon society. As I pointed out in a previous blog, besides “Doing Nothing,” courses being offered for college credit in universities around the country include topics like “How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse” and “Deconstructing TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Snowflakery has even started to seep into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) curricula in the form of a movement in certain academic quarters to reform mathematics education to remove the emphasis on correct answers, in order to achieve equity for disadvantaged students. I’m not making this up either.
Funny thing is, I never hear tradespeople talk about stress in their jobs. For sure, their work requires physical and mental toughness. Trade work is hard and productivity is easy to measure. Tradespeople do not get pats on the back for self-awareness or just walking around. But at the end of the day skilled trade workers can leave the job behind and hold their heads up high knowing they build and maintain the plumbing, HVAC and electrical systems that are the arteries and veins of modern living. That’s something to be proud of, and a great stress reliever.
Imagine the trauma ahead for self-pitying Snowflakes after graduation when they find it hard to find jobs that pay them to do nothing.