Mike the Mad Biologist

By way of Thers at Whiskey Fire, we read that the evangelical movement has recognized that sometimes homeschooling doesn’t quite get the job done:

Suppose you have home-schooled your advanced blastocyst in the best evangelical wingnut way, to the age of 18. And suppose you recognize that no matter how much you would like to pray otherwise, your advanced blastocyst, age 18, is an absolute lettuce.

Dumb as a box of Bibles. A cretin by Sarah Palin standards. A doorstop. A rock.

Problems! Where do you park these burdensome home-unschooled-uli? In the godless local community college? Do you desperately hope they can master making change at the gas station?

Well, that’s where Rivendell Sanctuary comes in. For those not familiar with The Lord of the Rings, Rivendell is:

an Elven outpost in Middle-earth, a fictional realm created by J. R. R. Tolkien. It was established and ruled by Elrond in the Second Age of Middle-earth (four or five thousand years before the events of The Lord of the Rings). In addition to Elrond and his family, notable Elves who lived there included Glorfindel and Erestor.

It basically functions as one of the last refuges of the fading elves. Not sure that’s the image you want…

Anyway, you’ll be thrilled to offer a biology course called “The Creation of Life.” I’m sure it will be graded based on their biblical philosophy: “Rivendell Sanctuary evaluates student development according to a biblical criterion, rather than a Western or other cultural criterion.”

As Thers puts it:

Annnyway, usually when you say “I have an educational mission, and it was inspired by Hobbits,” that’s kind of traditionally the end of the discussion, under normal professional circumstances. Gollum fucking Gollum.

Oddly enough, previously, this blog has discussed the intersection between Christianity and Hobbitry, observed at the Jesus mill Patrick Henry University:

Silence, although the puzzled faces implied a million questions: Why are you asking us? What can we do for you? Are you leaving? But no one said anything, and eventually Stacey resumed where he’d left off the previous lesson, with the Gettysburg Address. But no one took any notes. “Please God, let it be all right,” one girl sitting in the back whispered to herself. And for about ten minutes, it was. Then another girl sitting in the middle of the front row raised her hand. She was pale, with reddish hair, and she was known to hang out with the Mod Squad. In class she talked a little, but not much. Her trademark was her velvet cape, which she tied on mostly for Tolkien-related affairs. “I’d like to be excused,” she said. She picked up her things and walked out.

One of Daniel Noa’s friends found her in the hallway. At first she seemed only quietly agitated, but when they spoke she seemed to be in a state of “emotional hysterics,” he reported to another friend on his cell phone. She explained that she was not against Stacey. Who could be? But she just couldn’t quite read which way the Holy Spirit was guiding her.

So she walked out.

By the way, this freaking out was due to the decision to teach Plato and Kant. AAAIEEE!!!

Going any further is like picking on the slow kid.

Comments

  1. #1 J
    January 21, 2011

    Don’t see what the issue with this is: It may have a silly name, but it’s basically a post-high school program run by a newly-established religious private school.

    Lots of private high schools run these*, and this one just seems to be aimed at Christian-school graduates and Christian homeschoolers. Who cares?

    (I’m sure I’ll be one of 7000000 people to point this out, but “homeschooler” is not the same as “fundie Christian homeschooler”, as much as religious right groups like the HSLDA would like it to be.)

    *For secular versions of the same idea (from big-name private high schools) see here ( http://www.andover.edu/ADMISSION/NEWSTUDENTEXPERIENCE/Pages/12th.aspx ) and here (http://www.exeter.edu/admissions/147_268.aspx ), for example.

  2. #2 Andrew
    January 28, 2011

    Yeah…I guess I’m not tracking with what the real issue is. I guess I saw the name as an indicator that they emphasize classic literature more than it is anything else. LOTR was classic lit before it was a movie.

    Also, to say its like “picking on the slow kid” to continue the rant seems a bit contradictory. Is the preference that students not learn to think for themselves? That they not read classic literature or study the writings of a broad scope of academicians, philosophers, etc. Everything I read on their website seemed like it focused on these things, on a legitimately strong academic program with high standards of excellence. I suppose some people are more interested in having a problem with it just because it is affiliated with Christianity. But even so, I don’t think the LOTR connection is all that laughable (just because it references classical literature), and I don’t think the homeschool criticism is legitimate, because, like Comment 1, there are a lot of people choosing to stop trusting public education…not just people who may or may not agree with everything Sarah Palin does and says.

  3. #3 Ben
    May 8, 2011

    I’m not sure what to make of this blathering idiocy, but I think someone needs a hug