Doing College the Right Way
Jonah Goldberg mentions something that is entirely accurate, to my experience:
… a new study, “Conservative Critics and Conservative College Students: Variations in Discourses of Exclusion” by sociologists Amy Binder and Kate Wood at the University of California San Diego, confirms that many conservative students at an (unnamed) elite Eastern university, felt as if they benefited from the need to sharpen their arguments and know their facts more than liberal students.
Despite having to work through college and carrying a heavy course load to make up for a misspent freshman year, I always new that my arguments in papers and in classrooms would have to be better researched and written simply because the professor would be beginning with the understanding that my conclusions (and worldview) were clearly wrong. So, I’d have double the bibliography and quadruple the pages than the syllabus required for a particular essay. If classroom conversation tended to turn toward vilifying a book that supported a premise with which I agreed (The Bell Curve comes to mind), I’d get my hands on that book and read it as quickly and thoroughly as possible.
Incidentally, I’m among “the 22 young conservative writers who have contributed to ‘Proud to Be Right: Voices of the Next Conservative Generation,’ published next month by Harper and edited by Goldberg,” mentioned at the top of the essay. And yes, I’m thrilled that more than a decade since I graduated from college, I’ve still made the cut to be a “young conservative.”