Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Smack me, someone

Some of you know I'm associated with a high school in my area...a private high school.
Yesterday, a young Junior told me she was nervous about a debate class where she was discussing the Dream Act of California...some of which provides, basically, for no tuition for illegals (yes, it's more nuanced than that, but not much and that's not the point of my post).   Here's the point:

I asked her "For or against it?"   "For it,"  she said. I gently asked her "Do you know how that feels to my sisters and friends who've worked terribly hard to provide college tuition for their children?"  "Yes, I understand that side of it," she said.    She added that she was a little worried because she felt her instructor didn't agree with her.   He apparently feels like I do about it.   I took a deep breath and told her my truth:

"If you feel you have all the information you need to make a good decision on this Bill, and if you can back it up with that information and sound points which embellish that information, then GO for it........we don't indoctrinate here, we TEACH here and, if you do a good job, your teacher will grade on that, not that you didn't agree with him."    She looked at me curiously........"I do feel strong in my opinion..."

"Then, you GO GIRL.......give it all you've got.  You tell your truth and do a great job of it."

Now smack me, someone :-)    It was like an out of body experience, right?  I didn't argue the point, I didn't make her feel embarrassed for her opinion.  I heard hers and she surmised mine.   Did it bother me to encourage her to give an opinion I don't agree with?  No, because more important to me is that she had researched the point and could voice her truth.    I wish public school students the same.  But, alas.........



Always On Watch said...

What brand of debate class? Policy debate, values debate (Lincoln-Douglas), something less formal?

Elmers Brother said...

This is common in conservative schools. My liberal professors have always tried to color our opinions by only providing one side, while the conservative ones stressed researching all points of view before comiing to a conclusion.

sue hanes said...

Z - I don't think anyone can touch what you just said in that post.

Because it is Right for kids to learn that they can express how they feel about any issue.

Obviously she respects you and you stepped up and reinforced that when she needed to hear it.

My grandchilren are very obviously Conservative - but when I am with them - although I express in no uncertain terms what my political views are - I go out of my way to let them and their parents know that I will never try to win them over to my side - that is until they are of age and capable of making their own decisions.

and really we have very little dicussion on politics since they are not really interested in it.

funny but they would rather do other things... :)

Elmers Brother said...

The private Christian college my son attends encourages open intellectual inquiry and after attending the local community college he remarked recently the stark contrast.

Anonymous said...

I have never known a true conservative educator to punish students for having liberal points of view. Indeed, conservatives own “classical liberal” values, as opposed to “neo-classical” (progressive) values. Have some conservative educators punished students? I’m sure this has happened in the past, but I do not think it happens very often. Sadly, campus discrimination against classical liberalism is both a reality, and well documented.

I applaud your advice to this student. The lessons here are several, not the least of which is this challenge to the student: tell us what you believe, and why you believe it. We may not agree with this young person, but that does not invalidate her point of view. What does invalidate her point of view is simply that facts do not support progressive ideology. If she is fortunate, maturation will lead her out of darkness into the light —this is the usual path for normal adults. We must have room in our society for people to make mistakes, and to learn from them. This young person’s experiences are necessarily limited; it is natural that her understanding is also limited.

The next challenge is whether this person will actually listen to what her opponent has to say. If she dismisses opposing arguments out of hand, then she has already started down the wrong path; she is in danger of becoming a (ugh) Duckite. The primary clue to this will be whether she is shrill in her responses, or resorts to logical or propositional fallacies. I hope that her teacher and judges will understand that they are dealing with a youthful mentality; I hope they can appreciate the wisdom of Winston Churchill, who told us that a young person who is not a liberal has no heart, and a middle aged person who is not a conservative has no brain.

Z said...

AOW, I've never worked in that class so I don't know...I'll try to find out.

Elbro and Mustang, I have a nephew who went to Columbia who told me "Aunt Z, I just give them what they want to hear and get good grades...or I wouldn't get good grades!" He said he and his more conservative-leaning friends just regurgitate on exams what the prof wants but haven't changed their minds from their values.

Mustang, that Churchill quote's one of my faves and something that I feel is very true for many reasons.
also, Mustang, I'm going to tell her what you suggested..." Have you really listened to the opposing side to make sure you've thought about their reasoning?" So important.

UPDATE: I saw this young girl's teacher last night and told him about my conversation with her...he said he was glad I told him what she was feeling. Good stuff at that school...REAL TEACHING.

Ducky's here said...

the Dream Act of California...some of which provides, basically, for no tuition for illegals


Doesn't it just mandate in state tuition for children of illegals who have lived in the U.S. most of their lives?

Silverfiddle said...

You should be congratulated, not smacked (heaven forbid!)

I challenge my own children when I hear them parroting something I have said. I challenge their thinking to make sure they espouse something because they believe it and have thought it through, not just because they heard me say it.

The Absolute Marxist said...


It mandates in-state tuition for graduates of California high schools like me... a thirty year Maryland resident. ;)

If I ever want to go back to school, I know where to mooch.

Ducky's here said...

Okay Farmer, then we are past the point of claiming it mandates free tuition.

Lisa said...

Good for you Z. Kids have to think for themselves in this environment.Being against the dream act does not make one not compassionate but there there is a fiscal side to it as well.
Like during the debt ceiling debate,who did Obama threaten,Social Security Retirees, Military Retirees, Social Security disability and Federal Retirees.
not payments to illegal aliens,not to fire some of the thousands of unnecessary federal employees that he hired,not to cut down on his or his wife's frivolous gallivanting around the country and the world ,or to cut pay to the senators and representatives or any of their staff or welfare recipients, or foreign aid.

He did not threaten to cut back on anything that involves his base of voters.

too bad they don't teach sound policy in schools.

When Obama was campaigning in 2008 the woman who is the head of one of our local Tea Parties said her
8th grade daughter was all for Obama. Obama this and Obama that. When she had asked her what she liked about him and she said the teachers say so. So this woman who was very objective and did not give her daughter any of her opinions on it had her do some research on him to see what she liked about him and she said "Mommy I can't find one thing"

Now her daughter is involved in the Tea Party and politics and is enjoying doing pamphlets and getting involved. She really enjoys it. I hope she will be a new generation of young Conservatives.
What more people don't now is the meetings are all about policy,meeting representatives and really trying to do what is best at a local level.

The Absolute Marxist said...

If you were a student coming from out of state paying 2x the tuition that in-stater's pay, the "discount" that illegals get would constitute "free tuition".

What we have with the Dream Act is discrimination against LEGAL citizens.

The Absolute Marxist said...

...and to counter THAT 'discrimination' argument is why an old f*rt 30 year out-of-state idiot like me "qualifies" for the in-state tuition discount.

The Absolute Marxist said...

I graduated with 3 years in a California H.S. AND my parents paid their taxes.

The Absolute Marxist said...

UC Berkeley:

Cost of Attendance In-state: $32,635

Out-of-state: $55,513

Tuition and Fees In-state: $12,835
Out-of-state: $35,713

That's a $23k savings... per year

The Absolute Marxist said...

Tell the taxpayers of California, thanks for the $100k discount... I might just take 'em up on it.

...tough luck Pablo, I'm going to bump you out of your spot.

The Absolute Marxist said...

Of course, out-of staters can always marry their way into the tuition discount. Any of you ladies care to go back to school with me? ;)

The Absolute Marxist said...

That'll make 2 less spots available for Pablo.

cube said...

Teaching a child to think for him or herself is one of the best skills you can bestow as a teacher or as a parent.

Goodness knows how many times imparting critical thinking skills were imparted during dinner at our house.

Anonymous said...

Good for you, Z.

But she said "I do feel strongly."

And facts don't necessarily go with feelings.

That's another thing to teach. B/c the way I feel is often not the way I think. Personally, if I had to follow my feelings all the time, I would have been stuck in the way I thought in college.

Ducky's here said...

I am dubious that the in state tuition would apply for out of staters.

We've been back and forth on this in Mass. It hasn't passed but the proposal is to grant in state tuition to resident students even if they are illegal.

I do not believe he Federal proposal is any different and I question that Cali would grant in state tuition to out of state residents. Although Cali may get a little weird.

Speedy G said...

Read it and weep, duckmeister... (from the CS Monitor)

The state law based the preferential tuition award on criteria other than the student’s state of residence, the state high court said. The in-state tuition is granted on the basis of attendance at and graduation from a California high school. Although most graduates from California schools do, in fact, reside in California, the high court reasoned that not all graduates are residents.


The California law’s criteria (graduation from a California high school and three years attendance) are not the same as residence, nor are they a de facto or surrogate residency requirement, Mr. Schulman wrote, echoing the California Supreme Court decision. The state court opinion continues: “Congress specifically referred to residence – not some form of surrogate for residence – as the prohibited basis for granting unlawful aliens a postsecondary education benefit.”

The case is Martinez v. Regents of the University of California (10-1029).

Speedy G said...

...and it's true for ALL states. How do I know? They're trying to get Maryland to adopt the Dream Act (it passed the Legislature and was signed by the Governor), but we got it stopped for now and deferred to a referrendum vote for 2012 and WILL STOP IT!

Speedy G said...

It's a state "graduation" entitlement, NOT a federally unconstitutional "residency" entitlement.

Speedy G said...

erratum - "residency-based" for "residency" above.

Anonymous said...

Well that is how a free society is supposed to work. Unfortunately the public schools do not work like that.

Ducky's here said...

The California law’s criteria (graduation from a California high school and three years attendance) are not the same as residence, nor are they a de facto or surrogate residency requirement


Well that's pretty obvious. So this is a question of the eligibility requirements in Cali?

How does citizenship even have bearing here?

Z said...

SF....the irony of ME telling a kid to stand up for her naive and silly lib opinion did make me wonder if I didn't need a slap (a reality slap?!). But, I couldn't do otherwise; that's what makes me a Conservative, I guess. :-)

Absolute Marxist...well said.

Z said...


And congratulations to the Washington Post (believe it or not) for this:


Z said...

"Consider it an illegal fringe benefit for illegal immigrants. Today, 12 states allow individuals who are in the United States illegally to pay the same in-state tuition rates as legal residents of the state without providing the same rates to others in the country who are here legally. And those states are doing it in direct contravention of federal law.

In a new paper, Heritage's Hans von Spakovsky and Charles Stimson explain that in 1996, Congress passed--and President Bill Clinton signed into law--the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act. Under Section 1623 of the law, state colleges and universities are prohibited from providing in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens "on the basis of residence within the State" unless the same in-state rates are offered to all citizens of the United States.

"By circumventing the requirements of § 1623 these states are violating federal law, and the legal arguments offered to justify such actions are untenable, no matter what other policy arguments are offered in their defense," von Spakovsky and Stimson write. Which states are on the list? The offenders include California, Texas, New York, Utah, Washington, Oklahoma, Illinois, Kansas, New Mexico, Nebraska, Maryland, and Connecticut."

Pris said...

"Now smack me, someone :-)"

Heck no, Z, I'll pat you on the back! You did the right thing.

If only all students felt they could express their opinions freely.

This is what education should be about. Kids learning to think for themselves. Anything less, is not education, it's indoctrination, and being uninformed.

Not to mention, it would be pretty tough to debate, if everyone had to express an "acceptable" opinion.

Then it's just political correctness, which is dishonest, and lazy IMO.

Z said...

Pris, I absolutely did the right thing.
The 'smack me' was fun because I was thinking "Man, smack me, I told her to stand by her teen-aged silly liberalness!"
It felt good....I have to admit.

She looked at me with pretty amazing eyes, too.......very energized when I said "You go, girl...you tell your truth!" She's a good kid, but I think she has all the signs of growing up and not leaving her liberal sillies behind.
I'm thinking if we talk every once in a while on subjects like this one, she might get a spark of sanity because she's not dumb and she DID say she understood the side that feels resentful.

Isn't it funny? It used to be that immigrants were resentful of those of us lucky enough to be born here (I know this for a fact from many immigrant friends) and now it's Americans resentful of those illegally coming in and living off of us. Who'd have thought it?

Pris said...

I know a Mexican American who's daughter was assigned a dorm room with an illegal alien student.

He told me his daughter was asked to teach this student proper English, and to tutor her.

His daughter's tuition was paid by him (the Dad), the illegal's tuition was free.

Needless to say he was angry that the college expected his daughter to comply with these demands on top of her own studies, and while he had to pay through the nose, the roommate got a free pass.

If anyone thinks this was right, I'd like to hear why!

Z said...

The daughter had to TUTOR her on top of her father having to pay tuition and the illegal didn't have to? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

I'm impressed that they wanted her to speak English to her..that's something.

Did I mention here yet about the young couple upstairs whose 5 yr old is now at a public school here in L.A. and who's got "Chinese immersion" in school? Yup...half the classes in English, half in Chinese.
(Pris I know I emailed you about it and we talked about it)

Anybody here ever heard of ANY five year old in immersion classes?? WHY CHINESE?
The liberal parents in that area want it....they're thrilled to give their kids to another regime; if you can't fight 'em, join 'em, huh? Unreal

Speedy G said...

@ duckmeister How does citizenship even have bearing here?

As Z pointed out, it's the method used to circumvent federal legislation, by awarding benefits NOT on the basis of residency, but one of attendance and graduation from a state school.

Speedy G said...

...and that same circumvention is common to ALL states which have adopted and passed Dream Act legislation.

Speedy G said...

So the schools need not check "residency" status, merely "past attendance and graduation." Neat legal trick, what?

Leticia said...

Great advice, Z. I have agree with how you encouraged this student.

Joe Conservative said...

Huntsman is now for carbon credits? Who knew? Damn those morons!

DaBlade said...

A young student has the right to be foolishly on the wrong side of an issue. It just prepares them to be in lock step with their college prof. I know I wrote some left-leaning papers I'd be embarrassed about today. Hopefully, Pelosi will keep those buried.

Anonymous said...

"but when I am with them - although I express in no uncertain terms what my political views are..."

God Bless your grandchildren. I just hope you don't tune in BM on HBO with them sitting on your lap?

Why expose them to loonie liberal atheistic...porn so early in life? You need to shield them from the likes of BM and his savants.

You wouldn't expose them to a "Clockwork Orange" on a Sunday afternoon with popcorn, would you?

Save the kids...kid.

Ducky's here said...

Well Farmer, I figure that states should have control of their tuition structure.

Certainly you don't advocate a Federal mandate.

And we have moved off the issue of this being free tuition for illegals. Nothing of the sort.

This starts to gain focus.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

"If anyone thinks this was right, I'd like to hear why!.."

I'm reading an article today on why we need.....more "diversity" in Santa's! Yep....they want Santa's that speak...spanish...creole...hatian "french", patoi...

See..the loons want the kids to be....comfortable in their "NATIVE LANGUAGES!!!!!!

Nope...not prepare them for ENGLISH....God forbid. Being totallly blissful , stupid and ignorant of the fact that ENGLISH...IS NOT ONLY OUR LANGUAGE...but the language of banking, commerce, IATA and diplomacy!

Issssss...OK....we'll adapt to the non speakers. Not the other way around.

We....are so lost...so messed up...we're beyond redemption.

We lost the war...we lost the right to fight back fearlessly because we were..are cowards.

Because we didn't believe strongly enough in the America these people want to suck dry.

We didn't want to be branded..."racists" over illiterate, illegal parasites.

We didn't stand up and defend our basic principles that were OK 100 years ago.

We've allowed diseases that were cured way long ago to be reintroduced into the population.

Aid...HIV...TB..rickets...Polio...malaria...head lice.

Ah...I know....I have no..."HEART"...no ..."COMPASSION".

Did you know that in Detroit now...you get to press one for English...2 for spanish...and 3 for Arabic?

How cool is that?

Anonymous said...

I've talked to some hispanics immigrants in LA about politics. They were pretty conservative in their ways of thinking. So I'd honestly rather have people like that that can be converted in terms of votes instead of natural born citizens like Ducky. Newt is actually smart on this one.

Z said...

FB, my hispanic friends are conservatives, too...most not born here, came in legally.
They're more against the Dream Act than anybody (see one of the articles above..the Post one)

Sadly, most of the young people I've seen interviewed who are for the Dream Act tuition situation didn't sound pro American at all.....they're pro themselves and eager to take more and more. I was very sorry to see that.
I'm sure that's not all of them, but it's the preponderance.
After all, when you think of it, what AMerica-respecting person would expect Californians to pay for them when Americans can't get the same break?

Anonymous said...

"they're pro themselves and eager to take more and more.."

And you're surprised? About the fact that they have their hands out and we're so eager to fill them? Meanwhile simply screwing American citizens for illegal grifters?

Who have no...and never had any skin in the game?

What is it about these south of the border illegals, scofflaws and criminals that we lose site of the laws we're supposed to be a nation of.

I understand south americans....but why do we need to be like them?

Anonymous said...

It's all about feeling good, glorifying the ego, etc...

Rita said...

I have a good friend who moved to Phoenix several years ago. When AZ passed the immigration law she and her husband, both hispanic were appalled at the reaction of the liberals.

I was cautious how I asked her what she thought, but she described the crime in their city, how dangerous it was just outside of their community and could not understand why illegal aliens were not considered ILLEGAL.

They cannot wait to return to Indianapolis, a town they consider "home" even though both grew up in NYC.

I don't think we should be deporting people who have lived here for decades and have not been on the wrong side of the law, but to allow them to get food stamps, in-state tuition, free health care is insane.

Sam Huntington said...

If we do not deport illegal aliens, we encourage more illegal aliens. I don’t care how long they lived here. If they were illegal aliens 100 years ago, and failed to apply for the namby pamby amnesty programs of the past (which apparently accomplished very little, other to encourage more illegal immigration) then, by definition, they remain “outside the law.” Be careful how “compassionate conservatism” doesn’t become your pathway to global socialism.

Speedy G said...

@ duckmeister Certainly you don't advocate a Federal mandate.

The crux of the matter, mr. ducky, is precisely that the federal government is NOT enforcing it's mandate to enforce immigration laws... and some legislators in individual "sanctuary states" are becoming complicit in THAT evasion and circumvention.

A country that selectively stops enforcing its laws soon looses ALL legal authority.

Anonymous said...

Elmers Brother said: "My liberal professors have always tried to color our opinions by only providing one side"

Lol, yes, they 'color' them with the facts as opposed to the crap you hear on Fox News. Fact of the matter; the right hates educated people because their hypocrisies are exposed and they lose voters. Yup, let's keep this country dumb, poor and full or hate and fear. Follow the plan, lemmings.

Anonymous said...

hey liberaldude, I'm highly educated and I've received a leftist education from one of the top colleges in France. Yet I saw the light.

So how about going "te faire cuire un oeuf?"

Anonymous said...

And education doesn't give you a rational, analytical mind.

You elitists don't understand that crucial difference.

The mere fact you don't understand it shows that well your education isn't worth much.

Z said...

FB, someone who visits my blog's looked into young Liberaldude; his education IS worth nothing.

But he sure has a big stupid mouth and spews about things he knows nothing of but gets from ridiculous leftwing sites.
What a dope. I almost feel sorry for our country to hear 23 yr olds like this kid try to make sense.

God, we're doomed.

Z said...

By the way, folks:

I saw Shayne today, who said I could use her name! And she practically BOUNCED in her shoes when I told her she was the topic of my blog ....SO delighted her eyes were shining! And she is ONE hard little nut to crack, believe me.

She also was delighted at the timing because she'd JUST come from giving her talk supporting the Dream Act. She said she was glad we'd talked and I told her we didn't have to agree but we could have clarity and respect for each others' positions....she was very pleased.
I love that kid in spite of her tough exterior :-)

Anonymous said...

Looks like he's got that new degree in LOL studies.

Post graduate in Advanced LMAO studies.

Anonymous said...

we could have clarity and respect for each others' positions

Nice. Clarity is a good motto. It's Denis Prager's and I love him for that.