Is the worm finally turning?

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May 15 in Education ✍ by TheOtherTink (21,213 points)

At Yale, a psychology professor teaches the most popular course there, ever, called "Psychology and the Good Life," a total gut course if I ever heard of one. She cancelled class one day, with the proviso that the students had to use the free time for enjoyment, which is what this WaPo article is mainly about.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/less-cramming-more-frisbee-at-yale-students-learn-how-to-live-the-good-life/2018/05/12/bb02525a-4ee4-11e8-84a0-458a1aa9ac0a_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.2b3ed48b3771

But scroll down to the end and read the comments made by the (usually) liberal readers of the WaPo.  The  majority correctly deride this activity at Yale as foolish or worse.

2 Answers

Virginia May 15

Tink, if you might do a copy-and-paste of a typical comment? Cannot open WaPo, but did a search and discovered (swoon) that you can now take the online course for free! 

Here are the first 13 or so comments, Virginia:


Hmmm ... "Psychology and the Good Life” would probably be good for some kids, but I suspect the kids who are taking it are not the ones who really need it.

3 hours ago
I enjoy hanging out with Yale students because they know how to have a good time more than any other Ivy school. Harvard is the worst in that respect.

4 hours ago
And the value of a Yale education drops a little more.

7 hours ago
At Bryn Mawr, we have an honor code that includes not talking to other people about grades. This takes a lot of pressure off by discouraging competition and promoting cooperation. We also have mandatory PE and wellness classes. :-)

11 hours ago
Very sad story...Happiness will be gone fast when reality will hit job future market, and the big dream will soon hit parents pocket.

11 hours ago
I am shocked and saddened by this conversation... I am a college counselor at a small university in NJ. Mental health issues are rampant all over the country, at every type of educational institution: no "snowflake" exclusivity. Kids are afraid of failing, feel tremendous pressure to be "successful" and are managing stressors from home, school, personal life and the world... Death by suicide is only second to accidents in this age range. This professor provided an in-vivo learning experience to improve mental health and well being that is more useful than any textbook could possibly provide. As well as provide resiliency bolstering for emerging adults. Kuddos to her! And how lucky her students were to gain personal and experiential learning in a general psychology class.


Here are the first 13 or so comments, Virginia:


Hmmm ... "Psychology and the Good Life” would probably be good for some kids, but I suspect the kids who are taking it are not the ones who really need it.

3 hours ago
I enjoy hanging out with Yale students because they know how to have a good time more than any other Ivy school. Harvard is the worst in that respect.

4 hours ago
And the value of a Yale education drops a little more.

7 hours ago
At Bryn Mawr, we have an honor code that includes not talking to other people about grades. This takes a lot of pressure off by discouraging competition and promoting cooperation. We also have mandatory PE and wellness classes. :-)

11 hours ago
Very sad story...Happiness will be gone fast when reality will hit job future market, and the big dream will soon hit parents pocket.

11 hours ago
I am shocked and saddened by this conversation... I am a college counselor at a small university in NJ. Mental health issues are rampant all over the country, at every type of educational institution: no "snowflake" exclusivity. Kids are afraid of failing, feel tremendous pressure to be "successful" and are managing stressors from home, school, personal life and the world... Death by suicide is only second to accidents in this age range. This professor provided an in-vivo learning experience to improve mental health and well being that is more useful than any textbook could possibly provide. As well as provide resiliency bolstering for emerging adults. Kuddos to her! And how lucky her students were to gain personal and experiential learning in a general psychology class.

Virginia Virginia May 15

ty, Tink...idk, maybe it is beneficial to even be thinking about happiness at this point in their lives...I should talk, I did not even have the patience to sit through the professor's YouTube explanation of why she was offering the class (Yawn)...

Here are the rest (I hope).

13 hours ago
Working hard and getting good grades make my twin daughters happy in college, one an English/Linguistics major, the other a civil/environmental engineering major. They don't seem to be overly stressed or unhappy about some of the work requirements that are placed on them. And they each maintain a 3.9 GPA, in their junior years. Maybe some college students aren't equipped to the work requirements of college. How will those students adapt to the working world?

4 hours ago
They won’t. But they’ll be well equipped to tell everyone how the world is the one that’s wrong, not them.

2 hours ago
Undergrad is easy, even for Engineering. Grad school is a different story; the weak have been weeded out.


Here are the rest (I hope).

13 hours ago
Working hard and getting good grades make my twin daughters happy in college, one an English/Linguistics major, the other a civil/environmental engineering major. They don't seem to be overly stressed or unhappy about some of the work requirements that are placed on them. And they each maintain a 3.9 GPA, in their junior years. Maybe some college students aren't equipped to the work requirements of college. How will those students adapt to the working world?

4 hours ago
They won’t. But they’ll be well equipped to tell everyone how the world is the one that’s wrong, not them.

2 hours ago
Undergrad is easy, even for Engineering. Grad school is a different story; the weak have been weeded out.

I keep getting messages that I have exceeded the 8000 character limit.  Probably something built into the text to prevent copying and pasting.


1 hour ago
"Easy, even for Engineering." Do you have a degree in engineering, physics, or something of the sort so you have direct experience with thermodynamics and structural analysis being easy? I don't remember them that way. I graduated at the top of my department at Case Western Reserve, but I had to work damned hard to graduate at all, which was good preparation for grad school. (The "Doctor" in my screen name was earned.) I distinctly recall the engineering and physics students working longer and harder than business and liberal arts students.

16 hours ago
It appears that the Good Life at Yale includes harassing others who might doze off while working on a paper.

18 hours ago
Just don’t take a nap!

1 day ago
I cannot imagine what caused this WaPo reporter (and her editor) to deem this a “story.” Is someone a buddy of someone? I have no problem with that actually, at least it’s a reason (albeit bad) for this nonsense article.


Rooster May 16

A day here and there wouldn't be so bad I suppose but a whole class? I always thought College was to learn higher education, not play grab ass! Kind of reminds me of this.


TheOtherTink Rooster May 16

Student performance seems to be dropping off at even the best colleges, and professors such as that one encourage it with their antics. :(

And other professors who try to stem the tide are likely not to get support from their administrators.

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2015/04/27/professor-fails-his-entire-class-and-his-university-intervenes


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