Friday, July 13, 2007

The HTC Strikes Back!

A few posts back I wrote about the high standards at Ohio University's Honors Tutorial College. Less than twelve hours after publishing that post, two of the best HTC students I ever taught had written thoughtful and intelligent challenges to my position, which are worth reading. (My responses to them are, perhaps, less worth reading, but you might as well read them anyway as long as you're there.) Now, less than twelve hours after publishing yesterday's post about subsistence, one of those same HTC students has written another thoughtful and intelligent response. In this case, I actually recommend reading my response, since the issue he raises about sinfulness in the Church as an institution is a very important one, and needs to be addressed. I tried to answer his question in my response, so I probably won't publish a full-blown post about it, but it's the sort of question that arises again and again these days, so who knows.

1 comment:

Richard said...

Dr. Carson,

I appreciate your thoughts on HTC -- although I didn't graduate from it, I used to be a student there.

I think that one of the greater ironies of the HTC (and while there I found many more than I cared to) was that despite Ann Fidler's stated relativistic convictions, membership in HTC is based entirely on the banal normative standard of a 3.5 GPA. Sounds pretty firm and final to me. This "standard of excellence" affected me directly -- after enduring a particularly difficult period in my life, and after two full years in the program, I was forced essentially to start over my undergraduate education in an entirely different curriculum because I had earned more than two grades of B- or below. I doubt that the prestigious institutions the HTC regularly compares itself to for marketing purposes would expect their students to match that -- any why should they?

When I was removed, Fidler told me something canned, like, "We think you would thrive in an environment where grades aren't so important -- not that I think grades are important...but we're sure you're going to do great things!" I can conclude only one of three things from this: 1) she's doing her job in bad faith, but doesn't know how to do better 2) she was making an embarrassingly transparent attempt to flatter me so that I wouldn't protest, or 3) she's a psychic.

Only (3) speaks well of her (but somehow I'm tempted not to count on it), so I'm not hesitant to admit that I eagerly await news of her resignation, and of some more reasoned thought about the college's goals.