Military Academies and American Values — Updated

Football, Yes.  English, No.
Football, Yes. English, No.

W.J. Astore

Bruce Fleming, an English professor at Annapolis, has a great letter at the New York Times about the government shutdown.  Unlike West Point and the Air Force Academy, most instructors at Annapolis are civilians rather than serving military officers.  They have been furloughed because of the government shutdown, so Navy midshipmen are no longer being educated.  They’re being herded into large lecture halls by young LTs.  Lord knows what they’re learning.

The library staff is furloughed as well.  But who needs books nowadays?

But wait!  I have good news.  Even as education in subjects like English is suspended at Annapolis, the football games continue.  There was an alarming report earlier this week that this weekend’s football game might be cancelled due to the shutdown.  But lo and behold, football games were restored for all the service academies.

Here are American values clearly on display.  Football and tailgates and hoopla: essential.  Education in English: optional.

And we wonder why America is in trouble today?

Update (10/7/13): Civilian faculty returned to work today at Annapolis, so “only” one week of classes were missed. I’m just glad no football games were missed. Priorities, people!

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