Tag Archives: University of Minnesota

Liberal Arts and Stem


When I attended the University of Minnesota, I was enrolled in the Institute for Technology.  –That’s right, I attended MIT!–  The rest of the students, for the most part, were enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts or CLA.

It was high fun to openly mock our more leisurely peers often referring to them, in the most derogatory tone possible, as “CLA’ers.”  There was never any doubt, inside the Institute or out, that the rigorous courses were contained within that technology track.

It would seem that the same holds true – more or less – here in North Carolina.  I’m hanging out on the UNC campus while my daughter dances in the Raleigh Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” -she’s a Gingerbread-  and I’m reading the campus newspaper when I came across this:

Senior Lauren Schmidt originally entered college with the intention of becoming a pharmacist or physician assistant. Those plans changed after her experience in Chemistry 101 during her first semester at UNC.

“I spent hours working on Mastering Chemistry,” she said. “I’m not good at chemistry, and I’m OK with admitting that.”

Schmidt decided to drop the class after the first exam, and even though she completed Biology 101 the following semester, she started looking for a different major.

And Schmidt is not alone. Jennifer Krumper, a lecturer in the chemistry department, said a number of other aspiring pre-health students switch majors because of the difficulty in introductory science courses such as Biology 101, Chemistry 101 and Chemistry 102.

“Many students who are interested in science and have the abilities end up not majoring in science because they have a discouraging experience after their first year,” she said.

A somewhat sad, but not surprising commentary on the state of US education.  It would seem that kids are getting the message that the “goto” careers are within STEM fields, but that our kids either aren’t prepared or are simply too lazy.

A recent study by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics found that about half of the students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields leave their majors before they complete a bachelor’s degree.

Of the students who left these programs, about half switched to a non-STEM major, while the other half left school altogether.

Sad, really.  Especially as our economy is continually transitioning to a more and more technological one.

Certainly would be interesting to study the effects of this phenomenon as it pertains to income inequality.

This Wasn’t Offered When I Went To The “U”

Those darn kids these days:

Students at the “U” are invited to a lecture this spring all about women and orgasms. Some say it’s interesting.

From the University:

As the state’s preeminent education and research institution, the University of Minnesota provides information on a wide range of topics. The vast majority of these topics are not controversial, but some are.

“The Female Orgasm: A Program About Sexual Health and Female Empowerment” will be held on the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus on April 10 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. The workshop is an educational opportunity for participants to talk openly in small groups about healthy sexuality and relationships broadly, and discuss and analyze the messages women receive about their bodies and sexuality from media and elsewhere. The intent of the workshop is to educate individuals in making decisions about what is right for them as they seek to build healthy relationships. The departments hosting the workshops know that this program will not appeal to every student. Participation is not mandatory.

School just ain’t what it used to be!

NCAA Tournament: The Real One

In full disclosure both my finals teams are in the Dance; I have Kentucky Beating Kansas for the National Championship.

This breaks my heart.

I love Carolina and my only regret is that it took me 31 years to get here.   I do so wish that it was going to be the Tar Heels beating Kentucky, but, sadly, our boys in Blue didn’t have the guns for the fight.

However, all of this is secondary.

You see, the University of Minnesota is in the Frozen Four having defeated The University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux to get there.

There maybe one team we hate more than any other team, and that’s the bastard Badgers of Wisconsin.  After that comes North Dakota.  Historically we simply love to hate BU.

Here’s to what really matters.  College hockey; there isn’t a better game in all the world.