Students at Evergreen State College are currently masterminding their own lesson in political unrest. In case you missed it, a student mob attacked and berated a professor, beginning a downward spiralthat has left the school shuttered and security so tenuous that there are roving bands of bat-wielding vigilantes keeping the peace on campus.
Professor Bret Weinstein, who kicked off the descent into madness by objecting to a plan that would have booted white students and professors off campus for a “Day of Absence” organized by the school’s minority community, alluded to Evergreen’s insular atmosphere in his interview with Joe Rogan. But to truly grasp how, well, insane, Evergreen State College actually is, you have to go to the course catalogue.
For starters, students at ESC don’t receive grades—they receive “narrative evaluations” that give them feedback on their performance while preserving their self-esteem. Such an approach, Evergreen says, allows professors to take stock of student performance as a whole and take students’ skills and abilities into consideration when awarding the pass and fail. (Students, by the way, also get a say in the process.)
Students also take only a single set of classes each year. There are no semesters (that’s probably sexist anyway), and students plan their own path to their chosen major.
This coming fall, for example, you can take a number of classes that count as biology, but actually aren’t biology at all. They include, as the Daily Caller found, Reproduction: Gender, Race and Power, but also Dancing Molecules, Dancing Bodies, where you’ll use the art of dance to communicate with your body and understand the chemical processes within.
If that’s not up your alley, perhaps you would prefer Actions and their Consequences, which will “examine local, national, and international policy issues of the postcolonial and neocolonial world in education, health care, social welfare and environmentalism” through a series of “interdisciplinary” lectures. That class will eventually gather and design “projects to address issues of unequal distributions of power.”
If math and economics are more your style, there are plenty of social justice-tinged options for you. Advocating for Sustainable Culture is considered a math course (you even get to do field trips!), as is Dimensions for Inequality and Options for Change.
And lest you think you’d have to abandon your progressive politics for a class in something seemingly objective, like physics, fear not! Under the “physics” catalog offerings, there’s Defending Mother Earth: Science, Energy and Native Peoples.
And if these are the hard science offerings, you can imagine what the social science offerings look like. Don’t even ask about the economics department.
The school’s website touts Evergreen as a “special” place, and its not hard to see that they work long and hard to make that true—at least up until the moment when the school descended into madness, ended up in the hands of the students, was forced to shut its doors and became a national news story for its incredible intolerance.