Value of Ivy League degrees plummet

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on September 17, 2007

Idris Leppla is a student at Columbia University.

Idris Leppla is a moron.

Soon that pride turned to anger and fear: after my mom dropped him off at Annapolis, she came home with an acute sense of grief. The only thing she could talk about was how to get him out. In addition to missing his presence at home, she was scared by the extent to which her son had suddenly become the property of the U.S. Navy.?

She begged me to call a naval lieutenant Monday morning to start the out-processing forms for my brother. After leaving countless messages for the lieutenant, he finally called me back, at which point he informed me that my brother would have to go through 13 exit-interviews to be dismissed, including an interview with the head of the Navy. When I asked him whether this might intimidate him out of leaving, the lieutenant reminded me that my brother had signed an oath legally binding him to the Navy. When I reminded the lieutenant that he had signed that oath after he had been yelled at all day and that his hair had just been shaven off during his first day there, he comforted me that John was not at all forced to sign the oath.

When I looked at the course catalogue, which boasted seminars about leadership and selflessness, they were in fact seminars about weaponry and leading troops into combat. The reality of sending my brother to the Naval Academy began to set in: this was not a school; this was the military. While they boast a first class education, the main goal of this institution was to get my brother “combat ready.” During the first two “induction days,” the head of the Navy openly admitted that their goal was to transform these boys into men who would willingly die defending our country. They said to my parents, “We will manage to do in 18 minutes what you could not do in 18 years—we will discipline your boys and have them calling you Sir and Ma’am.” When they talked of courage and bravery, they showed a video of a Navy marine rounding off an unlimited supply of ammunition. During my brother’s plebe summer (his first summer), he could not talk to us for more than a few minutes once a week for fear that we might unduly influence him.

I have no idea what a "Navy marine" is, but I went to Cal Poly and Idris goes to Columbia.

I'd like to congratulate all Columbia grads. If this woman manages to get a degree, then yours is no longer worth a bucket of warm spit.

I'd also like to point out that the fact that a student newspaper at one of the nation's top journalism schools published this tripe -- as opposed to laughing their butts off -- says something about the state of journalism.

0 comments on “Value of Ivy League degrees plummet”

  1. Yo, bonehead. Ms. Leppla is a student at Barnard College; she goes to Barnard, not to Columbia. The opinion piece you reference was published in an undergraduate newspaper. Columbia's graduate journalism school had nothing what so ever to do with it. And by the way, plenty of people on campus were critical of the piece. But they recognize it as the work of one misguided student. So should every wingnut in this country.

  2. Oops, I didn't quote the first paragraph of Leppla's article.

    I know why I chose Columbia: the campus is magnificent, the education is top-tier, and my peers are intelligent. I could look at a stranger, tell him or her that I went to Columbia, and hear the predictable, “Wow, you must be smart.”

    At this point in their history, the Barnard/Columbia distinction is pretty much a distinction without a difference.

    For the record, Columbia Lion did post their comment from a computer at Columbia.

  3. Columbia Lion doth protest too much. It was a stupid article. Competition for entry into the Service Academies is extremely intense. Among other factors, one needs a nomination, usually from a Congressman. Leppla expects us to believe her brother went through the entire selection process without her mother knowing the USNA was part of the Navy. I have a bridge...

    The truth is more likely that mom is now upset because her adult son is now out of the nest, and has joined an organization that puts his life at risk in service to his country. Something that millions of mothers, including mine, have faced.


Actually, no serious person is sure what the conservative majority will do here. That's common in these politically charged cases. Meanwhile, literally nobody doubts what the *Democrat-appointed* justices will do. So who is "deeply partisan" again?

Doing some research and checked out @TheDispatchFC front page. It turns out the answer to every single one of these is "No." But one doesn't have that simple explanation on the main page. Why?

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September 2007



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