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  1. #1 Comparing the US Naval Academy To Columbia ! 
    An Adversary of Linda #'s
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    Comparing the Candidates' Colleges

    When I speak with my liberal friends about the upcoming election, one point they think that they can trump me on is intelligence. They regurgitate the litany of how dumb Reagan was, and connect the dots to how dumb John McCain is because he graduated at the bottom of his class at the Naval Academy. It is amazing to me how uneducated liberals are when it comes to education. The world begins and ends with the Ivy League, and class rank must be the only indicator of intelligence.


    Let's compare the schools the candidates went to, how they were graded, and what was expected of students. For argument's sake, I am going to select the two years Senator Obama spent as a transfer student at Columbia*, and the 4 years Senator McCain spent as a cadet at the Naval Academy.


    Entering an Ivy League school as a transfer is a different process than entering as a freshman. Grades and especially faculty recommendations, as well as life story, may play a significant role.


    In order to enter any service academy, you must pass a battery of interviews, physical tests, and standardized tests. Only the cream of the crop are admitted, and there are no preferences for race. Getting in at either as freshman is extremely tough.


    Let's look at what happens when you arrive. Going to the Ivy is a typical college experience. You take classes that you need to take to graduate and declare a major. You have plenty of time to study, party, can miss class if you want. It is a casual atmosphere where it really doesn't matter what clothing you wear to class. You are accountable to yourself. If you want to participate in intramural activities, you can, or not. No matter what your behavior in your abundant unstructured time, if you do well on tests, you will get a good grade in class.


    At a service academy, life is drastically different. http://www.usna.edu/midlife.htmBugle calls wake you up early in the morning. You have to wear a uniform of the day. Freshmen wake up a little earlier, and have to stand at attention and "shout" the days down the halls. Rooms are kept neat as a pin. Occasionally, they have to meet a SAMI (Saturday Morning Inspection). There are regulations as to how you store the equipment that is issued to you on the first day you came to the academy. Meals are regimented, and freshmen serve their upper class cadets.


    You march to lunch. You walk at attention all the time when you are a freshman. With each passing year, your class assumes greater responsibility in running the academy. By the time you are a senior, your class runs the academy and is responsible to the entire corps of cadets.


    Each day, you have to participate in intramural sports. You are not only graded in the classroom academically, but you receive a military grade as well..


    Academically, there are no "rocks for jocks" type classes. You carry a huge load of semester hours. Cadets will carry 4-6 more hours of classes per semester than a typical civilian student.


    You are specifically trained in leadership skills, and you are expected to use them. This is drastically different from anything offered to Ivy League undergraduates..


    Oh, did I mention that you can get a thing called demerits?


    Demerits are penalties issued to cadets for violations of the rules. It can be as much as leaving your lights on too late, to having un-shined shoes. The way to work off your demerits is to "walk tours" around a square line at the academy. You walk at attention with your rifle.


    McCain has the record for demerits at USNA. His son attends Annapolis now, and I hope he is not trying to break it.


    Class rank is computed from all of the above factors. It's not just academic grades. Ask an academy graduate if he is proud of the person that graduated last in their class. You will be intrigued by the answer.


    When people hail Barack Obama's intelligence because of his college resume and degrades McCain's, tell them to check out the Naval Academy website.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/...tes_colle.html
     

  2. #2  
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    This is a very silly line of attack. If one wishes to take academic credentials as a measure of intelligence, the comparison between McCain and Obama is a "no contest."

    The author blows a lot of smoke about the rigors of military school life in his implication that those rigors somehow equate to intelligence. He tells us that military school students "wake up early," "march to class" etc., etc. And, he implies that because Ivy League students don't do this, that somehow that compensates for the differing scores in their classes. But I'm not sure what marching to class has to do with intelligence.

    McCain finished at the bottom, bottom of his Naval Academy class. I think it would do a disservice to his fellow classmates, for example, to indicate that he was just as bright as them. They had to do the same physical exercises that McCain and somehow they managed to finish (way, way) ahead of him in their class. Similarly, it does a disservice to Obama, who went through Columbia and Harvard, was President of the Harvard Law Review, etc., to compare his academic achievements of those ofMcCain.

    Bad argument, Megs. I think even McCain would shy away from this one.
     

  3. #3  
    Resident Unliked Meanie Shannon's Avatar
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    I kind of care about someone's grades but not really. I've been around the block enough to know that grades aren't necessarily a good indication of leadership.
    Loyalty Binds Me- Motto of Richard III
     

  4. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shannon View Post
    I kind of care about someone's grades but not really. I've been around the block enough to know that grades aren't necessarily a good indication of leadership.
    And saying that grades aren't a good indicator is fine. But it's not fine to say that all grades are the same, a "F" and an "A," for example.
     

  5. #5  
    Resident Unliked Meanie Shannon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
    And saying that grades aren't a good indicator is fine. But it's not fine to say that all grades are the same, a "F" and an "A," for example.
    Isn't the "a" ,"an" rule phonetic?:p
    Loyalty Binds Me- Motto of Richard III
     

  6. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shannon View Post
    Isn't the "a" ,"an" rule phonetic?:p
    I'm a traditionalist and follow the rule that if the word begins with a consonant, it requires an "a," hey! :D
     

  7. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
    I'm a traditionalist and follow the rule that if the word begins with a consonant, it requires an "a," hey! :D
    That is not traditionalist. Traditionalist follows the path that the auditory pronunciation of the first letter determines whether it is an a or an an.

    Sheesh.
     

  8. #8  
    CU Royalty JB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phillygirl View Post
    That is not traditionalist. Traditionalist follows the path that the auditory pronunciation of the first letter determines whether it is an a or an an.

    Sheesh.
    Leave him alone. He's a honorable man. ;)

    This is also one of the worst cases of threadjacking I have ever seen.
    Be Not Afraid.
     

  9. #9  
    Resident Unliked Meanie Shannon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    Leave him alone. He's a honorable man. ;)

    This is also one of the worst cases of threadjacking I have ever seen.
    You do better then. I anxiously await something about boobs in an economics thread.
    Loyalty Binds Me- Motto of Richard III
     

  10. #10 First Hand Report on Difference 
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    I was in the first class of women to attend West Point, so I can give a first hand comparison of the two types of collegiate environments. The environment created at the academies is that of one to pressure your physical, emotional and mental self to create a continuous pressure in all three areas with an expectation of high performance and honesty. It develops the ability to perform under pressure and promote integrity and character. There really is no comparison. I left the academy after two years, married and had a child. Six years later, I returned to college. Attending Tarleton State University in Texas, with the responsibility of a family and a job, I graduated at a valedictorian status from the College of Arts & Sciences with a Bachelor's in mathematics. Believe me, there is no comparison.
     

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