As educators, we should always strive to encourage students to do whatever they want and feel proud of their inevitable success. It is inappropriate for us to criticize any attributes they possess that might cause them harm. We’re in the happy business and it makes us feel good!
That is why I am proposing that we offer a special physical education course specifically for anorexics. Anorexic students don’t have much muscle mass (I don’t mean to be judgmental… sorry), which means that they’re not going to be good at most athletic pursuits. In contrast, sumo wrestling is a truly egalitarian sport. It doesn’t matter how big or small you are; if we can find someone who weighs the same as you, it’s a fair match-up. But you might protest: anorexics usually view themselves as fat. Why on earth would you assign them to a sport that is normally pursued by fat people? It’s really very simple. Put a “normal-weight” person in the course and the anorexic will inevitably lose that match. With an anorexic group of students, losing is the one thing that will help their self-esteem. What’s the obvious rationalization for losing? “I lost the match because I wasn’t fat enough.”
In fairness, we have to be careful how we market this course. The University prohibits any commentary that might be viewed as disparaging to a student’s body type. (Administrators say they want you to act when you see that someone is anorexic, but those “speech codes” make it nearly impossible.) So even though anorexia can kill these kids before they ever get a chance to graduate, we have to accept that their psychological disease is not a disease, but an unfair cultural label that is foisted upon them. We must allow these kids to feel good about themselves and their self-destructive choices. Who are we to say what weight is “normal?” “Normal” is relative.
Colleges these days like to put forth a curriculum that speaks to the interests students already have. It is something they tout constantly, as long as those interests fit into the college’s preferred political frameworks.
Therefore, I would like to suggest a new course to the local university, which I am tentatively entitling “The Aesthetics of Sarah Palin’s Bra.” Now you may ask yourself how on earth the campus feminists would ever let something like this pass. Surely they would object to an educator taking such a prominent female political figure and reducing her stature in this way. But no, you would be wrong. According to feminists, it only counts as demeaning to women if the woman being demeaned is not a conservative. In fairness to the feminists, Sarah Palin has more brain cells in her breasts than she has in her head, so the feminsists’ reluctance to protest would be justified here.
I further believe that a course on Sarah Palin’s bra would help increase course enrollment figures. Conservative students would be elated to be able to study something that has no connection to liberal politics and male students will take an interest in anything involving Palin’s boobs. And since humanities programs insist that the study of seemingly insignificant material goods is just as valuable as studying works by authors such as Aristotle and Kant, this course should have no problem making its way past the curriculum committee.
And what might the reading list look like? I suggest that we pass over those old fashioned things called “books” and focus on “cultural texts.” According to the lit. crit. folks, everything is a cultural text and can be “read.” So instead of books, students could spend their evenings staring at pictures of Palin’s boobs, analyzing the precise angle at which she wears them. From there, students could discuss the cultural significance of her bra selections and how those bras fit into the Tea Party political platform. Since inviting unclothed guests worked so well for that professor at Northwestern, maybe we could sponsor a model to come in and display some of the bra styles that create Palin’s distinctive look. Students always favor hands-on education and I seek to please.
For the tuition money they spend, students deserve nothing but the best.