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Old 02-13-2008, 08:47 AM   #61
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Of course, Churchill would do poorly in his early education, since he was an ADHD/hyperactive/easily distracted kid. Guess he was like the lucky 70% that grow out of it by the early teens (my son was one), and many of these kids--feeling life has kicked the crap out of them early with this disability--do go on to be our highest achievers in life. My piece is said.
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Old 02-13-2008, 09:46 AM   #62
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I'll make a few observations myself as a parent of a recent graduate from one of the service academies as well as a parent of children who have graduated from two top rated public colleges.

I think the service academies are esssentially national public colleges with a very unique focus and mission. There are several other unique or untraditional institutions of higher education (such as single-sex schools, religious-oriented schools, and schools with the unique curriculum like Deep Springs or St. Johns colleges). I doubt many of us would say that these schools are not "genuine" schools of higher education, as they are accredited by the accrediting bodies and they are communities of learning.

It is fair game to compare the academic training that one gets from these service academies with the training that one gets from other public undergraduate programs. I'm unaware of any major difference, except all academy students essentially graduate with an engineering degree, classroom attendance is compulsory (with few exceptions), students at the service academies face major contraints on their time to study, and they are more likely to show up for class tired and sleep deprived as a result of their other obligations.

The service academies are highly selective in their admissions, but their admissions are more likely to populate a campus of "well-rounded" students, rather than a campus that would include lots of exceptionally talented and gifted students in niche areas or programs, as I think is the case with the elite private colleges. Thus, it is not surprising that the service academies do extremely well in the Rhodes Scholar competition (in 2006, USNA had the most Rhodes selected from a college) where a well-rounded background is a major factor in selection.

There are some extremely smart, well-rounded students that attend the service academies. I think it's anyone's guess whether this compares favorably to the number of extremely smart, well-rounded students at other selective colleges. My own guess is that there are more extremely smart, well-rounded students at the elite private colleges (e.g. a quarter of the Harvard crew team on the men's and women's sides might have perfect SAT scores) than at the service academies, but that the academies would stack very well against public colleges like Uva, UNC, U-Mich, UCLA, University of Texas, and Berkeley. Overall, however, I think that if you take the usual indicia of academic selectivity (GPA and SAT scores), the average service academy student compares favorably with the average student at these other schools.

If the academies were designed to prepare one for civilian life, they probably do not do a good job in that area. They are more like prisons, with students released occasionally on the weekends for good behavior. Churchill was on to something there. However, I have always felt that institutions of higher education should provide an environment where one can obtain a first rate education from the school and life-long friendships from other students. I think the service academies provide a very good environment for that to take place despite the prison-like atmosphere.
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Old 02-13-2008, 03:25 PM   #63
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Seriously, Milton, if you're not willing to debate the merits of your statements, or even to supply supporting evidence, then maybe you shouldn't have spoken up in the first place. Making snippy comments and then refusing to start a fight... well, it's too late.
Yes, I think you have a point Nords.

When I made my original post re the quality or otherwise of the academies (a subject of which I have some, but not extensive, direct knowledge), I did not appreciate that some on this forum might take personal offense. Now that it is clear that I have offended people, I just don't see the point in stirring up further argument; especially as this is essentially a subjective question.

Normally I would be prepared to enter into a debate, but it seems to me that in this case it would only cause further hurt feelings ... and that is not why I visit this board.

I am sorry for causing offense, and for hijacking the thread. And as I already said, everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. Fair enough?
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Old 02-13-2008, 05:10 PM   #64
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Wow - what fun - can I join in from the Reserve Officer, ROTC scholarship, public engineering degrees perspective? :-) Hmm, I wanted so bad to go to USAFA but as time has gone by I've found two types from there - the really laid back or the really gung-ho. Very few were more intelligent - there are some political games that occur as well as geographical games used for academy slot allocations. Also, I realized, they don't have to worry about their roof or food, but the time that students in public or private universities might spend worrying about that, the service academies keep 'em busy.

As for private universities - the best quote I heard was from a fellow ROTC grad who had gone to Standford - his father had gone there, so he was a 'legacy' - he used the same books I did for classes, had a much lower student to professor ratio and had a pass-fail system - holy crap - I worked very hard to finish my degree at a state university and not 'lose' the scholarship. Comment was: hard to get in, hard to get out - they don't want you leaving once you've gotten in, so 'accomodations are made.'

Generally, I find people with some military background highly educated and very well rounded - the comment made about leaders needing to be well-rounded is spot on. I've worked with some brilliant engineers, doctors and scientists from the private universities as well. Many of them are not as well rounded nor well world traveled. That being said, they are still good people to work with and learn from.

Now on the partial part of this thread - one of the best books I've read about being a prisoner of war is by Viktor Frankl, "Man's Search For Meaning." He says that when one faces their mortality and especially through tragic or excoriating means, the will to survive most times takes precedence over one's moral fiber or moral values. He even says he did things in Auschwitz he's not proud of but that ultimately helped him survive. Very hard to judge anyone in that type of situation - very hard. Definitely one of 'walking in their shoes.' I wonder how I would do in that type of situation as I am taught that it could happen to me.
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Old 02-13-2008, 05:32 PM   #65
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Yes, I think you have a point Nords.

When I made my original post re the quality or otherwise of the academies (a subject of which I have some, but not extensive, direct knowledge), I did not appreciate that some on this forum might take personal offense. Now that it is clear that I have offended people, I just don't see the point in stirring up further argument; especially as this is essentially a subjective question.

Normally I would be prepared to enter into a debate, but it seems to me that in this case it would only cause further hurt feelings ... and that is not why I visit this board.

I am sorry for causing offense, and for hijacking the thread. And as I already said, everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. Fair enough?
Milton:

Are you, by chance, English? If so, that may account for the discrepancy between our positions. As I understand it, the programs at Sandhurst and the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth are substantially different from the programs at the service academies in the U.S.. The former have courses of study lasting under one year and are focused almost exclusively on military/naval matters. The latter are four-year degree granting undergraduate institutions.

If you are American and referring to your familiarity with the U.S. service academies, then I guess we just have a difference of opinion, which is fine by me.
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Old 02-13-2008, 06:37 PM   #66
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Hmmm, I hadnt seen anything that correlated poor grades in school with job performance.

In fact, I know lots of people who did poorly in academics become extremely successful people


Might you be talking in the 3rd person here?

Some of the wealthiest folks I ever met had an 8th grade education.........
That's my experiance as well ... 20 years in mega corp, every bookworm (aka Dr. in thier choosen field) I've ever met slugged away for 30+ years in mega corp. NOT all by choice ... simply didn't know how to handle $$.

4 out of 5 millionaires I know did it with only a high school degree.
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Old 02-13-2008, 07:18 PM   #67
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I barely got that. My physics teacher gave me a C so I'd pass, even though I only went to class about 6 times.
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Old 02-21-2008, 03:29 PM   #68
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Cindy McCain

My first posting. Just wanted to say that I am an older parent with 2 boys with autism. I am a fan of Cindy McCain. She graduated from my alma mater with a bachelors and masters in special education- has also been published. She waived the opportunity to join the elite ranks in her choice of career and taught serverely disabled children. Wish I could look like her at 52.
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Old 02-22-2008, 07:47 AM   #69
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Thanks for making that point, loveforesthome, and welcome!
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Old 02-22-2008, 04:02 PM   #70
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loveforesthome is correct in suggesting that with her wealthy family background, Cindy McCain could have made different, more indolent choices. She has been widely recognized for her charitable work.

Personally, I'm inclined to think that neither her achievements nor her problems should carry any weight in considering whether her husband is worthy of becoming the next president. In other words, he should be evaluated solely on his own merits.
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Old 02-22-2008, 07:47 PM   #71
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Oy! Go ahead and promote a "home-wrecker" why doncha??

McCain, apparently, has as much of a problem keeping it in his pants as Clinton ever did. Clinton, at least, did not abandon his wife.

Cindy is a godsend, alright. She's McCain's Bank Account.

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My nephew has autism. What the Nth "mrs. McCain" does or doesn't do may be nice or not.. but support for those less fortunate is not a dependable R position. Caveat emptor.
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Old 02-22-2008, 07:48 PM   #72
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Oy! Go ahead and promote a "home-wrecker" why doncha??

McCain, apparently, has as much of a problem keeping it in his pants as Clinton ever did. Clinton, at least, did not abandon his wife.

Cindy is a godsend, alright. She's McCain's Bank Account.

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My nephew has autism. What the Nth "mrs. McCain" does or doesn't do may be nice or not.. but support for those less fortunate is not a dependable R position. Caveat emptor.
The Times cant even offer a shred of proof. At least with Billy they had a blue dress
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:43 PM   #73
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Funny thing this "politics" be. I slept with all sorts of women before, during and after my regular working hours and I'm not particularly sure how that affected my job performance.

Well...alright...that 'during' thing was a bit distracting.

Last time I checked, the guy was supposed to be the commander in chief, chief executive, and our leader in world affairs. We've got other people to get our morals from. Like sports stars. Uhh...how about The Church? Hmmm...the media? Oh dear...

That having been said, this looks like the hole in the ground that McCain will fall into and never emerge from. I've already read too much about why the lobbyists running his campaign arent "those sort of lobbyists".

But its interesting to watch people who are surrounded by organizations laden with scuzz and filth pick apart the few people who are brave enough to step up to the bar...
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Old 02-22-2008, 09:13 PM   #74
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Cindy McCain

Having a nephew who has autism is not the same as having 2 boys with autism. 2nd of all Cindy is not his Nth wife- she is his second wife and they've been married for over 20 years. I don't condone him leaving his wife but I understand all humans are flawed but I see McCain as putting his homelife back together. In fact I see McCain's home life much more stable than any of the others. He has 4 birth children and 1 adopted child with Cindy. One of his son's (and Cindy's) joined the Marines after graduation from high school and has made 2 tours of Iraq (not administrative). The wife of a President has much clout (at least that's what Hillary is basing her candidacy on). Reason that I posted that I had 2 children with autism is that at least McCain's wife has some insight to what having children with mental disabilities is like. Autism is an epidemic that America has yet to recognize.
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Old 02-22-2008, 09:46 PM   #75
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Funny thing this "politics" be. I slept with all sorts of women before, during and after my regular working hours and I'm not particularly sure how that affected my job performance.

Well...alright...that 'during' thing was a bit distracting.

Last time I checked, the guy was supposed to be the commander in chief, chief executive, and our leader in world affairs. We've got other people to get our morals from. Like sports stars. Uhh...how about The Church? Hmmm...the media? Oh dear...

That having been said, this looks like the hole in the ground that McCain will fall into and never emerge from. I've already read too much about why the lobbyists running his campaign arent "those sort of lobbyists".

But its interesting to watch people who are surrounded by organizations laden with scuzz and filth pick apart the few people who are brave enough to step up to the bar...
Much money and effort was spent investigating Bill Clinton's sex life. If that was so important, why shouldn't equal money and effort be spent investigating all presidential hopefuls ( and what about senators and reps?).
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Old 02-22-2008, 10:04 PM   #76
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Two wrongs dont make a right?

KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!
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Old 02-22-2008, 10:59 PM   #77
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Having a nephew who has autism is not the same as having 2 boys with autism. 2nd of all Cindy is not his Nth wife- she is his second wife and they've been married for over 20 years. I don't condone him leaving his wife but I understand all humans are flawed but I see McCain as putting his homelife back together. In fact I see McCain's home life much more stable than any of the others. He has 4 birth children and 1 adopted child with Cindy. One of his son's (and Cindy's) joined the Marines after graduation from high school and has made 2 tours of Iraq (not administrative). The wife of a President has much clout (at least that's what Hillary is basing her candidacy on). Reason that I posted that I had 2 children with autism is that at least McCain's wife has some insight to what having children with mental disabilities is like. Autism is an epidemic that America has yet to recognize.
Thanks for sharing your situation with us and adding your insight. And please overlook the mean spirited comments. A few folks on the board sometimes forget decency when political debating gets started.

Welcome.
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Old 02-22-2008, 11:50 PM   #78
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Old 02-23-2008, 02:00 AM   #79
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Old 02-23-2008, 06:18 AM   #80
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