The Awful German Language... and the Awful State of American Higher Education
on Hilke's blog. Having taken three years of German a long time ago when I was a university student, I was entertained by her choice of text. Looking through these books is a real treat! They are quite wonderful.
We just heard from an acquaintance who teaches at the University of Nevada Reno that they have gone a step further. Their administrators are planning to eliminate the entire Foreign Languages and Literatures Department. No more French, German or Italian. Can you believe it? (If you're on Facebook, the students have set up a page about it.) And now even as I was writing this, someone else told me that UCLA, where I once took multiple foreign languages and linguistics classes, is planning to do something similar.
Even though people always thought I was an art student, I didn't actually major in art once I came to Humboldt State from UCLA. I had a double major in language studies and anthropology. It's been quite a while now, and my working knowledge of the languages I studied is growing fuzzy. But learning them still was one of the greatest gifts I got from my education. It shocks me to think that course offerings in major European languages are now considered expendable at American universities.
That's awful. Beyond awful.