Education in America: A Letter to Rush Limbaugh and America

Dear Mr. Limbaugh,

As an educator, I have heard commentary from you, from the public, and from educators about the needs of education in America. I won’t begin to solve America’s educational needs; a true educator will only offer suggestions and not claim to know the answer to every problem. However, I was troubled that you did not support the classical education offered at Hillsdale College.

Again, as an educator, I see many different students with many different needs. For example, I have taught at the community college level for the past 17 + years. I have met many learners who meet your recommended model. All they want is to know the needed material and skills, presented in the plainest form, so they can move on to earning an income and support their families (a worthy goal). Yes, there are many adult learners who meet this model and succeed with this path. It works.

On the other hand, there are many different learners out there. Some want to learn about the Greeks and the Romans and any other area that inspires them. We, as educators, can teach additional inspiration through the classics. Even at the undergraduate level at Hillsdale College, where I was not the strongest student, I still learned and absorbed information. I remember lessons from my instructors that still pop up in my mind today. Sometimes I complete further research. Often, I learn a deeper lesson, 20 years later, and sometimes I share those important lessons with my current students. Many classical learners never stop learning and form the educated base of AM radio. They keep thinking, keep striving for knowledge…I assume you want these listeners, Mr. L? I would value their input!

Perhaps that is the benefit of a liberal arts education, to follow Michelangelo’s model, “I am still learning.” Perhaps it provides degree earners with an alternative for their career as often the first choice doesn’t “stick.” Education can’t be regulated, bottled, or formed in a pill. Education thrives through the inspiration of the individual teachers who breathe creativity into each lesson, story, and moment.

Respectfully,

Maggie (Roche) Murphy

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