UNC’s Mess and The Beige Plate Theory

November16/ 2014

I try to leave that never-ending academic trainwreck over at Chapel Hill to BobLee. I specialize in really important crap like using BullyBarber and RobRielleWHO as my personal human piñatas. BobLee and I debate who has the most inexhaustible fount of material to choose from. Neither of us is complaining mind you.

But that UNC Trainwreck is starting to seep over into Real World Issues. YIKES!

Could my “Beige Plate” Theory be The Key to untying UNC’s Gordian Knot?

I don’t care about Deep Snappers, Nickle Backs and “Going to Shreveport” whatever that means. If Big Time College Sports went the way of rotary phones and McLean Stevenson’s career after M*A*S*H, I’d be fine with that. But I am fascinated with how human beings scramble to justify and excusify themselves. Truth Be Damned…. when you don’t have Facts on your side, hit ALLCAPS and drown out all opposition.

BobLee really likes Mary Willingham and UNC Faculty Dissident Jay Smith. BobLee doesn’t like all that many people. For Mary & Jay to pass his muster tells me a lot.

What Mary actually “blew her whistle” about has been ALLCAPPED to smithereens by the pin-headed nimrods who want to portray her, very incorrectly, as a jock-hating threat to Tar Heel Sports…. and to their all-important Braggin’ Rights. That could not be further from The Truth. There’s that nasty T-word again.

Mary’s contention was: OK, UNC had admitted these boys who simply cannot read or write at anywhere near a college freshman level. They are here. What do we do with them? Either (1) Hide them in a silly zero-nutrition “eligibility curriculum” OR (2) Design a remedial curriculum to do what we can to compensate for the sub-standard education they were processed thru before they got here….. The two-four years these kids might be at UNC will likely be the last contact they ever have with any educational system. We (UNCCH) are their last hope.

For that humane concern Mary Willingham lost her job at UNC and became “Typhoid Mary” to a large group of pin-headed nitwits. Now those same nitwits are claiming it is “their (the semi-literate boys) own fault” for being unable to do basic college-level classwork or to control their academic futures..

That brings us to the “The Beige Plate” Theory. Feel free to take notes. This WILL be on the final exam.

In another life I was an executive in the luxury hotel industry. A big convention hotel is like any large factory or manufacturing facility. There are many layers of employees from high-falutin’ management executives to clerical support to entry-level hourly maintenance and assembly-line workers. These 100s of employees come from all sorts of socio-ethnic-cultural backgrounds. They vary in income, religion, cultures, world-views, education, et al…. and dietary preferences.

Allowing that some operations do have an executive dining room….. hotels usually have one employee cafeteria with a complimentary cafeteria-style buffet. Hotels employ chefs and full-service food prep staffs, ergo they can / do offer a wide-range of foods for the employees to choose from.

I noticed over time that the hourly workers – the ones with limited education and from so-called “disadvantaged” backgrounds – invariably exited the cafeteria-buffet with “beige plates”. Every meal…. every day, day after day.

Despite the fully-complimentary availability of a wide-range of “green leafy vegetables” containing all the nutritional components of a well-balanced meal, these people invariably chose “heavy starches” like beans and potatoes and white bread…. i.e. “beige foods”.

Why? Because that is the food they had grown up learning to eat. What they “were used to”…. “comfortable with”. Families on limited income and with limited / no dietary knowledge gravitate to cheaper groceries that can be stretched to feed more mouths at less cost. These same people often exhibited the obvious effects of such a limiting diet – obesity and generally poor health.

I bet when you were growing up your mom “made you” eat your vegetables. Did she even withhold dessert until you did? Maybe you still don’t like broccoli, but you did gradually expand your palate. Suppose she had not “made you”? Did you “make” your children eat their vegetables, too? That rhetorical. You did.

Your mom and dad “made you” (and you and your spouse “made” your children) “do their homework” and “make good grades” too. Again, rhetorical.

Learning to Eat and Learning to Learn…. suppose no one had been there to “make you” or “make” your children?

Higher up the employment “food chain” – where education and “upbringing” situations were more expansive – their plates were much more colorful with salads and a wider-range of vegetables with varying nutritional components…. and noticeably less “fill you up” empty starches.

A hotel is not charged with broadening the nutritional perspective of its employees. If the maintenance / housekeeping staff wanted to fill up with beans and potatoes each day, no one “made” them expand their food interests. Nor did they “know enough” to consider doing so themselves.

A University is not a Hotel. A young man processed thru a public education assembly line run by a “move’em thru the system” mindset is not going to arrive at The Old Well ready to “drink deep from The Perian Spring”. The Perian WHAT?

If his learning lamp was not lit, re-lit, and regularly kindled during K-12, what are the chances it will suddenly ignite at age 18. Especially if one and all readily admit his #1 interest is excelling at Football or Basketball. He does understand where THAT enticing path “might lead”. That dominates his thinking.

He simply lacks the intellectual wherewithal to “take responsibility for” taking advantages of all that a large university affords him. Any more than his mother (or father if he was really lucky) knew to ask for “green leafy vegetables” in that cafeteria line.

Those who are bloviating that “it’s their own fault” are exhibiting the grossest form of ignorance, naïveté and academic racism. That many of these bloviators are academicians of the liberal ideological persuasion is not at all surprising. UNC – another self-anointed paragon of diversity and compassion EXPOSED! Geeee, if I had a nickel for every time thats happened.

Academic career counseling (wink, wink) for “that certain type” of student-athlete is the simple questions of – (1) what courses can you get passing grades in (aka “stay eligible to play”), that (2) do not interfere with your Football /Basketball duties.

The odds of that “certain type” of student-athlete getting to the end of the academic cafeteria line with a very very Beige Plate are extraordinarily high.

But who cares so long as WhattsaMattaU beats its hated rivals….. Right?

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