Saturday Night Live has a recurring segment with Seth Meyers, Amy Poehler and sometimes a special guest in which they address, with appropriate incredulity, the seeming senselessness of something a politician, public figure, or institution has done lately.
This is a tone often taken with Middlebury’s academic distribution requirements – freshmen, don’t worry, there are myriad ways to get rid of your deductive requirement without ever using basic algebra – but especially the geographic distributions. For those blissfully unaware, the regions we must cover in order to graduate as politically correct, socially sensitive world citizens are EUR (Europe), NOR (North America), and AAL (Africa Asia Latin America). In other words, you have to take a class each in the culturally and politically polar opposites of Europe and North America, but the presumably homogenous societies of two-thirds of the world’s non-white populations? Hey, are there any classes on Australia? I think it technically falls under Asia. One J-term quickie on Japanese animation and voila, instant AAL credit! And a total lack of familiarity with the Middle East, the BRIC countries, central Africa, Southeast Asia, or any other one or few of the vastly divergent cultures in these regions.
Is the solution to this to increase the geographical requirements, or get rid of them completely? Any suggestions on change, or an argument for the status quo?