Ricardo Thistlewaithe, a sophomore taking Alan Wheeler’s Global Perspectives class, has internalized his anthropology lessons a bit too well this semester.
“Higher education is a cultural value that has been rejected by many indigenous tribes, the Amish, and the subculture of fast-food workers”, Thistlewaithe reportedly said before declaring his intention to live a “culture-free existence” in a tent in the national forest.
Other students said Thistlewaithe has been especially stressed this finals
season, but are confused by his refusal to take that particular test.
“I did this test in eight minutes last year,” said travel guide Dora Cartwright. “I had studied for fifteen minutes before coming to class. It would’ve been ten, except I had to wade through all the typos in the book our professors wrote.”
Wheeler says his unconventional teaching methods are meant to inspire students to visit other cultures, and Thistlewaithe is probably just making excuses for his inability to complete the last few requirements for his degree.
Interviews with past ANTH-200 students reveal that the program is attaining its goals in most students’ experiences.
“I definitely gained a global perspective,” said junior theatre major Lauren Jones. “Before, I would have only considered vacationing in the United States; now I know that other countries are even more fun than Florida.”
Senior history major Brad Underwood agreed: “My life was changed when I went to Argentina. I had never experienced culture shock before, but for nine days of my life it was completely the wrong season. I can’t imagine that people live their whole lives like that. But it’s not wrong, it’s just different.”
Other students expressed enthusiasm for the large-pack-of-Americans philosophy of cultural integration and the two-weeks-at-a-time-baby-steps-please method of avoiding major culture shock.
Thistlewaithe was undeterred from his original plan by the positive comments about experiencing culture. When asked if he was aware that human culture was an inextricable part of him, he had a quick reply:
“If there’s ever been a place to escape from culture, it’s Polk County.”