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EXCLUSIVE: You're Not Going To Believe This!

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Mistletoe Angel
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0 posted 03-09-2005 12:48 AM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel





You all may be familiar by now with the controversy surrounding CU professor Ward Churchill, the college I formerly attended before moving to Portland last year.

Well, I said I never had a class with him and was never even familiar with him until the story broke out of his essay.

BUT NOW, a new story is surfacing of CU possibly considering to dismiss a conservative professor Phil Mitchell, which Phil claims the board is considering his dismissal in two reasons; because he wasn't teaching by their set of standards, and that he may have been imposing his Christian beliefs in his classes too much.

*

And guess what?

*

I HAD A CLASS WITH HIM!

*

Now, if you were watching "The O'Reilly Factor" or "Scarborough Country" today, you saw Phil Mitchell being interviewed, where the facts were also stated, according to The Denver Post, that his students for his classes, based on student evaluation grade sheets handed out at the end of each term, graded him highly with A's and A+'s.

If you want to get to know more aout Mr. Mitchell, I'll tell you my personal experience with him.

First of all, I truly enjoyed having Phil as a teacher, I liked him, and actually consider him one of my favorite professors to date.

Phil Mitchell taught my HIST-2316 class, History of American Popular Culture. in the Winter 2004 season. It was a 3-hour credit course that "traces changes in American society from the Revolution to the present, and focuses on the increasing levels of mediation represented by print, spectacular performance, radio, television, and recorded music."

First of all, I want to be honest here and offer you all a clear understanding of this man based on my experience.

First off, he'd offer tell us stories of his past, growing up in rural West Virginia, give us a good laugh of stories about how denistry was done in the past and all, etc, stories of raising his nine children, most of which are adopted, both black and white. He was very geographically-inclined, had a good sense of culture for every state. I remember on the first day of class, he'd ask for our names, and judging by our voices, he would say "Hey, you must be from Ohio, aren't you?" and he actually was correct guessing many's whereabouts! LOL!

Second off, though he indeed was raised on conservative ground, I disagree that he imposed conservativism too much in the classroom. Although the texts he offered us leaned more conservative, he was actually fair and balanced when talking to me and the class and discussing the material. He knew his classroom was mostly liberal, and never dissed or discouraged those that participated on campus protests against the war and such. He's a very likeable professor that any liberal would feel comfortable to talk to without the fear of prejudice, etc.

To give you an idea of the material he instructed us to read, he assigned us a 3-ring binder each filled with a diversity of articles and essays for each major time period in American history, plus three main texts: "A History of the American People" by Paul Johnson (Johnson leans conservative in his view of American history, looking down on Kennedy but highly on Reagen), "In His Steps" by Charles M. Sheldon, a novel that originated the popular slogan "What Would Jesus Do?" and encouraged the mainstream thought of what jesus would do in everyday life situations if He was in our shoes, and "Carnegie" by Peter Krass, a biography on Andrew Carnegie.

I myself gave him an A on my evaluation sheet.

Anyway, I am very disappointed if the University of Colorado is really trying to fire this guy, and you bet I will be defending his right to stay with the same volume of passion I have been for Ward Churchill, who just may be the next victim in the exhuming of McCarthyism. And with Mitchell under this undeserving fire, that could make it a double blow.

I wish I could get on the major networks right away to speak out the true experiences with Phil Mitchell. I'm practically overexcited right now in trying to find a way to make my case, both on a personal and free speech advocacy level.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
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1 posted 03-09-2005 12:59 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Noah! You are like the Typhoid Mary of the University of COlorado. You have a class with a professor and he gets booted!!! I'm gonna be nicer to you...you have POWERS!!!
Mistletoe Angel
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2 posted 03-09-2005 01:25 AM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel



(giggles) Hmmmmm...maybe I am! After all, it was always dry when I lived in Colorado, but when I moved to Portland last June, Denver had a very unusually wet summer virtually every day, while ever since I've moved to Portland, it's been unseasonably dry.

Guess you can say I'm a dust bowl as well!  

Look, when I say I'm an advocate of free speech on campus, I MEAN I'm an advocate of free speech on campus. And I want to see it both these guys still have their rightful place at CU in Boulder to teach, regardless of the opinions they profess, whether you agree with them or not.



Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
Alicat
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3 posted 03-09-2005 09:40 AM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

I can be rather jaded at times, and this is one of those times.  CU came under such heavy fire for Churchill, that I can't help but feel they sought for a conservative to fire, thinking that would balance the tally sheet: one liberal, one conservative.  And though I really dislike the crap Churchill has said about this country, I still defend his right to speak his mind.  The main reason I think he should go is his credentials.  He lied about his creds, he lied on his resume.  If Mitchell is found to have done the same thing, then he should be dismissed as well: if he lied about his creds, if he falsified his resume.

Actions have consequences, and speech is an action.  Had Churchill not written that article, not gone on high paying speaking tours, not disparaged the US and victims of 9/11, he would probably not be in the pickle he currently has.  Yes, there's freedom of speech, and that goes hand-in-glove with responsibility for speech.  If you don't believe me, shout 'bomb' in an airport, or espouse pro-euthenasia at an AARP meeting.

There's one major difference between those two men aside from politics: tenure.  Churchill has it, Mitchell does not.  Mitchell chose not to go the tenure route since he loves teaching.  He's an instructor.  It's his thing.  Churchill went the tenure route and rose to Department Head.  It would be far easier to fire Mitchell than it would to dismiss Churchill.  Tenure.
LeeJ
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4 posted 03-09-2005 09:57 AM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

well, Noah, very very interesting, thanks so much for contributing and sharing.  Hey, why don't you send this article to the school newspaper and contact newspapers in the area...radio shows, etc....keep going until someone listens....

Good luck hun

and yeah, if you've got powers, maybe you could send a prayer up for a good friend...her name's Joanne...I'd surely appreicate it...and so would she

Many thanks

Fondly
Lee J.
Mistletoe Angel
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5 posted 03-09-2005 05:58 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel



Oh Lee, absolutely! For a friend, I'd always love to offer my prayers and well wishes to anyone in need! Any friend of a friend of mine here is a friend to me! So here's my special Angel Healing Heart Hug!



Now, to respond back to this story.

Alicat, I am very upset over this too. It too feels sort of like a taking of prisoners issue to me somehow. I mean, the director said the two reasons they considered letting him go were that his teaching wasn't up to the standards of the department and that he was "too overtly Christian" in the classroom.

I believe Mitchell is a wonderful teacher and a gracious man. He showed great class on cable news talk shows yesterday evening, saying that he sees CU having two classes of people; liberals and leftists, and that most are liberals and that they are very friendly with him and he enjoys their company, and that the leftists are the minority that feel that certain points of view are a threat to the overall educational process. (sigh) I believe he's right on there, and it seems unfortunately the minority has too much control with the leadership.

Look, I think professors should be allowed to have Christian beliefs as well as radical left wing/right wing beliefs. College is sometimes about the study of ideas and sometimes the only way to make people think is by presenting radical points of view. As long as these views do not infringe on others rights I think these points of view are perfectly ok. And neither Churchill nor Mitchell did that in any way.

I defended the University of Colorado when Churchill was being blasted, and still defend CU over that. But if CU is seriously considering dropping Mitchell, that's the final straw, and I think it's clear an investigation needs to be done on the leadership and management of this university and how the whole tenure thing operates.

Now, I want to get to Churchill again here because this is important too.

Churchill didn't get under controversy because he probably lied about being a Native American on his 1980 resume, or plagiarizing a work of art, or getting physical with a reporter by swinging his wrist or covering the lens of the camera with his palm as he was entering his office.

This controversy started because Hamilton College announced they were going to cancel his scheduled appearance and lecture there because of some things mentioned in his essay that some found offensive like the "little Eichmanns" reference (which I find tasteless too, but no justification in firing someone just over a strong, unpopular opinion)

Look, Churchill is probably among one of the last thousand people I'd ever share a peace pipe with in this nation I imagine. He sounds like he's got personal issues to work out, and could use some anger management. But I happen to believe this is all rather a media witch hunt, and everything else that's been dug up about him is pretty deliberate, and they're just using everything to parallel with the essay and firing him.

I wrote an article for the Vanguard, the newspaper of Portland State University, about my experiences with Mitchell and of free speech advocacy on campus. Hopefully that'll be a start.

I think I'm considering e-mailing Joe Scarborough as well, because though you know how I disagree with him a great majority of the time and he doesn't really represent my views, nevertheless he's been following this CU story very well and believe he's a good bet in leading stuff like this up. Besides, though his show has a right-wing bias, I believe it's important to tune in to shows to the side of the spectrum opposite of yours to understand their point of view better. I believe too many of us are caught up in our own side of the spectrum and don't take enough time to tune in to other voices. I tune into "Scarborough Country" and "Hannity & Colmes" once or twice a week, while I'd recommend "Democracy Now!", "NOW" or NPR to those on the other side to understand my sort of spectrum better.

Wish me luck everyone!

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
 
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