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U. Michigan Engineering School Assigns Comedy Central Host’s Memoir as Summer Reading

U. Michigan Engineering School Assigns Comedy Central Host’s Memoir as Summer Reading

“Our selection process for the Common Reading Experience book includes the input of current Engineering students who overwhelmingly rated Born a Crime very highly”

Daily Show host Trevor Noah is not an engineer, but he is a progressive. Why else would the school assign his book?

Campus Reform reports:

UMich Engineering College assigns Trevor Noah’s memoir as summer reading

University of Michigan’s College of Engineering used student input to select Trevor Noah’s “Born a Crime” as this year’s summer reading for the incoming first-year cohort.

The engineering school will provide students with their own copy of the book; international students will receive electronic books, per the university website.

“Our selection process for the Common Reading Experience book includes the input of current Engineering students who overwhelmingly rated Born a Crime very highly,” the Michigan Engineering website states.

Noah, host of the left-leaning “Daily Show,” chronicles his upbringing in apartheid South Africa in the book, which is now text for the 2021 Common Reading Experience.

The University of Michigan acknowledges on its website that the publication ‘does not contain technical engineering,’ but states that “there are themes of perseverance, growth mindset, and the need to understand the social dimensions and historical contexts of a situation that directly tie into engineering.”

According to a summary of the book provided by the College of Engineering, “Born a Crime tells the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. These interwoven stories are equally the story of Trevor’s fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother–a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that ultimately threatens her own life.”


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It could have been worse. They could have assigned one of Juan Cole’s (UMIch professor) books to read.

Their next action toward progressive virtue signaling will be to sanction any professors who require students to calculate the right answers.

Remember, requiring the right answers is racist. In order to assure equity, they must allow BIPOC students to give their own answers, which are just as correct in their world as the right answers.

Don’t try to drive across any bridges designed by Michigan engineers.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to OldProf2. | July 7, 2021 at 10:00 am

    A rumor I’m trying to start says Texas Instruments is offering a new calculator for engineers. It has a setting for White Answers and Woke Answers.

    /real engineers use RPN

Did his book include the part where the South African blacks are murdering the WHITE farmers and stealing their land? Did his book discuss the starvation and lack of development in SA until the WHITE settlers came in and showed the black SA’s how to properly plant a crop and tend to herd animals? I bet not!

Now you can just HEAR the Ohio State joke writers burning up their keyboards to mock this mockery of stupidity!

henrybowman | July 6, 2021 at 5:27 pm

I’m not so sure this is significant of anything. Even engineering schools have a standard humanities requirement for the lowerclassmen, and it typically has zero relationship to anything technical, In my day, it was the ubiquitous “Freshman Comp.” The obvious assumption here is that these books are assigned as part of the incoming humanities requirement (called “Common Reading Experience,” perhaps?)

Back in junior high, “Black Like Me” was one of the book options on our summer reading list. It was considered daring and exotic by my East Providence classmates, every single one of whom in the entire school was white. (We did have one girl of Cape Verdean ancestry who was considered kinda “dusky.”)

    WindyHill in reply to henrybowman. | July 7, 2021 at 9:58 am

    I agree. Seems like they are using the story of a funny guy they are likely all familiar with to open a discussion about cultural differences and about overcoming obstacles in life.

    John M in reply to henrybowman. | July 7, 2021 at 12:16 pm

    Yeah, that’s more or less what this is. I’ve not read Noah’s book so I have no sense of whether it’s a good assignment or not. There are a lot of other very fine books, though, to bring students into a common/shared experience (I’d pick Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning,” if they want a memoir). But I suppose the faculty/staff want something contemporary and “relatable.”

    Half or more of the students won’t read it anyway. I know — I used to be a college professor.

Joey Williams | July 6, 2021 at 10:47 pm

Back in 1975, the [well-reputed] engineering school I attended had the following books in its one-semester freshman “Intro” course:
    A Clockwork Orange
    Brave New World
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

IMO, the readings (like this summer book assignment) aren’t really about engineering; they’re about people and situations. Freshmen are entering a totally new environment, and they need to know how to get along.

    henrybowman in reply to Joey Williams. | July 7, 2021 at 5:42 pm

    Quite so. One of the four one-semester courses I took to satisfy my humanities requirement in an engineering school was called “The Twentieth Century: Revolution and Totalitarianism.” The Communist Manifesto was required reading. Of course, the difference is that back then, the prevailing sentiment was that totalitarianism was a bad thing.

Old Navy Doc | July 7, 2021 at 7:58 am

I would recommend “Dilbert” by Scott Adams as a superior alternative for preparation as an engineer in the real world.

U Michigan is much like the other engineering schools. The token “humanities” requirement is there to let students catch up on some much-needed sleep.

But no need to fret. The summer reading list is there to be ignored. It’s the ideal place to park some of the school’s tokenism.

You know what the real crime is? The fact that Noah gets paid very handsomely and he isn’t in the least bit funny.

I have watched his show. It is awful.