If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(BBC-US)   Ouch: "Guns and survivalists, but no school until I was 17." Cool: Coming from that to getting a doctorate from Cambridge   ( bbc.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Tara, Tara Westover, School, single school-age qualification, obsessively independent father, deeply controlling way, rural Idaho, Education  
•       •       •

4798 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Feb 2018 at 5:05 PM (21 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



49 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2018-02-14 12:55:05 PM  
"I thought they were wrong and we were right. I thought they were spiritually and morally inferior because they went, I really did," Tara says, speaking in Cambridge where she now lives.
"I thought they were being brainwashed and I wasn't."


I understand.

Tara says there is less tolerance of different opinions within middle-class, liberal academic circles than there ever was among the strict fundamentalists of her childhood.

Respect. Aretha was right. "Strict fundamentalists" respect hard work, among other things.

Thank you, submitter.
 
2018-02-14 01:51:35 PM  

Nadie_AZ: Respect. Aretha was right. "Strict fundamentalists" respect hard work, among other things.


But not others, their religions, schools, the law, and all that trivial stuff.
 
2018-02-14 05:12:25 PM  
"Tara says there is less tolerance of different opinions within middle-class, liberal academic circles than there ever was among the strict fundamentalists of her childhood."

Lol. Examples include "the myriad unacceptable ways to treat other human beings".
 
2018-02-14 05:15:43 PM  
Tara says there is less tolerance of different opinions within middle-class, liberal academic circles than there ever was among the strict fundamentalists of her childhood.

Now I'm starting to question the acceptance standards at Cambridge.  You were locked away from humanity for most of your childhood.  You weren't even allowed to experience differing viewpoints.  Give me a break.
 
2018-02-14 05:18:35 PM  
She's cute, and could probably kick my ass six ways from Sunday.

Hot,
 
2018-02-14 05:21:43 PM  
Got a doctorate from Cambridge......so I guess home schooling works?
 
2018-02-14 05:22:58 PM  

Bovine Diarrhea Virus: Tara says there is less tolerance of different opinions within middle-class, liberal academic circles than there ever was among the strict fundamentalists of her childhood.

Now I'm starting to question the acceptance standards at Cambridge.  You were locked away from humanity for most of your childhood.  You weren't even allowed to experience differing viewpoints.  Give me a break.


after getting a BA from Brigham Young University

So it's not like they just accepted the wolverine girl from idaho
 
2018-02-14 05:23:57 PM  

Bovine Diarrhea Virus: Tara says there is less tolerance of different opinions within middle-class, liberal academic circles than there ever was among the strict fundamentalists of her childhood.

Now I'm starting to question the acceptance standards at Cambridge.  You were locked away from humanity for most of your childhood.  You weren't even allowed to experience differing viewpoints.  Give me a break.


Sure she was
 
2018-02-14 05:30:31 PM  

Nadie_AZ: "I thought they were wrong and we were right. I thought they were spiritually and morally inferior because they went, I really did," Tara says, speaking in Cambridge where she now lives.
"I thought they were being brainwashed and I wasn't."

I understand.

Tara says there is less tolerance of different opinions within middle-class, liberal academic circles than there ever was among the strict fundamentalists of her childhood.

Respect. Aretha was right. "Strict fundamentalists" respect hard work, among other things.

Thank you, submitter.


if you are gonna be a dog farker you better be the best damn dog farker there is
 
2018-02-14 05:30:50 PM  
"Utopian communities set up in the 19th centruy" for her doctorate? Wonder if i can get a doctorate in my childhood?

/No doubt she is a smart cookie but more exception/rule
 
2018-02-14 05:33:04 PM  

gameshowhost: "Tara says there is less tolerance of different opinions within middle-class, liberal academic circles than there ever was among the strict fundamentalists of her childhood."

Lol. Examples include "the myriad unacceptable ways to treat other human beings".


"Women belong in the kitchen."
A particular woman who enjoys cooking?
"No, all women."
That's dumb.
"INTOLERANT!"
 
2018-02-14 05:33:30 PM  
I wonder if the lack of tolerance of other viewpoints is something along the lines of her espousing non-fundy unacceptable viewpoints like:
1) women should stay home and have babies and not go to school.  (seems unlikely)
2) whites are better than others (seems fairly likely)
3) gubmint bad! (seems fairly likely)
4) poaching for a living is totally cool and acceptable (seems fairly likely)
5) etc.
 
2018-02-14 05:34:25 PM  
The problem is that the homeschooling crowd are going to point to her as a poster child, instead of as someone who overcame the handicap of not having a real childhood education.
 
2018-02-14 05:39:31 PM  
Even when they were hurt in serious car accidents, the family avoided hospitals, seeing doctors as agents of a malign state.

Sounds like daddy-o is a bit of a:
img.fark.netView Full Size

This was also a deeply controlling way of life, with the family's fundamentalist interpretation of Mormonism setting rules on what Tara could wear, her hobbies and her contacts with the outside world.

I for one am shocked that a deeply religious person would act this way.

Tara remembers her father, fearful of raids by federal agents, buying weapons powerful enough to bring down a helicopter.

Just like Jesus would have done.

She says that claims for home schooling were really a cover for "no schooling".

Oh come now. We've been assured by advocates for home schooling that this never happens. You're not trying to imply that these deeply Christian people would lie?

She had been taught to read and write by her mother and brother, but had never learned anything about history, geography, literature or the outside world.

Defend it however you like. Bring up all the parents rights and religious rights but no matter what you say this is abuse plain and simple. A parent's obligation is to raise their children to live in the world as it is, not some idealized version seen through the distorted lenses of religious fundamentalism. Kids spend 6 hours a day in school. That leaves 18 hours for parents to teach them all the religious nutbaggery they feel is important.
 
2018-02-14 05:44:55 PM  

Nadie_AZ: "I thought they were wrong and we were right. I thought they were spiritually and morally inferior because they went, I really did," Tara says, speaking in Cambridge where she now lives.
"I thought they were being brainwashed and I wasn't."

I understand.

Tara says there is less tolerance of different opinions within middle-class, liberal academic circles than there ever was among the strict fundamentalists of her childhood.

Respect. Aretha was right. "Strict fundamentalists" respect hard work, among other things.

Thank you, submitter.


Rather surprising she survived her oral exams with that attitude.  Because in academia when you supply an opinion you are expected to be able to back it up with facts and a logical interpretation of them to support your opinion.  Your final defense is sitting in a closed room with a panel of experts from your field and a neutral faculty member to keep things on the rails and basically any part of your education is up for grabs.  Usually they'll focus on ambiguities in your thesis or core knowledge in your field.  The end result is if you can fluently and fluidly defend yourself and demonstrate mastery of your subject you pass.

So the difference really should be, "Liberal academia accepts and defensible opinion but fundamentalism accepts any opinion that fits in their world view."  Which is how it should be.

However after some reading it looks like you can get questions submitted ahead of time before sitting for your defense?  That's way easier than being tossed a dry erase marker and being said, "Hey go outline a research program to test for..." Then we spent 2 hours arguing over the validity of experiments I did.

I did get a, "Unacceptable too expensive."

"I wasn't aware of a budgetary requirement."
 
2018-02-14 05:45:26 PM  
Via the power of debate, I have helped drive at least 3 people studying to be priests into social work and tech careers. My friends say "doesn't that make you sad, or feel guilty?" Me: "No. God has my number. He can call me."  Mind you, it isn't all fun. I've been dodging those "smite" lightning bolts for years.

I am down on religion and I shant quit ripping it till I do get buckled.
 
2018-02-14 05:49:53 PM  
 
2018-02-14 05:58:08 PM  

I'm no expert but...: "Utopian communities set up in the 19th centruy" for her doctorate? Wonder if i can get a doctorate in my childhood?

/No doubt she is a smart cookie but more exception/rule


I'm sure you could get a doctorate in that from somewhere. Some doctorates aren't difficult at all, some are. For my PhD cohort (clinical psychology), the university had 140-150 applicants and admitted 9. I guess that's about middle of the road competitive? I dunno. I didn't find the work particularly hard, just tedious.
 
2018-02-14 05:58:21 PM  

I'm no expert but...: "Utopian communities set up in the 19th centruy" for her doctorate? Wonder if i can get a doctorate in my childhood?

/No doubt she is a smart cookie but more exception/rule


*squints at fark handle*

That might be a problematical proposition for you.
 
2018-02-14 06:03:15 PM  
So what is her PhD in?
 
2018-02-14 06:08:48 PM  

Trik: So what is her PhD in?


Tiddlywinks
 
2018-02-14 06:12:17 PM  
Ryan Conner is also from Idaho
 
2018-02-14 06:12:37 PM  
H

Trik: So what is her PhD in?


Hopefully Philosophy, majoring in logical fallacies. I tell you, the moment she gets handed her degree, the job offers will come rolling in by the hundreds!
 
2018-02-14 06:15:01 PM  
The sh*t kids are doing to get into college these days.

/jk, that's pretty good.
 
2018-02-14 06:28:58 PM  
"Tara says there is less tolerance of different opinions within middle-class, liberal academic circles than there ever was among the strict fundamentalists of her childhood."

There are people whose "opinions" also involve a belief that they should treat other people like sh*t because they are poor, or because of their sexual orientation, or because of their gender, or because of the color of their skin, or because of what country they or their ancestors are from, or because of what deity they pray to (or do not pray to), or because of their age, or because of where they live, or just farking because.

Those "opinions" are indeed intolerable, and there will always be less tolerance for them and the people that hold them. One thing she should have learned at Cambridge is that "different" does not always mean "good" or "better". Higher education, if it teaches nothing else, should cause the student to examine their opinions, especially in relation to the opinions of others and the real world. If the student cannot or has not done that, they have learned NOTHING, Tara.
 
2018-02-14 06:33:35 PM  
It's very brave of her to come out and tell her story.  Not a lot of people are willing to admit they spent years in a place like that, surrounded by people of desperate and dubious character.  Where you spend years  learning strange ideologies from self-styled elders, and partake in odd rituals from a bygone era.

Yes, not many people admit they went to C*mbridge.

/And once you admit you are a Tab, that stays with you for life
 
2018-02-14 06:36:43 PM  
She kind of looks like a better looking Melissa Etheridge.
 
2018-02-14 06:42:17 PM  

HairBolus: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/artic​l​e-5374397/How-did-home-schooled-surviv​alists-daughter-Uni.html

is a surprisingly well written quite long summary of her story.


Thank you!
 
2018-02-14 06:45:18 PM  
Good find, subby. Inspiring.
 
2018-02-14 06:48:36 PM  

rewind2846: One thing she should have learned at Cambridge is that "different" does not always mean "good" or "better".


holy shiat
we agree on something
 
2018-02-14 07:29:50 PM  

Salmon: She's cute, and could probably kick my ass six ways from Sunday.

Hot,


Smart, pretty, has her own vampire costume, and really rockin' the Blues Brother shades.

/article leaves me wanting to know more
 
2018-02-14 07:43:27 PM  
I applaud her for what she's managed to do, but I think she needs to stop generalizing so much ("liberals aren't tolerant!" "people think you need others to teach you!", etc).
 
2018-02-14 07:52:33 PM  

HairBolus: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/artic​l​e-5374397/How-did-home-schooled-surviv​alists-daughter-Uni.html

is a surprisingly well written quite long summary of her story.


Thank you. Well worth the modest read, and would now be interested in her book.
 
2018-02-14 07:52:43 PM  

Richard Saunders: Salmon: She's cute, and could probably kick my ass six ways from Sunday.

Hot,

Smart, pretty, has her own vampire costume, and really rockin' the Blues Brother shades.

/article leaves me wanting to know more


I'll be in my (survivalist) bunk(er).
 
2018-02-14 07:56:35 PM  

Nadie_AZ: "I thought they were wrong and we were right. I thought they were spiritually and morally inferior because they went, I really did," Tara says, speaking in Cambridge where she now lives.
"I thought they were being brainwashed and I wasn't."

I understand.

Tara says there is less tolerance of different opinions within middle-class, liberal academic circles than there ever was among the strict fundamentalists of her childhood.

Respect. Aretha was right. "Strict fundamentalists" respect hard work, among other things.

Thank you, submitter.


truth.

rewind2846: "Tara says there is less tolerance of different opinions within middle-class, liberal academic circles than there ever was among the strict fundamentalists of her childhood."

There are people whose "opinions" also involve a belief that they should treat other people like sh*t because they are poor, or because of their sexual orientation, or because of their gender, or because of the color of their skin, or because of what country they or their ancestors are from, or because of what deity they pray to (or do not pray to), or because of their age, or because of where they live, or just farking because.

Those "opinions" are indeed intolerable, and there will always be less tolerance for them and the people that hold them. One thing she should have learned at Cambridge is that "different" does not always mean "good" or "better". Higher education, if it teaches nothing else, should cause the student to examine their opinions, especially in relation to the opinions of others and the real world. If the student cannot or has not done that, they have learned NOTHING, Tara.


you're switching between ostensible open mindedness and rabid attack mode so fast i'm worried i'm going to get a seizure
 
2018-02-14 07:59:39 PM  

Ashelth: Nadie_AZ: "I thought they were wrong and we were right. I thought they were spiritually and morally inferior because they went, I really did," Tara says, speaking in Cambridge where she now lives.
"I thought they were being brainwashed and I wasn't."

I understand.

Tara says there is less tolerance of different opinions within middle-class, liberal academic circles than there ever was among the strict fundamentalists of her childhood.

Respect. Aretha was right. "Strict fundamentalists" respect hard work, among other things.

Thank you, submitter.

Rather surprising she survived her oral exams with that attitude.  Because in academia when you supply an opinion you are expected to be able to back it up with facts and a logical interpretation of them to support your opinion.  Your final defense is sitting in a closed room with a panel of experts from your field and a neutral faculty member to keep things on the rails and basically any part of your education is up for grabs.  Usually they'll focus on ambiguities in your thesis or core knowledge in your field.  The end result is if you can fluently and fluidly defend yourself and demonstrate mastery of your subject you pass.

So the difference really should be, "Liberal academia accepts and defensible opinion but fundamentalism accepts any opinion that fits in their world view."  Which is how it should be.

However after some reading it looks like you can get questions submitted ahead of time before sitting for your defense?  That's way easier than being tossed a dry erase marker and being said, "Hey go outline a research program to test for..." Then we spent 2 hours arguing over the validity of experiments I did.

I did get a, "Unacceptable too expensive."

"I wasn't aware of a budgetary requirement."


my time in academia doesn't square quite with what you're saying. the thesis part does, but i found a lot of the liberal arts were more about agreeing with the prof's ideology than about free debate or backing up opinion with fact.

differences aside i think a lot of this stuff comes down to the particular professor, so it's probably unfair to generalize (which is what i was doing, so maybe i'm contradicting myself)
 
2018-02-14 08:02:20 PM  

Trik: So what is her PhD in?


Twenty-first century scrap metal recycling using 19th century techniques.

/ read the alternate article posted up thread
 
2018-02-14 08:09:59 PM  

PhilCollinsBeatBox: Nadie_AZ: "I thought they were wrong and we were right. I thought they were spiritually and morally inferior because they went, I really did," Tara says, speaking in Cambridge where she now lives.
"I thought they were being brainwashed and I wasn't."

I understand.

Tara says there is less tolerance of different opinions within middle-class, liberal academic circles than there ever was among the strict fundamentalists of her childhood.

Respect. Aretha was right. "Strict fundamentalists" respect hard work, among other things.

Thank you, submitter.


I gotta revise my original fist-bump. i've talked to some fundies in the past that were super closed-minded. i think it probably varies by group, but in general i'd probably say the fundies were more intolerant than the liberal arts professors. though they approached intolerance differently. fundies were more interested in coming up with creative solutions to obvious problems with their dogma - the goal being to keep the questioning soul within the dogma. professors were more interested in slander or character assassination - the goal being to intellectually/morally eradicate opposition (though fundies do this too, especially against any 'sources' they deemed wrong-headed - i don't think that was there go-to though)
 
2018-02-14 08:10:43 PM  

PhilCollinsBeatBox: PhilCollinsBeatBox: Nadie_AZ: "I thought they were wrong and we were right. I thought they were spiritually and morally inferior because they went, I really did," Tara says, speaking in Cambridge where she now lives.
"I thought they were being brainwashed and I wasn't."

I understand.

Tara says there is less tolerance of different opinions within middle-class, liberal academic circles than there ever was among the strict fundamentalists of her childhood.

Respect. Aretha was right. "Strict fundamentalists" respect hard work, among other things.

Thank you, submitter.

I gotta revise my original fist-bump. i've talked to some fundies in the past that were super closed-minded. i think it probably varies by group, but in general i'd probably say the fundies were more intolerant than the liberal arts professors. though they approached intolerance differently. fundies were more interested in coming up with creative solutions to obvious problems with their dogma - the goal being to keep the questioning soul within the dogma. professors were more interested in slander or character assassination - the goal being to intellectually/morally eradicate opposition (though fundies do this too, especially against any 'sources' they deemed wrong-headed - i don't think that was there go-to though)


THEIR!!!! farking hell i'm removing myself from the internet for the night. godfarkingdamnit
 
2018-02-14 08:30:27 PM  

Richard Saunders: Trik: So what is her PhD in?

Twenty-first century scrap metal recycling using 19th century techniques.

/ read the alternate article posted up thread


So what's her PhD in?

I don't want to read her victims statement.
 
2018-02-14 08:31:21 PM  

bborchar: I applaud her for what she's managed to do, but I think she needs to stop generalizing so much ("liberals aren't tolerant!" "people think you need others to teach you!", etc).


Yeah!  That stuff's only ok on FARK!
 
2018-02-14 08:38:20 PM  

PhilCollinsBeatBox: you're switching between ostensible open mindedness and rabid attack mode so fast i'm worried i'm going to get a seizure


What in seven hells are you on, dude?
 
2018-02-14 08:39:07 PM  

edmo: Nadie_AZ: Respect. Aretha was right. "Strict fundamentalists" respect hard work, among other things.

But not others, their religions, schools, the law, and all that trivial stuff.


Hard work is easy. Standing up for yourself and saying what is right and true is hard.
 
2018-02-14 09:02:49 PM  

loonatic112358: Bovine Diarrhea Virus: Now I'm starting to question the acceptance standards at Cambridge.  You were locked away from humanity for most of your childhood.  You weren't even allowed to experience differing viewpoints.  Give me a break.

after getting a BA from Brigham Young University

So it's not like they just accepted the wolverine girl from idaho


Ah, the original article did not name the college than came before Cambridge.  Even BYU "corrupted" her.

FTFA:
Wanting a way out of a narrow and emotionally claustrophobic family life, she found a university that would admit her if she passed an entrance test.
She secretly bought the textbooks she needed and methodically studied, night after night, until she got the grades she needed.


How the heck did she manage going to college, even BYU, with zero cooperation from her family?  She started at age 17; I guess she counted on her parents not reporting her as a "runaway" because they didn't want to deal with the police.  But even if BYU offered her some sort of tuition scholarship, there's still dorms and stuff to pay for.

Even creepier, apparently BYU is used to making arrangements for Mormon kids who have never been to school.
 
2018-02-14 11:29:42 PM  
It's amazing how people who claim to be open-minded are just savaging this lady over one comment she made.

I kinda could see what she means (not that I agree) - it's easy to be casually dismissed by many educated people for having an unusual opinion. If I say we should make housing a right, and give everyone title to a house or condo after mandatory national service (to build housing, feed the poor, etc), I will be called a nutcase and dismissed. If I say I think modern industrial society is likely to fail and we won't ever settle in space, another set of people will call me a nutcase.

I have talked to right wingers who are more open in terms of solutions to problems - we could talk politics despite being on opposite sides and we would approach an unusual solution quite outside of normal politics.

So I can see why she feels that way. I think what she means is that there are different areas where debate is stifled. Where she grew up, you couldn't question religion. Where she is now, a completely different set of things is considered wrong to question.
 
2018-02-14 11:34:19 PM  
I knew lefties would lose their shjt over the "middle class liberals are less tolerant" line.

Irrespective of who's right or wrong (and in a middle class liberal vs a right wing fundie I know what side I'm throwing in with and hint, it's not the fundies), lefties act like the have a carte blanche to summarily dismiss any opinion they disagree.  Being right most of the time doesn't make your opinions above criticism or opposing opinions beneath consideration, but lefties think it does.
 
2018-02-14 11:39:00 PM  
In her case, the modern education system is probably where people get very insane around her. Yet I agree with her - I dropped out of high school, though I eventually got a degree. I left because it was a stifling hell for me, in fact as far back as I can remember I hated school. Literally remember wanting to die sitting in class in fifth grade.

Go ahead and tell me who great it is over homeschooling and everything else, but I'll tell you that it's a shiatty, militarized, factory method of education. There MUST be better ways.
 
2018-02-15 07:55:35 AM  

Trik: Richard Saunders: Trik: So what is her PhD in?

Twenty-first century scrap metal recycling using 19th century techniques.

/ read the alternate article posted up thread

So what's her PhD in?

I don't want to read her victims statement.


Her subject was utopian communities set up in the 19th centuries. It was in the first article. The part about scrap metal I added after reading the second. One of her jobs was to sort through the stuff in her father's junkyard.
 
2018-02-15 08:01:32 AM  

flondrix: loonatic112358: Bovine Diarrhea Virus: Now I'm starting to question the acceptance standards at Cambridge.  You were locked away from humanity for most of your childhood.  You weren't even allowed to experience differing viewpoints.  Give me a break.

after getting a BA from Brigham Young University

So it's not like they just accepted the wolverine girl from idaho

Ah, the original article did not name the college than came before Cambridge.  Even BYU "corrupted" her.

FTFA:
Wanting a way out of a narrow and emotionally claustrophobic family life, she found a university that would admit her if she passed an entrance test.
She secretly bought the textbooks she needed and methodically studied, night after night, until she got the grades she needed.

How the heck did she manage going to college, even BYU, with zero cooperation from her family?  She started at age 17; I guess she counted on her parents not reporting her as a "runaway" because they didn't want to deal with the police.  But even if BYU offered her some sort of tuition scholarship, there's still dorms and stuff to pay for.

Even creepier, apparently BYU is used to making arrangements for Mormon kids who have never been to school.


Seems she did it the same way her older brother before had. Without her family's blessing. It was alluded to that they thought she'd change her mind, return home. Not much attention given to the subject of finances.
 
Displayed 49 of 49 comments

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking

On Twitter





Top Commented
Javascript is required to view headlines in widget.
  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report