Can You Answer These 5 Questions From a 1922 College Exam?

Think you're smarter than a fifth grader? How about a college student --- from the 1920s?

Glenn and his co-hosts tried to answer just five questions on a 1922 college entrance exam from the University of Illinois.

Here are the five questions:

1. Describe the conditions causing Achilles to stop fighting.

2. What was Franklin’s plan for the union of the colonies? Discuss his arguments in favor of it.

3. What characters in A Midsummer Night’s Dream are more than mere types? Defend your answer.

4. Summarize the chief ideas you gained from reading one of Thackeray’s essays in the English Humorist.

5. Point out four distinctly Poesque characteristics marking The Raven.

The foursome decided to combine their intellectual power for added value.

"Together, we are probably smarter than the average one quarter of a person," Glenn said.

How did they do? Let's just say on the first question, Pat and Stu determined that Achilles would need reconstructive surgery on his heel and be out for the rest of the season. 'Nuff said.

GLENN: All right. Let me give you an entrance examination for the University of Illinois 1922. Just, I'm going to give you five questions. See if anyone can answer any of these five questions.

“Describe the conditions causing Achilles to stop fighting.”

PAT: Shot in the heel.

STU: Stabbed the wrong way.

GLENN: His heel, right?

PAT: Tendon cut.

STU: He'll need reconstructive surgery, out for the rest of the season.

PAT: Easily out for the season.

GLENN: “What was Franklin’s plan for the union of the colonies? Discuss his arguments in favor of it.” It's 1922. Discuss Benjamin Franklin's plan for the union of the colonies. Discuss his arguments in favor of it. I have no idea.

STU: He flew a kite?

PAT: A republic, right?

STU: Lightning struck a key?

GLENN: Maybe. How about this one? Maybe his plan came from that Indian chief that said, you know, bind them together, and they're strong? Maybe?

PAT: Maybe.

GLEN: That's as close as I can get.

STU: Would it be the snake?

PAT: Yeah, the union...that was the Duran, Duran song...union of the snake...

STU: It's on the rise.

GLENN: Yeah, so that could be it too. That could be it too. I don't think any of these are right. But join or die. Yeah. Okay.

PAT: Uh-huh.

STU: “What characters in A Midsummer Night’s Dream are more than mere types? Defend your answer.”

PAT: I don't do Shakespeare. I would have to tell him that.

STU: I think probably the clarifying thing is Shakespeare's dumb. So don't ask me about it again.

GLENN: Uh huh, uh huh.

PAT: When that's the's relevant to my life, I'll let you know.

GLENN: Oh, it is. “Summarize the chief ideas you gained from reading one of Thackeray’s essays in the English Humorist.”

PAT: Yeah, I forgot to read the Thackeray.

GLENN: “Point out four distinctly Poesque characteristics marking The Raven.”

STU: You should be able to nail that one.

GLENN: I think I could do that. Maybe, maybe I could do that.

STU: You said the word quoth is one.

GLENN: So those are just five of them. What does that tell you?

STU: Different priorities?

PAT: Uh-huh. They studied different things, that's for sure.

GLENN: Actually, here's what's interesting. Annie Holmquist wrote an article about these five questions. And she said one might argue that just because today's entrance exam don't ask such thorough or probing questions doesn't mean high school students are not familiar with a wide range of classic and historical works. Unfortunately, the experience of university professors, such as Allan Bloom, suggest otherwise. In 1987, Bloom wrote that the decline of student reading habits first became evident in the 1960s. He notes that while there may be a few who “grazed” on classics in high school, “The notion of books as companions is foreign to them.” Lacking in this knowledge, students also have a much narrower lens through which to view and interpret the world.

PAT: That makes sense because there are so many other things to entertain people by then, right?

GLENN: Yeah.

PAT: I mean, in 1920, your entertainment was a book.

GLENN: Correct.

PAT: Not anymore.

GLENN: Students today have nothing like the characters that Dickens gave which sharpened our vision, allowing us some subtly in our distinction of human types.

PAT: They forget about Valerian and the city of thousand planets there. She's not taking that into account.

JEFFY: Not at all.

GLENN: It is a complex set of experiences that enables one to say so simply, ‘He is a Scrooge.’ Without literature, no such observations are possible and the fine art of comparison is lost. The psychological obtuseness of our students is appalling, because they have only pop psychology -- listen to this -- because they have only pop psychology to tell them what people are like, and the range of their motives. As the awareness that we owed almost exclusively to literary genius falters, people become more alike, for want of knowing they can be otherwise. What poor substitutes for real diversity are the wild rainbows of dyed hair and other external differences that tell the observer nothing about what is inside that matters.

PAT: Pretty insightful.

GLENN: That's really good. That's really good. Try to get your kids to read a classic. Try. Almost impossible. Almost impossible. Trying to get them to read something that was written 100 years ago is -- it's so slow for them. They want action. They want okay. Get to a story. They don't -- they don't sit well through the descriptions of what the room look like, what the people look like, what -- you know, they just want give me the meat, give me the meat, give me the meat. Tell me the story. Try to get Rafe to read Dr. Jekyll. Couldn't get him to read it. Went and picked up a comic novel. Got one on Dracula and Frankenstein as well. Have you guys ever read Frankenstein? It is nothing like the movie. Nothing like the movie.

PAT: It's not even a monster, is he? He's not even a monster.

STU: He's an accountant.

JEFFY: I thought was a florist.

GLENN: He's a doctor, an accountant, and a vet. And he finds a mouse, and he -- the mouse has a broken leg, and he sets it, and he says let my creature live for no reason, really, at all. It's a really weird -- yeah, anyway. So tried to get him to read it. Would not. Get those comic books for him. He reads them, and he came back to me a couple months ago and said "Dad, Frankenstein is nothing -- I wanted to go, oh, really? But I was, like, huh. He's, like, we've got to read Frankenstein.

"Yes, we should. Good idea, son."

We have to find ways to get our kids to look deeper and to go back into -- I mean, who was it? The Penn Jillette's good friend Christopher Hitchens who just died. The atheist.

STU: Several years ago now.

GLENN: Several years ago. But what he said in defense of the Bible. He said if you want to understand the west. If you want to understand Shakespeare, you must understand the Bible. The Bible should be read just as literature. Because it is the basis of everything in the west.

PAT: Certainly the U.S. Constitution.

GLENN: Right. Everything comes from them.

PAT: Yeah. Whether you like it or not.

GLENN: He suggested that it is -- it should be the number one thing taught for literature. Here's a guy who disagrees with every word in the Bible. But he's, like, that is the basis. That's the stock of the west. And unless you understand that stock, how do you read classics? How do you read Shakespeare?

PAT: That's amazing coming from an atheist.

GLENN: And if you don't understand Shakespeare, how do you really understand the west and England and war and what -- you know, what the lessons are behind Macbeth and, you know, a lot of his work.

STU: And that battle, you're losing, right? It's not just with your son.

GLENN: It's gone.

STU: You see Jeffrey Katzenberg is raising $2 billion to put Hollywood style budgets, sets, actors, scripts, everything into new ten-minute episodes of television. So you think of all of the money that they're putting into TV already. They want to focus that to ten minutes because they think people aren't watching half an hour and hour episodes. Or they won't be as much in the future. This will be a better way to deliver shows. Ten minutes.

JEFFY: Well, I mean, that's what the -- that's what all the YouTubers are doing; right? They create 10, 15 minute YouTube clips, most of them. That's what everybody's watching.

STU: That's true.

GLENN: In some ways, you know, we'll be talking about this in September. And in some regards, we're moving the same way here.

JEFFY: Yeah.

GLENN: We're moving the same way here.

STU: That Ben Sasse book, we talked to him a few weeks ago. A lot of that is about actually reading.

GLENN: Reading.

STU: Here's a giant list of books for you to read. Here's, like, we need to go back to these times because you're right. It's a deeper education. And it's weird because being intelligent is something that used to be reflected in questions like that. Explain -- you know.

GLENN: Explain this.

STU: Explain this. Here's a fact. You know, what -- it's a test. And really, we've -- in a way -- our minds because of Google have evolved to -- that's not really what it is anymore.

GLENN: Has anybody -- have you guys heard anybody say that the third planet of the apes is the story of Moses?


PAT: Have you? You say it.

GLENN: Have you heard it from somebody else?


GLENN: I have not heard that before. And I whispered that to my son. And my son said of course it is, dad. Hello. And we've had several conversations on that. You don't even have to believe the Bible.

PAT: I hope you grounded him for that disrespectful attitude.

GLENN: Don't worry. He's in his god.

PAT: Treating you as if you're stupid. I mean, where does he get off?

GLENN: Right. Exactly right. God cage for him. Anyway, it's in his closet. You know, he would not have been able to have a different understanding of what was happening. He would have had no comparisons to planet of the apes. It would have been just an ape movie. Instead, it became, oh, my gosh look at the pattern here. Look at the pattern of Moses, look at the pattern of the people. Look at what happened. Is this deliverance? Those kinds of things are important, and we're losing all of that.


Let’s thank the Pilgrims for defeating Socialism this Thanksgiving

This year marks the four hundredth anniversary of the first Thanksgiving celebrated by the Pilgrims and their Wampanoag allies in 1621. Tragically, nearly half of the Pilgrims had died by famine and disease during their first year. However, they had been met by native Americans such as Samoset and Squanto who miraculously spoke English and taught the Pilgrims how to survive in the New World. That fall the Pilgrims, despite all the hardships, found much to praise God for and they were joined by Chief Massasoit and his ninety braves came who feasted and celebrated for three days with the fifty or so surviving Pilgrims.

It is often forgotten, however, that after the first Thanksgiving everything was not smooth sailing for the Pilgrims. Indeed, shortly thereafter they endured a time of crop failure and extreme difficulties including starvation and general lack. But why did this happen? Well, at that time the Pilgrims operated under what is called the "common storehouse" system. In its essence it was basically socialism. People were assigned jobs and the fruits of their labor would be redistributed throughout the people not based on how much work you did but how much you supposedly needed.

The problem with this mode of economics is that it only fails every time. Even the Pilgrims, who were a small group with relatively homogeneous beliefs were unable to successfully operate under a socialistic system without starvation and death being only moments away. Governor William Bradford explained that under the common storehouse the people began to "allege weakness and inability" because no matter how much or how little work someone did they still were given the same amount of food. Unsurprisingly this, "was found to breed much confusion and discontent."[1]

The Pilgrims, however, were not the type of people to keep doing what does not work. And so, "they began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery."[2] And, "after much debate of things" the Pilgrims under the direction of William Bradford, decided that each family ought to "trust to themselves" and keep what they produced instead of putting it into a common storehouse.[3] In essence, the Pilgrims decided to abandon the socialism which had led them to starvation and instead adopt the tenants of the free market.

And what was the result of this change? Well, according to Bradford, this change of course, "had very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been."[4] Eventually, the Pilgrims became a fiscally successful colony, paid off their enormous debt, and founded some of the earliest trading posts with the surrounding Indian tribes including the Aptucxet, Metteneque, and Cushnoc locations. In short, it represented one of the most significant economic revolutions which determined the early characteristics of the American nation.

The Pilgrims, of course, did not simply invent these ideas out of thin air but they instead grew out of the intimate familiarity the Pilgrims had with the Bible. The Scriptures provide clear principles for establishing a successful economic system which the Pilgrims looked to. For example, Proverbs 12:11 says, "He that tills his land shall be satisfied with bread." So the Pilgrims purchased land from the Indians and designated lots for every family to individually grow food for themselves. After all, 1 Timothy 5:8 declares, "If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."

We often think that the battle against Socialism is a new fight sprouting out of the writings of Karl Marx which are so blindly and foolishly followed today by those deceived by leftist irrationality. However, America's fight against the evil of socialism goes back even to our very founding during the colonial period. Thankfully, our forefathers decided to reject the tenants of socialism and instead build their new colony upon the ideology of freedom, liberty, hard work, and individual responsibility.

So, this Thanksgiving, let's thank the Pilgrims for defeating socialism and let us look to their example today in our ongoing struggle for freedom.

[1] William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856), 135.

[2] William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856), 134.

[3] William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856), 134.

[4] William Bradford, History of Plymouth Plantation (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1856), 135.


EcoHealth Alliance's Peter Daszak: Hero or Villain? | Matt Ridley | Ep 126

Like most people, science journalist Matt Ridley just wants the truth. When it comes to the origin of COVID-19, that is a tall order. Was it human-made? Did it leak from a laboratory? What is the role of gain-of-function research? Why China, why now? Ridley's latest book, "Viral: The Search for the Origin of COVID-19," is a scientific quest to answer these questions and more. A year ago, you would have been kicked off Facebook for suggesting COVID originated in a lab. For most of the pandemic, the Left practically worshipped Anthony Fauci. But lately, people have been poking around. And one of the names that appears again and again is Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance and a longtime collaborator and funder of the virus-hunting work at Wuhan Institute of Virology. In this episode of the Glenn Beck Podcast, Matt reveals the whole tangled web.


RENEWING KINDNESS: The Power of One and the Way Forward

I have one simple rule for anyone who wants to restore our nation. We will not settle for private patriotism and public compliance. The tyranny ends with us. Anyone who believes in the truth, please join me.


Crimes or Cover-Up? Exposing the World’s Most Dangerous Lie

COVID-19 changed everything. The way we live our lives, how we operate our businesses, how we see each other. And now, the federal government is sinking its tendrils even deeper, threatening the fabric not only of our bodily autonomy, but of the republic.

Our American way of life may never be the same. To save it, we must understand the key fundamentals of the pandemic that transfigured our society into the nightmare it is today. What is the COVID-19 origin story? Who are its top players in government and science, pulling the strings? What was their REAL response in the first days of the pandemic? The answers to these questions are frightening.

Emails, documents, and federal contracts tell a dark story that is still dominating our lives. It's time to cast a light on the shocking truth. Because only with the truth can we emerge from the darkness of this "pandemic" and take back the liberty stolen from us.

This is Glenn Beck's most important chalkboard of his life. And the most pivotal time in yours.

Watch the full special below:

View the research and supporting documents for this special here.

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