We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
If I remember correctly the University of Texas used to require a 650 mathsat to enter the engineering program. The administration found that this had a detrimental effect on women and minorities so they eliminated the requirement. They were surprised when it didn't have much effect on women and minorities in engineering. They totally missed the obvious that the mathsat is just an indication you can do math. When I was in engineering school you had to take calculus, differential equations, vector analysis, complex variables, statistics etc. All those math courses are obviously sexist and racist, so if you just eliminate all that math there will many more women and minorities in engineering.
The gender bias in engineering is similar to the gender bias in the NFL. If the NFL didn't privilege size, speed, strength, athleticism, etc., women could perform just as well as men at football. Like if they had 6 points for a touchdown, 3 points for a field goal, 5 points for singing a nice song, 4 points for writing a nice thank-you note, 2 points for drawing a nice picture, plus eliminate any contact with other players and so on, women would have an equal opportunity in football. But men are sexist and insist on setting needless standards that women have a difficult time meeting. Not that there's any difference whatsoever between men and women, of course.
Undoubtedly there are those who complain that engineering classes are not "welcoming," that they are not "inclusive." They have a point. For generations, engineering profs have sent an implicit message to all engineering students, regardless of "gender" or ethnicity, that if they didn't work their dear little rear ends off, they would flunk out.
Sometimes the message is explicit. One prof told us, when some of us expressed difficulty with a problem, told us "I hope you're not DUMB."
When I was an undergrad, I recall a columnist in the student paper who was making a case that his Poly Sci professor was especially tough. How tough? His Poly Sci prof was as tough as an engineering prof, the student columnist wrote.
The best student in my engineering cohort was a female. She would spend 20 minutes in class on homework problems that would take us hours when working together.
My sister was an engineer.
Engineering is tough, as the outside world doesn't have much tolerance for collapsed bridges or exploding oil refineries.
Male college athletes are often discouraged from majoring in some fields because they will be unlikely to have the time for them.
It's almost as if there are certain minimums which must be achieved to be considered competent.
Assistant Village Idiot
From what I have read, an athlete in a big time program can spend 20-40 hours a week on that sport. That is like a part-time or full time job. Which is why they are pushed into undemanding majors. Hard to do an engineering program that requires 60+ hours a week, along with a sport.
You occasionally read of a player in a big time football program- usually a lineman- who is doing a pre-med or an engineering program. These are exceptional cases- exceptional for being 95th + percentile in mind, body, and discipline. More like 98th+ percentile, I suspect.
The days of the student athlete are over. Many students, myself included, found that vigorous exercise can help one get through a rigorous program of study. But this exercise is going to be at an intramural level, or lower. For most of us, no formal college team.
In the '30s, my father was a second string center on his college football team- at 155 pounds. Not today. A high school teacher told me that he was a 240 lb lineman in high school, and didn't even try out for his college team- he was too small.
I looked up the subsequent careers of the basketball players on the college team I followed when I was in high school. The basketball team was good, winning the conference most years, but not good enough to advance much in the NCAA. These were student athletes. Very few phys ed majors. An engineer, a lot of business majors, and some English majors.
I was surprised at the number of players who became corporate vice presidents and the like. I suspect that a lot of the skills they learned as student athletes transferred to the business world. Prioritize. Change focus quickly. Cooperate with others. Assert yourself but don't lose your temper.